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Old
06-20-2008, 01:06 AM
  #1
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OT - MLS to Edmonton?

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The good news on that front is that interest in establishing pro clubs appears to be growing. There are reports that Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk wants to build a stadium and apply for an MLS team in that city, and that a group of European investors wants to put a team in Edmonton.
http://sportsnet.ca/soccer/2008/06/1...010_world_cup/

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06-20-2008, 01:09 AM
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Maybe they'll build a new stadium for you.

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06-20-2008, 01:22 AM
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I want the Drillers back and the 3 point goal circle.

I dunno, can this city actually sustain a soccer team. I know we provide good numbers for the national games and such, but the Aviators didn't even last a whole season. I'm sure having a team in the MLS would attract more fans, but would it be enough to keep a team afloat while they can build a decent roster.

Isn't Edmonton also one of the biggest soccer cities in Canada behind Toronto or something as well?

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06-20-2008, 01:28 AM
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I think we would need to build a soccer specific stadium.

While the MLS is an emerging league, I think Commonwealth is too cavernous in that it would just kill the atmosphere. Something like the new BMO field in Toronto or the new stadium in Columbus.

Of course, this is Edmonton, so I don't ever see this happening. If enough support can be gained then maybe Commonwealth wouldn't be so bad, as it would surely be one of the larger capacity stadiums of the MLS.

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06-20-2008, 01:28 AM
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Time to have some new blood run the organization...

Step one find/build a stadium that holds on 5,000-8,000 people and make it the hot ticket it town.

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06-20-2008, 01:32 AM
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Professional soccer never seems to survive in Edmonton - why would it work now?

Just asking.

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06-20-2008, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by 420ilerBuzz View Post
Professional soccer never seems to survive in Edmonton - why would it work now?

Just asking.
Well the Drillers and Aviators were locally financed, if some fancy European investers want to blow their dough here, why not.

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06-20-2008, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by PunjabiOil View Post
Soccer Steve needs to change his underoos just reading that. I do believe though that if run properly that an MLS squad could be successful in Edmonton as long as they joined with 2 or 3 other Canadian Teams (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal at the minimum). There is a large enough soccer community here to support a team here, I just know that the last incarnations of franchises have not gone about things in a very smart manner.

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06-20-2008, 02:08 AM
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chris11inter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 420ilerBuzz View Post
Professional soccer never seems to survive in Edmonton - why would it work now?

Just asking.
Its a legitamet question.

I guess a couple things make me believe that it could work if the following were to occur.

1) MLS is a legit soccer league. You will get decent players and watch decent players
2) It will not be locally financed.
3) It will not be ran by the regular group (Petrone , Ongaro etc)
4)Build a stadium 5,000-8,000 people and have this the hot ticket in town.

I think it can be done, just needs to be marketed right.

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06-20-2008, 02:10 AM
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Let's hope the MLS doesn't expand too rapidly. Already, Seattle and Philadelphia are slated to have teams in the next 2 years. You could argue that right now the MLS has a diluted talent base. Adding 5 or 6 more teams over the next decade isn't what the league needs IMO. They should just continue to build what they have now, which is a decent product, and expand when the talent catches up. I hope they don't get all crazy like the NASL did, and expand far too quickly so that money-hungry owners can get a piece of the Pele/Beckham pie.

As for Edmonton getting a team, unless we get a new stadium, I doubt we get a team. Soccer specific stadias has been the way to go in the MLS (although the Sounders will be playing at QWest Field for the forseeable future). Commonwealth is far too big for soccer, and the running track contributes to that. Considering the race to build soccer specific stadiums in Montreal (which was completed a month ago, and is quite popular with the players) and Vancouver (will it ever get done? BC Place with a retractable roof is a decent option) was heated, it becomes clear that the only way MLS looks at a team here is if we get a new stadium.

Would the MLS succeed here in Edmonton? That's debatable. We are a fast-growing centre, and there has always been a good grassroots support of the game here. However, having a team here is a different thing all together. Especially if they expand too soon and the product is diluted, I'm not sure Edmontonians are willing to constantly watch a subpar form of the game throughout an entire season. I'm as hardcore of a football fan in this city that you'll find, and having grown up watching different forms of the game come here, I've come to realize that sustained interest in the sport is a fairly difficult feat.

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06-20-2008, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris11inter View Post
4)Build a stadium 5,000-8,000 people and have this the hot ticket in town.

I think it can be done, just needs to be marketed right.
5-8 k? That's way too small for a prospective MLS team. Although some crap teams in the MLS draw poorly, the league won't expand if that's the type of stadium we will have.

Soccer specific stadiums across the league are being built to hold around 20k, with room to expand. That will be the benchmark for us to be considered.

