Major League Soccer will formally announce that the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, is being awarded an expansion team on Tuesday, December 17.
A media advisory has been released, informing the press that MLS commissioner Don Garber will be joined by Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and Mayor of Charlotte Vi Lyles “for a special announcement” at the Mint Museum Uptown at 10am ET.
Tepper and Panthers president Tom Glick were in New York on December 5 for MLS’s Board of Governors meeting. No formal announcement was made but Garber said the league was in “very, very advanced discussions” with Charlotte.
Having paid a National Football League record $2.275bn for the Panthers in 2018, hedge fund billionaire Tepper is expected to pay a league-record $325m for an MLS team. The most recent MLS expansion fees, for St. Louis and Sacramento, were $200m.
Tepper has secured $110m in public funds to help renovate the Bank of America Stadium, the home of the Panthers, to make it viable to regularly host professional soccer matches.