Dan Gilbert, Tom Gores Want To Bring MLS To Detroit
Billionaires Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores said they're partnering to bring a Major League Soccer club to downtown Detroit. They will also build a soccer-specific stadium to the city.
In a press release, Gilbert and Gores said the ownership group's efforts are supported by MLS and its commissioner Don Garber, who recently announced plans to grow the league to 28 teams and identified Detroit as market of great interest.
Notably, on the NBA front, Gilbert owns Cleveland Cavaliers, while Gores owns Detroit Pistons.
A Closer Look
In a joint statement, the billionaires said, "Detroit is rising and we know firsthand the power of sports to lift a community and drive a civic renaissance. We are very excited about the prospect of bringing Major League Soccer to Detroit and building an ownership group that represents a cross-section of investors."
The press release said Garber will be in Detroit this week to meet the potential ownership group to discuss their expansion plan, including the construction of a stadium in downtown Detroit.
"I've always believed a sports franchise is a community asset with the power to unite and inspire people," said Gores. "I'm excited to partner with Dan and help in Detroit's resurgence. Together we have all the tools we need to make a new team successful."
According to the press release, independent studies in comparable MLS franchise markets predict an economic impact to their respective regions of $1.2 billion over 30 years.
Gilbert is the Chairman of Quicken Loans, the nation's second-largest mortgage lender, while Gores' Platinum Equity manages more than $6 billion in assets.
An MLS spokesman told MLive that commissioner Don Garber will be in Detroit on Wednesday to meet with Gores, Gilbert. A news conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET.
What About The City's Current Soccer Team?
Separately, Detroit City FC issued the following statement on the recent developments:
"Detroit City FC has had initial contact with the interested parties regarding the possibility of Major League Soccer in Detroit, and we look forward to carrying on more conversations with those groups as the soccer scene evolves."
"We have always believed that for soccer to live up to its full potential in southeast Michigan, a team must be connected to the community and focused on soccer supporter culture. The founding of a professional team is a golden opportunity, but in an already crowded market, success is never guaranteed."
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