- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 11, 2010
- 10 Comments
- Borough Boys, New York Expansion
Last week’s announcement for the expansion to Montreal in 2012 gave way (quickly) to who would be the 20th club in Major League Soccer. Of course the two obvious comments from MLS commissioner Don Garber were for putting that club in the Southeast or a second one in New York.
That much we know but today I wanted to discuss a little for and against with the second New York club. I may do this with other cities, I haven’t decided yet but I know a lot of you have let me know that you do enjoy my insight into the expansion of this league.
I saw this list of reasons against a second club in New York over at Goal.com. Some reasons against were good ones while others seemed like total rubbish and were there to merely fill a list of 10 items to probably make an editor happy. I’ll use some of those items here and expand on them a little further.
I must say I’ll be up front about putting a second club in NY right now, I’m a big supporter behind it. Not to say I’m not a supporter of another quality town getting a club in the future but at the moment this one does lead my list of potential cites I’d like to see a club. If you want to know my list just ask me on Twitter or through email.
Now the article lists a couple cities as reasons against and that’s all good too. I do agree that there are a couple mid-sized markets out there similar to a Columbus or a Salt Lake that would support a MLS club greatly. Cities like St. Louis, San Antonio, Charlotte, and Minneapolis-St. Paul come to mind. Those towns would support another professional team. Only Minneapolis-St. Paul has a team in each of the four major sports in America right now, the others are a little more open in terms of adding another pro team to the mix.
Going head-to-head with the Southeast cities mentioned in the article I wonder why Tampa Bay is left out. I know Miami and Atlanta are considered strong candidates but don’t sleep on a potential return to Tampa in the future. Not saying it will happen anytime soon but the thought is there with the league even though it failed once there.
The biggest thing going for a New York bid is the Borough Boys, who have been around long enough to make some noise. Some how the article didn’t look them up to mention them and even said there wasn’t a grassroots effort in the city like the Sons of Ben. They just need to take the same steps that the Sons of Ben took to get a club in Philadelphia.
Obviously some challenges with a lack of stadium and even a lack of owners surrounds this bid. If the New York Mets’ owner Fred Wilpon is apart of the ownership group that will be a positive thing. I know the Mets haven’t done a darn thing since the Wilpons took control of them a few years back. But their willingness to spend money on a club should be positive enough to see in this league.
The politics within the city to get a stadium will easily be the biggest hurdle to overcome. It won’t be getting the fans and support or even a quality owner involved. Professional teams in the area have had a tough time in the past in getting new facilities built. But the Mets were finally able to get a new ballpark, which makes me believe the Wilpons at least know how to work the politics involved to get a deal done.
A wildcard in all of this too with the ownership group could be David Beckham’s involvement. I know there has been rumor of him with a Miami club in the past but you have to figure New York makes as much if not more sense for him to be apart of here. Major market and his brand would go hand in hand I would think.
I also don’t buy into this thought that the Red Bulls need to continue to establish themselves more in the area and that a rivalry within the market won’t help. Soccer is different from other sports where the local derbies are a big deal. I understand the point that locals just want a team that wins but there are always folks that want to see another team beat the big club in town. I’d argue the Red Bulls have had enough time to establish themselves and adding another club to the area would only increase their chances to grow.
We still have plenty of time to think things through for the 20th expansion club into MLS. I hope to look at a bunch of cities over the next few weeks and give you a pro/con kind of post about each with a summary at the end. I’m sure by then we’ll have a better understanding of who will likely be the top candidate for that 20th spot.