Portland group applies for MLS expansion

Timberslogo 2008_006

The city of Portland, Oregon took a major step toward potentially having an MLS expansion team when a prospective ownership group from the city put in a formal expansion bid on Tuesday.

Merrit Paulson, president of Shortstop LLC, released the following statement:

“Today, on behalf of the greatest soccer fans in America, we submitted our formal application to bring Major League Soccer to Portland. We expect to get a response to our application no later than March of next year. In the meantime, we will continue to work with MLS, city officials and the community to turn this exciting idea into reality for Portland and Oregon.”

Let the fun begin.

What do you think of Portland joining fellow Northwestern city Seattle in MLS? Share your thoughts below.

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86 Responses to Portland group applies for MLS expansion

  1. Ryan says:

    Portland may not be sexy like New York, Vegas or Miami, but I would LOVE to see Portland get a team. It’d enhance the USL rivalry between Seattle and Portland and would be a great market for MLS. While it is important to get into the big markets such as Philly, the league must also have a few strongholds that aren’t in the biggest markets, but have passionate fanbases and I think Portland can be one of those.

  2. Geoff says:

    Great news! I’d love to see the Timbers in the MLS and have an instant rivalry with the Sounders as they have the last few years in USL. Also could be a rivalry in the making with the Earthquakes maybe? The next two slots should go to Montreal and Portland easily for 2011.

  3. Geoff says:

    Great news! I’d love to see the Timbers in the MLS and have an instant rivalry with the Sounders as they have the last few years in USL. Also could be a rivalry in the making with the Earthquakes maybe? The next two slots should go to Montreal and Portland easily for 2011.

  4. jevanvoo says:

    I think it’s great, plus I have family in both places so I have a place to stay for NY away games

  5. WTF says:

    Portland is one of few citys i think should get an MLS team…

    Montreal

    Portland

    Vancouver

    St.Louis

  6. jmac says:

    Ives, how many cities have officially “applied” for an expansion franchise?

  7. brett says:

    i like their logo… seems anceint and full of history… not corporate and clean…

    portland is a quality choice… personally i think they should get a team asap…. my choices all along for the next 2 were Portland and STL….

  8. RK says:

    The only negative — and it’s a big one — is the baseball stadium that they want to use. No thanks.

  9. Beckster says:

    I grew up in Portland and soccer is huge. I would love to see a team there. They have no other major league professional sport competition (football, baseball) which makes it a great place to put a team. I think the Blazers have shown how much support a big league team can garner in a City without multiple sports.

  10. Craig says:

    I think St. Louis should be next, the NW just got a team. Keep rockin’ it though Timbers, soon, very soon.

  11. DC United fan says:

    Interesting idea and I agree that every team should have at least one rival within a day’s driving distance. However, it seems to be becoming an issue of whether or not MLS should be looking to invest in smaller markets like Portland, St. Louis and Montreal that have a better potential fan base or a larger market like New York or Miami which would be in a more visible location but with less fervent support.

  12. John says:

    Garber’s not giving them a team unless he knows for certain the city’s going to foot that stadium bill. This isn’t the old MLS where you can just get a team in the hopes of securing future government assistance. MLS has the leverage to be picky and the city of Portland will have to step up to the plate and provide guarantees. Just saying you’re working with the city on a deal isn’t good enough.

  13. Chad says:

    Awesome! The Portland Timbers have a relatively large loyal fan base and without another major sports team besides the Trailblazers this should be a recipe for success! I love the idea! MLS should approve without hesitation!

    Colorado and Real Salt Lake have that little rocky mountain trophy. I don’t see why Portland, Seattle couldn’t do something similar other than the conjested schedule reasoning.

    Maybe some day in the future we could get an MLS team here in Boise!? and all Pac NW states would be represented. Wishful thinking…

  14. supsam says:

    Love it! Fans are very passionate and it would continue the rivalry with long time enemy Sounders

  15. Galaxyfanz says:

    Sexy locations are good, but fervent fan base=money, and right now MLS should go for the money.

  16. northzax says:

    RK: PGE Park is actually a pretty good soccer stadium, and Shortstop LLC actually operates it, so gets revenue from all the different streams. It is in the middle of the city and on public transit. it is also a full-size pitch.

    now the problems (of course) it’s fieldturf, which isn’t ideal. it only seats 19,700 or so for soccer, and it only has stands on one side of the pitch. it’s also unexpandable really, since the east wall is 18th street.

