Detroit's chance for MLS franchise appears to be over

The Detroit News
Don Garber

Detroit's chances for a Major League Soccer franchise appear to be down to slim and none, and slim just phoned for an Uber.

Representatives from eight potential MLS markets attended this week's MLS All-Star Game in Orlando, and Detroit wasn't included in the bunch, according to multiple reports.

St. Louis, Sacramento and Charlotte appear to be the leaders in the running for MLS as the first-division soccer league plans to eventually expand to 30 teams. Other hopefuls include Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh, Las Vegas and San Diego.

Detroit's bid, led by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, was considered a front runner when their initial proposal two years included a soccer-specific stadium to be constructed at the unfinished Wayne County jail site on Gratiot Avenue.

However, the group resubmitted a proposal that included playing at Ford Field, offering to potentially install a retractable roof at the indoor stadium. That plan was eventually scrapped.

MLS commissioner Don Garber has been consistent in requiring that proposals include soccer-specific stadiums.

Franchise fees for the 28th and 29th teams to join MLS will be $200 million each, ESPN reported.