When MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott visits the Triangle Wednesday to evaluate North Carolina F.C.’s bid for an MLS team, the club’s executives and supporters hope he will encounter a passionate fan base ready to get behind a team at the next level.
Oak City Supporters, one of North Carolina F.C.’s fan clubs, is leading a march open to the public Wednesday afternoon. It will leave at 4:30 from the London Bridge Pub at 110 E. Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh. Oak City Supporters founder Ryan Jernigan said the group will be “waving flags, singing songs and just trying to throw a huge party to show MLS that this area is ready.”
Jernigan said many North Carolina F.C. players will join fans on the march, and the group will hand out free t-shirts and scarves with the slogan #919toMLS.
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The march will go from Hargett Street to Blount Street before ending up three blocks away at a public rally from 5-7 p.m. at City Market at 214 E. Martin Street. At the rally, fans will cheer and hear announcements from North Carolina F.C. owner Steve Malik about the progress of the bid and plans to build a new stadium if the bid succeeds.
No roads are expected to be closed due to either event.
The stadium plans will also be detailed when Abbott’s group of MLS officials attend a press conference Wednesday morning at 10:30, and the group will spend its day before the rally meeting with local government and business leaders along with team executives.
The MLS group is in Charlotte Tuesday to consider its bid for a team and will end up adding four teams from a pool of 12 markets.