  17. seven says:

    Although I think MLS would benefit from bringing successful ULS cities into MLS I wonder if continuing to strengthen the USL is better for soccer in North America. It’s pretty obvious that MLS will never go to a promotion/relegation structure but having to compete against a quality league for players, sponsors, tv, etc will force MLS to be on its toes.

  18. pc says:

    Columbus, Salt Lake City and Kansas City are too small and we giving Portland real consideration. Great fans true, but that’s not enough. Other cities have more to offer.

  19. Connor B says:

    PLEASE MLS PLEASE let Portland in! They are very deserving. You have family there Jen? So do I. ESC will tear up Portland haha

  20. Artie Lange's Bloated Liver says:

    Bring it ON!!!! Timbers Army to the MLS!!!!

  21. Garrett says:

    WTF is right on with the teams that are needed… NY needs to have one ‘sound’ team before it gets another.

    LA would be my closest team (even though I’m a quakes fan) and I think they should move Chivas to San Diego.

    Spread the MLS out to markets that will sustain a solid team will only bring about a 40-team super-league that we could eventually support. (1st and 2nd Division) With hopes of buying out more USL teams… so they can expand in tougher to reach markets.

  22. White Kix says:

    Regional rivalries should not be considered until MLS has a national footprint. If you can take a day trip to an opponent, then you are close enough to root for that opponent. MLS desparatley needs a team in the southeast. I’m from Seattle, and was not able to get to many MLS games because of the distance. No I’m in Florida, and in the same situation. Plus, Portland is all talk. When they sell out USMNT games, half the stadium is from Seattle anyhow.

  23. RK says:

    Which is all great, but it still looks like a converted baseball stadium…would baseball continue to be played there?

    With 2.1 mil (and growing) population (#23), I’ve got no problem with the city size.

  24. kpugs says:

    If Washington state can support two teams then there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It isn’t about regional rivalries, not even a tiny bit.

    White Kix, does this mean I should support DC, New England, or the Philly-area team rather than the Red Bulls? I can get to any of those locations in a couple of hours.

    It’s all about keeping the teams alive, if two teams can succeed in one area, so be it. Look at literally every other professional sport in this country.

  25. Mark says:

    Portland would be an excellent choice! Very passionate fan base, not a lot of competition from other professional sports in the city, a decent stadium already in place & a devoted team owner that wants to see it happen. Plus, MLS does need to promote regional rivalries. Rivalries make up a staple of all sports, and a Seattle-Portland rivalry would be one of the best in MLS.

    A second New York franchise is the worst idea ever. That city can’t even get behind its current team. Talk about over-saturation if MLS added a 2nd New York franchise.

  26. Danny says:

    The moment it’s announced is the moment I go buy season tickets. At this point and after such a poor showing in the CONCACAF Champions League this would be one of the few things that would get me truly excited about MLS again. I’ll never quit on MLS, but this year has been a bit rough in most regards. Maybe it’s the Beckham letdown one year later. Maybe it’s the CCL. Maybe its something else, but this year hasn’t been memorable for me. I need a Portland franchise to pick me back up. Go Timbers! (except change the name to something like the “Pacific Northwest Rangers”)

  27. Ben says:

    Great news. Living in Seattle, I’ve seen Portland’s fans in person when they travel up here for Timbers/Sounders games. They passionate and fun, and would add a tremendous amount of character to MLS. Portland, maybe more than any other city, deserves an MLS team. As a Sounders FC season ticket holder, I’d love for the Timbers/Sounders rivalry to continue in MLS.

  28. Danny says:

    kpugs-

    Portland is in Oregon, not Washington state. We in Oregon don’t like the idea that people associate us with Washington. Portland only has one major sports team and that is the Blazers. We love them and this is a passionate fan base. We’ll hate the Sounders from day one. As a matter of fact, I won’t cheer for the Sounders even WITHOUT a Portland franchise.

  29. Scott A says:

    Awesome. I just hope they get some sort of SSS in the works, I’m not into the soccer on a baseball field thing. And also hope St. Louis investors light a fire under their asses. I’m interested to see how Seattle does with support so I have a frame of reference for Portland and Montreal. I mean, maybe USL success isn’t always equitable to MLS success. Toronto didn’t get good support and is great now. It’s possible that these USL teams are getting as much support as any soccer team in the area could, I dunno. But you people immediately dismissing all smaller markets as good expansion sites are misguided. Green Bay Packers anyone?

