A big announcement is expected Tuesday that the next, new Major League Soccer franchise will go to Cincinnati.
Big money is backing the Detroit plan led by Downtown developer Dan Gilbert, Pistons owner Tom Gores and Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford.
Among the reasons why Detroit won’t score this club is no new soccer stadium and possibly a neighborhood atmosphere, two things Cincinnati is putting into the pitch.
Soccer has been here since 2012 with the Detroit FC.
Co-owner Alex Wright says they have a great home in Hamtramck.
“This is our Wrigley Field in the middle of the neighborhood. You have to walk down the streets. Just last weekend, we filled our stadium with an international match with a team from Germany that not only showcased the potential for our club but also the passion that exists in this community whether we get an MLS bid or not.”
For two years the plan was to build a new stadium downtown at the failed Wayne County Jail site. But that plan has been scrapped and the pitch is to play Major League Soccer games inside Ford Field.
Mayor Mike Duggan says that’s because of money.
“We made a very strong case that the taxpayers already contributed to Ford Field and that we realistically could not ask taxpayers to build another stadium.”
Down in Cincinnati, the League announcement has been delayed while that city finalized plans to build a new soccer stadium with $33 million in city financing.
The new stadium would be built in what’s called the West End where people have settled in for years and many don’t like the possible change.
Even after this next expansion announcement, Detroit could still be in the running as the League continues to expand.