Which city should be awarded the 20th MLS club?

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With Montreal officially identified as the market getting the 19th MLS team, it is a certainty that MLS will add a 20th team.  It is time to consider which cities are in the mix for the 20th team in the league.

Does MLS add a New York team to serve as the Red Bulls' arch-rival? Do fans in St. Louis finally get their dream of an MLS team? Might MLS consider a team in the Southeast, like Charlotte or Atlanta?

Cast your vote here for where you would like to see the 20th MLS team awarded to:

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235 Responses to Which city should be awarded the 20th MLS club?

  1. Luke D says:

    Austin or San Antonio. Large hispanic populations equal money money money. I’d prefer Austin, but that’s a personal bias.

    Out of those listed St. Louis

  2. BSU SC says:

    St. Louis deserves a team. If not them, then a team that actually plays in New York City would be phenominal.

    The reason that the southeast does not have a team in MLS is because it’s a horrible market. MLS should phase in that region several years down the road, but not right now.

  3. Bil says:

    I picked Las Vegas – it’s a large city, ethnic and (while business travelling to/from west coast) a great deal of people love to visit that place.

    I’ve lived in the south east and soccer just isn’t on the radar (nascar, college hoops etc). It would be great from a marketing/tv ‘foot print’ – but there really is little/no demand.

    As to St Louis – give up the ghost. It’ll be as large as it is in San Jose or KC.

    Face facts – some cities just don’t support certain sports. NFL can’t survive in LA just for one example.

  4. NYCsoccer says:

    New York Cosmos will be the 20th team

  5. The Most Interesting Man in the World says:

    Ives, do you have a favorite?

  6. SeaOtter says:

    Certainly, I picked Atlanta in part because I live there.

    Mostly, I picked it because the Southeast is woefully ignored currently. MLS can’t hope to sell the idea that they are promoting soccer in the U.S. while totally ignoring such a large geographic region of the country.

  7. ms says:

    san antonio

  8. Arkie says:

    I just think MLS has to get its games on TV better. I live in SW Missouri and I can only ever see Wizards games if FSC or ESPN carries them. They need to get regional exposure. Until then I’ll still have limited loyalties at best which makes watching games less fun.

  9. dman says:

    If they could pull it off given the high temps during the summer…..Phoenix. Why hasn’t Phoenix been considered at all? Huge soccer following and large Mexican population, figured it might have the same impact as toronto?

  10. WonsanUnited says:

    San Antonio or Charlotte. MLS needs a team in the SE, and Charlotte has a growing Hispanic population and their USL-2 team draws decent enough crowds (although they’re run by some Christian ministry).

  11. JCP says:

    Milwaukee Bavarians FC; aka “Bayern Milwaukee”

  12. Famos1 says:

    I think St. Louis is a great city for a team, but I personally am biased for a rebirth of the Tulsa Roughnecks!

  13. marty says:

    gotta be las vegas. most of the casinos are going to buy season tickets to give away to guests. but only if the stadium is near the strip. dont put the team in henderson. st louis seems logical but like philly. its no toronto or seattle.

  14. RS says:

    I don’t live in San Diego, but I want MLS to be successful and attract top talent.

    San Diego only has MLB and NFL in its market (no NHL or NBA, and no major college/university fan base i.e. Nebraska, Alabama, Ohio St.). With a large Latino population, warm climate, and great beaches…it’s a great place to attract international talent. San Diego also has a very active and large youth soccer program. People’s spending habits have changed a bit, and there’s no point sticking a 20th MLS team in a city that already has 4-5 major sports teams (and/or university teams).

    San Antonio would be another good choice.

  15. Lex says:

    Raleigh/Durham. Charlotte may be the bigger “name,” but the Raleigh market is larger, and the population is rapidly increasing in the percentage of northerners and hispanics (so the NASCAR competition isn’t as strong).

  16. Betinho says:

    Janet Napolitano would like that – might make things a lot easier/cheaper.

  17. Hopper says:

    Well, they had all but ignored the Pacific Northwest up until the past couple of years, and I’d argue that soccer is more popular here than it is anywhere else in the country.

    MLS had two teams in Florida in the league’s early days (Tampa Bay, Miami), and they folded because not enough people cared about them. I think MLS has to focus on the parts of North America in which people like and support the sport.

    We already have enough teams in cities that struggle to draw 10,000 fans to games (Dallas, Kansas City, Colorado), while in every other city except Seattle, there are lots of empty seats at games. Hell, New York has a brand new stadium, and the team is winning, and the stadium is still half-empty. Watching Galaxy and Chivas USA games on TV, I can’t believe how many empty seats there are at those games.

    I think MLS should stay away from the Southeast and put a team in St. Louis or San Diego.

  18. Aubie4Prez says:

    Atlanta…there is a soccer presence here just not any good marketing or exposure.

    No matter where it is though I think MLS really needs to work on the exposure side of the game. Regional TV for one. And have some games in different cities that aren’t home to anyone. If you planned a regular season game between Houston and Columbus to be played in Atlanta I bet there could be 40,000 people plus come. With proper planning though. Drum up excitement throughout the USA.

    I’ve always wanted teams to adopt other cities. For example…Columbus would adopt Nashville or Indy and play 3-5 home games there.

  19. Oni says:

    I wanna say Atlanta, but doubt many would come watch the games. Definitely need a team in the Southeast, so maybe Charlotte.

  20. srfinger says:

    Uh, just like Dallas? Didnt draw at the Cotton Bowl, and lucky to get 10k at the PHP.

    Why does the Latin team in LA have a hard time filling their stadium?

    Austin may be a somewhat better fit, but due to young professionals.