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06-20-2008, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricolore#20 View Post
5-8 k? That's way too small for a prospective MLS team. Although some crap teams in the MLS draw poorly, the league won't expand if that's the type of stadium we will have.

Soccer specific stadiums across the league are being built to hold around 20k, with room to expand. That will be the benchmark for us to be considered.
Its clear we'll be considered with or wothout a 20k stadium. Commonwealth is just fine and I can never understand the difficulty oft stated with this facility.

The critics are usually the ones watching on TV across the nation wondering why its not full like Saputo or BMO. Well because it seats 60K. But so what if we get 20-25k in there instead of 20k in a shrink stadium?
Personally I'd FAR rather have the comfort of space and having elbow room than being packed like sardines. I LOVE attending events in Commonwealth even if its half empty.

Next I'd like to put to rest some suggestions already appearing in the thread.

First the Aviators should not even enter the discussion and for obvious reasons.

2nd, the Edmonton Drillers of the NASL were actually relatively decently supported. In 79, 80, 81 the club actually averaged over 10K fans which might not sound like much but EXCEEDED the usual NASL attendance in those years. While the league average for the NASL was 13-14K that was significantly increased by attendance for NY Cosmos that some years averaged 40k fans.
Most other cities had WORSE attendance than the Edmonton Drillers.

The Drillers were sunk by difficulties getting viable deals at the Coliseum and Commonwealth. They ended up having to play the last year at Clarke Stadium and this then sunk the club financially.

For an expansion club they were moving in the right direction prior to the negotiation difficulties. Being put in Clarke was the death of the outdoor version of the club.

Silly still in considering that all those dates where the Drillers played at Clarke in 82 Commonwealth sat empty.

Go figure.

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06-20-2008, 03:21 AM
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id go if the tickets were less than football games

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06-20-2008, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Funk View Post
id go if the tickets were less than football games
My vision would be 12buck sobeys tickets, 10buck kids endzone seats, and the rest 20, 30, 45 bucks.

I think thats about right for this market. They could even go lower than that and I personally prefer pricepointing low and maxing attendance and concessions sales for revenue.

In the 20K stadiums they are FORCED to charge more and its why I don't like that model.

I'd far rather that more people and families get a chance to see the product than what takes place in Montreal and Toronto where already somebody has to die to get a kid a ticket.

The 20k model is elitist, ratchet up the ticket price nonsense and I deplore it.

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06-20-2008, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
Its clear we'll be considered with or wothout a 20k stadium. Commonwealth is just fine and I can never understand the difficulty oft stated with this facility.

The critics are usually the ones watching on TV across the nation wondering why its not full like Saputo or BMO. Well because it seats 60K. But so what if we get 20-25k in there instead of 20k in a shrink stadium?

Personally I'd FAR rather have the comfort of space and having elbow room than being packed like sardines. I LOVE attending events in Commonwealth even if its half empty.
I respectfully disagree.

Vancouver Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi, an instrumental figure in bringing Beckham to the city was interviewed when he was in town. He was asked whether Edmonton could be line for a MLS team, and pointed out to the stadium and asserted it was too large.

Atmosphere is a huge issue for games at CW. Whether you love attending events in a half empty stadium is beyond the point - it is a factor that would make the path even more difficult to convince the MLS that Edmonton differentiates itself from competing expansion bids. The track further detracts from a soccer atmosphere.

That said, if they can close the upper bowls and restrict access to the lower bowls only, the atmosphere can improve.

In any event, I don't see an expansion without a soccer-specific stadium. They don't neccessarily have to be state-of-art facilities, but they need to be small enough to yield a soccer atmosphere.

Does anyone believe the Toronto FC would be an astronimical success in they had played in a facility the size of Commonwealth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
First the Aviators should not even enter the discussion and for obvious reasons.
One of the biggest obvious reasons are they played in a facility much too big to provide atmosphere. The business plan was full of holes - The A-league may have been sustainable had they played in the smaller Foote Field or Clarke Stadium from the get-go.

In any event, the article is mildly encouraging that European Investors could be willing to make a run at this. The other possibility is that the author of the article just wanted to sustain its positive tone - and did so by mentioning preliminary interest of the unnamed European investors

As a fan who recently began following the Toronto FC, hopefully Edmonton gets a MLS team in their own backyard. Beyond the benefits for city soccer fans, it will only improve the national soccer program with the league's reserved spots for Canadian's.

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06-20-2008, 03:55 AM
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I'd get seasons for SURE. Wow that'd be awesome, to have a local team to cheer for.

