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New soccer-specific stadiums being built in USA

The MLS is becoming big business in America. The continual expansion of franchises and the popularity of the sport are making it a hot topic for cities across the country. Faced with the fact that soccer is now the third most popular spectator sport in the US, it's easy to see why new franchises are paying upwards of $200m for an MLS licence. With just 2 expansion licences still to grant, the best USA sports betting sites are rife with activity and rumour as to who will get the lucky last 2 places.

But, America has a problem. Soccer is still a long way off toppling American football in terms of attendances. Whilst the MLS average attendance has now broken the 20,000 barrier, it's still a mile away from the NFL's 60,000 average. The problem this presents is that there are a lot of massive stadiums in America - 60,000, 70,000, 80,000 plus, but there aren't many which accommodate the current soccer crowds of 20,000 30,000 or 40,000.

As a result, several teams have either recently moved, or are in the process of building a new stadium.

FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati joined the league in 2019 and are playing their games at Nippert Stadium whilst their new ground is being built. The new West End Stadium will be built on the site of the former Stargel athletics stadium and will hold around 26,000 fans.

The new $200m development is expected to be completed for the start of the 2021 MLS season.

Austin FC

Austin FC will become Texas' 3rd Major League Soccer team when it joins the league in 2021, joining Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas. Construction of the club's new stadium is well underway and it is hoped that it will be ready for Austin's debut season in 2021.

The $240m development will be able to accommodate 20,500 fans.

Inter Miami

Perhaps the most famous of the new MLS franchises, David Beckham's Inter Miami will join the league with Nashville SC in 2020. The first few seasons will be played at a newly renovated Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Miami have plans to build a new 25,000 seater soccer stadium in time for the 2022 campaign, but have hit a number of stumbling blocks and as of yet, a final location has yet to be confirmed with the club analysing the viability of a number of potential sites around the city, including one close to the Hialeah Park horse racing track. That 2022 opening date looks very ambitious.

Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew's future had been under threat with the owners wanting to move the franchise to Austin, Texas. However, the formation of a new club in Austin and new owners coming in at Columbus mean the Crew's immediate future is now safe.

The new owners have ambitious plans for the club too, with work about to start on a new 20,000 capacity stadium. The club plans to move to the new $230m venue in 2021, which will replace the existing Mapfre Stadium.

Nashville SC

Nashville are another new franchise and will join the MLS in 2020. They will play their first 2 seasons at Nissan Stadium, home to the Tennessee Titans NFL team.

By 2022, their new Nashville Fairgrounds Stadium should be complete. This soccer-specific ground will hold somewhere between 27,500-30,000 spectators and is expected to cost around $275m.

St Louis

The newest MLS expansion team was confirmed as St Louis in the summer of 2019. The brand new team will join the league for the 2022 season, becoming MLS' 28th club.

The club hopes to be in their new 22,500, $250 stadium for the very start of the 2022 MLS campaign.

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