An argument for more Canadian clubs in MLS?
Steven Sandor at the11.ca wrote an interesting article about how MLS should look at Canada for it's 20th franchise.
Thoughts? The only place which would make sense to me right now is Ottawa (with their new stadium being around 24000, I think they would fill it up for MLS), although I think they are set on NASL for now. I personally think that Orlando SC has the inside track, and the fanbase to make a team there successful.
At halftime of the Impact game, Jason DeVos asked that same question, and Garber pretty much shut it down (as I would expect him to do). I think he's hell bent on getting that second team in New York, although I think Orlando is the better choice.
Tampa Bay is only an hours drive from Orlando, and the Tampa Bay Mutiny failed. The Miami Fusion also collapsed. Florida is just a bad market. A good group of supporters groups were able to show up to there tiny stadium, but I don't think Orlando is a good market, if you look at it from the perspective of an entire season (15 home games) and a stadium that fits 20,000 supporters.
Originally Posted by shermanator
Orlando will have an uphill battle simply because MLS already did florida, twice and it failed!
If you look at existing clubs, the most MLS clubs in terms of supporters (except maybe LA... NYRB has a subway station near by) tend to have stadiums built downtown. I recently came back from Orlando. It is not your typical city. It is a city driven by tourism, and the vast majority of jobs are low-paying theme park type jobs. Due to the popularity of the theme parks, which are built in the outskirts of the city, the urban core of Orlando is almost non-existent.
Without a real Downtown with transit access, Orlando will likely suffer the same fate in terms of ticket sales, as FC Dallas (Frisco) or the Chicago Fire (Bridgeview). Also, transit is almost non-existent. The transit system on the Disney World Resort is better than the City of Orlando's own system.
I have to wonder about 'moving' a team instead of adding one, wouldn't it make more sense to move a team fairing badly than to add a new one?
What cities are actively courting MLS for a team?
Orlando. That is all. Everything else is just speculation.
Originally Posted by lattes
Originally Posted by Soccerpro
There is no way in the next 5-10 years that any other Canadian city is getting in MLS. Unless they create their own second division.
Steve Sandor mentioned that Garber should be scrambling to get a team into Alberta. I agree with this. Not only is it a place with disposable income, but it more importantly covers a lot more geographical space for MLS. Everyone from Saskatchewan and Manitoba would get behind that team, if you twist their arms that is.
It would also be easy for the 'east/west' thing.
IMO If FC Edmonton can go to CONCACAF quarters they will rush through the process b/c I think they will get crazy crowds.
Should do and WILL do are two different things though...
Economic indicators in Calgary are pointing to a boom, meaning (hopefully) more disposable income. From that perspective, an MLS team could be a fit here.
I don't think that the interest in Calgary is there for an MLS team. Also, with a boom, construction costs for a new stadium would be through the roof!
I think the best way for another Canadian city to get an MLS franchise, is to show they deserve it. Lets take Edmonton as an example. They should strive to successfully run they're NASL team on and off the pitch. It means outgrowing their current stadium, and building a soccer specific one. It also means winning championships, and creating a name for themselves in competitions like the Voyageurs Cup.
They also have to stick with it, getting to the five year mark would be a great accomplishment. The current ownership seem to be in it for the long haul, now lets hope they have the ressources and the vision to make this project happen. the 20th franchise should cost in the $60-$70 million range, and a new stadium should be in the $50-$100 million range depending on the specs.
Which cities and which potential soccer loving potential owners have that type of coin to invest?