Talks surrounding Major League Soccer’s 24th franchise are beginning to heat up considerably, as the mad scramble for a slice of MLS’ pie is reaching fever-pitch.
With Atlanta set to be announced as MLS’ 23rd franchise on Wednesday afternoon now other markets wanting to become the 24th franchise, which MLS Commissioner Don Garber previously said would be the limit for the foreseeable future, Minneapolis-St. Paul seems to be right at the front of the list.
According to reports out of the Twin Cities, the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings are “stepping up” their bid to bring MLS to the land of 10,000 lakes.
The Vikings’ vice president of public affairs, Lester Bagley, said the team are working to secure an MLS expansion franchise to play in their new downtown Minneapolis stadium, which is set to open in 2016.
“We’ve been stepping up our conversations with the MLS,” Bagley said. “There are definitely others interested in the market.”
Other interested parties include Bill McGuire, owner of the NASL’s Minnesota United and the Minnesota Twins ownership group who have teamed up to try and bring MLS to Minnesota, in a separate bid to the one proposed by the Vikings.
However with New York City FC and Atlanta both expected to play in large venues scaled down for soccer, it seems as though having an MLS team play in the Vikings’ new home wouldn’t be an issue for the league.
The race for franchise number 24 is well and truly on and Minnesota looks to be way ahead of the rest.