MLS Looks to Expand

MLS looks to expand

image courtesy of sportleaguemaps.com

 

The MLS has recently announced that they will seek to expand to 30 teams, and have gotten formal presentations from St. Louis and Sacramento. While the expansion of the league is an exciting prospect, one must question why California needs another team; the West Coast state already plays host to several teams. While the media exposure is excellent there and the fan bases for the teams that already exist is big if the league wants to truly grow then they need to begin to expand their market in other states. The St. Louis possibility is certainly an interesting one as St Louis has a history with soccer and has a USL team already operating. This could see that team make a huge jump into the MLS or would it mean that this team will operate under a new team, it will be an interesting idea to see if it fleshes out.

MLS Expansion
Credit: mlssoccer.com

The California idea is one that sees a state with three teams already, potentially getting a 4th and begs the question of why? Some states have no team and could be a new market for MLS in another southwest state like Arizona or New Mexico that will see a rivalry develop within that area between states like California and Texas and allows the league to have a large foothold on the northeast and southwest of the United States.

While St. Louis and Sacramento are the two areas that have been already asked to make formal presentations, fans in the sunshine state of Florida may look to see if the Tampa Bay Rowdies decide to throw their hat in the ring. Tampa Bay has had a team for some time, an established fan base and a market for their team, and the opportunity to have a state rival down the I-4 to play and establish a great rivalry between the two cities. Only time will tell who the MLS will pick for their expansion site as the commissioner was hoping to make an announcement by the MLS all-star game in July. While the speculation for the area will grow heated in some ways lets all take a second to recognize that the growth of the league is something to be celebrated. 


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