It really is a case of “rinse-repeat” with these city or regional overtures to Major League Soccer.
Sacramento is the latest U.S. community to make flirty eyes with Major League Soccer, hoping that promises of a new $100 million stadium will entice the 19-team league to come calling.
At least this one does not demonstrate the naiveté some do. Officials in Northern California are aware enough, at least, to know that domestic soccer has a tier system, and they seem to understand how that works. That said …
This, via Fox40 in Sacramento, is from Dick Hyde, who would be a part owner in the current plan: “It’s hard to build a stadium for an NASL team and then expand it, so we like the idea of doing it once, doing it right, doing it big.”
As I’ve said over and again, the stadium is just one part of this MLS expansion franchise bit. A significant part, to be sure, but just one part.
Well-financed ownership is another. Professional soccer remains a money loser here, and adding owners without long-term staying power creates all manner of stresses and strains – and could lead to franchise relocation madness that creates instability league-wide. Suffice to say, no one needs that.
Hence, Major League Soccer’s statement issued yesterday:
MLS is aware of recent community interest in securing a future MLS expansion club for Sacramento. This serves as yet another strong indicator of the league’s continued growth and overall fan interest in our sport. However, the league office remains currently focused on securing our next expansion team in New York City.
“Sacramento has always had strong support for soccer at all levels, and we will certainly monitor their plans to build a soccer stadium. In the meantime, we encourage soccer fans in Northern California to support the San Jose Earthquakes.”
That’s a “thanks, but no thanks” … at least until someone on this list (or perhaps just a shade south of there, financially speaking) joins the ownership group.