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06-20-2008, 04:04 AM
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if canada is going to get another mls team it would have to go to montreal, followed by vancouver. do non torontorians root for toronto fc? ive been to a couple games at bmo field and a dozen galaxy games in LA, TFC has the best fans in the league. the stadium is nice but too small. i would really like a team in montreal to get a rivalry going. my friends in toronto were telling me about the ruckus when 200 TFC fans went to montreal to play against the impact in a concacaf champions league qualifier. INTENSE...

plus MLS is the united states league not canada's. besides montreal and vancouver no other canadian city should get a team before most american major cities like san diego, stlouis, phoenix, atlanta, and cleveland, etc.


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06-20-2008, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Bobby Smash View Post
if canada is going to get another mls team it would have to go to montreal, followed by vancouver. do non torontorians root for toronto fc? ive been to a couple games at bmo field and a dozen galaxy games in LA, TFC has the best fans in the league. the stadium is nice but too small. i would really like a team in montreal to get a rivalry going. my friends in toronto were telling me about the ruckus when 200 TFC fans went to montreal to play against the impact in a concacaf champions league qualifier. INTENSE...
I'm very certain that the Impact are indeed coming to the MLS, and the Whitecaps would be a logical next step. With Montreal's new stadium and Toronto's success, it's a lock.

I cheer for TFC, and I live in Edmonton.

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06-20-2008, 04:15 AM
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if canada is going to get another mls team it would have to go to montreal, followed by vancouver. do non torontorians root for toronto fc?
That's the way I see it playing out. Montreal will be next in line, and Vancouver isn't too far behind. Once the momentum builds in the country, it would be possible Edmonton jumps on board.

It would definitely be refreshing to have a legitimate sports league to follow in the summer. The 2nd best American Football league in the world, the CFL just doesn't cut it.

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06-20-2008, 04:19 AM
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laim...I'd rather watch paint dry...just sayin!!

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06-20-2008, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by PunjabiOil View Post
That's the way I see it playing out. Montreal will be next in line, and Vancouver isn't too far behind. Once the momentum builds in the country, it would be possible Edmonton jumps on board.

It would definitely be refreshing to have a legitimate sports league to follow in the summer. The 2nd best American Football league in the world, the CFL just doesn't cut it.
where do you see MLS drawing the line as far number of teams in the league? it's best to expand slow but i would like MLS to have 20 teams. what about a 2nd division? relgation? single table? increase the salary cap or abolish it all together?

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06-20-2008, 04:27 AM
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I'd be more likely to go see a MLS game than say, an indoor soccer game, a CFL game, or lacrosse.

Well, maybe not lacrosse, but at least MLS is the premier league on this continent, minus Mexico!

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06-20-2008, 04:32 AM
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As if, I'd watch the Rush and/or the Oil Kings, possibly even the CrackerKats (or whatever they are called now) far before I would watch soccer at the highest level. I'm sorry 2-1 barnburners put me to sleep!!!

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06-20-2008, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Valic View Post
I'd be more likely to go see a MLS game than say, an indoor soccer game, a CFL game, or lacrosse.

Well, maybe not lacrosse, but at least MLS is the premier league on this continent, minus Mexico!
mexico's league may be better overall than MLS but the united states national team is better than mexico's. most of the superstars in the mexican league are south american. once the mls increases the salary cap teams would be able to sign that talent.

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06-20-2008, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by PunjabiOil View Post
That's the way I see it playing out. Montreal will be next in line, and Vancouver isn't too far behind. Once the momentum builds in the country, it would be possible Edmonton jumps on board.

It would definitely be refreshing to have a legitimate sports league to follow in the summer. The 2nd best American Football league in the world, the CFL just doesn't cut it.
From what I understand Vancouver and Montreal are battling it out for the 18th/final spot of the MLS' current expansion plans. As mentioned earlier ... Seattle and Philadelphia are going to be the 15th and 16th respective teams. After that there is one midwest team I believe who is seen as the frontrunner and then Montreal/Vancouver.

From dealing with the Whitecaps on a week-to-week basis I've been told the MLS commissioner was heavily encouraging the Whitecaps to apply to get into the MLS. And most recently, Steve Nash has thrown his name behind the MLS coming to Vancouver.

The Whitecaps have been feeling quite a bit of pressure to get into the MLS so much so they went and signed a 5-year, no-opt-out lease with BC Place just so they can apply, because the current stadium they play in isn't large enough (5,500 max).

The Whitecaps intent is to play in BC Place from 2011-2016 until they can secure the land for the new stadium to be built on the Vancouver Waterfront near Canada Place.

Let's put it this way they have the money (owner will foot the entire bill), but the Port Authority is standing in the way.

So for everyone who thinks that Montreal is a step ahead of Vancouver I would actually say its 50/50 ... who knows maybe they'll chose Montreal and Vancouver over that supossed frontrunner from the US.


Last edited by schreibkrampf: 06-20-2008 at 05:25 AM. Reason: b/c i failed math
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