USL Division III executives felt optimistic of the potential for professional soccer in Fort Myers, Florida, following meetings in the city on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The league’s expansion committee visited numerous sites for a potential stadium and met with Lee County leaders and a potential local ownership group about bringing a pro soccer team to the City of Palms, which is located more than two hours away from professional soccer markets in Tampa Bay and Miami.
“Our visit to the city of Fort Myers was the next step towards an expansion franchise in Lee County, Florida,” USL DIII Vice President Steven Short told USLD3.com. “During our time in market, the league continued its efforts with potential ownership and met with local leaders to discuss the expansion opportunity and potential venues.
“As USL Division III continues towards its inaugural season in 2019, there is a tremendous opportunity to provide Lee County with a professional soccer team to call its own, further complementing the existing landscape of professional baseball and collegiate athletics.”
Since April of 2017, USL Division III has visited 24 different cities and conducted expansion efforts in more than 50 markets across the United States. South Georgia Tormenta FC and FC Tucson have been announced as the first two founding members of the league ahead of the inaugural 2019 season, while additional expansion announcements are expected in the coming weeks and months.
USL Division III is also currently working with the U.S. Soccer Federation on sanctioning timelines, and the league will reveal the official brand and competition structure later this year.