RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Major League Soccer executives move from the Queen City to the City of Oaks today as they decide on adding new teams to the 22-team league.UPDATE: North Carolina FC announce plans for downtown Raleigh stadium complex
Today, MLS executives will get the chance to see what Raleigh has to offer and why this area would be a good choice for the newest addition to the league.
MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott and a few other executives will visit with North Carolina Football Club officials all day.
Local North Carolina F.C. supporters with the group Oak City Supporters want to make sure Abbott sees the passion local fans here have for soccer.
Oak City Supporters have organized a march from London Bridge Pub at 110 E. Hargett St. in downtown Raleigh that will end at City Market at 214 E. Martin St. for a rally organized by North Carolina F.C. The march begins at 4:30 p.m. and the rally starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 7 p.m.
Those attending the rally will get a free “919 to MLS” scarf, T-shirt and Lonerider Brewing Company will provide free beer for those 21 and older, according to the Club’s website.
There are 12 cities vying for a chance to bring an MLS franchise and fans have said they want to do everything they can to make Raleigh stand out.
For city leaders, many see it as a great investment and one that could attract soccer fans from all across the Tar Heel state.
If North Carolina F.C. moves to MLS, owner Steve Malik says private investors will back a $150 million stadium that would seat 22,000 people.
Two possible locations for a stadium that have been mentioned are downtown Raleigh and somewhere in the North Hills area. An announcement on the planned location should be made during Wednesday’s events.
The announcement of which cities will get a team should happen in the fall.