A US soccer team is unafraid of a lawsuit that it says could threaten its bid to become the second MLS team in Tulsa.
The Tulsa-based Oklahoma City Energy filed a notice of appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in Oklahoma City on Monday to block a $20 million US Soccer Federation bid to build a soccer stadium in the Tulsa suburb of Oklahoma City.
US Soccer and the federation declined to comment on the appeal.
The club said in a statement that the US Soccer appeal “will be reviewed as it has been previously reviewed by the court, and will be granted or denied in accordance with the law.”
Tulsa has a population of just under 3 million, and has a soccer team that competes in the Western Soccer League.
US soccer officials are expected to file a response to the appeal within the next few days.
“We are confident that the court will rule in our favor and that we will be able to build an environment that is conducive to the growth of our sport,” Tulsa City Soccer Club CEO Bill Pfeffer said in the statement.
The US Soccer lawsuit against Tulsa’s bid came after the city approved the $1.6 billion stadium proposal in 2016.
The Oklahoma City City City Council voted to approve the $10 million bid in April 2017.
The city plans to host its own MLS team next year.
US teams have played in Tulsa since 2007, and have had the option of a second bid in 2019.
A lawsuit filed by US Soccer in the US District Court for the Southern District of Oklahoma seeks to block the $20-million US Soccer bid.
The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed by the city of Tulsa and the USSF on behalf of the Oklahoma City team.
The team’s lawyers argue that the bid violates the US Constitution, the Constitution’s equal protection clause, the First Amendment, and state law.
The lawsuit also claims that the city is not obligated to provide financial support for the bid and that US Soccer is acting illegally by not providing a legal notice of the proposed stadium.