Charlotte MLS team

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, left, and Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper announce Charlotte as the 30th MLS franchise Dec. 17, 2019, at the Mint Museum uptown.
Credit David Boraks / WFAE

On Dec. 17, 2019, Charlotte was announced as the home of the 30th Major League Soccer team. The team's owner is billionaire David Tepper, who also owns the NFL's Carolina Panthers. As of early January 2020, the franchise didn't have a name, but MLS officials say the team will start playing in 2021.

Like the Panthers, the MLS team will play at Bank of America Stadium in uptown Charlotte. The team headquarters and practice site are expected to be located at the old Eastland Mall site off Central Avenue on the city's east side.

Charlotte's MLS team says it will announce its name and colors next week. On Monday, the club owned by Carolina Panthers' owner David Tepper tweeted out the list of possible names that came out in December. One name was crossed out: Charlotte Fortune.

Charlotte MLS

Charlotte's Major League Soccer team doesn't have a name yet and it won't start playing until next spring. But the club has signed its first player -- 25-year-old Spanish midfielder Sergio Ruiz.

Charlotte MLS

Charlotte's MLS team is officially only a couple weeks old and doesn't have a name or a headquarters -- but the franchise announced Tuesday that it has hired a sporting director.

Anthony Hurd/Mint City Collective / @MintCityColl

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber will be in Charlotte Tuesday morning for a "special announcement."

shauking / Pixabay

Charlotte City Council members say that meeting in private about Major League Soccer helped them get the best deal for taxpayers.

shauking / Pixabay

Major League Soccer is scheduled to award its 30th team to Charlotte in a ceremony uptown on Tuesday.

Edoardo Busti / Unsplash

Charlotte Crown? Charlotte Monarchs? Carolina Gliders? Those are among the possible names for a Charlotte Major League Soccer team that surfaced in filings last week with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

The city's bid for a Major League Soccer team is inching closer to success. But MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Thursday afternoon that no decision has been made yet.

Panthers owner David Tepper talks to reporters in 2018 at Bank of America Stadium. Two officials said Monday they expect Major League Soccer will award Tepper its 30th franchise by the end of this week.
DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

Major League Soccer says its Board of Governors will discuss “potential expansion markets, including Charlotte” at its meeting Thursday. 

Sacramento, California, appears poised to be the next city to get a Major League Soccer expansion team —  not Charlotte. News reports say an announcement is scheduled for Monday, with Sacramento's mayor and representatives from the minor league Republic FC attending. 

Thomas Finlay, left, of the Carolina Rapids and Jim McPhilliamy, owner of the Charlotte Independence professional soccer team, announced the creation of a new youth to professional club in the Charlotte region.
David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte Independence Soccer Club is the new organization's name. It will have more than 12,000 players from Fort Mill, South Carolina, to Iredell County. It's being formed by the merger of the Carolina Rapids in the Lake Norman area, Discoveries Soccer Club in Fort Mill, and Lake Norman Soccer Club in Mooresville.

Architect's drawing shows plan for a renovated Memorial Stadium near uptown Charlotte. JenkinsPeer Architects is working with the county.
Mecklenburg County/JenkinsPeer Architects

Charlotte missed out on winning a Major League Soccer franchise last year. But hopes remain that the city might still have a shot, especially since Carolina Panthers' owner David Tepper keeps saying he's interested. But what if a women's team became the first top-level professional club here? 

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 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.

Crystal Hogue / WFAE

The clock has run out on Charlotte's bid for a Major League Soccer team. Supporters said Monday they won't be able to come up with a stadium deal before the league picks two new teams in December. 

Updated 4:33 p.m.
A Charlotte City Council committee voted Thursday to decline Mecklenburg County's offer to transfer ownership of Memorial Stadium to the city for a Major League Soccer stadium. 

Backers of a bid to bring Major League Soccer to Charlotte say they're pushing ahead, despite the county commission's decision this week not to contribute funding for a new stadium near uptown.  A statement sent on behalf of MLS4CLT says:

Supporters of more funding for parks and greenways waved signs at Wednesday's county commission meeting.
David Boraks / WFAE

In a big blow to Charlotte's bid for a Major League Soccer team, the Mecklenburg County Commission voted 5-3 Wednesday night not to help fund a new stadium near uptown. Instead, under a motion put forward by stadium opponents, they voted to fund long-delayed parks projects, and to offer the county-owned Memorial Stadium to the city of Charlotte. 

Mecklenburg County commissioners are scheduled to vote Wednesday night whether to help fund a new Major League Soccer stadium in Charlotte. That discussion could include two compromises - one by the county manager to fund both the stadium and parks projects, and another from commissioners opposed to the MLS deal.

Marcus Smith of MLS4CLT presented his soccer stadium plan to the City Council's Economic Development Committee meeting Thursday.
David Boraks / WFAE

A group hoping to bring a Major League Soccer team to Charlotte asked a City Council committee Thursday for financial help building a new soccer stadium. The Economic Development Committee's chair says any city contribution will be far less than the $44 million originally requested. The leader of the MLS bid says he can work with that.

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