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MLS announces Charlotte as 30th franchise, beginning play in 2021

Major League Soccer’s Charlotte franchise will begin play in 2021 at Bank of America Stadium.

MLS commissioner Don Garber, left, announces Charlotte as the league’s 30th franchise, alongside the expansion club’s owner, David Tepper. (Image courtesy of Major League Soccer)

Charlotte is the newest city added to Major League Soccer’s expansion boom. 

The North Carolina city was officially announced Tuesday as the league’s 30th franchise, and it will begin play in 2021 alongside Austin FC. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Charlotte as Major League Soccer’s 30th club,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said during an event held in Charlotte. “During the last two decades, Charlotte has experienced enormous energy and growth, which matches soccer’s explosive rise in popularity in the United States.  We are pleased to add David Tepper to our ownership group and look forward to working with him and his entire organization to launch Major League Soccer in the Carolinas in 2021.”

The new franchise will start playing at Bank of America Stadium, the home of the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers. Both teams are owned by David Tepper. 

“The awarding of an expansion team for Charlotte by Major League Soccer is a proud moment and significant for Charlotte and everyone in our community,” Tepper said. “I’ve made clear for a long time that I have two goals as a team owner: sustained winning on the field and making a difference in the community. These will be our goals with Charlotte’s MLS team, and the work begins today.”

Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC are joining MLS for the 2020 season, while St. Louis and Sacramento will follow the additions of Charlotte and Austin with 2022 debuts. 

This is a developing story. Check back on ProSoccerUSA.com for updates.

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