MLS shortlists Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento for next two league slots

Don Garber3

November 30 – The MLS has named four finalist cities for the league’s two expansion slots in 2018. Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento will make formal presentation to the league’s expansion committee December 6, before being discussed at a Board of Governors meeting on December 14.

Final announcements of the two winning bids for expansion slots are expected before the end of the year.

The four shortlisted groups were part of a wider filed of 12 bidding for the four expansion slots that will take the MLS to 28 teams. Currently the league is playing with 22 teams. Los Angeles Football Club will start play in 2018,  while the MLS says “expansion discussions continue in Miami” with David Beckham’s ownership group.

While the four listed cities have taken centrestage, the MLS said of the other bidders that “all remaining markets are under consideration for the following two expansion clubs that will be announced at a later date. Those include Charlotte, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa/St. Petersburg.”

MLS Commissioner Don Garber (pictured) said in a league statement: “The leaders of the Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento MLS expansion ownership groups have bold visions and innovative plans for their clubs, stadiums and their involvement in their respective communities… We have been greatly encouraged by the progress that all four of these groups have made and we are looking forward to their presentations.”

How the line up:


  • Carl H. Lindner III – Co-CEO of American Financial Group and Owner, Chairman and CEO of FC Cincinnati
  • Scott Farmer – CEO of Cintas Corporation


  • Dan Gilbert – Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans, Inc.
  • Tom Gores – Owner of the Detroit Pistons and Founder, Chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity


  • John Ingram – Chairman of Ingram Industries Inc. and CEO Nashville Soccer Holdings
  • Wilf Family – owners of the Minnesota Vikings
  • Turner Family – Managing Partners of MarketStreet Enterprises


  • Kevin Nagle – Managing Partner of Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings and Minority Owner of the Sacramento Kings
  • Jed York – CEO of the San Francisco Forty-Niners
  • Mark Friedman – President of Fulcrum Property Group and Minority Owner of the Sacramento Kings, and other limited partners.

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