Gothamite

North American Pro Soccer 2017

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“As attendance League-wide continues to grow on a record-setting pace, and markets across the country seek to join MLS, Columbus’ situation is particularly concerning. Despite PSV’s significant investments and improvements on and off the field, Columbus Crew SC is near the bottom of the League in all business metrics and the Club’s stadium is no longer competitive with other venues across MLS. The League is very reluctant to allow teams to relocate, but based on these factors, we support PSV’s efforts to explore options outside of Columbus, including Austin, provided they find a suitable stadium location.” 

- Don Garber, Major League Soccer Commissioner

Yay!!! We've made it!!! MLS franchise investor/operators and league leadership are as willing to brazenly extort public dollars from local governments for the purposes of stadium construction as their brethren in MLB, the NBA, the NFL, and the NHL.

At long last, Major League Soccer is on-par with North America's "Big Four" pro sports leagues. 
:mad:

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Ok, so my knowledge of the Austin soccer scene is limited, but where would they play?  I know the USL Austin team was planning to build an erector set stadium at Circuit of the Americas, and locals flipped out saying it was too far out of town.  

 

Would a temporary location be the UT football stadium?

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18 minutes ago, AstroBull21 said:

Ok, so my knowledge of the Austin soccer scene is limited, but where would they play?  I know the USL Austin team was planning to build an erector set stadium at Circuit of the Americas, and locals flipped out saying it was too far out of town.  

 

Would a temporary location be the UT football stadium?

UT's Myers track and soccer stadium seats 20k, but in its title, there's a track surrounding the pitch.

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2 minutes ago, dfwabel said:

UT's Myers track and soccer stadium seats 20k, but in its title, there's a track surrounding the pitch.

So, in other words, complete amateur hour.

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7 minutes ago, jmac11281 said:

So, in other words, complete amateur hour.

It's actually about the same seating wise as Crew stadium, but yes amateur hour. Not only that, it has less amenities than Mapfre does so he'd still lose money at the outset. I'm not sure they'd be able to sell liquor at games either, being on campus.  

Image result for ut austin soccer stadium

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1 minute ago, MJWalker45 said:

It's actually about the same seating wise as Crew stadium, but yes amateur hour. Not only that, it has less amenities than Mapfre does so he'd still lose money at the outset. I'm not sure they'd be able to sell liquor at games either, being on campus.  

The university has been selling alcohol at DKR Memorial Stadium since 2015 and UFCU Dish-Falk Field since 2014. Corona was named the department's official beer sponsor this summer.

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http://www.statesman.com/sports/soccer/update-columbus-crew-owner-explains-interest-moving-austin/gXduiAnet8xFjLuFuUGWPP/

"A relocation to Austin is not possible without a stadium plan, the Crew owner told the American-Statesman Tuesday morning.

“It would be a privately financed stadium in Austin, and I really think it can get done,” Precourt said. “We are not asking for tax dollars. We are just initiating the process. A huge key to this is finding the right site. That will take time.”

Precourt said he’ll need financial help bringing the team here.

“We will look for local investors in Austin,” he said. “We will look for stragic partnerships with people or groups who can get this done.”

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber supports the Crew SC’s possible move to Austin."

 

This is p****ing me off. That is all. 

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13 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

I'm not sure they'd be able to sell liquor at games either, being on campus.

 

From the Austin American-Statesman:

"'I hear they are striking up a deal with Texas to use Myers Stadium for a few years while a new stadium gets built,' the MLS source said.

"University of Texas athletic director Mike Perrin indicated his school would be interested in such an arrangement. Myers Stadium has a capacity of 20,000 - in the ballpark for MLS - and alcohol sales are allowed."

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Just now, Brian in Boston said:

 

From the Austin American-Statesman:

"'I hear they are striking up a deal with Texas to use Myers Stadium for a few years while a new stadium gets built,' the MLS source said.

"University of Texas athletic director Mike Perrin indicated his school would be interested in such an arrangement. Myers Stadium has a capacity of 20,000 - in the ballpark for MLS - and alcohol sales are allowed."

