Charlotte, North Carolina

TV Market: Nielsen DMA #22*
Existing Team: Charlotte Independence – USL
Venue: Memorial Stadium, an existing historical stadium in the Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte that would be renovated and expanded
Money: Investment group led by Marcus and Bruton Smith (Speedway Motorsports)
Summary: Last week Mecklenburg County approved $43M in financing for the stadium renovation. However, the city of Charlotte cancelled the Friday meeting scheduled to review and potentially approve another $43M share from the city. Marcus Smith still submitted the MLS application on 1/31 without the city’s agreement to help fund the stadium. The city can still join the effort at a later date if they so choose.
News & Resources: 

  • 12/15 – Bruton Smith, the billionaire race track owner of Speedway Motorsports, and his son Marcus confirm they are in talks with MLS about an expansion team. [Charlotte Observer]
  • 1/5  – County commission considers proposal to level Memorial Stadium and renovate with up to $100M with in tax revenue. [WSOC Charlotte]
  • 1/6 – Mecklenberg County will have an open hearing on 1/24 to get input from the public on proposed use of tax money for stadium financing. [Charlotte Post]
  • 1/10 – Charlotte Independence and owner could be out of the picture if MLS franchise is awarded to the Smiths. [Medium]
  • 1/20 – Financial details of Charlotte’s stadium proposal are released. A key stadium funding vote is scheduled for 1/26. [Charlotte Business Journal]
  • 1/26Charlotte: Mecklenburg County approves plan to renovate Memorial stadium. The Charlotte City Council was scheduled to vote on the proposal on 1/27, but cancelled the meeting. They want more time to review and discuss the details of the proposal. [QC Football Chronicle]
  • 1/30 – Charlotte’s bid will move forward without city funding. The City of Charlotte is taking more time to consider whether to participate in the stadium funding and contribute tourism tax dollars to the cause. [Charlotte Post
  • 1/31 – Charlotte submits its bid for MLS expansion despite lack of funding from the city. [Charlotte Business Journal
  • 2/2 – Charlotte’s application is heavy on NASCAR, light on soccer according to the Charlotte Observer. The article maintains that the city is unlikely to chip in for the stadium. [Charlotte Observer]
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