DETROIT (WJBK) - Will Detroit ever be a destination for Major League Soccer? The whole world is watching the World Cup but the whole D is still waiting - and will for some time.
Earlier this month, Detroit was not selected by Major League Soccer to be the next expansion city - that went to Cincinnati. But that doesn't mean it won't happen, says the CEO of General Sports & Entertainment.
"I think it's a matter of time until Detroit get a team," Andy Appleby said.
Detroit already has a soccer team. Detroit City FC is one of the most popular teams in the National Premiere Soccer League and has a rabid fan base who are passionate about their team.
Detroit City FC was started in 2012 and it plays in a league sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation. It outgrew its original rented home at Cass Technical High School, averaging more than 3,500 fans a game in a venue with an official capacity of 2,500.
Appleby put together the independent baseball league at Jimmy John's Field in Utica, thought that the Detroit proposal should have included a soccer specific field - not Ford Field. The pitch would have had a soccer specific field if the jail proposal had gone through.
"There is certainly a lot of competition in America in particular - but they're doing a great job in marketing and there's a lot of great people behind it," Appleby said.
Some people that are behind the soccer move to the Detroit include Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores, who proposed the plan to rework the Wayne County jail fail.
Now that the World Cup is in full swing, there seems to be a lot more soccer talk. But what about the interest for a team?
"People aren't watching it, the culture is isn't there. it's not prevalent in the city," fan James Sirleaf said. "In soccer, they talk about grassroots a lot. Little kids start off playing soccer, you grow up playing soccer and then you go to the professional levels. If you get the talent and the interest in the city, it's really (possible) we can bring soccer to Detroit."
Appleby says he would possible be interested at some point in getting on the soccer action in Detroit - whenever MLS decides to expand.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report