A year ago, it would have been unimaginable, a visit to Cincinnati by MLS commissioner Don Garber
. But the Cincinnati Enquirer reported
that Garber will visit Cincinnati Nov. 29 and meet with Mayor
. A public event will be held in conjunction with Garber's visit, which follows a record-breaking season at the gate for first-year USL club FC Cincinnati, which averaged more fans
than five MLS clubs.
FC Cincinnati set a USL record, drawing 259,437 fans for 15 games, an average of 17,296 a game. That's more than the current average of MLS's current Ohio
representative, Columbus (16,943), and more than D.C. United (16,490), Colorado (16,229), Chicago (15,358) and FC Dallas (13,994).
"Cincinnati is a city on the rise and so is soccer," FC
Cincinnati general manager Jeff Berding
said. "We've created an environment for a professional soccer team to be successful."
FC Cincinnati is the No. 3 seed in the Eastern
Conference and will host Charleston Sunday in the quarterfinals of the playoffs at Nippert Stadium.
"FC Cincinnati has done a fantastic job of putting a high-quality product on the field,
filling Nippert Stadium with record-setting crowds, and adding to the vibrancy of our city," Cranley said. "We are lucky to have FC Cincinnati and MLS would be lucky to have them too."
MLS will expand into Atlanta and Minnesota in 2017 and LAFC has begun work on its stadium for its entrance into MLS, scheduled for 2018. Miami has been approved -- contingent upon developing a
suitable stadium plan.
Garber has said MLS will expand to 28 teams. In a recent interview with SI.com's Brian Straus
, Garber mentioned Cincinnati
as a possible expansion city along with Austin and San Antonio,
San Diego, St. Louis, Sacramento and Las Vegas. He visited St. Louis in February and Sacramento and Detroit in April.