MLS president Mark Abbott visits Phoenix to discuss expansion bid

 

Live #MLS2PHX Press Conference

Posted by Phoenix Rising Football Club on Tuesday, May 9, 2017

MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott on Tuesday visited one of 12 MLS expansion hopefuls, meeting with Phoenix Rising FC club officials and local leaders to discuss the group's expansion bid.

"Today was a great opportunity to meet with members of the community, government officials, the Salt River Puma-Maricopa Indian Community and Arizona State University," Abbott said in a joint statement issued by the league and club. "We were particularly impressed with the progress Phoenix Rising has made in a short period of time, and the fan base they have developed. We look forward to continuing our discussions with Phoenix Rising as our expansion selection process continues."

Among the highlights of Tuesday's visit was a tour of the Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex, which is home to the USL side's 6,200-seat stadium "with enough land to add additional soccer practice fields and a 20,000-plus seat MLS stadium that will be privately financed by Phoenix Rising FC and could begin construction within days of Phoenix receiving MLS approval," according to the statement.

Should the prospective MLS ownership group be awarded an expansion team, the club has identified Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium as a potential interim stadium for Phoenix Rising matches while the new soccer stadium is under construction (stadium rendering below). 

Following meetings with Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community leaders, ASU officials, the Maricopa County chairman and mayors from Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, MLS executives sat down with Phoenix Rising officials to discuss various details of their expansion bid.

The day wrapped up with a press conference streamed live on Facebook (watch above), featuring the participation of former MLS star Didier Drogba, who is a player and part-owner of the USL club.

The Phoenix expansion bid is one of 12 submitted in February as MLS looks to add four new expansion teams which would take the league to 28 teams.

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