LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Four cities are in the running to join Major League Soccer but not Louisville
MLS announced Wednesday that Cincinnati; Detroit; Nashville, Tennessee; and Sacramento, California, are finalists for two expansion clubs.
A spokesman for Louisville City FC tells WDRB that Louisville has never applied to the MLS. The club has competed in the United Soccer League for three seasons. And the team won the championship this year.
The Louisville City FC team currently plays at Slugger Field. But they are aiming at building a soccer specific stadium.
The city of Louisville announced on Wednesday that bonds were sold to build that stadium and develop the surrounding area in Butchertown. The entire stadium project has an estimated cost of $200 million. About $50 million of that would be spent on a 10,000 seat stadium.
Louisville City FC spokesman Scott Stewart said in a statement to WDRB Sports, in part, "In regards to all future plans, from the beginning, we have focused on being the best USL club, on and off the pitch."
Another person familiar with the Louisville City FC administration says the owners wanted to focus on getting the stadium deal done first. Then with the stadium built, Louisville could apply to the MLS as two more expansion teams are added in the future.
Owners and officials representing the expansion markets will make presentations to MLS Commissioner Don Garber and the league's expansion committee on Dec. 6 in New York.
The next two MLS expansion teams will be selected before the end of the year. Two more expansion teams will be picked later.
In 2015, MLS announced plans to expand to 28 teams. Los Angeles Football Club begins play in 2018, becoming the league's 23rd team. Discussions continue for a MLS expansion team in Miami.
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