- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 25, 2008
- 4 Comments
- MLS Expansion, Vancouver Expansion
Just a day after the MLS Board approved for two expansion clubs in year 2011, one Canadian city is already on board by announcing this morning that they will be formally applying for an expansion club with the league.
That Canadian city is not Montreal or Ottawa, but is Vancouver.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC are expected to announce today that they are applying for a Major League Soccer franchise and that basketball superstar Steve Nash will be a partner in the bid.
The Whitecaps did not comment yesterday, but have scheduled a press conference for 11 this morning at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver.
As we all saw last night at the MLS All-Star game in Toronto, Nash was interviewed by ESPN about the possible expansion bid. He gave some similar comments to the press in Vancouver:
“I’ve been a fan of the (Whitecaps) since I was six,” Nash told a New York Times soccer blog last month that named Nash as part of a group that hoped to bring MLS soccer to Vancouver.
“I haven’t invested money yet, more like human capital. It’s a spectacular city. We’re really optimistic and we’re hoping to have some good news at the MLS All-Star Game in Toronto.”
The Whitecaps are hoping to play their games in the renovated BC Place in 2011 while work continued on their proposed waterfront stadium in Gastown.
Does this announcement move Vancouver above any of the other candidates out there? Yes and no really in my mind. I think it sounds like an interesting bid that the should look at seriously and I love that a guy like Nash is so passionate behind this deal.
They will move to the top if and only if they have some deep pocketed investors. If they have the investors in place that could not only get the stadium deal finalized but be able to pay the expansion fee (which is expected to be between $40 and $50 million by 2011) then this deal could easily move to the top of the expansion hopeful list.
I guess we will know more later on today.
What do you make of Vancouver’s hopes here?