Major League Soccer: Stadium plan deadline remains July 1


Major League Soccer is holding firm to its July 1 deadline for a group headed by Minnesota United FC owner Bill McGuire to work out a plan for a new soccer-only stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

In other words, the clock is ticking for McGuire's group to finalize the plan.

McGuire's group, which also includes Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and owners of the Minnesota Twins, has pledged to build the soccer stadium privately. However they were asking the state Legislature to consider a package of property tax breaks and other tax reductions to help build the stadium.

Unfortunately for McGuire's group, the Legislature adjourned without acting on the proposal and McGuire has said it would be tough to build the stadium without the tax breaks.

Aside from expressing disappointment that lawmakers didn't act on the plan, the United haven't said much about how they intend to pull everything together before the deadline.

"One of the primary reasons [we] selected Minnesota and its ownership group was this plan," said MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott to the Star Tribune. Abbott added that the plan "needs to be something that's final enough so that we understand and know that it will ultimately be built."

It was just three months ago that McGuire's group celebrated having won over MLS officials with their plan to move to the MLS from the North American Soccer League and build a stadium in downtown Minneapolis near Target Field.

The plan put McGuire's group ahead of a competing proposal from the Wilf family, which wanted an MLS team to play in the new $1 billion Vikings' indoor stadium currently under construction.

It also was chosen ahead of plans from both Las Vegas and Sacramento – other cities hoping to attract an MLS franchise.

Now, like Vikings' fans, and Twins' fans before them, soccer fans will have to wait and see if there's a way to work out a plan to fund a new stadium.

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