    Key in any market is convincing 25-35 year olds they should rally behind their team and take the league seriously. Not because its the greatest soccer in the world, but because

    Toronto and Seattle do not sell out due to hispanics, but because young professionals decided to make the team their own.

    DC United quickly learned they could not count on soccer moms as a consistant fan base and learned the Salvadorans only showed up if there was a Salvadoran on the team.

    NY is out. They just built a beautiful new stadium, close to public transportation and have not drawn well since the first game. 80K New Yorkers will make their way to Giants Stadium to see Real Madrid play a friendly during the week, but 20K cant show up for their own team’s league match? OUT.

    If St. L can draw 5-10K for their USL team, then they have to be the front runner.

  21. georg says:

    Ives once we have reached 20 teams “I voted for Vegas”

    does MLS ever move toward a single table and relegation/promotion from leagues 1 and 2? That would create a more nationwide league and great stories from what are now considered unlikely candidates for MLS membership.

  22. Charles says:

    They didn’t ignore the Northwest, they courted Seattle hard, but Oki ( who owned them at the time ) didn’t like the ownership structure of MLS.

    For obvious reasons the wanted Seattle’s fan base and Seattle’s ownership money…

  23. srfinger says:

    Uh, I would bet a pay check that Houston and Columbus would draw way closer to 4K than 40K in Atlanta.

  24. mexicanbluefish says:

    I voted for Miami, I want to see cubans in the stands (especially cubanas) dancing, celebrating, giving a little sand and sun to the league.

  25. Charles says:

    I agree 100%

    there is some stat out there like 95% of males in the US have never been to an NFL game. I am sure I have the % wrong, but it is a shocking percentage.

  26. Biebs says:

    Not a chance.

    What owner would ever buy into a league where there’s a chance that his team could be sent off to the nether regions of US soccer over the course of a few years.

  27. ganzo, math phd candidate says:

    Ives, youve seen the relative success that expansion teams seem to enjoy.

    What do you think of moving FC Dallas to St. Louis and making the 21st team in Miami and the 22nd in either San Diego or somewhere in Texas — maybe Dallas once again, if they have their stuff strait.

    Once you ruin a reputation, it takes much longer to repair that reputation than it does compared to simply start over.

  28. SJQuakesFan81 says:

    I wish everyone would quit bashing San Jose. The SJ/San Francisco/Oakland metro area is 7+ million strong. Its a HUGE market. People don’t perceive the Quakes as “major league” because they play in a tiny old college stadium in Santa Clara. When they get the stadium built (approval is complete) the fans will come back and they will average 15-20k per game.

    If any team is going to move in the near future, its gonna be Chivas USA. They will be re-branded and moved, and LA Galaxy will sign a big Mexican star and embrace the former Chivas fans. LA is a 1-team market right now.

    Give NYC team #20, and consider moving Chivas USA if a) attendance slips, and b) people still want to believe STL or the southern USA need a team.

  29. CS says:

    Lets everyone take it a little easy on KC. Their attendance is low because they a selling out an independant leage baseball stadium while their stadium is being built.

  30. narius says:

    Of those listed, St. Louis *looks* most viable, but that famous St. Louisan viability hasn’t handed the city a team yet, and for many reasons that I won’t go into.

    Personally, I’d like to see MLS take a different turn and build on their fantastic I-95 rivalry that’s a-brewing while also making inroads in the Southeast. Of course, I am talking about Richmond, Virginia.

    Even without Northern Virginia (to keep from eating DCU’s lunch), Metro Richmond plus Hampton Roads is closing on 3 million folks. Lots of corporate depth, many young professionals, large student population, and in a state where the economy is actually expanding (meaning bonding for a stadium is conceivable).

    And if DC really does get relocated to Baltimore (a longshot, I know)? Game over. It’s a no-brainer at that point.

  31. Luke D says:

    It’s not just the city, but the surrounding cities as well. A professional team in south central Texas just makes sense.

  32. KEEP says:

    NYC…..guys, I was born and raised in the Southeast….my hometown of 200k is just now printing the MLS standings in their paper. Nascar and high school football take up a few pages of the paper and World Cups get back page associated press write ups. On a positive note, it is very popular at the youth club level, but that 25- 35 yo group will be a tricky one to tap, so what you will get in the stands are a bunch of soccer moms and their kids. I too am ready to see NYC get a proper team (Cosmos). St Louis is my 2nd choice for the sake of soccer history and a decent (smart) fan base.

  33. TimN says:

    Look, I live in the southeast, and would love to see a team in Charlotte or Raleigh. However, the problem here is that sports like football, basketball, and baseball ARE KING, PERIOD.

    In certain regions, such as the RTP area of N.C., or the Charlotte area, there is a very soccer knowledgeable fanbase that would assuredly support an MLS team; however, for large swaths of geography, you’re dealing with people of the mentality “Hook em’ Horns” & “Roll Tide.” I think this makes MLS, or any potential financial investors, very leary.

    I think St. Louis is probably the best choice, and they would also create a nice rivalry with Kansas City.

  34. baquito alyeska says:

    Regarding the “Southeast needs a team” conversation, two thoughts:

    1. The Southeast for all intents and purposes stops at northern Florida, so referencing Tampa’s and Miami’s franchises is kind of a stretch.

    2. College football owns all in the Southeast. The different demographic slices attending a college football game are impressive. College football is a part of this conversation, more so than NASCAR, imho.

  35. Aubie4Prez says:

    50,000 plus came to the Mexico game last summer and the AC Milan game. Now, I’ll agree that 40k might be a stretch (I get gung ho sometimes) but I feel very comfortable saying 20-30k.

