CHARLOTTE -- Charlotte city and county leaders have just a few weeks to negotiate a deal to bid for a Major League Soccer team.
The current plan would upgrade the historic Memorial Stadium and demolish the Grady Cole Center to make way for a stadium that could seat 20,000 to 30,000 people.
Speedway Motorsports CEO Marcus Smith has showed interest in leading the process and put up millions of dollars for it.
But the rest of the money would have to come from the city and county.
Mecklenburg County commissioner Matthew Ridenhour says he likes the idea but says the price tag for the county's portion right now is too high.
"So when you look at losing those facilities and then contributing $250,000 a year for maintenance, and then being asked on top of that another $50 million, that's just too much,” said Ridenhour.
Charlotte City Council members were supposed to discuss the deal Monday in closed session, but they canceled the meeting and have not rescheduled it yet.
The city released this statement on the idea:
"We’re honored that Major League Soccer is considering Charlotte for expansion and support the Smith family’s exploration and enthusiasm in ownership. Soccer continues to gain a tremendous following throughout our region as we’ve seen from the international soccer matches we’ve hosted to thriving soccer camps, soccer academies and community programs that are creating the next generation of fans. We are confident that an MLS team would be successful in the Queen City. Currently, we are in a competitive environment with many other destinations, so we will refrain from publicly discussing details and releasing records while in active negotiations." - CRVA, City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
Charlotte is one of ten cities showing interest in the MLS expansion site which could cost $150 million.
The bid needs to be submitted by January 31.