  30. EDB says:

    I would like it, and regional rivalries have to be considered. Because it only helps with ticket sales and traveling supporters.

  31. I support both Vancouver and Portland for MLS.

  32. Chugstoss says:

    This is GREAT news. By being the first city to submit, Paulson clearly seems to have things buttoned up.

    PGE Park will be a wonderful venue too. Great history and tradition. Portland brings authenticity, culture and history that MLS largely lacks.

    Jetzt Gehts Los!

  33. Ed Ho says:

    Portland is a waste of time if you want to build a top tier soccer league in the US. Its is the 23rd largest city in terms of population and 78th in terms of per capita income. That makes it more difficult to generate tv revenue for the league.

    I actually like Portland and love another West Coast team, but we need the big markets to succeed.

  34. chris says:

    Move Columbus to Portland. They don’t draw flies and they play in an erector set stadium.

  35. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    great news!

    Itd be dope to see Portland in there.

    Pretty excited about the Portland – Seattle (and hopefully Vancouver too) rivalry!

  36. kco says:

    two words: HELL YES!

    PORTLAND 2011!

  37. Dave says:

    BRING IN PORTLAND!

  38. nico says:

    sounds good, but in the NW i’d prefer to see Vancouver get a team first.

  39. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    Defo agree with WTF, as Portland is one of 4 cities id love to see join the MLS. in fact i agree on the exact same cities.

    I also agree that although its not ‘sexy’ or a big market, it does have history and feverant support and would be the only team in that city. Its got a structure that already exists, an intense rivalry with a driving distance team and support. All things that make a successful football team.

  40. yankiboy says:

    Much Respect to the Timbers Army. They are some of the most hardcore supporters that this continent has north of Mexico. If you think I’m exaggerating, just youtube them.

    I don’t think that a city with the sort of politics that Portland has is going to fork over any concessions in order to help them jump to MLS. Seatlle made the move based on a lot of ownership financial capital. In Portland there will need to be more publi assistance in terms of a venue and other infrastructure that Seattle didn’t need to worry about.

    The other question is will MLS want them. We all know the criteria changes depending on the league board’s whims.

    This will be interesting…

  41. northzax says:

    I would argue that for a small, growing league, regional rivalries are MORE important than national footprint. That’s where the money and the interest is. I brought people to a DCU-Red Bulls game simply because they hate NY sports, they hate the Mets, Giants, Rangers and Knicks. And I know I will be able to bring people to Philly games for the exact same reason. these are people who couldn’t care less about soccer, except they are sports fans and they love to hate other teams. but they are energetic, spend money and keep coming back. (a day in the Barra can do that to you) I don’t like baseball, but I’ll go boo the Yankees.

    it’s not the highest priority, but it should be pretty high. Give Seattle a chance to have traveling supporters as well.

    As for the SouthEast…there simply aren’t any good sports towns. Atlanta? in the summer? not a chance, the Braves couldn’t sell out playoff games. The Falcons and Hawks have some of the worst attendance in their leagues. the Silverbacks have done well, but they’re not drawing all that well (2008 av: 2,281, second to last in USL-1, and a quarter of Portland’s 8,567) and before anyone says ‘it’s growing’ well having two players good enough to go straight to MLS, lead to a 3.5% reduction in seats sold from 2007. the only team worse in attendance than Atlanta? oh right, Miami. of course, theirs went up this past year.

    The Southeast is college football country first and foremost. the region has proven again and again that it will halfheartedly support winning teams, but has no city has a history of supporting mediocre teams in anything but college football. there’s a reason why contraction hit Florida. a team in the SE would be a loss leader for the league. is MLS ready to financially support a team for ten years, hoping it gets (and stays) good enough to draw home support?)

  42. Furball says:

    PGE Park can easily be converted to a SSS. It is ideal for soccer. The main issue is installing permanate seats on the westend of the stadium as they did for US Mens Qualifiers and the Womens World Cup. The Fieldturf is brand new and similiar to what the Sounders will be playing on at Qwest. Qwest was also voted by NFL players as the best playing surface in the league. Figure that?

  43. northzax says:

    furball: sure, but where are the Beavers and PSU going if it becomes a SSS?

  44. DemonJuice says:

    To those worried about PGE Park being a baseball venue, part of the Timbers MLS plan is building a new stadium for the baseball team in SE Portland and renovating PGE Park to be a SSS.

