- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On December 2, 2013
- 0 Comments
- Features, MLS Expansion, Sacramento Expansion
Some of you may have seen late last week a report from Sacramento about their MLS expansion hopes. You may have also noticed your’s truly in the article for a brief mention.
I figured now that the holiday dust from last week has worn off, I would throw my two cents around about Sacramento that didn’t make that article. I had a plenty of comments for reporter Ryan Lillis when I was interviewed a couple weeks ago on the subject.
On their chances
The biggest thing I stressed on Sacramento’s chances is that they are fighting with a number of cities for the 24th spot in MLS. We pretty much know and can assume that MLS will go to Miami with number 22 and Atlanta with number 23. It is a footprint thing and whether or not fans around the country like the idea of MLS being in Miami and Atlanta, it is a numbers thing for both markets to be in and TV.
That means there is one spot left. The California capital is going head-to-head with the likes of San Antonio, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Detroit, and St. Louis to name a few. The competition for this last spot will be very hotly contested.
Right now they are saying and doing the right things with a nice temporary stadium that could be expanded nicely down the road when the time comes for it. They have the local government support, which is always key, and their supporters are already buying a lot of tickets, which never is a bad thing.
On what they need
For Sacramento to make a big push, it really comes down to ownership. They’re talking the talk and saying they want a MLS bid in 2016, that means they have two years to prove themselves in USL-Pro as a franchise. That also means they have two years to find someone with deep pockets.
If anything, this bid really resembles what Orlando went through. The day that Orlando moved from Austin, Texas, their front office was talking about MLS. But it was never a reality until they got the deep pockets to back them up. Sacramento will need to do the same thing.
The what if
An obvious win-win for a lot of people with this thought is moving Chivas USA north. That would require a very rich owner that is willing to take on the club, pay for Chivas USA and move them north. It is a massive ‘what if’ but one that still has to be discussed. I still believe that someone in LA will step up and buy Chivas USA and help make that club into something the league can be proud of for the long haul.