    As I said above–with proper planning–it could draw a crowd. The above is proof that there is a desire to see soccer in Atlanta. Would anyone complain if 25,000 people watched a MLS game in Atlanta??? I think that is a win.

  36. fischy says:

    New York, New York.

    For so many reasons, a stadium on or near the old Shea Stadium site makes so much sense. Bigger market than any of the others mentioned — not well served by the Jersey team — long way form Long Island, Westchester, Brooklyn and Queens to get to Harrison, NJ. Plus, it’s New York City. Foreign players, and foreign investors even, would be much more attracted to a team actually in New York City.

    If MLS can make it there….

    Seriously, maybe this is 20th Century thinking, but MLS needs to win over New York City if it’s going to conquer America. If they can make bigger inroads in the media/financial center, the rest of America will be dragged along in the same way it worked for pro baseball, pro football, pro basketball and, to a lesser extent, pro hockey.

  37. Based on market alone (ignoring ownership and stadiums), St. Louis is absolutely the best place for team #20.

  38. doktoramor says:

    Rochester, NY – home of the Raging Rhinos – already has a fan base and even though attendance is slightly down in the past 2 years, they would be my obvious choice since they already built a soccer specific stadium…

  39. Josh D says:

    I live in Richmond and frequent Kickers games – as much as I would looooooove to see this happen, we just wouldn’t be able to hold up a team at this time. The support for soccer, albeit high thanks to the Kickers wouldn’t be enough. We’d depend on Newport News/Norfolk and soccer isn’t that large down there. The NoVa folks are already loyal to DC so you’d want to hop that DC moves to Maryland to try and grab them. However, as a DC fan from year one – I pray DC never leaves!!!

    Already thought up the name in my past time: Richmond City Rovers : )

  40. Eric says:

    Brooklyn!

  41. WeatherManNX01 says:

    Agree on all counts.

    Add in the fact that a truly viable owner hasn’t come forward. And Miami-Barcelona only gained steam because of the sheer amount of money they’d bring to the table.

  42. Josh D says:

    Another NY team will cannibalize the Red Bulls and their owners would NEVER let that happen. Money talks and as one of the richest owners in the league, the Austrians hold too much might to realistically think they’d let another competitor come in.

  43. RK says:

    Good post, except that those Florida teams folded because of ownership.

  44. RK says:

    They are afraid that their players would get deported.

  45. johnnycougar says:

    I like the Austin idea, especially because there are no professional teams there, unless you count the paid college football players. Hey-o!

    I know it may not be a perfect comparison, but Oklahoma City really embraced the Thunder as their first professional franchise, even though OKC isn’t a basketball town and the Thunder were horrible last year. Why couldn’t it work for soccer in Austin? I agree with people above that it’s not the Hispanic or Latino community that matters per se, it’s that people will become invested in the only pro sport in town.

  46. Mexico != MLS
    AC Milan != MLS

    How many times have we seen international matches or club exhibitions draw enormous crowds to stadiums while MLS teams struggle to fill a quarter of the venue? All the time. High interest in AC Milan and Mexico does not translate to high interest in MLS.

  47. Michael says:

    New York City Football Club, please. Blue and orange, stadium at Willets Point. Force RBNY to become RBNJ. It’d be so great. I’m an RBNY fan now, but as soon as we get a club within the city limits or on Long Island….

  48. JB from CLB says:

    Can we stop mentioning KC in the same breath as the teams that “struggles to draw 10k fans”? They have a very active ownership group now that seems to have finally gained a foot hold in the KC market. The only reason they draw 10k is because of the stadium capacity. When this team moves into their amazing new stadium, it won’t be the same team that has been discussed ad nauseum to bring in the moving vans. I think this also shows that–with the right ownership group–a market that has shown little interest in the product can quickly be persuaded into changing their minds. Off-topic rant over.

  49. Upstate Jason says:

    Enough with the hate on NYRB fans for not supporting our club. We’ve played 3 games at our new stadium – THREE! – and our club last year was historically awful. The result? Attendance up 72% over the same time last year, far and away the largest increase in the league, yet somehow that’s inadequate. Give me a break.

  50. RK says:

    40k? You’re insane.

  51. WiscFan says:

    As a Wisconsinite, I’d say yes, but realistically I’d think they should enter the NASL first to build up a fan base.

  52. RK says:

    And georg gets the prize for mentioning this first.

  53. Zape says:

    Yeah, Phoenix would probably run “Fan Deportation Night” or “Show your papers and get a Bobblehead” night

  54. WiscFan says:

    I adore San Jose, with several family member there, including two sisters. Hopefully they will get a stadium soon!

  55. Rex says:

    srfinger hit the nail on the head. Good post. As Seattle and Toronto have found out, its just as easy to sell soccer to traditional sports fans as it is to sell MLS to Mexican soccer fans and its more $$ beneficial.

  56. jim says:

    I wish the st.Luis people would stop stuffing the freaking ballot box! they did this same exact think last time this poll was up.

  57. Kyle B says:

    San Antonio has what everyone is looking for…

    – Solid Ownership – Spurs Sports & Entertainment

    – Ready to play urban 20,000+ stadium – Alamo Stadium

    link to crocketteers.com

    – Built-in Rivals – Houston & Dallas

    – Soccer crazy fan base – billboards for Mexican FMF teams are not uncommon & supporters group for future MLS team already exists

    – TONS of young professionals – 540,000 25-35 year-olds dying for something to get behind during the Spurs offseason (no other summer game in town)

  58. Gilby says:

    I voted for San Diego. It would require a new stadium or a sweet heart deal similar to what Seattle gets but I think that market is ripe for Major League Soccer for a couple of reasons.

