Featured Matches
Previous
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
0
1
FT
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
4
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
4
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Slovan Bratislava
Sheriff Tiraspol
2
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Debrecen
BATE Borisov
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Wealdstone
Wycombe Wanderers
1
2
FT
Game Details
Frickley Athletic
Scunthorpe XI
0
1
FT
Game Details
Exeter City
Swansea City
0
2
FT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Rotherham United
0
2
FT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Derby County
0
1
FT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Mansfield Town
1
3
FT
Game Details
Newport County
Coventry City
1
0
FT
Game Details
Notts County
Birmingham City
0
4
FT
Game Details
Portsmouth
AFC Bournemouth
2
3
FT
Game Details
Stevenage
Reading
0
0
FT
Game Details
Altrincham
Accrington Stanley
1
1
FT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Milton Keynes Dons
3
1
FT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Bristol City
1
4
FT
Game Details
Concord Rangers
Dagenham & Redbridge
0
2
FT
Game Details
Dumbarton
Carlisle United
0
2
FT
Game Details
Hyde
Burnley XI
2
3
FT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Shrewsbury Town
1
1
FT
Game Details
Leyton Orient
Queens Park Rangers
2
2
FT
Game Details
Luton Town
Colchester United
2
2
FT
Game Details
Margate
Barnet
2
1
FT
Game Details
Oxford United
Wolverhampton Wanderers
0
1
FT
Game Details
Preston North End
Burnley
2
1
FT
Game Details
Sheffield United
Huddersfield Town
0
1
FT
Game Details
Southend United
Ipswich Town
1
2
FT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
0
1
FT
Game Details
Valerenga
Stabaek
3
2
FT
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Nacional
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Guadalajara
Coras Tepic
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Irapuato
Queretaro
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Lobos BUAP
Chiapas
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mineros de Zacatecas
U. de G.
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
Monterrey
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
Zacatepec
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U.A.N.L
Altamira
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Náutico
Icasa
1
0
LIVE 55'
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Oeste
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Alianza Lima
2
1
FT
Game Details
Next
Jun 11, 2014

Minnesota ramps up push for MLS

In this artist's rendering a Super Bowl logo covers a seven-acre prime space for an NFL tailgate party next to the new stadium, top right, which is under construction in Minneapolis.

With construction underway on their new NFL stadium, the Minnesota Vikings have intensified their pursuit of a Major League Soccer franchise for the facility that team owners designed in hopes of accommodating both sports.

Co-owner Mark Wilf met this week with MLS officials, the latest dialogue between the two parties. The Vikings also announced a partnership with promoter Relevent Sports, a major player in the soccer world that is helping sell an international tournament game between two European teams to be played at the University of Minnesota in August.

"We like to go to new markets," Revelant Sports CEO Charlie Stillitano said Wednesday. "It seems like wherever we go an MLS team follows, and I think it's a good thing."

Most MLS teams, 15 of the current 19, play in soccer-specific stadiums for around 20,000 fans in a more intimate setting, but the Vikings have been touting their plan to classily cover the upper bowl of their new venue and reduce capacity from 65,000 to between 20,000 and 25,000. The translucent roof and five pivoting glass doors on the front of the building -- plus seats and suites close to the action -- give the facility a more vibrant feel.

"There's a real opportunity there, and we really have a lot of respect and admiration for the ownership group," MLS commissioner Don Garber said earlier this year.

Atlanta will begin play in 2017 at that city's new retractable roof NFL stadium to be built for the Falcons, whose owner Arthur Blank acquired the soccer club. Plans there will convert the 71,000-seat football facility to a soccer capacity of 29,000 by only using the lower bowl.

With the regular season starting in March and the MLS Cup held in December, a roof would be ideal for a team in Minnesota. When Sporting KC won the championship game outside last year, the game-time temperature in Kansas City was 22 degrees with a wind chill of 12 that plummeted as the sun set.

The MLS has added five teams in the last five years with a goal of 24, and New York City and Orlando will make 21 next season. Miami has also granted a franchise to former star David Beckham, contingent on a soccer-specific stadium being built there.

That only leaves one spot left, and Garber said earlier this year Sacramento, California, San Antonio and San Diego are also under consideration. MLS executive vice president for communications Dan Courtemanche said there's no specific deadline for awarding the next franchise.

"There is no shortage of demand for future MLS expansion teams, and many markets and potential ownership groups have contacted the league office to inquire," he said.

Criteria for MLS expansion include a committed local viable ownership group with a comprehensive stadium plan it controls, in an appropriate market attractive to sponsors and television networks with a history of strong fan support. The Twin Cities area currently has a team, Minnesota United FC, in the North American Soccer League, a level below the MLS.

"We think our stadium is the perfect fit for MLS. We also think that Minneapolis-St. Paul has tremendous potential for MLS," Vikings vice president for public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley said.

The legislation authorizing funding for the stadium included a five-year window from the opening during which the Wilfs have exclusive rights to bring an MLS franchise to the venue. That doesn't mean another group couldn't beat them to it at another site. Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire, the former CEO of United Health Group, has been linked with Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad as potential partners in an MLS franchise. But that would require money for and construction of yet another new sports facility in a crowded market.

Vikings officials will use the Aug. 2 match between Manchester City and Olympiakos, part of the Guinness Cup tournament, as an opportunity to gain more knowledge of and grassroots support for the sport. About 20,000 tickets have been sold so far, Stillitano said.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.