I forgot that a few Texas schools put this up for a vote after Baylor said they'd allow it at their new stadium. Ohio State just approved that as well I believe. Tehy figured why lose revenue because fans were already getting sauced in the parking lots. 

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Everything Precourt described about Austin is also true of Columbus. The only difference is there's already a stadium in Columbus. I don't get it at all. Now, if he'd said "Austin's nightlife is better" I'd have a hard time arguing that, but that's not what this is about. 

 

Selfishly I'm really mad that even the chance of MLS "Hell is Real" derbys won't happen. 

 

Nobody ever said Columbus has been a smashing success as a soccer market, but they weathered the early bad years and that should count for something. 2 thoughts I'm having: 

1. This'll get psychoanalysisy so buckle up - I don't think anybody's ever tried to properly build the fanbase in Columbus. They just plopped the team down and expected people to show up and there's very little marketing. Other fanbases in other cities had to prove they wanted a team, Columbus fans never had to so there's a very different relationship with the Crew in Columbus than there is in like Orlando. More laid back attitude regarding the team. Columbus never had to fight for soccer, it was just given to us. Maybe we would've been better as a second wave city instead of one of the first? Who knows. Maybe fans will rally around this and make this the moment they prove they belong in the MLS? Who knows. If I was a season ticket holder and the owner announced this on the eve of the playoffs I'd have a hard time going to the games right now. 

 

Also, MLS has only been "cool" for the last five to ten years, but I don't think a lot of Columbus residents updated their perception of the league as anything other than the eurosport bush league it was in the early years. Columbus has become a great place to live and people are making it vibrant, but in many ways it's still the same Hayseed Buckeye Football Rubesville it was when I was a kid. 

 

2. The new owner actively tried to make it harder for people to watch his team's games and purchased the team with the intent to move them all along then lied about it for 4 years. He never even tried to increase attendance. This is Stan Kroenke going through the motions of pretending like he had a plan in place to stay in St. Louis while knowing full well he was going to LA. Knowing what we know now it's kind of a minor miracle they played in and hosted an MLS Cup final as recently as 2015. 

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13 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

 

2. The new owner actively tried to make it harder for people to watch his team's games and purchased the team with the intent to move them all along then lied about it for 4 years. He never even tried to increase attendance. This is Stan Kroenke going through the motions of pretending like he had a plan in place to stay in St. Louis while knowing full well he was going to LA. Knowing what we know now it's kind of a minor miracle they played in and hosted an MLS Cup final as recently as 2015. 

 

I think you're right. This seems to have all the hallmarks of an owner who never intended to stay in Columbus. My guess is he had Austin in mind from the outset, and I wouldn't be surprised in MLS was in on the strategy. I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, but it's odd to me that already settled-upon choice for a franchise relocation isn't one of the top-tier, ready-to-roll expansion candidates. 

 

Has Austin even really been in the conversation? I haven't kept track of the expansion progress, other than knowing Sacramento, Cincy and Charlotte come off as impressive.

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25 minutes ago, gosioux76 said:

Has Austin even really been in the conversation? I haven't kept track of the expansion progress, other than knowing Sacramento, Cincy and Charlotte come off as impressive.

 

Nope. No stadium plan, no ownership group.  Both of which he’ll have to come up with. 

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Yeah, none of this makes since unless Precourt just wanted to move to Austin. There's no reason he can't build a privately financed stadium in Columbus, I just don't think he wants to.

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5 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

Nope. No stadium plan, no ownership group.  Both of which he’ll have to come up with. 

Crazy. What a bizarre situation.

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52 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

2. The new owner actively tried to make it harder for people to watch his team's games and purchased the team with the intent to move them all along then lied about it for 4 years. He never even tried to increase attendance.

 

Yup. These were his intentions from the beginning. Cheaper to overpay and take control of the franchise than to pay for an expansion team.

