UPDATE: While Minnesota's potential MLS franchise hangs in the balance until a decision is reached regarding the new soccer stadium (before July of 2015), we took a look back at what other stadiums around the Twin Cities actually cost and what part of the check was picked up by the public.
Major League Soccer is coming to Minnesota. The jubilant atmosphere at yesterday's announcement at Target Field and statewide celebration of another major professional sports franchise slated to debut in 2018 proved soccer has come a long way in Minnesota.
Before the celebration was even over, however, MLS Commissioner Don Garber issued a not-so-subtle ultimatum: Get a stadium deal in place by July or we'll take our business elsewhere.
Here's what he told the Business Journal:
The clock's ticking. MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Minnesota United has a July deadline to get a stadium plan in place. And if not, he said he would consider other markets.
"We would, as an ownership group, take a step back and decide whether we wanted to come to Minnesota," Garber said. "We have other options around the country, some of which (have) very detailed soccer stadium plans and we'd have to make that decision at that time."
Yesterday the ownership group behind the Minnesota United franchise revealed more details about the planned stadium. It would be built at an eight-acre site slightly northeast of the Minneapolis Farmer's Market, and would house 18,500 fans at an estimated cost of between $100-200 million.
Map of yet to be finalized soccer stadium pic.twitter.com/2HK9nYVRPN— Eric Best (@ericthebest) March 25, 2015
Similar scenarios are playing out in Miami and Los Angeles right now. International soccer legend David Beckham announced he was starting a new franchise in Miami 13 months ago, but he's still searching for a stadium site after his first two proposals were shot down.
In Los Angeles, a new ownership group set debut the city's second MLS club in 2017 is inching toward a stadium deal at a site owned by the University of Southern California, but nothing has been finalized there either.
The huge, obvious question that remains in Minnesota is whether or not Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire will ask for a public subsidy to finance the new stadium. He sidestepped the question again yesterday, but Garber made it clear he's going to have to figure that out fairly quickly.
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