    1. It’s a large market at #9 in the United States it one of the largest markets with out a MLS team.

    2. Limited Competition: Like Seattle they only have Baseball and Pro Football meaning less competition for sporting dollars.

    3. Built in Rivalries and Travel Opportunities: with 2 rivals just a 2 hour drive away it provides built in rivals similar to what the Union have with New York and DC.

    4. Historically strong support for soccer: the Old San Diego Sockers has decent support in the old NASL and were one to the attendance leaders in the hey day of indoor soccer.

    The big problem with San Diego is a lack of an apparent ownership group and the difficulty getting a stadium built in a city where land costs are astronomical.

  59. Bill says:

    Honestly, people (latinos) don’t know about the San Jose team. It’s not bashing – it’s just a bad situation.

    I’m out there for a week (from NY) and find latino bars and ask around and NO ONE even knew San Jose had a team – was in Oakland, so perhaps they are focusing on ‘soccer moms’ in San Jose.

    If you live there – try to pester the local papers to give it 1/2 of a page once a blue moon.

  60. Rex says:

    This rapid expansion scares me and must stop at 20. MLS needs to put on the brakes and consolidate their gains.

  61. bottlcaps says:

    The MLS has been trying to encourage ownership groups to “think Southeast U.S”. It is the only major region of the country the MLS has misssed (or pulled out from) and I believe it is a priority.

    So the front runner IMHO would be Atlanta, followed by North Carolina and then Florida.

    Miami would be the front runner for Florida, but I think it has ownership group issues.

    And of course, once Malcom Glazer sell Man Yoo this year, for around 1.5-2 billion, he will have lots of money for the Tampa Bay franchise.

  62. gknave says:

    There is not a single team in the southeast! I have a couple friends in Atlanta who would like to follow the MLS, but the closest teams are D.C. United and F.C. Dallas.

  63. chad says:

    i agree with ganzo – move fc dallas to st. louis – i don’t even think anyone in dallas will know they’ve moved.

    the south would be great to have a team in, but it would be such an uphill battle; the league wants another home run like seattle, toronto and portland. they won’t pursue the south.

  64. fischy says:

    Their attendance was even worse @ Arrowhead.

  65. rob says:

    Much as I would love to see a team in STL, I don’t think moving FCD is the way to go.

    As bad as the situation seems with FCD, they need to work through it. This is a team that’s ponied up the money for an SSS. If you take the team away, you’re goint to see the list of viable cities for expansion teams shrink in a heartbeat.

    Teams/owners need help from cities to get the stadiums built. If cities see that one city that did so ended up losing their team, then city councils/tax payers are going to say “why should we give X million of dollars/raise taxes, if there’s still no guarantee that the team stays? We don’t want to spend a lot of money that could be going to schools/streets/etc, to have a soccer stadium sit empty in ten years’ time.”

    Like you said, once you ruin a reputation, it takes much longer to repair. The same principle would apply to MLS’ dealings with expansion candidates.

  66. Seth says:

    I think Austin would be an excellent choice. Other than the Longhorns, it would be alone in the city as far as major athletic events are concerned. If they could push the brand and maybe build a stadium, im sure the people would get behind it. Of course we would need CapMetro to sort out the public transportation problems. Out of the choices presented, my vote goes with Charlotte. A rapidly growing area with easy access between the Greensboro/Triad area and Greenville, SC.

  67. Jeff says:

    Ditto. I live in Kansas but I am four hours away from Kansas City and not in the KC media market, so I find it impossible to follow the Wizards as well. It would be nice to get some games on Fox Sports.

  68. fischy says:

    “Hell, New York has a brand new stadium, and the team is winning, and the stadium is still half-empty…”

    ——————————————————

    New York does not have a brand new stadium. New Jersey has a new stadium.

  69. socmin says:

    Horrors! A Christian ministry?

  70. BadWolf says:

    I agree that the SE needs a team….solution – move DC United to Atlanta – The NE has NE,NY,PA,OH etc. They can afford to lose one team. Put the 20th team in San Diego.

  71. fischy says:

    Do you know what it costs to go to an NFL game? Not to mention that most stadiums basically sellout to seasonticketholders….

  72. Chris in Belfast says:

    I voted Charlotte. I’m not sold on Florida, but I do think the league needs to get to the South-East. I’m wondering if– with the playoffs– we absolutely NEED to stop at 20. At any rate, Charlotte could do well, I think.

    My sentimental favorite is St. Louis, but the ownership is a joke right now. Claude Anelka? Chickenhead? I’d prefer those not being in MLS.

  73. fischy says:

    Phoenix, yeah. They ought to put a team in Dallas, too…for all the same reasons….

  74. Chris in Belfast says:

    The question here for me is, why don’t we just move Chivas down there?

  75. fischy says:

    You’ve got it all wrong. NYRB really want a team in the City. They probably figure the rivalry is just what the team needs.

  76. Chris in Belfast says:

    I love promotion and relegation over here, I really do.

    It would not fly in the US. It just wouldn’t.

    The teams over here can draw on 100 years of history with their neighborhoods, which serves as a buffer against crowds disappearing after relegation. MLS teams just can’t count on that; the fans and traditions are new. It isn’t going to happen. Just give it up.

  77. fischy says:

    Totally ridiculous comment. You don’t like or agree with the poll result, ergo there must be some ballot stuffing going on. It couldn’t be that more SBI readers just prefer St. Louis….

  78. fischy says:

    I’ve got an even better solution. Change the definition of Southeast to include Washington.

  79. Aaron in StL says:

    Hoping StL is next obviously. A solid base of supporters is already coming together after a month in NASL. Given time that will grow. An MLS announcement would only galvanize that

  80. Jeff says:

    I would kill to have a team in St. Louis. I would literally race everyone else to be the first season ticket holder.

