- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 27, 2008
- 38 Comments
- Expansion Hopefuls, St. Louis Expansion
Talk about an insert-foot-into-mouth kind of moment. Jeff Cooper, the man behind the machine that is trying to get a MLS club in the Gateway City of St. Louis had a couple comments about the league’s expansion fee.
“We’re not going to pay so much,” Cooper said.
“If they’re unreasonable with the price, we can go elsewhere,” he said.
Elsewhere huh? USL-1 elsewhere? Exactly how do you go from wooing people with millions of dollars to sign on your expansion bid to saying it may be too costly? Cooper and St. Louis were largely considered the front-runner for one of the next two bids into the league but with a comment like this one it could easily end the big before the paperwork is even processed on the bid.
Cooper and his group have a huge project on hands here. They are set to build a $573 million mixed-use soccer stadium complex. Again, telling people who are going to be paying that kind of money on a stadium and facility that it will end up being for a minor league team? That just won’t fly with people. Hell I wouldn’t even be surprised if everything falls apart for Cooper and his group if they balk at paying the league a hefty expansion fee all because its been raised since they were last told about it (then it was probably in the $10 to $20 million range…not its close to $50 million).
As much as I would like to see St. Louis in the league, this has to hurt their chances with the league. I have a feeling it easily opens the doors for other cities that are slightly on the fringe for a bid here or it helps one of those Canadian cities that are hoping to get in.
What do you make of these comments by Cooper? Kill the bid all together or is it not a big issue? Also, which city does this help out if it does hurt St. Louis?