Major League Soccer has been expanding their organization for more than a decade. Fans always asked themselves when this expansion period would end. However, the sport continued to become more popular, and MLS continued to receive more applications from cities nationwide. Looking back six years ago, nobody would’ve anticipated the drastic rise in popularity that MLS experienced. International players from the Premier League and FIFA have been brought over to major league soccer, shopping that this league is gaining global appeal.
Fans can now rest easy knowing that the expansion period for major league soccer has been completed. The announcement that this period has concluded came on December 19, 2019. With this information, it was also revealed that Charlotte would become the final team to join major league soccer. They will be the 30th club to enter the sporting organization and the 20th team to enter the North American championship series since 2005. Within the last six months, six new teams were announced. This included Austin, Inter Miami, St. Louis, Sacramento, and Nashville. However, Charlotte FC won’t start competing in MLS until 2020 with Sacramento.
The Associated Cost
It took five weeks for the final team announcement to be made by major league soccer. The associated cost with the last placement was extensive, which has been prompted by current market conditions. Joe Mansueto paid $204 million for 51% stake ownership in the Chicago Fires. Additional factors included the league’s expansion in popularity and franchise profitability opportunities.
The other significant factor was the number of other cities competing for the final position. Phoenix, Indianapolis and Las Vegas were all competing for this final placement. However, these metropolises weren’t willing to pay the associated cost and were debating lower costs with MLS officials. When Charlotte confirmed that they would pay upwards of $325 million for the team, with all other associated costs, it took officials less than twenty-four hours to accept the bid. This now means that the owner of the Carolina Panthers also owns Charlotte FC.
Those wanting to support Charlotte FC in their opening stages of development can purchase team gear on their official website. This money is being used to generate revenue for the construction of a new stadium and the acquisition of formidable players. Depending on the support received from citizens in Charlotte, this football club could be a significant contender for 2022.