Billionaire Charlotte Motor Speedway Owner Bruton Smith and his son Marcus have already expressed interest in purchasing the Carolina Panthers if/when the team becomes available for purchase, but the Smith family may have an opportunity at owning a major league franchise sooner than that. According to the Charlotte Observer, Bruton and son are in talks to start a Major League Soccer franchise in the Queen City, with Marcus saying that they are working with city leaders on submitting an application for ownership.
“MLS has great momentum and a tremendous future, and so does our city. Charlotte would be a great addition to the league, and an MLS club would be a great addition to Charlotte. We are working with local leaders on an application, and hope to have more to say in February.”
If awarded a franchise, Charlotte would join 20 other existing and 3 expansion teams scheduled to begin play within the next two years.
Expansion applications are due on the 31st of January and expansion team awardees would be announced in the 2nd of 3rd quarter of next year.