Soccer officials to visit Charlotte next week

As Major League Soccer officials consider whether to award Charlotte an expansion team, league President Mark Abbott is scheduled to visit the city next week.

He’s expected to meet with Mecklenburg County commissioners, who will vote in August on whether to spend more than $110 million in up-front money for a new soccer-specific stadium in Elizabeth.

After last week’s Nashville visit, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Nashville is “pretty high on the list” of bidding cities, The Tennessean reported.

He lauded the city’s ability to secure financing for a soccer-specific stadium and made clear that the MLS would not approve a city without a stadium plan in place.

Diorio’s proposed capital budget included $71.25 million for the stadium next year, and then another $43.5 million for fiscal year 2020.

The city recently said it could spend up to $30 million on the stadium down from the $43.5 million that city staff members said in January they could afford.