- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 13, 2010
- 2 Comments
- Joey Saputo, MLS Expansion, Montreal Expansion, Saputo Stadium
We’ve heard this before but it appears Montreal may be closer than ever to securing a Major League Soccer expansion bid. Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo tells the Montreal Gazette he hopes to have a deal announced with the league.
He can gaze out at one end of the stadium adjacent to the Olympic park where new stands will be added as part of a planned expansion to 21,000 seats.
At the other end, Saputo can point to the spot where corporate suites will be erected once the Impact secures a new Major League Soccer franchise.
It’s all part of his master plan to build a successful sports business and put Montreal on the soccer map. Saputo hopes that within a few weeks a deal will be announced that will award the Impact an MLS franchise for 2012, at a cost of around $35 million U.S.
Once the franchise is obtained, he expects to go ahead with a $25-million plan to both expand the stadium and build an indoor practice facility, a project to be financed entirely by the Quebec government.
Saputo also talks about increasing his sponsorship dollars once his club enters the league. Currently they are doing pretty well but getting into MLS will only increase their numbers he says.
Even during a possible strike by the league Montreal could still get an expansion bid is pretty interesting to hear. We’ve heard for months how close they are but it wouldn’t shock me at all to hear around the start of the season that they are going to expand to Montreal in 2012.
No doubt in my mind that Montreal is still a great market to tap into for the league. Sure three Canadian cities in the league may ruffle a few feathers in some folks but to me its a wise move by the league to go this direction. It only improves the game in the US and in Canada, something I believe we are all the better for here.