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This is pretty sad for Columbus who was able to weather the rough patches of the early MLS days (better than the original Clash/Earthquakes, Mutiny, Fusion) and help set the trend for SSS's to come. I will say on the outside I found it odd that a franchise was placed in Columbus instead of Cleveland or Cincinnati (or even Chicago to start).  But this whole thing reeks of conspiracy.  The owner saying that a stadium in Austin will be paid with private funds...but can't be bothered to maintain and foster an established culture? That's garbage.  I can't imagine what the Crew fanbase is going through.  With this, do they support a team now that may be on the brink of leaving? or do they drop their support and basically emphasize what the owner can use as an excuse to leave.  Ridiculous to say the least

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8 minutes ago, BlackBolt3 said:

Yeah, none of this makes since unless Precourt just wanted to move to Austin. There's no reason he can't build a privately financed stadium in Columbus, I just don't think he wants to.

Which is why he pissed me off by saying he's open to doing that in Austin. If the league really gave a damn about fans, (really, no league actually does) they'd tell him to negotiate with the parties in Columbus that want to keep the team there. It could even come with the caveat that they get a stadium deal. The fact that his deal to buy the team exempted Austin from the wait 10 years before you can move portion of the deal lets you know MLS was already looking at Texas again in case they couldn't get a deal done in San Antonio. I feel like this closes the door on San Antonio which will have an even bigger affect on the USL club if the Spurs decide to opt out of soccer like they did the WNBA. So MLS would hurt a charter city, a member of the USL and untold others just to make a brat of an owner feel better about where he lives.

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11 minutes ago, Pharos04 said:

I will say on the outside I found it odd that a franchise was placed in Columbus instead of Cleveland or Cincinnati (or even Chicago to start).  

 

If I recall, there was a list of cities that were considered and season seat deposits were offered. Columbus sold them out the fastest or had the most sold....I don't recall exactly but it was this unexpected positive response to the point that it was kind of a no-brainer. (I stand to be corrected on the specifics) 

I agree with most here, seems very sketchy. 

Columbus isn't even the club with attendance issues in this league. My understanding is that FC Dallas and Colorado are the clubs with the lowest attendance. I know they've had issues in Chicago too but I think that changed this year. 

 

This was just a big shock to hear. What I keep wondering is what would it take to upgrade Mapre? It can't be more than building a new building of the same approximate size in another city. 

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1 minute ago, mr.negative15 said:

 

If I recall, there was a list of cities that were considered and season seat deposits were offered. Columbus sold them out the fastest or had the most sold....I don't recall exactly but it was this unexpected positive response to the point that it was kind of a no-brainer. (I stand to be corrected on the specifics) 

I agree with most here, seems very sketchy. 

Columbus isn't even the club with attendance issues in this league. My understanding is that FC Dallas and Colorado are the clubs with the lowest attendance. I know they've had issues in Chicago too but I think that changed this year. 

 

This was just a big shock to hear. What I keep wondering is what would it take to upgrade Mapre? It can't be more than building a new building of the same approximate size in another city. 

One issue is building more suites. I'm not certain how many there are at Mapfre but it can't be even half as many as what we've seen in the newer stadiums. When the hunts built the stage into one end it actually dropped the amount of seating but it was expected that other activities would make up the difference in revenue from not having those seats available. 

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13 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

One issue is building more suites. I'm not certain how many there are at Mapfre but it can't be even half as many as what we've seen in the newer stadiums. When the hunts built the stage into one end it actually dropped the amount of seating but it was expected that other activities would make up the difference in revenue from not having those seats available. 

Theoretically, it could be changed again to add more suits? I mean, if the stage thing isn't bringing in revenue wouldn't that be a solution?

 

I've been there once. Probably 8 years ago now. Yes, it was pretty bare bones but it also looked like it wouldn't be that hard to make changes.

If you take out the stage and the seats on either side of the stage on that end maybe you could have 3 or 4 suits across? Maybe make a couple levels. 

 

Maybe it's just that I've seen BMO go through like 5 changes or maybe I'm over-simplifying it (heck, I'm no engineer)...It just seems like there has to be a better solution.

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