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Photo: Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty Images

Major League Soccer will hold a press conference in St. Louis Tuesday where Commissioner Don Garber will announce that the city has been awarded an expansion team, sources tell Axios.

The big picture: MLS is in the process of expanding to 30 teams, and this would be franchise No. 28. Friendly reminder: In 2006, MLS had just 11 teams.

  • As of this afternoon, the league will have awarded teams to Cincinnati (debuted this season), Miami (2020), Nashville (2020), Austin (2021) and St. Louis (likely 2022), all in the span of 18 months.

Stadium notes:

  • With the exception of a few outliers (Seattle, Atlanta, etc.), MLS wants soccer-specific stadiums in every market because they benefit the league's single-entity structure. Owners buy shares of MLS, not actual franchises, so they collectively own every team and want to maximize venue profits across the board.
  • After the city rejected their request for $60 million, the St. Louis ownership group has reportedly landed on a deal that will require $0 in public funding. If that ends up being the case, "the 22,500-seat venue could become a blueprint for how to join MLS without screwing over your city," writes Deadspin's Luis Paez-Pumar.

Fun fact: Soccer has a long history in the Gateway City. Five of the 11 players that beat England 1-0 at the 1950 World Cup — one of the greatest upsets in sports history — were from St. Louis.

What's next: Sacramento is a favorite to land one of the final two expansion slots followed by Charlotte, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Detroit and San Diego.

Go deeper: Major League Soccer announces plan to expand to 30 teams

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.