MLS commissioner Don Garber says the 30th MLS team
could be announced in the "next number of months" and the league's expansion committee has been working with groups from three cities.
“There are three markets we’re looking at, that our expansion committee is engaged with: Charlotte, Las Vegas and Phoenix," Garber said at his State of the League address. "It’s fair to say Charlotte has done a lot of work to move their bid to the front of the line. It starts with David Tepper, passionate about our sport and very passionate about Charlotte."
Tepper bought the NFL Carolina Panthers from founder Jerry Richardson in May 2018. The Panthers play at 75,523-seat Bank of America Stadium, which Tepper's group has proposed as its home for an MLS team.
"There are a lot of things happening in Charlotte that are similar to things that are happening in Atlanta," Garber added. "I think the Carolinas are great states for soccer. You know that from a women’s soccer perspective and a youth soccer perspective. Should we be able to move forward and end up with a team in Charlotte, I’m confident they would be successful.”
Currently MLS has 24 teams. It already has plans to add five more teams:
-- Inter Miami and Nashville SC in 2020;
-- Austin FC in 2021; and
-- St. Louis and Sacramento Republic FC in 2022.
Adding a second team in 2021 would allow MLS to avoid playing with an odd number of teams, which creates scheduling issues.