MLS Commissioner Visited Panthers' David Tepper To Talk Expansion Bid
MLS Commissioner Don Garber met with NFL Panthers Owner David Tepper and other leaders last month in Charlotte, marking the "latest step in Tepper's campaign to add an MLS club to his portfolio," according to Erik Spanberg of the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles confirmed that she "met with Garber while he was in town, along with center city advocates and local business executives." Referring to Bank of America Stadium, MLS Exec VP/Communications Dan Courtemanche said of Charlotte's bid, "Their location in the urban core appeals to our young, urban, digitally savvy audience." Spanberg noted one of Tepper's "challenges is the fact that he's going against league trends by positioning his bid as one that would put a Charlotte club in an NFL stadium rather than a soccer-specific venue." Courtemanche said that the Fire's decision to move back to Soldier Field was "spurred by proximity to millennial audiences who tend to live near downtown." St. Louis' expansion club and Sacramento's anticipated MLS team will pay a $200M entry fee, but the 30th team will "likely pay more." Courtemanche said that "no fee has been set" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/18).
Great seeing Ron Burkle and Matt Alvarez this morning! Sacramento- we couldn’t have asked for better partners to lead our @MLS effort. Very thankful to them and our tremendous local owners for stepping up big for our City. Exciting times ahead! pic.twitter.com/zsBE3kzo1I— Darrell Steinberg (@Mayor_Steinberg) September 16, 2019
AND TO THE REPUBLIC: In Sacramento, Bizjak & Breton noted Mayor Darrell Steinberg on Monday tweeted out a picture "showing him standing, soccer ball in hand," between Penguins co-Owner Ron Burkle and investor Matt Alvarez, who lead an investment group negotiating to bring MLS to the city. In the picture, Alvarez "wore a Republic FC scarf." Steinberg said that Burkle and Alvarez were in Sacramento to "meet with Republic FC officials," including club Chair & CEO Kevin Nagle, at the team's midtown offices." He added that he "went over to say hello and to express his appreciation for the efforts to bring top-tier soccer here." He "declined to offer details of the meeting" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/17).