    St. Louis is traditionally a very soccer-friendly city and was the de facto home of the national team until the late 1980’s.

  81. BPair says:

    I live in Charlotte so I am biased, but I think it would be great. North Carolina universities have good soccer programs and the graduates from those do tend to end up in Charlotte. Combine that with the families involved in youth soccer and you have a good fan base. Charlotte had a plan and space to build a Minor League Baseball stadium uptown (downtown) which was stalled because some people wanted a Pro team, although not enough land uptown for a Pro stadium. So I think a 25K soccer stadium would be fit in nicely. Plus while that was being built they could play at Bank of America stadium.

  82. Jeff says:

    I hope that if St. Louis does get the team that they name it the “St. Louis Steamers” after the old indoor team.

  83. BlueWhiteLion says:

    very good point, Chris. And maybe in a hundred years, we will, too. Building a strong second division and a first-class MLS would be initial steps toward that.

    But short of that, I vote for expanding to 24 or 32 teams and developing 4 strong regions. This will tap into (and create) rivalries, and lessen the travel burden (financial).

  84. fubar says:

    I was in Florida last week and got the USA Today newspaper everyday and watched the local news as well. There was NOT ONE article or report about Europa, UEFA CL or ANY soccer for that matter in that paper or on the tube. NOT ONE!

    I know that USA Today caters to regional interests so how can Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte or any other southeast city think they can get a team without at least some media backing.

    I would NEVER put an MLS team in the Southeast. Too many other better-deserving cities out there where the fans and the media will support the team.

    Just look at how Fox and ESPN have driven up the attention that soccer is now enjoying media-wise.

  85. N-Whit says:

    St. Louis should get the next expansion team. If the league wants a team in the southeast, move FC Dalls. They draw some of the smallest crowds in the league.

  86. BlueWhiteLion says:

    Just name it the Eastern Seaboard. Or Atlantic Division . . .

  87. BadWolf says:

    U so funny :))

    I’m in DC I don’t want to be SE —- Neither do I want DCU to move —-but I don’t see any hope of them staying. So I would prefer the team to go to a city that really want’s a team and has a good fan base, stadium space etc. I will continue to be a fan (but from afar)—-maybe out of Washington the Comcast TV coverage will be better.

  88. BadWolf says:

    U so funny :))

    I’m in DC I don’t want to be SE —- Neither do I want DCU to move —-but I don’t see any hope of them staying. So I would prefer the team to go to a city that really want’s a team and has a good fan base, stadium space etc. I will continue to be a fan (but from afar)—-maybe out of Washington the Comcast TV coverage will be better.

  89. Gilby says:

    I agree that the FC Dallas numbers are disappointing but I don’t think you move them for 2 reasons.

    1. If you move a team from a municipality that just built a SSS you are going to have a trouble when you approach the next town about kicking in money for a SSS.

    2. FC Dallas is a really bad team with a bad ownership group I tend to think much of their attendance problem can be attributed to the product on the field and the way the team is managed transplanting that to St. Louis is not going to solve the problem.

  90. TheRyan says:

    Even Ives said that St. Louis fans were stuffing the ballot box when he posted this same vote a while ago. How would anyone know there is something strange going on? Why can’t it just be that St. Louis is the obvious choice?

    (SBI-To be fair, it wasn’t traditional ballot-stuffing, but more a call to arms to get St. Louis fans to vote. That’s not the same as a handful of St. Louis fans voting hundreds of times or something like that. I’d say St. Louis has a lot of support based on these numbers.)

  91. Aubie4Prez says:

    re read my post a few minutes after…I admitted 40k was a little gung ho. 20-30k though is reasonable.

  92. TheRyan says:

    I think St. Louis should get a team, call it the Steamers and then move the team to Cleveland.

  93. Felix says:

    With a good fan base and a strong ownership group and a willingness to build a stadium in a accessible area, I think a MLS franchise could flourish in any of these areas.

    I voted Charlotte to put a MLS team in a “Southern” city, but I think any of these cities could work.

  94. Andrew H. says:

    The consensus seems to be that MLS needs a team in the Southeast, St. Louis deserves a team, and that either KC or Dallas should be moved. So, move either KC or Dallas to St. Louis or Atlanta and make the remaining city the 20th expansion team.

  95. Aubie4Prez says:

    High Interest for those 2 games does mean there is a want, desire and base for good soccer. Does it translate into a successful league team drawing fans for a season??? Probably not…that entails a lot more.

    Does it translate into what my idea was that by playing 1 game in another city that is planned and marketed months in advance can draw 20-30k…yes. Would that help MLS’ numbers…yes. Will it help MLS grow…yes.

  96. inkedAG says:

    I was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and now am back in Brooklyn. So I had to vote NY. That said, everyone cries for St. Louis, so why not them.

    Plus, I doubt the Wilpon’s will pony up the cash for a NYC team. If a NYC team is out in Long Island, that is pointless. The only place an NYC team should be is in Queens….Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Huge area, Queens is a total melting pot of peoples and the 7 train (when it runs) would make it very accessible. But I don’t think any part of that park could be secured for a stadium and playing at Citi Field would be ugly.

  97. Ted in MN says:

    I voted other because I’m from Minnesota and FC Twin Cities would make my day. However, they won’t get 20 or 21 or probably even 26. For years I supported the Thunder (whoo). I appreciate the NSC’s attempts to make a soccer stadium and keep a team in Minnesota but it won’t work. Blaine, where the NSC is located, is in the final ring of suburbs way the hell away from most of the population. The wealthier parts live to the South, West and in Downtown Minneapolis in Hennepin County. The NSC is basically out in the middle of nowhere. If they had built a soccer-specific stadium anywhere near downtown or in someplace like Bloomington by the Mall of America, Minnesota soccer would be doing a lot better. Unfortunately, there isn’t going to be any movement by the NSC to get a new stadium farther south and Minnesota is kind of tapped out for stadiums (just ask the Vikings).

