- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 11, 2011
- 0 Comments
- MLS Expansion, MLS Minnesota
Every morning I see MLSSoccer.com’s Kick Off hit my inbox and then my twitter stream. Today, there was a little blurb about MLS Expansion so of course I was eager to check it out. It turns out the owner of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings is planning on building a new stadium and wants to attract a MLS team to play in it, similar to the Seattle Sounders and the New England Revolution (and Vancouver if your counting the CFL here).
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf called the Arden Hills property the “ideal site” for a Vikings stadium. “The more we explored it … the more we felt this was the best place to put a stadium,” he said, noting that it creates more opportunity for tailgating and other activities that would make it a day-long “Vikings destination” on game days.
Wilf said he hopes to bring a Major League Soccer team to Minnesota and attract major events such as a Super Bowl and a Final Four. The facility also would be home to a Vikings hall of fame.
Yeah, that’s it as far as the talk goes for MLS here. I figured it would be as good of a time as ever to give you my two cents about MLS and Minnesota.
First of all, I’ll admit, I like the thought of a team in Minnesota down the road for MLS. They’d be a natural rival in a ways for Chicago and possibly even Kansas City. Minneapolis is a town that typically supports any and all sports. I’ve always been impressed by the way they come out to support their teams, even when they aren’t doing well.
Minnesota has a soccer history that is worth noting too. They currently have a second division team, the NSC Minnesota Stars. While the money hasn’t been there all the time from the owners for a team in Minnesota, the team has been supported fairly well. There’s been pro soccer played in the area pretty regularly ever since the original NASL’s Minnesota Kicks arrived in 1976.
Now, saying all that, I don’t see them as a big competition for the 20th MLS club. So don’t even think that I’m supporting any expansion team for that spot right here. Down the road, yes. Right now, absolutely not, even with an owner with deep pockets like Wilf.
Are Wilf’s comments really something to consider right now? I doubt it. Sure the guy has deep pockets but does anyone really want to see another MLS team play in a large facility like a NFL stadium? No. Not at all. The reasons why it works in Seattle are obvious because of the owners there and the fans. On the flip side, you see why it doesn’t work for a situation like this in New England with the Revs.
Minnesota hasn’t been on the league’s radar in a while, if ever. We know the next step for the league is likely New York and then back to the Southeast. Fitting Minnesota in doesn’t seem likely unless Wilf makes a serious charge that makes MLS happy. Right now, I just don’t see it.