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Charlotte Talks: Could Charlotte Get An MLS Team After All?

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The bid for a team seemed all but doomed back in 2017 when Mecklenburg County Commissioners decided they wouldn’t put public money forward to help, but it’s been revived this year. The new Charlotte Panthers owner, David Tepper, says that the Panthers and MLS are actively talking about making a new team. 

Major League Soccer has been adding teams quickly. Three will join the league by 2021, bringing the total number of teams up to 27. But where the 28th team will be still hasn’t been decided yet. One of the leading bids is in Sacramento, California, but it doesn't look like the MLS will stop with 28. Part of that is because of the success of recent expansion teams.

One of the newer teams that has already been successful — both on the field and in filling up stadium seats — is Atlanta United F.C., which just won the MLS Cup in December to close out its second season. The team plays at Mercedes-Benz stadium, the football stadium the Atlanta Falcons also play in, and have the same owner as the Falcons, Arthur Blank.

Having the sway and deep pockets of an NFL owner may help convince MLS to add a team in Charlotte, but could the city really get a major league team anytime soon? 


Erik Spanberg, managing editor at the Charlotte Business Journal.

Jim McPhilliamy, president of the Charlotte Independence.

Charles Boehm, writes about soccer for MLSsoccer.com, SoccerWire and other publications.

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Cole del Charco is a journalist, writer and radio producer from Hickory, North Carolina.