CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Major League Soccer has announced Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, and Sacramento are finalists for two expansion bids to be announced in December.
Owners and officials representing the four prospective expansion markets will make formal presentations to MLS Commissioner Don Garber and the League's Expansion Committee in New York on Dec. 6.
So what is FC Cincinnati and its passionate fan base up against in December? Well, according to the Sacramento Bee, Republic FC draws similarly raucous crowds:
FC Cincinnati's attempts to finalize plans for a soccer-specific stadium have not gone as smoothly as similar attempts in Sacramento and Nashville. According to the Tennessean, the Nashville's expansion stock soared after the city's approval of a public-private deal:
Hamilton County commissioners have been adamant about exploring the possibility of utilizing Paul Brown Stadium, the home of the Bengals, but MLS has made it clear it is looking for expansion clubs with soccer-specific stadiums.
The lack of a soccer stadium could hurt Detroit's bid for the 2020 expansion, though according to the Detroit Free Press, the Ford family is adding its weight:
On Wednesday, Hamilton County commissioners approved $15 million for a 1,000-space parking garage and City Council approved $37 million for soccer stadium infrastructure at a site in Oakley.
This help falls short of the $75 million infrastructure price tag mentioned earlier this month, but team general manager Jeff Berding says the Oakley site will be part of the team's December pitch.
"We still have work to do. We've made a commitment, though, that the public will not have any exposure to debt. If we use the Port Authority as a financing tool, however that gets worked out, that's going to have to be done in a manner that doesn't give the public any exposure of debt," Berding said, adding several details still have to be worked out.