- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 16, 2008
- 2 Comments
- BC Place, Don Garber, Expansion Hopeful, Vancouver
I swear I’m getting around to the MLS weekend previews here, but until then I wanted to discuss a headline on MLSnet.com about the Vancouver stadium situation. MLS Commissioner Don Garber took time today to address the stadium/expansion issue with Vancouver.
There had been announcements today that BC Place in Vancouver would undergo renovations (and get a retractable roof), that sparked some interest in the MLS front offices.
“We believe Vancouver is a potential market for a future Major League Soccer expansion team. There is no doubt the market for professional soccer exists in Vancouver, as we saw last November when nearly 50,000 fans attended the exhibition match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Whitecaps.
“We understand the newly renovated BC Place Stadium will be a world-class facility. We look forward to learning more about the proposed renovations so that we may determine whether BC Place can serve as an interim venue for an MLS team pending the construction of a soccer-specific stadium.
“MLS will have 16 teams by 2010 with the addition of Seattle next year and Philadelphia the following season. We are currently in discussions with potential expansion team owners and local governments in many markets across North America regarding the 17th and 18th teams.
We look forward to continuing our discussions with the Whitecaps regarding the opportunity to award a Major League Soccer expansion team to Vancouver in the future.”
With all the problems that Vancouver has faced with getting a soccer stadium built downtown, this news really comes as no surprise. People leading the charge to get an expansion club in the city are hoping to possibly use BC Place as a temporary home for a MLS club until the waterfront stadium can be complete.
Its interesting that Garber decided to talk about Vancouver in this manner. It was previously thought that the city was just a hopeful but this kind should give the city a reason to feel like they are very much in the thick of things with St. Louis, Montreal, Miami, Portland and New York for the next two expansion spots.
I doubt it moves Vancouver anywhere ahead of St. Louis or Montreal here but as we all know any press is good press. That is the case for Vancouver here.