- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 13, 2007
- 8 Comments
Next year we all get San Jose back into the MLS and as of today we will have Seattle starting in 2009. Also, we all know the league wants 16 clubs by the 2010 season. More so meaning that I doubt Seattle will be walking into the league alone in the 09 season.
Portland, St Louis, and Philadelphia are the biggest candidates left for the next expansion site in the MLS.
Portland will more than likely play in PGE Park, which is expected to get a nice upgrade, should the MLS pick Portland as an expansion site. St. Louis and Philly are both in the process of getting soccer stadiums put together. St. Louis seems a little closer than Philly on getting one completed. I believe both will get one but the race to the finish line of completing a soccer stadium may end up in St. Louis’s favor.
So who joins Seattle then? I think really it will be St. Louis. The reasons are simple, the soccer stadium will be ready before Philadelphia’s. As much as I would like a team in the City of Brotherly Love, I just don’t think it will happen yet. St. Louis already has over 1,500 people signed up for season tickets through St. Louis Soccer United. As mentioned before the stadium will be ready in good time for the 2009 season. All the St. Louis group is waiting for is the league to give the go ahead to break ground on the stadium. Philly can’t say the same thing as they are waiting on the state government to provide the rest of the funds for the stadium.
Philly will join the MLS when their stadium is ready. Make no mistake about that. We also know the league wants to expand to 18 by the 2012 season so this makes perfect timing for the Sons of Ben and the rest of the Philly supporters.
Portland probably won’t be left in the dark though. I still think down the line they are as strong of a candidate as any other potential city out there.
But really, in the end what the next expansion site comes down to is money. Look at how we got Salt Lake and Chivas, it was due to some wealthy guys that were willing to pony up the cash for a club. Same goes for this Seattle expansion, there are a group of wealthy dudes that want the club there and have put down the cash for it. I am sure that St. Louis and Philly have offered the money as well but for the league they may want more and I still believe St. Louis has a little more to offer in here and now than Philly to the league. I am not knocking Philly at all, I just believe they aren’t ready quite yet. Yet is the key word, they will get their club.
Now the perfect scenario for some would be for Philly to get their club and St. Louis to get their club via relocation of Kansas City. I don’t know how many emails or comments I have seen in the past couple months about relocating Kansas City to St. Louis and expanding to Philly. Its a decent proposal, but I think KC still has a couple more seasons in that city before the league would consider a move out of there.
The announcement comes today about Seattle, but I wouldn’t be too terribly shocked to see an announcement waiting in the wings soon in St. Louis. Good ratings in the city during the MLS Cup will helpthough we probably won’t hear anything this week. The MLS did say they wanted to announce both expansion sites (15th and 16th club) by the end of the year. Still a month and a half for that to happen.
As far as I am concerned, its one down and one to go here.