    It can be set up to have stands on both sides of the pitch as was done for the Women’s World Cup.

  45. yankiboy says:

    This gives me a chance to take a shot at the STUPIDITY of USL management. Presidente Marcos and Vicepresidente Holt decided to SCREW Puerto Rico by having some farce of a bidding process and then awarding the USL1 final to Steve Kerfoot and Vancouver. I understand that they want to pay him back for everything that he has done for the league and stroke him just in case MLS says “Naaaah! Come back. Maybe later…” in response to his MLS expansion bid.

    But please. Let’s call it for what it is:

    it is a back door deal so that he can showcase the Whitecaps so that when they hope to see their prayers answered and MLS says “You’re just not ready yet” they can rub his shoulder and whisper in his ear that they love him and the Whitecaps and that the franchise should stay somewhere that is is loved, respected and appreciated.

    And if MLS says “come on aboard”, they can claim that they took the high road and don’t stand in thew way of any franchise’s MLS dreams.

    Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Islanders FC, the number 1 seed, Commisioners’ Cup Winners, who (along with the Montreal Impact) are increasing the USL brand, putting USL on the radar from the Panama Canal north to Canada, who actually get press in Central America and Mexico–they get the SHAFT.

    How stupid is that? We can’t go to MLS. We are going to help be the future of USL1. We will be stuck there long after MLS has cherrypicked the best markets that the USL has to offer.

    meanwhile Holt and Marcos keep blaming it on FSC or the logistics–that is a bunch of …. and they know it.

    It’s all about stroking Kerfoot.

  46. Eugene says:

    Any plans on building a new stadium? Any pics to see?

  47. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    at this point i think everyone would love to see a team in the south east but i doubt (these are some relatively uneducated statements coming) that it would take off and be supported. In the south Nascar and grid iron rule the land and im sure baseball fits in there somewhere too. Everyone argues that Miami would support a team but the fact of the matter is Cubans prefer baseball, although there are sizeable amounts of people from the islands (who enjoy cricket as well as footie) and other central/south american countries (who also enjoy baseball, like Venezuela and Nicauragua) i just dont see it happening. Why over look great markets that already have support in every sense of the word? Why not save these ‘maybe’ markets for later?

  48. Eugene says:

    And no converting an old, beaten down stadium into a soccer venue. C’mon, hopefully that’s not what MLS is about.

  49. stop says:

    LA would be my closest team (even though I’m a quakes fan) and I think they should move Chivas to San Diego. ”

    Can we put this to rest already. Chivas is going no where. They spent GOOD money to be in LA and San Diego isn’t even in the Expansion picture and hasn’t been for some time. And likely won’t be since there is a team just across the border most of the locals support.

  50. portland2011 says:

    “And no converting an old, beaten down stadium into a soccer venue. C’mon, hopefully that’s not what MLS is about.”

    That “old beat down stadium” has more soul and history and FANS than Pizza Hut Park.

    MLS is about the Toronto model now. And there is no other place in the USA that would have that kinda vibe but Portland.

    St Louis? Yeah right.

  51. Sean says:

    I, too, like that logo. It’s much better than that other one with the tree. Maybe the colors could use tweaking. I don’t know.

    Anyhow, I say ‘yes’ to Portland. I say ‘eh’ to converting PGE park. And, I say a big ‘HELL NO!’ to fieldturf.

  52. RK says:

    I was hoping we could keep this about Portland, and not why other towns are more (or less) deserving.

    northzax, the Silverbacks stadium capacity is 3k.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

  53. HA! says:

    “Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Islanders FC, the number 1 seed, Commisioners’ Cup Winners, who (along with the Montreal Impact) are increasing the USL brand, putting USL on the radar from the Panama Canal north to Canada, who actually get press in Central America and Mexico–they get the SHAFT.

    How stupid is that?”

    More like “How stupid are you?”

    Puerto Rico Islanders can never go to MLS because Puerto Rico wants to establish its FA as a strong FA in the region. Canada’s CSA doesn’t count for much but FIFA would block Puerto Rico or Jamaica or Bermuda from fielding a team in MLS.

  54. Multnomah says:

    With regards to the stadium, which really is a gem anyway, consider that other cities vying for 2011 would:

    1) Build a cookie cutter stadium in the suburbs – far from pubs and transit

    2) Play indoors in oversized domed football stadiums with no guaranteed SSS in the works

    Conversely, Portland would play in a historic stadium that successfully hosted national team and WWC events, and that is right downtown, on transit, near pubs, and appropriately sized.

