A Must Read Summary of Minnesota MLS expansion

by Joe Leyba on December 10, 2014

Alex Schieferdecker has put together a great summary of the current Minnesota soccer stadium situation.  We consider this article a must-read for anybody interested in MLS expansion.

http://streets.mn/2014/12/10/soccer-as-political-football/

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Early December MLS Update

by Joe Leyba on December 9, 2014

(Apologies for the lack of coverage over the past week.  Took a long overdue vacation. -Joe)

Let’s start off with Garber’s expansion statement from the MLS Board of Governors meeting on December 6th.

expansion-garber

The Sacramento Bee quickly followed up with a story that  MLS still has questions about Sacramento, other possible expansion teams.  In the article, it brought up the interesting situation where Miami doesn’t move forward for an additional expansion spot.  Would Beckham be willing to partner with another city then?

“If we cannot move forward in Miami, does it create another opportunity? While it would, we’re not contemplating not getting a deal done,” Mark Abbott said. He added that MLS hasn’t given Beckham “a firm deadline.”

“So where do we go from here?” is the question posed by the Wall Street Journal.  The make or break factor may end up being a stadium.  Last week, the Vikings unveiled their plans for their soccer venue.

vikings-design

“It’s different from Seattle. It’s a curtaining system that comes down and blocks the upper bowl. That, right there, is 20,000 seats,” Lester Bagley said. “And the area underneath the scoreboard is, ideally, the supporters’ section. The second tier is tarped over. If you take that off, it can go to 28,000 seats. Then we can also go to 34,000 seats — or 65,000 full.”

Vikings officials have promised that soccer will be equal to the NFL inside the stadium.

“This is not a second thought,” said Steve Poppen, the Vikings’ chief financial officer. “We’ve talked a lot about an MLS team being on par with the NFL franchise” at the stadium.

But Mike Opat, Hennepin County Board Chairman, says he supports the idea of an outdoor downtown Minneapolis soccer stadium. Minnesota United is putting together a plan that would include an outdoor soccer stadium built next to the Twins’ home, Target Field.  Opat says he is now supporting the McGuire group because they have a “long-standing commitment to soccer in Minnesota.  He says the county would support the outdoor stadium concept, but that will not likely include any general fund tax money.

ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman shared his opinion last week on what market he supports for expansion.    “I’m asked constantly, if you had to expand Major League Soccer, where would you go? My first answer, for the last five years of my life, is Minneapolis. The knowledge and the enthusiasm of the fan base here is second to none. Soccer is a no-brainer here.”

And let’s not forget that we have one thing that the other expansion cities don’t – Landon Donovan’s vote for expansion.

 

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