Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And the finalists are...

Two of the following cities will win MLS expansion teams within the next few years. These were the seven bids submitted from groups with interest to take MLS to the following cities: Atlanta, Miami, Montreal, Ottawa, Portland, St. Louis and Vancouver.

I know not the financial backing of these particular bids. FC Barcelona is behind the Miami bid and Falcons owner Arthur Blank is supporting a bid for Atlanta, so it seems there is some pretty solid financial footing among the group.

But all things being equal, I've got to favor two cities from the rest of the pack.

I'd love to see MLS in Portland. As I've said before here on this blog, I think Portland is a great venue for soccer. The Trail Blazers enjoy quite a bit of support there but there aren't any other major pro teams there; no NHL, NFL or MLB teams. The Timbers have a passionate following that could carry over into MLS. And there is a natural rival nearby with Seattle. You think Galaxy-Chivas USA was an instant classic? Can you imagine Timbers-Sounders in MLS? I'd pay to see that.

As much as I'd like to support Atlanta, I think Montreal would be a great MLS town. Much like Portland-Seattle, there would be a natural rivalry with Toronto FC, whose fans have shown a tremendous amount of support for their club. Sure, there have been some streaming issues with the club but season ticket sales have been booming, and that's for a club who has had little success in their first two seasons. Montreal might have such a built-in fan base awaiting such a club. There could be a fertile fan base in Montreal as there was in Toronto and I don't know if I can say the same for Atlanta or Miami.

Still, I believe that Miami goes straight to the top because of Barcelona's backing. Barcelona is in good with the league and that's got to count for something. I think that is unfortunate because Miami already had their shot at MLS and failed.


Anonymous said...

I think St. Louis deserves to be a part of the league. They have a very rich and long history of soccer in this country and were so close last time around for expansion. I think Jeff Cooper has the financial backing now and so many other things are in place for a club to start. They have a firm stadium plan, will have a great fan base and even a youth system already running.

Toddzilla said...

I'm with you on Portland - I'm torn on the other one.

And God bless Atlanta - I lived there as a kid and the Braves are still one of my favorite sports teams - but Atlanta is a God-awful sports town. Putting MLS there would be the first act of "Evil Dan" Garber, the commissioner's twin brother who shows up one day without warning and without a good explanation of where Don went. (And by the way, just like TV shows and cartoons that I watched growing up, we know he's evil because of his pointy goatee and shifty eyes.)

Yes, Atlanta would be HIS first choice. But it shouldn't be anyone else's.

snarky! said...

San Luis, i mean St. Louis would be cool.

Portalnd , too.

Miami is a great city but, no rivalry. Fans can barely support their other franchises and has failed. FCB hooked up with second NY franchise would be better.

Anonymous said...

Ussf do they want a hispanic fan base cheering for them, or do they want us not to? We have a big story about a local fan base that was thrown out of there section over casual futbol fans. USSF and DC UNITED Sold fraudlent tickets to this supporters group for this match. No one is reporting this, we would love for this to be reported and for USSF and DCUNITED to have an answer.