  98. BadWolf says:

    fubar, I just moved back to DC after 3 years in South Florida. You are absolutely correct. Even though there is a huge Central/South American audience, and enormous interest in football(soccer)in S Florida, the fan base is just not interested in attending games or supporting a team. Go figure, its certainly against the common wisdom concerning growth of the game in the USA.
    That said North of Florida there is interest and support especially in NC (Raleigh/Charlotte) and GA (Atlanta). So I wouldn’t just discount the SE.
    Maybe the resolution is to re-align teams – move under-performers to regions that lack a team. I think that 20 teams is the size preference for a “premier” league, so adding more is not on the books. But also consider growth in 2nd division league and more.

  99. Rory says:

    They aren’t selling out that baseball stadium now. I went to the game against the Rapids and there were probably 3,000 empty seats. The attendence might have been listed as sold out, but they weren’t.

  100. Rory says:

    All a second MLS team would do is feed off the NYRB fans who would rather not take a train to the game.

  101. fischy says:

    If DCU moves — and I think there’s very little chance of that happening — they’re not going to go to Topeka. They’re going to pick a city that really will support a team.

    Effing Comcast. I really can’t believe that DCU has a TV deal with these guys and they won’t even televise Saturday’s game in Dallas. I can’t imagine why — unless there’s something unique about Dallas….maybe they don’t have a Comcast deal, so CSN Mid-Atlantic doesn’t want to pick up production costs.

  102. BPair says:

    Of course if they want a really large stadium, then Charlotte may not be the best place. But if they want 20-25K at every game, bring it on.

  103. Rory says:

    KC has thousands of empty seats each game. They can draw 8,000 fans to a 10,000 seat stadium just a minute down the road from their new stadium’s location. What will draw out the fans, the fact the stadium is new? Hooray, the prices will double but I’ll get to sit in a nicer seat a quarter of a mile down the parking lot from the old stadium?

  104. smokedgouda says:

    Look at the best MLS markets: Seattle and Toronto. They both are mid-size cities with large, urban-minded populations.

    What other US city fits that? I can’t pick one.

    I chose St. Louis because of the soccer history and decent support for its “B” team. There just aren’t any more Seattles or Torontos left.

  105. Czo13 says:

    I am definately for the SE. I would love to see a team in Virginia since Im from there but realistically. Charlotte or Atlanta would get the bid, and please stop mentioning that it wouldnt work b/c soccer/football doesnt get coverage. Have you thought that it might be because there isnt a team there so no one cares about the rest of the MLS while they are excluded.

  106. fischy says:

    Ummmm…..what about Shea Stadium site?

  107. Rory says:

    Phoenix is too hot. WAY too hot. But then again, so’s Houston, right?

    As for Arizona, more power to them for trying to enforce a federal law that 70% of Americans, 65% of Arizonans, and 60% of legal immigrants support.

    If you oppose the law, then why not just bust your way into the MLS stadiums this weekend without a ticket and demand first class treatment.

    I’ll see you guys in the “all you can eat” seats after we root out whoever paid for the ticket!

  108. dman says:

    The biggest issue with Dallas is where they put the stadium. link to maps.google.com

    I mean it’s almost in the middle of nowhere if it were any more north.

  109. Rory says:

    Right, because Mr. Mohawk in Seattle is so much a classier supporter then a chickenhead guy.

  110. BadWolf says:

    I don’t agree that there is little chance of DCU moving – per Chang’s last interview – but I agree with you that it will not be a Topeka (apologies to those fine folk) But Atlanta (or St Louis) would be prime cities to accept a team move.
    As for Comcast you said it all – gotta have the repeat of the Wash Post show – is much more interesting and will draw a much larger audience (NOT)

  111. Rory says:

    Uhm… isn’t that where all the Nascar teams are based out of?

    Just because Mexico can draw a crowd doesn’t mean the MLS can.

    Atlanta would be a better fit geographically, more central to the Southeast and maybe everyone headed to the beaches could stop by on the way down or back for a weekend game.

  112. Hopper says:

    Well, OK, but the team is called the New York Red Bulls. I was talking about the team more than the city.

  113. Rory says:

    Fantastic idea about playing a couple “home” games in other cities. Baseball did it with the Nationals in Peurto Rico and it helped their attendence.

    KC could play a game in StL, FCD in San Antonio, Columbus in Indy, DC in Charlotte, Chivas in San Diego, LA in Las Vegas, Chicago in Milwaukee and so on… we could see what kind of interest there are in these cities.

  114. Rory says:

    College football owns Columbus, Ohio and yet they do allright at the box office.

  115. Cole A says:

    Haha I wouldn’t mind Richmond getting a team.. I go to the games to, and I would definetly go to a MLs game if we get a team

    I look at it this way, there are 6000 kids in the Kickers youth leagues and there is also Strikers, FC Richmond, Chesterfield United and other youth programs.. If marketed we could just get those kids and there parents and we already have 20,000+ fans

    Add in the factor that we have no Pro teams at any high level and we really could embrace the team.. The key would be to market it right like the key is with any other city..

    Also my fantasy name was the Richmond Riot

  116. Emerald_City_Jason says:

    Mark my words: David Beckham will not own a team based in St. Louis. Brooklyn, on the other hand…

  117. Rory says:

    You’re right, it’s 20th century thinking. This is the 21st century, New York and the old mainstream media is not necessary like it used to be. This is the first internet sport, so it isn’t necessary to win over the old media capital.