    Baseball moves to another stadium, and there is no NFL to take a back seat to late in the season (D2 College football could more easily work around the MLS schedule).

    All tolled, Portland’s stadium situation is actually among the best of the scenarios in play for 2011.

  55. yankiboy says:

    More like “How stupid are you?”

    Puerto Rico Islanders can never go to MLS because Puerto Rico wants to establish its FA as a strong FA in the region. Canada’s CSA doesn’t count for much but FIFA would block Puerto Rico or Jamaica or Bermuda from fielding a team in MLS.

    Posted by: HA! | October 07, 2008 at 04:45 PM

    ——————————————–

    You just showed your behind.

    Apparently I’m not as stupid as you would like to think. Or as stupid as Marcos & Holt.

    It is well known that MLS is not an option for us–what part of that is unclear?!?!

    Not because of federation or FIFA theory. Because of the economics. If New Zealand can field and A-League team (FIFA approved). If FIFA decided to let TOronto and Canadian franchises join MLS (you CSA theory comes off as weak also–the CSA isnot as strong as it should be but it’s not helpless).

    USL1 is our only option. We aren’t going anywhere. That is my freaking point. We will be around when the other markets that can defect to MLS will be gone. So better to try and build a future with us.

    Does that help clarify my point for you? Does that help, smarty guy?

    And as far as the Puerto Rican federation goes, Mr. Ha1–seeing as I actually happen to be fortunate enough to know what the federation would actually like to see happen (because I have direct access to the fed president)–I can assure you that Puerto Rico Islanders NOT being able to go to MLS has nothing to do with “the fed wanting establish itself as a strong FA”–of course it wants to leverage itself and under Joe Serralta it has progressed in the last several years. But I don’t know where you got the silly idea that the FPF doesn’t want Islanders in MLS. It is all about the lack of economics and lack of capital. You can take that from someone who has been fortunate enough to have been granted an amazing amount of access to Islanders ownership/management and who the federation President and other fed officials. That’s not bragging. That’s not boasting. That’s just stating the facts. I’m honored that people think enough of me to have given me that sort of confidence and who actually for some strange reason unbeknownst to me take me more seriously than I take myself and most of the other people that know me (which isn’t very seriously at all).

    So unless you have talked to those folks more recently than say yesterday morning,

    Ha! right back at you.

  56. RK says:

    Multnomah, not true.

    I have no idea where Atlanta would play :)

  57. LJ says:

    I’m really tired of people saying the Mets plan is the worst ever. You obviously have NO idea what the heck you are talking about.

    You probably can’t even place Queens on a map.

    You keep saying, let NY give sound support to the RB’s before we give them a team.

    WTF do you want NYC people supporting the RBs for?????

    There are 3 million people on the arm of Long Island alone, not to mention the people in the city.

    Do the RBs need to figure out how to capture their New Jersey fan base better, sure.

    They haven’t and should never be capturing NYC/long island fans. That is a different area for a different team.

  58. Furball says:

    For you PGE Park Bashers- Why don’t you come out to a game? The stadium is in the middle of downtown, not in the freaking suburbs where you have to drive an hour to see a game. We just installed luxury boxes a couple of seasons ago. The outer portion of the stadium is a old fashioned ball bark look and not a cooky cutter hole like they build in Carson. PGE would be ideal for the Timber and MLS. And lets not for get the history. The original Timbers played here and Pele won the NASL playing here.

    As for the baseball team currently playing here? It’s a financial mess. Portland does not want to keep spending money for minor league baseball. It’s a 20000 seat stadium that draws about 3000 for baseball. If Merritt Paulson doesn’t get his stadium in upper southeast Portland, he will probably sell the team. And with the current thought process, the Timbers and Portland State University will both use the stadium. And the Timbers never have had WHITE LINES for football on the field during games. NEVER.

  59. LJ says:

    NYC has been waiting 13 years for the NJ team to stabilize and figure out its shiz. The NYC team was always part of the plan, but they never got it because the NJ Metrostars drew crap and did more poorly than I think anyone imagined.

    If you still think the RB are a NYC team, you seriously need to read up on how it works here, or call a friend who lives/lived in NYC and they’ll give you the scoop.

  60. LJ says:

    That being said, I like Portland’s expansion bid, and hope they are one of the next four.

