Seven prospective ownership groups from markets throughout the United States and Canada submitted applications to join Major League Soccer,
which is expected to add a 17th and 18th team in 2011. The groups include FC Barcelona, owners of teams in the NFL, NHL and EPL and an NBA star. Three groups include USL owners. Here is a
look at the ownership groups and their stadium plans ... ATLANTA. Ownership Group: Arthur Blank
Home Depot co-founder and owner of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. Stadium:
Kennesaw State University, in Cobb County, is emerging as a top candidate to host
a stadium. Other sites could be in Gwinnett and College Park, south of Atlanta and near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. MIAMI.
FC Barcelona and Miami resident Marcelo Claure
, owner of Brightstar Corporation, the largest
Hispanic-owned business in the United States, and Bolivian club Bolivar. Stadium:
The group has entered into a five-year agreement to play at Florida
International University's recently completed football stadium.
MONTREAL. Ownership Group:
Saputo and Gillett families. The Saputos own the USL-1's Montreal Impact. George Gillett Jr.
owns the NHL
Montreal Canadiens and is co-owner of Liverpool FC. Stadium:
Stade Saputo, which opened in 2008, seats 13,000.
Ottawa Senators (NHL) owner Eugene Melnyk
There are plans for a 30,000-capacity stadium in Kanata near Scotiabank Place.
Family group headed by Merritt Paulson
, who owns both the minor league baseball Portland Beavers and USL-1's Portland Timbers. Stadium:
There are plans to spend $40 million to upgrade PGE Park in downtown Portland.
Investment group led by Jeff Cooper
, who is also the owner of the Women's Professional Soccer team in St. Louis. Stadium:
A 400-acre tract of land in
Collinsville, Ill., has been secured for a 18,500-seat soccer-specific stadium, youth soccer complex and surrounding retail and community development.
Ownership Group: Greg Kerfoot
(owner of the USL-1
champion Whitecaps), NBA star Steve Nash
and former Yahoo! president Jeff Mallett
Retrofitted B.C. Place (capacity: 60,000) will be the Vancouver team's home until a soccer stadium is built.