  118. bigvic says:

    they have to be the front runner for….a relocated Dallas team. You guys calling for a 20th team are on crack. Just because the other American leagues have over 25 teams doesnt mean US soccer has to also. Look, Brazil is crazier then England about soccer but do they have 50 first division teams? That would be proportional to England’s 22…if it was about proportionality. No, Brazil & England have 22 teams each in their 1st division league. When we beat either of those countries, then we are deserving of team 20, 21, 22. When NY & LA average 27k per game, then you can add another team to their city. Believe me, STL will be drawing 3 or 4 k by the time USL/USSF2 season ends. Dont dilute the talent with over expansion. When the coastal markets hit over 20k fans per game, then you can add 1 or 2. Each new entry has to represent a new standard. We cant go back. SJ was a step back.

  119. Chris says:

    SE. I would like to see one in Virginia, but realistically Charlotte or Atlanta. Quit saying it wont work. Miami and Tampa are not exactly the SE.

  120. bigvic says:

    same for San Jose, and some fans of these two markets brag about selling out their little stadiums. Why arent they getting demands for 20k fans? I think KC will eventually get their 13 or 14k at their new stadium, but its gonna take alot of work and alot of winning. And that, with RSL should be considered a success for teams in the interior of the country.

  121. Rory says:

    St. Louis should build a new national soccer hall of fame and then the momentum would build for thier mls team.

  122. bryan says:

    how does FSC still justify only showing 1 or 2 games a week? you have TWO channels now. dedicate it to MLS! they should be showing 5 games per week. they would have to work out scheduling, but lets be honest, they can do better than what they are doing now.

    as for regional coverage, amen. luckily, DC has Comcast Sports which covers DCU games 75% of the time.

  123. Red says:

    Or people that have a problem dressing up as a Red Bull can.

  124. bigvic says:

    yep, and end up seeing 12k at NYRB games instead 15 or 16k. And like Chivas usa, the 2nd NY team would get about 12k fans too. Chivas usa should be in atlanta or s. florida, and not taking away fans from Galaxy. I dont see 27 k at galaxy games, and they’re dripping w/ sexy football and playing like they should be in copa libertadores.

  125. bryan says:

    the owner does not want to. he’s all about LA. i dont get it.

  126. Rory says:

    Nashville. Mid-size, only one major sports team (well, plus hockey), young demographic, lots of corporations for support. Some travelers too.

  127. bryan says:

    90,000 also showed up to watch Madrid play DCU. Only 10,000 showed up to see DCU play KC. apples and oranges my friend.

  128. Red says:

    Beckham has the rights to a franchise. Let’s say he teams up with Kemsley with the Cosmos and the build on Wilpon’s site in Queens. Can we really not afford award the ownership of Beckham/Kemsley/Wilpon? That’s the East Coast version of Roth/Allen/Carey.

  129. DNYCE says:

    I can’t believe the huge % for St. Louis. No one even goes to see the American Football Rams. Do you really think people would go check out a soccer team play there?

    For those of you not in the New York City area, I think the MLS has missed out on a huge opportunity by not having placed the original franchise in New York. Overall, the entire NYC area has a strong hispanic base and if you break it down further, Brooklyn & Queens being the most populous. A 20th team in Queens would fit perfectly and attract the many Central and South Americans, with far less travel time and cost associated. Look at Citi Field for example. Although it’s not in the middle of Manhattan, you still have a very good number of people heading to baseball games throughout the week. The only consideration by placing another team in NYC would be potential cannabilization of the NYRB.

  130. lilvic says:

    and let me guess, just because they Henry and Ze Roberto you still wont go to their games cause they’re in New Jersey? Just for your information, that half empty stadium was for the Dallas FC game. Even fans of opposing teams know Dallas is a negative drain on all aspects of MLS- they just have a negative vibe about them that people sense.

  131. bryan says:

    richmond has such a great soccer following. it’s great to go down there. i was not expecting that.

  132. livic says:

    regional exposure=play Man U at Arrowhead, Celtic at S. Lous’s Busch stadium. Ditto for Crew vs. Rangers in Cincy.

  133. T says:

    >> “Charlotte may be the bigger ‘name,’ but the Raleigh market is larger”

    Er, what? The Charlotte metro area has a population of well over 1.7 million. Raleigh’s metro area is 1.1.

    As for the cities themselves, Charlotte has a population of nearly 700,000 and is the 18th biggest city in the United States. Raleigh’s population is 392,552.

  134. Cole A says:

    Haha I definetly agree with that comment.
    I’m sick of hearing SE needs a team.. Honestly I think the 20th should just go the best market available and the one that can prove that they deserve a team

  135. Chris says:

    I’d rather not see an MLS team in a city that already has a NASL team (ex: St. Louis, Austin, Atlanta, Miami, etc.). I’d rather see (down the road) the NASL somehow linked up with MLS as an official 2nd division, rebranded, and then let the teams already in those cities earn their way into the MLS. I’d also rather see new teams in untapped markets that have strong ownership groups willing to invest. Las Vegas seems to be a good choice because of reasons listed above. Regarding Florida, do the problems that have hampered teams in Miami and Tampa also exist in Orlando? Being landlocked, it would seem to me to be a city not as built on snowbirds or transient populations (and I don’t mean homeless people).

    I honestly think putting a NASL team there (with the possibility of promotion to MLS in the future) would be incredible. Hipsters love their soccer, as do immigrants and their children. I could see it being the next Seattle or Portland, fan-wise, simply because of the brand possibilities. Spike Lee, are you listening? Unless there’s already a stadium in the area, though, it would be crazy expensive to try to do something like that from scratch.

