- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 11, 2009
- 2 Comments
- MLS Expansion, Montreal Expansion
Apparently expansion to Montreal is coming down to not a matter of if, but when. Last week MLS commissioner Don Garber had a very interesting paragraph in his latest blog entry about Montreal.
Expansion continues to be of interest to most readers and there were many posts regarding the status of Montreal as a potential MLS market. We continue to be impressed by the Saputo family’s commitment to the sport in Montreal. The Impact is a very popular team (they attracted 55,000 fans to their Champions League match vs. Santos) and play in a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Montreal.
Joey Saputo is working with a variety of local government entities on a plan to expand the capacity of Stade Saputo. I believe Montreal is a very viable MLS market and I plan to keep in regular contact with the Saputos as we continue to develop our future expansion plans.
Reading that last week I thought something was up. You don’t just name drop like that. Anyways, over at the wonderful 24th Minute, they are reporting that Saputo is liking his chances of getting a MLS club in the very near future.
According to an exclusive interview with Joey Saputo obtained by ruefrontenac.com, the relationship between MLS and the Impact organization has improved to the point where Saputo seems convinced that Montreal will obtain an MLS franchise.
“I would be most shocked if we do not get a franchise” says Joey Saputo. This seems pretty much in line with what Don Garber wrote on his blog “the commissioner speaks” on May 8th.
“The commissioner now knows that the government is ready to help us, and he really appreciates this major change in our bid. We are also really pushing the fact that MLS marketing in Canada, would be most improved if the league could count on Montreal to go along with Vancouver and Toronto” mentions Saputo.
It really sounds like if the government there in Montreal ponies up the cash needed, Saputo handles the stadium stuff this bid could really be up and running before we know it. Kind of sounds like as soon as 2012 to me. The 24th Minute also mentions that getting Montreal doesn’t just mean getting a great city and fan base for the league but it gets a national TV contract in Canada for the league. That is big.