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Charlotte & Raleigh Aren't Among 4 Finalists For MLS Expansion

MLS4CLT and MLS logos

Major League soccer has picked four cities as finalists for two expansion teams to be announced by the end of the year.  Charlotte and Raleigh didn't make the cut.

League officials will pick two winners from among Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento. They were among a dozen cities that submitted bids earlier this year. The finalists will make presentations to the MLS board of governors on Dec. 6. The board will meet again Dec. 14 in New York City to discuss the selection.

The MLS says other bidders - including Charlotte and Raleigh - aren't entirely out: They'll all be considered again for two more expansion teams to be chosen later.

Charlotte's bid had been led by Marcus and Bruton Smith, of Speedway Motor Sports. The group had been unsuccessful in putting together a deal to have county and city officials help pay for a new $175 million stadium on the site of the current Memorial Stadium near uptown. 

North Carolina Football Club had submitted a bid for Raleigh. That group, led by businessman Steve Malik, had proposed a new stadium on state-owned land in downtown Raleigh. But details of the deal hadn't been worked out.  

MLS has said a stadium deal is a critical part of the bids. 


Nov. 29, 2017, MLS statement on the choice of four finalists