Columbus, Ohio Officially Out Of This Round Of Major League Soccer Expansion

It was announced, today, that Columbus, Ohio will not get a Major League Soccer expansion team at this time.

Custom built stadium for soccer in Columbus.

Custom built stadium for soccer in Columbus.

Four cities — Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento — are finalists for the next two expansion teams, the league announced Wednesday.

The four teams will present expansion and stadium plans on Dec. 6. The MLS Board of Governors will meet on Dec. 14 in New York City to discuss expansion teams with ownership representatives from existing clubs.

Columbus, Ohio mayor Andrew Ginther has been pushing to bring MLS to Columbus with a stadium plan in place at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds called MAPFRE Stadium. Its expanded capacity, about 21,289, is less than other MLS clubs. 

“On behalf of the Columbus organization, I am very proud of what we have accomplished on and off the pitch. We had an increase in attendance in 2013, 2014, and 2016 for our local soccer team which was more than some teams already in Major League Soccer," Ginther said. "I continue to have a vested interest in refining our stadium plan and other elements of our bid to make it as strong and competitive as possible, and remain in communication with Commissioner Garber and MLS. I firmly believe that this MLS expansion will come to pass. We do not believe that having two teams in Ohio is mutually exclusive and see our potential rivalry with Cincinnati as something that would be great for the growth of the sport.”

The Nutmeg News will have more on this as Columbus, Ohio revises their expansion bid.