Despite Stadium Deal, MLS Passes on FC Cincinnati Expansion–For Now

FC Cincinnati Stadium rendering

Major League Soccer will continue to discuss expansion options with reps from Sacramento, Cincinnati and Detroit despite FC Cincinnati coming to a preliminary agreement for a new West End stadium.

The MLS Board of Governors met yesterday in Los Angeles, and while there was optimistic talk about the FC Cincinnati expansion bid being approved, it was not in the cards. At the end of the day, the Board of Governors decided to keep talking with the three expansion candidates, per a statement issued by the league:

Major League Soccer’s owners met today in Los Angeles and discussed a variety of topics including a review of potential expansion finalists Cincinnati, Detroit and Sacramento. The MLS Board of Governors viewed the recent Cincinnati City Council vote on the West End stadium as a positive step forward for Cincinnati’s expansion bid. While there was no plan for a formal expansion vote at today’s Board of Governors meeting, the League will continue discussions with the three expansion finalists.

Something to remember: MLS isn’t bound to award an expansion franchise to any of the three finalists. Indeed, MLS can announce tomorrow that the expansion sequence has been revised and cities like Phoenix are now part of the deliberative process. The next step will be for MLS officials to travel Cincinnati to inspect the West End stadium site and presumably discussing the financials of the new stadium in light of MLS expansion fees and timing. The delay may not be bad news for FC Cincinnati fans — but it’s too soon to tell if it was good news.

RELATED STORIES: City Council Approves FC Cincinnati West End StadiumFC Cincinnati Stadium Financing Details ReleasedSchool Board Approves FC Cincinnati Stadium, Setting up City Council VoteFC Cincinnati Pivots Back to West End Stadium SiteMeeting on FC Cincinnati Stadium ScrappedFC Cincinnati West End Plan ScratchedFC Cincinnati Pushes for West End Stadium SiteNext MLS Expansion Decision Could be Made After 2018 Season BeginsDebate Over FC Cincinnati West Stadium Plan ContinuesFC Cincinnati Makes West End Stadium PitchCounty Hopes for February Decision on FC Cincinnati Expansion BidFC Cincinnati Still Open to West End Stadium SiteMLS Expansion: What Comes Next?No More MLS Expansion Decisions Until 2018State Funds Could Be Sought for FC Cincinnati StadiumFC Cincinnati Stadium Plan Approved by City, CountyFour MLS Expansion Finalists AnnouncedCommittee Approves FC Cincinnati Stadium PlanOakley Rejects FC Cincinnati Stadium ProposalPaul Brown Stadium Scrapped as Option for FC Cincinnati

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