Detroit, along with Cincinnatti, Nashville and Sacramento are finalists for two slots to be awarded in the next round of expansion for Major League Soccer.

“The leaders of the Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento MLS expansion ownership groups have bold visions and innovative plans for their clubs, stadiums and their involvement in their respective communities,” said Don Garber, Commissioner of Major League Soccer. “We are pleased these highly-respected business and sports leaders have been so determined to bring Major League Soccer to their cities. We have been greatly encouraged by the progress that all four of these groups have made and we are looking forward to their presentations.”

Some pundits didn’t think Detroit had a chance, as we’ve been following for quite awhile here on Daily Detroit. They have been proven wrong, with Detroit’s joint bid from billionaires Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores utilizing Ford Field becoming a finalist.

Some thought Detroit would be disqualified because they are using a multipurpose facility in Ford Field, but with this and previous developments, never discount Gilbert and Gores from making something happen.

Formal pitches will be made to the MLS expansion committee on December 6. The next step after that is a board of governors meeting on December 14.

The four ownership teams vying for one of the two spots are:

Cincinnati: Carl H. Lindner III – Co-CEO of American Financial Group and Owner, Chairman and CEO of FC Cincinnati; Scott Farmer – CEO of Cintas Corporation.

Detroit: Dan Gilbert – Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans, Inc.; Tom Gores – Owner of the Detroit Pistons and Founder, Chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity.

Nashville: John Ingram – Chairman of Ingram Industries Inc. and CEO Nashville Soccer Holdings; Wilf Family – owners of the Minnesota Vikings; Turner Family – Managing Partners of MarketStreet Enterprises.

Sacramento: Kevin Nagle – Managing Partner of Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings and Minority Owner of the Sacramento Kings. Jed York – CEO of the San Francisco Forty-Niners. Mark Friedman – President of Fulcrum Property Group and Minority Owner of the Sacramento Kings, and other limited partners.

We will know by the end of the year if Detroit will be home to a Major League Soccer team as part of this round of expansion.

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