The Silence

by Joe Leyba on September 30, 2014

There has been a lot of MLS expansion talk in the news lately.  Sacramento is on fire.  Las Vegas is trying to push through a new soccer stadium.  And Minnesota, despite sending two different ownership groups to Portland for the MLS All-Star Game, has had little news to offer on the expansion front.

One piece of news that has come out over the past two months is the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority amended a usage agreement with the Vikings for their new stadium. The MSFA will charge the Vikings $20,000 for every MLS home game if it secures a soccer franchise in the new stadium. The MSFA would generate an estimated $340,000 annually in the agreement. The Vikings would handle all game-day expenses.

Minnesota United are letting their actions do the talking, clinching a NASL playoff spot and being in the driver’s seat to host the Soccer Bowl.   They’ve even made national news recently with Miguel Ibarra getting a potential US national team call-up.

So why is Minnesota so quiet when everybody else is making so much noise about expansion?  Is it because both MN organizations want to get it right before going public with their bid?  Did MLS tell the Vikings to take a low profile while the Peterson incident is going on?  Is MN United waiting until after Election Day to announce a new stadium?  Does a Minnesota owner now own Chivas USA?  The internet is entertaining because you can speculate – unfortunately that doesn’t really get us anywhere.  Until we hear some real news all we can do is watch some quality soccer and wait.

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Andy Greder from the Pioneer Press checks in with this article titled Local Ownership Groups Look to Seattle as a Model.

This piece starts out looking at both the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota United FC ownership groups making the trip to Portland for the MLS All-Star Game. It says both organizations are examining the Sounders as a model club.

MLS Executive Vice President of Communications, Dan Courtemanche, who is Commissioner Don Garber’s right hand man, says there are three things the league is looking for to help their chances of a successful team: “an ownership group with financial fortitude; a stadium (or a plan for one); and a dynamic market that can support a franchise.”

To the later point, the rest of the article clearly gives the nod to Minnesota United FC with their rabid support by the Dark Clouds supporters group who have been building numbers since 2004.

“It’s the passion for that club that we’ve seen in NASL regular-season matches,” Courtemanche said, “but also in their recent friendly against (English Premier League team) Swansea City where the crowd (of 9,064) was electric, from what I understand.”

While Minnesota United seem to have the attention of MLS, they still need to get a stadium deal done and that is no small task. Hopefully fans will start hearing of their plans soon.

You can read the whole article here.

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