By James Schmehl, Ars Technica Staff writerThe MLS Cup Final is here, and with it, another round of speculation has been thrown into the mix.
The MLS is trying to decide whether or not it should allow a fourth round of expansion to be held, but there’s been no indication that the league has officially approved that process yet.
That leaves us to wonder if there’s a way to avoid a fourth expansion draft, which could result in one team losing their home for the first time in its history.
That’s the topic of our next article, but first let’s take a look at what this process might entail.
What exactly is the MLS Expansion Draft?
There are a few different scenarios that could lead to an expansion draft.
One of them is when a team decides to move to a new city or a new market.
In that case, the MLS would likely allow that team to hold onto the MLS franchise, even though they might not be able to relocate to that new market at the same time.
There are also cases where a team would want to change ownership.
If that team were to sell their MLS franchise in the middle of the expansion draft and leave the new team in the city they’re based in, the new ownership team would still be allowed to hold the team.
If they wanted to move the team to another market and leave it in the old location, that team would also be allowed.
In some cases, the team would be allowed if they wanted a third franchise to take over and become the new owner.
That could include a team that is already owned by another owner.
The league’s official rulebook has a section called “Conclusions on Expansion Drafts,” which gives us some information about what might happen if a team chooses to change its ownership and leave a new franchise in their current home.
The league defines a “new team” as one that has acquired a team or franchise in another league.
There’s no mention of a third team, though.
The “Conclusion on Expansion (Draft) on the Future” section, however, describes the “conclusion” that would be reached if a franchise leaves its current home and moves to a location that has no existing MLS franchise.
The “conclusions” in this section are as follows:A team would not be allowed “to acquire or re-enter another MLS franchise location.”
A team that has already acquired a franchise in a new MLS market (as opposed to a league-owned franchise) would not lose that franchise.
A team that would leave its current MLS franchise and relocate to a different MLS franchise (as well as to a city that’s not currently in the MLS) would be able “to retain its existing MLS team and any existing MLS franchises.”
A franchise that was already in the league would not have to relinquish its existing franchise.
A franchise would not need to be sold or transferred from a league team to a second or third team.
It would still need to move.
A team could be allowed a third expansion draft if they are “in the process of relocating” to a stadium, building or other location in another MLS market.
The next section of the rulebook describes this process, which is basically a way for a new team to acquire a new stadium, build a stadium or other facility, and relocate it within the league.
If the team wants to leave their current location, the relocation can only be done in one of the following ways:A franchise can be allowed one more expansion draft (and if they do, they can only do it if the relocation is “in progress”).
If the relocation takes place in a different city, the league can only allow the relocation to take place in that city.
A second expansion draft can only take place if the team is “on the verge of leaving” the existing MLS location.
A new team can be able a third “conception of relocation” if they “have already acquired and are preparing to relocate in a stadium (including, if a stadium is already built, in a building that is built in the stadium, or a building with a construction license) or a facility (including a building or facility with construction license).”
The relocation can’t take place until the relocation has already begun.
If a team leaves the current MLS location, they would still have the right to continue playing in the existing league location.
In other words, if they want to keep playing in their new city, they’ll still be able and able to continue doing so.
A second expansion pick can be “in addition to any other franchise or expansion draft” if it was awarded to a team after the “first expansion draft.”
If the second expansion team “has already acquired” a franchise or an expansion team in another market, then the second pick can only occur if the “second expansion draft was for a franchise, expansion team, or stadium in another city.”
A team could “have acquired and planned to relocate” to another city if they already own the franchise or team in