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Detroit Major League Soccer


Detroit’s bid to win a Major League Soccer franchise suffered a setback when bidders settled on Ford Field as a venue.

That’s the view of MLS commissioner Don Garber who said Detroit was a front-runner to get a new franchise until backers Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores abandoned plans for a soccer-specific stadium on the site of the stalled Wayne County Jail. Gilbert and Gores in November announced they were partnering with the Ford family and would instead retrofit Ford Field for soccer.

Barber and the MLS announced FC Cincinnati yesterday as the 26th and newest expansion franchise.

Detroit was one of four finalists to get a franchise license, along with Cincinnati, Sacramento, and Nashville, which won a franchise in December.

Detroit remains in the running for two expansion spots for the 2022 season.

MLS has said all along that it prefers open-air, soccer-specific stadiums for new expansion teams. But Atlanta United FC, which is now playing its second season in the league, has set attendance records in an indoor stadium.

This story aired on our Daily Detroit News Byte Podcast.