- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 24, 2008
- 4 Comments
- Expansion Hopefuls, MLS Expansion, Montreal Expansion
As we all heard on Friday at the Commissioner’s Address, Montreal backed out of the MLS expansion race for this round of expansion. Or did they?
Reports out of Canada suggest that some communication between the two parties was not good in the weeks leading up to Commissioner Don Garber’s announcement about their dropped bid.
The group said in a statement late Saturday that it was the league, not them, that withdrew the bid. Saputo is scheduled to meet with the media on Monday morning to further address the issue.
Garber had said Montreal’s delegation informed him within the past week of possible trouble.
“Montreal has had to evaluate what kinds of private capital they needed to refinance their stadium, to fund the expansion fee, and what kind of public support would be available,” the commissioner said.
“I’m not sure they were able to come to terms in this economic environment.”
Obviously more will come out today from Saputo at his press conference. It sort of sounds like to me it wasn’t about the stadium upgrades or anything of that nature. It may have come down to the expansion fee itself or the worry that they wouldn’t get picked due to strong bids from cities like Miami. Which is a big of a shock considering the group leading the front for Montreal, they had the money and a strong enough bid to get it done.
It could have also come down to other variables that we just don’t know of yet. Either way once we get more details it will be more clear why they dropped out or why the league dropped them from the race. I just have a weird feeling that it doesn’t exactly mean they were dropped due to money or the global economy here.
What did you all make of the Montreal news? Obviously I know there were parties in Miami, Portland and St. Louis and maybe one or two in Vancouver or Ottawa.