- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On October 14, 2008
- 4 Comments
- Atlanta Expansion, Expansion Hopefuls, Miami Expansion, MLS Expansion, Montreal Expansion, New York Expansion, Ottawa Expansion, Portland Expansion, St. Louis Expansion, Vancouver Expansion
Tomorrow is the deadline but let’s go through and see who all has sent in their bid to the league for an expansion club. Right now there are a few cities with some big bids on the table for MLS to go over for the next two clubs. But floating out there is also the possibility that the league would expand to 20 clubs and take on two more clubs in the very near future, potentially by 2012.
This is comment from Jack Bell at the New York Times got me thinking about 20 clubs instead of 18.
Major League Soccer will announce on Wednesday the bidders for two, perhaps four, expansion teams after the 5 p.m. ET deadline for bids.
Now nothing has actually been said but you just never know. With MLS having a few solid bids on the table right now they may not want to shy away from a couple of them, thus meaning adding four more to 20 clubs makes sense.
Look at this list of who is wanting a club and how I think they stack up. For the next two my money is on Portland and Miami. Montreal and St. Louis are a close second in that as well.
St. Louis – Hasn’t officially announced but their leader Jeff Cooper did talk back in August about resubmitting a bid. I’m sure he and his group have formally submitted a bid but it just hasn’t hit the presses like others out there. It could also be that MLS just kept the bid from their previous round of expansion and didn’t require them to resubmit one. Who knows, either way I’m sure they are in the mix here.
As far as their chances go, right now I think have gone down a bit. We haven’t heard much lately and what we did hear recently wasn’t good.
Montreal – Another bid we haven’t really heard from yet but with the people involved (Gillet/Saputo) I’m sure its been put out there for the league to look at. As far as stadiums go they may have one of the best situations out of any of the hopefuls. Sure it needs to be expanded but that won’t take much since it was already on the menu to happen. Look for Montreal to be a tough candidate to beat here.
Vancouver – Submitted their plan for expansion right after the MLS Board of Directors approved the 17th and 18th club expansion. A decent about of hype surrounding this bid with the likes of Steve Nash involved. Their stadium situation still bugs me a bit, which could impact their bid overall. As far as going against the other Canadian expansion hopefuls they sit behind Montreal in my mind and just slightly above Ottawa. Hey at least they won the USL title this year.
Miami – Got the big boost with Barcelona today for their bid. Another bid who’s stadium situation worries me but it could work out at the FIU Stadium. I think the league will love having a name like Barcelona to link up with here too. That may knock another strong bid out or give the league reason to go ahead and expand to 20 clubs too. Without Barcelona the Miami bid was a weak one but with them it is probably one of the best.
Portland – A personal favorite of mine really. If I had to pick one city right now for expansion it would be Portland. I use to think that about St. Louis and I still do in a way but I do love what the Portland bid puts out there for MLS. Its got by far the best established supporter’s group and an owner that is willing to spend some money. Plus once they get their stadium situation worked out in Portland it will become one of the best little venues to see a game.
Atlanta – NFL owner and Home Depot founder Arthur Blank wants a club in Atlanta. Thing is I do not like their chances at all now that Barcelona is paired up with Miami. Had Miami not gotten Barcelona on their bid Atlanta would have looked better but not by much. I really don’t take this bid all that serious, even given the amount of money that Blank has in his pocket.
New York – The last of those out there that we haven’t heard any official word from yet is New York. Fred Wilpon said that once his new baseball stadium in Queens was finished he would be focusing on a MLS project. We all know Don Garber wants a club in New York City. Even with other strong bids out there this one could still trump them all at the end of the day. I still for one love the idea of another club in NYC. Some do and some don’t…either way is fine though.
Ottawa – The last of the bids both American and Canadian. I love the idea and look of this bid but not the city. There’s just little hope for it honestly in my mind even with the amount of support that it is gaining in Ottawa. They should try the USL first in my books.