Thursday afternoon, reporting in Crain's Detroit Business and the Detroit Free Press revealed that Detroit's MLS expansion bid, previously a joint collaboration between NBA owners Tom Gores (Detroit Pistons) and Dan Gilbert (Cleveland Cavaliers), has expanded to include the Ford family, which runs the NFL's Detroit Lions and their multi-use stadium, Ford Field.
Per Crain's, Ford Field would be the intended home for any potential MLS team. The stadium, which opened in 2002 and was recently renovated, houses the Lions along with concerts, conventions and the occasional soccer match.
MLS released the following statement:
We were recently informed that the partnership between Tom Gores and Dan Gilbert to bring a Major League Soccer expansion club to Detroit has amended its application to include the William Clay Ford family. The amended application also states that Ford Field is the group’s preferred stadium site.
Although MLS has tremendous respect for all of the owners involved in the Detroit bid, we have not had an opportunity to evaluate the amended application and it would be premature for MLS to offer a specific comment on it.
MLS continues to prioritize soccer-specific stadiums as a criteria for the selection of MLS expansion markets.