  61. MaxKick says:

    Oh no! I am old enough to remember the expansion days of the NASL…Did we have a team there? Here is a quote:

    “It was during this magical season that the Timbers endeared themselves to the City and Portland became known as “Soccer City USA”” Wikipedia info 2008.

    Well next generation of players begin to prepare for the soccer ice age. Back to indoor (Futsal?) and sporadic regional leagues to take on a semi professional flavor. If the world markets cannot bring an influx of resources to growth of US market, then soccer will not become a professional sports industry mainstay but always an entrepreneurial risk.

  62. Linda says:

    I wasn’t a soccer fan until I found the Timbers Army. I live in Southern California and have attended Galaxy games…boring!

    I now plan to come up to Portland at least yearly to see the Timbers and experience the awesomeness that is the Timbers Army!!! It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen (so of course I had to experience it and stood through the entire game in section 107). What a trip!!!

    I hope Portland & MLS can move forward on this!

  63. brian says:

    MLS–stop expanding. you’re watering down the play to 1996 levels, and if that’s so who cares about SS stadia and all that?

    –a voice in the wilderness

  64. RK says:

    I guess that NY needs its own football team, too, since the Giants and Jets are in New Jersey.

  65. Jamie-girl says:

    YES!!!

  66. PORTLAND!!!!! says:

    HELL YES

  67. Hey…for all those looking for more info…check out MLStoPDX.com or MLStoPortland.com (the official site).

    The plan calls for PGE to be renovated with stands down the east side of the stadium, creating a horseshow.

    The Beavers (the AAA baseball team who shares PGE) will move to a renovated stadium in one of Portland’s eastern neighborhoods.

  68. Multnomah says:

    Some Facts:

    -The Portland media market is almost exactly the same size as Vancouver and St.Louis. All 3 rank about #21-23 by size.

    -The Timbers would NOT share with a baseball team – an new baseball stadium is part of the plan

    -PGE Park is a beautiful and historic venue, downtown, on transit and has successfully hosted MNT and womens world cups.

    -The city council unanimously supports the plan.

    -As a rival NW city, Vancouver has significant stadium issues – no guarantee of an SSS or even site approved. They would play in a domed football stadium for the good part of a decade.

    -The anonymous Portland investment group has been said to have deeper pockets than Coopers group at least.

  69. Juan-John says:

    The Toronto model also has a brand-spanking new, modern stadium. Unless a new stadium with all the corporate boxes and amenities (and the committed, signed-on-the-dotted-line financing) are part of whatever paperwork Portland submitted, fugheddaboutit.

  70. jmadsen says:

    I’m just curious – sort of related – What ever happened to Rochester?

    At one time they had crowds that rivaled MLS…

  71. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    Rochester sold to a new owner when the old one went bankrupt (if im not mistaken) and the new one has been doing a terrible job…

  72. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    Something like that anyways

  73. furball says:

    Portland Stadium already has a ton of corporate boxes. Check out the MLStoPortland.com website. PGE Park is just a great place to watch soccer. I’m sure it’s not as good as Foxboro, the Meadowlands,or the lovely RFK.

  74. Benjamin says:

    Does anybody think the fact that a Seattle team is on the way will impact the verdict on this? I am all for it, but worry that a team in a major city like Seattle will shut this idea down.

    Thoughts????

  75. Doug says:

    As a SoundersFC season ticket holder and a resident of Olympia (half way between Portland and Seattle, I would be pumped if they got one of the next two franchises!

  76. Gremio says:

    Great news – here’s why I think Portland gets the nod for sure:

    -Portland media market is as large as Vancouver & St.Louis

    -Baseball will move to another park

    -Great passionate fanbase

    -Historic stadium will have $30m upgrade

    -Downtown stadium near bars and transit

    -Portland is the most like the ‘toronto model’ of all the 2011 cities

    -Stadium funding already unanimously supported by city council who are the only ones needed to approve

    With all that, I don’t see why MLS would pass up Portland.

  77. jloome says:

    Nah, they’ll give it to Vancouver unless it becomes implicity clear that a stadium deal can’t be done there. They’ll want the advantage of a two-way rivalry, as Vancouver is as much a proximity rival for Seattle as Portland, and it’s also a rival for Toronto and Montreal. Plus, it’s bigger (about 600,000 more in its capital region).

