PHOENIX - Arizona's professional soccer club submitted its bid to join the United States' top domestic league Tuesday.
Major League Soccer added Phoenix Rising FC to its list of possible expansion clubs just last week. In total, there are 11 cities in consideration for league expansion.
The club's proposal submitted to MLS on Tuesday's expansion application deadline included plans to build a climate-controlled stadium. The designs appear different from those previously submitted after the club reached an agreement to build a stadium and soccer complex near the Loop 101/Loop 202 interchange in south Scottsdale.
Prior renderings showed what appeared to be an outdoor stadium, but the team's release Tuesday noted that the current proposal would use ETFE pillows as a transparent roof material, noting that the material was about 1 percent the weight of a typical material.
The implication is that this would allow the stadium to be climate-controlled.
"Phoenix, Arizona is ready for Major League Soccer and we’re excited to officially submit our bid today,” said Phoenix Rising FC governor Berke Bakay said in Tuesday's release. “Phoenix is the largest expansion market in the United States. We offer MLS the largest population of Millennial and Hispanic soccer fans, and the most TV households. Phoenix is also the only expansion market without an existing MLS team within 400 miles. It’s time for the MLS to come to the southwest and rise with our fans in Phoenix.”
There are still questions of size with regard to the stadium: An earlier release from Phoenix Rising FC said the plan was to have a minimum of 5,000 seats, which is far less ambitious than many current MLS stadiums. The prior release acknowledged that MLS teams "routinely play before live audiences of 20,000 to 25,000 fans."
Phoenix wasn't initially on the league's list of possible expansion market, which included Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa/St. Petersburg.
MLS will decide on the expansion cities later this year.