Charlotte is responding to the arrival of MLS in a big way, according to one of the executives who’ll lead the new club on its expansion journey.
MLS Charlotte received more than 7,000 season-ticket deposits in the first 24 hours after being awarded a new franchise set to debut in 2021, revealed Carolina Panthers president Tom Glick on a radio appearance on Wednesday.
“We’ve just been flying with the seat deposits since 10:30 [Tuesday] morning when we announced. So we’ve done more than double in our first day what Atlanta did,” Glick told WFNZ's Chris McClain on his "Mac Attack" radio show. “We have more than 7,000 deposits for season tickets already in less than 24 hours, so it’s a huge measurement of success.”
A former executive with New York City FC and the City Football Group whose current employers are the sibling organization of the new MLS side, Glick has quietly been a key cog in owner David Tepper’s aggressive expansion bid and he believes Charlotte can match or even eclipse the startling success Atlanta United have enjoyed both on the field and at the turnstiles.
“We’ve done a ton of homework. Over the last year we were quiet for a long time because we were just looking and listening and measuring. There are so many people here that love soccer, that play soccer, that watch soccer. So the numbers are undeniable,” said Glick.
“We’re committed to bringing a winning club, but also building that club along with the fans here.”
A 2021 launch gives Charlotte a relatively tight timeline to build the new organization from the ground up, though Glick revealed that they already have their choices for sporting director, chief scout and academy/youth development head lined up and could begin unveiling those hires in January.
“It’s the perfect amount of time,” he said. “We’re right on schedule.”