  78. PTFCfan says:

    Portland lives for soccer. I went to my first Timbers game 3 years ago and haven’t looked back. Portland is ready for the MLS. For those of you who are questioning PGE Park, you should know that it’s not “run down.” It’s a piece of Portland history, which we cherish. For those of you wanting to see the plans to upgrade the stadium, go here: mlstoportland.com. Speaking for all 15,000 in the Timber’s Army… “We want MLS!”

  79. Ceez says:

    @ Mark (and whoever else is trashing the NY 2.0 idea)…

    I’m sorry but you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Here’s a hint: the NEW YORK Red Bulls don’t play in New York. They play in New Jersey.

    If you knew anything about the Metro area, you would know that East Rutherford, NEW JERSEY (where the Red Bulls currently play) and Flushing, NEW YORK (where the NY Mets of Major League Baseball are located and bidding for a team), are no where near each other. It’s actually somewhat of a distance. Now, don’t get me wrong, there ARE some New York fans who come out to Jersey to watch the games but the VAST majority couldn’t be bothered…hence the low attendance. Moving the Red Bulls to Harrison, NJ (by the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ…a historically soccer-loving town inhabited mostly by Portuguese and Brazilians) should definitely help some.

    All in all, my point is: yes, the Red Bulls are having a bit of a tough time getting attendance up. However, considering the location of the Red Bulls and the potential location of “FC Mets”, the two fanbases would be completely different.

    Anybody else who’s ready to trash NY2.0, please check your geography first before posting anything.

  80. John says:

    I think it would be wonderful if they got in – it would extend the already deep-rooted rivalry between Portland and Seattle, and I’m not just talking soccer-wise (though that is obviously the cherry on top of the cake :). It would be a great market to bring MLS into, and provides a natural rival for Seattle – with all the nonsense over the “Brimstone Cup” The “New England Cup” or whatever other faux-rivalries MLS tries to sell (IMO, There are only two true rivalries in MLS, and its between the Galaxy/Chivas and Houston/New England), another natural, genuine, organic rivalry between two teams would be a great thing.

    Next up to get an MLS franchise I believe should be:

    -Montreal Impact (Already have an SSS, dedicated fanbase, aids Garber’s plans for tapping Canadian market)

    -Vancouver Whitecaps (dedicated fanbase, again aids Garber’s plans for tapping Canadian market – also creates another good rivalry in the Northwest).

    -St. Louis

  81. John says:

    EDIT: Whoops, forgot about a second NYC team – I would love to see a second New York (a REAL NY team) based in one of the boroughs – how about Coney Island? Lots of redevelopment potential there and can help revitalize what was once a great part of NY history.

  82. RK says:

    FC Mets — that’s funny :)

    Multnomah, thanks for the info that the baseball team would be moving out — that’s vital.

  83. Evan says:

    Would love to see this happen.

  84. bill says:

    TIMBERS ARMY REPRESENTS!!

    Here are the fans that the MLS NEEDS!!

    The location of PGE Park is awesome! So easy to get to on light rail! Every stadium should aspire to be so easy to access.

  85. MetroStars Fan now in Seattle says:

    Unless you’ve lived in New York, you’ll never understand why New Yorkers don’t support the Red Bulls. I would have loved an MLS team in Queens/Long Island when I lived there. Giants Stadium is a pain in the butt to get to. There is no mass transit to the stadium except for some busses from the Port Authority. So quit whining about a 2nd NY team, I would have supported them instead of the Metrostars. But, I’m not sure if they deserve one of the next two spots.

    I now live in Seattle and would like to see Portland win a franchise. They have great supporters and the plan is to renovate PGE park to a soccer stadium and move out the baseball team.

    I don’t want to see more Canadian teams because this is an American league (but Vancouver would be my preference for obvious reasons). And St. Louis sounds about exciting as watching the Wizards play, plus their ownership are too cheap to pay the expansion fee.

    Here’s my top 4:

    Portland

    Miami

    New York 2

    Vancouver

  86. AH says:

    This is great news. I grew up in Portland and remember going to Timbers games in the old NASL. The city loves soccer, and would support the team. They had great attendance this year, and the Timbers were a last place team.

    Would the league prefer a large market team with no support, aka Miami (they already tried that once), a team in a region where there aren’t any other teams (the SE argument) that won’t be supported, aka KC, or a team that will have an instant rival and a very large and passionate fan base.

    They have a viable stadium plan in a great location. PGE Park is in the middle of downtown with great access to mass transit. If Garber and company at headquarters can’t figure this one out the league really needs to consider giving up.