Minnesota United FC owner Bill McGuire had a good week with Wednesday’s announcement that his ownership group had been granted an expansion franchise in Major League Soccer with play to begin in 2018. McGuire faces a July 1 deadline to have a workable stadium plan and state lawmakers have said he’ll get little help, but the former UnitedHealth Group chief was in a jovial mood when he agreed to take a few questions from The Associated Press. Answers have been edited for length.
While Minneapolis cheered the announcement of a new Major League Soccer franchise, it’s not clear how the owners plan to pay for a new 18,500 seat stadium, and whether they’ll ask for the public’s help.
Major League Soccer (MLS) and Bill McGuire, the owner of the Minnesota United FC soccer team, are scheduled to make a “major announcement” on Wednesday concerning the future of soccer in Minnesota.
The two groups hoping to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Minnesota have made their pitches to league officials. Minneapolis is competing with Las Vegas and Sacramento for a 24th franchise as the league hopes to grow to two dozen teams by the end of the decade. The Minnesota Vikings ownership group led by Zygi Wilf was to argue the soccer team should play in the new $1 billion stadium being built.
The jockeying is intensifying for two groups hoping to land a Major League Soccer franchise in Minnesota.
Minnesota United FC is the new name of the state’s professional soccer team.