    I’d also like to see Chivas USA move to San Diego. That just makes too much sense to not happen.

  136. Aaron in StL says:

    Riiiiight… we’re voting hundreds of times each, because we have nothing else to do with our lives. Can you even vote more than once?

  137. Chris says:

    I meant Brooklyn in that second paragraph.

  138. Rory says:

    You know if the Lakers and Celtics played a one-off game in Nashville,(or Mexico City, or London, or insert any city here) it would sell out. That doesn’t mean the city could support an NBA team night in night out.

  139. Rory says:

    Don’t forget a new team drawing 15K would be about middle of the road for an MLS team.

  140. Red says:

    Jeez…today 90,000 will see Mexico and Ecuador battle it out in a swamp in Jersey. But a few miles away, the new stadium is still empty. Why can’t people understand that friendlies of high-profile teams DOES NOT equal MLS success? Birmingham, AL can sellout AC Milan or Mexico.

    You’re just supporting the argument of NYC_2. They sellout so many friendlies it’s not funny.

  141. Josh D says:

    But that math never works. DC would have 100,000 fans if it was a direct equivalent of who plays and who’d go.

    Hopefully in 50 years when we have 100 teams playing in multiple tiers we’d have a team but statistically, it would be a nightmare now.

    Cool name too!

  142. Red says:

    So all know, NYC Metropolitan area has the population of Australia.

  143. joe says:

    people in miami care about nothing other than themselves. soccer doesnt work down there. not MLS anyway.

  144. Chris in Belfast says:

    Then we’ll go back to Claude Anelka.

    Claude. Freaking. Anelka.

  145. joe says:

    B O S T O N

  146. Josh D says:

    Kansas sells out every game and is building a beautiful stadium, they are here to stay.

  147. Chris in Belfast says:

    Next question: Why not ask around, find someone to buy the guy out, move the team and rename it?

  148. timbull00 says:

    Another New York team would be cool. Put it actually in the city, though! You would really have a great rivalry there.

  149. Chris in Belfast says:

    Bingo on FCD.

    Soccer doesn’t have the cultural capital to let teams leave if they’ve built a stadium, particularly if they took public money to do so. The best bet with FCD is for someone to convince the Hunts to sell.

  150. No Name says:

    There is a large Hispanic population in Charlotte. It is about time for a team in the South.

  151. Upstate Jason says:

    That’s now the new Citi Field parking lot at a cool $19 per game. Mets probably make more on that lot than they would on an MLS team.

  152. Josh D says:

    If there was a team in the city, NYRB would lose any thought of getting any city folks to their NJ team. Anyone who would go, would go to the easiest location.

    Red Bulls would then rely on NJ and they aren’t the ones they are targeting. So it’d essentially cause NYRB to be a NJ team which would dislocate itself from its heritage.

    The LA rivalry isn’t exactly selling itself out, is it? And even then , those games are played by teams in the same city, sharing the same stadium.

    You have to look at the big picture.

  153. scott47a says:

    What’s with the “deserves a team” logic?

    I don’t think St. Louis “deserves” anything. Get an owner with $40 million to buy in and then the money to back that up and acquire players.

  154. bryan says:

    “To make up for it, I’m heading over to CNN to post some soccer related comments in their comments section!”

    haha that gave me a good laugh.

  155. bryan says:

    that would be awesome. i would love to see a team in san diego. i hope it can happen. but im pretty sure that is the reason that, for now, the team is still in LA.

  156. brant says:

    Uh… dude – the EPL has 20 teams. Championship has 24. But FIFA guidelines for top flight leagues is 20, and most countries conform to that.

  157. narius says:

    Even if Hampton Roads is gravy, Richmond metro is about 1.1-1.3m, depending on whom you ask. That’s not nothing. Richmond actually has a fantastic adult soccer league (CVSA!), lots of students, and a surprising amount of non-soccer mom-ish people who like the game. It’s also a storied city with an inferiority complex, and those are the ones where major league sports tend to do very well.

    Richmond is a bigger market than New Orleans, Salt Lake, and Buffalo, and is proximate to other not-insubstantial metros (HR,C-ville, DC). And it has serious corporate depth to boot! You guys should read this article: link to baconsrebellion.com

    My choice for a name would be Virginia Dominion :)

  158. Johnathon says:

    I picked the ATL location because I live there…However I really want some sort of presence in the South.

    Pros
    -Huge population of Latino/Europeans
    -Money (Arthur Blank of the Falcons)
    -USL-2 team (Silverbacks, playing at Remax Stadium close to Spaghetti Junction) might bring in a built-in fan base

    Cons
    -Where to put a stadium (preferred to be in ATL proper, not where the Beat are playing)
    -Current demand of fans/how big is that fan base for the Silverbacks.

    Wishful thinking:
    Blank buys out the Silverbacks. Gets a upgradable stadium in a great place near the heart of Atlanta. Close to Dekalb and Gwinnett Counties. I’ve never been near Silverback Park but you can easily see it if you’re going through Spaghetti Junction.

    Expectations:
    I fully expect STL to be the twentieth. I’m not sure if MLS needs the South. It’ll be nice to have, in my opinion

  159. Johnathon says:

    You have a team…it’s called the NE Revolution.

  160. Johnathon says:

    Agreed. I would see FCD moving before KC. Maybe DCU or NE if those crowds keep staying that way.

  161. Aaron in StL says:

    There’s been a little talk of that here, but I believe they’d have to get approval from USSF to move forward. Not sure they’re willing to re-up it or not.

  162. Aaron in StL says:

    Hah nice.

    I think the Steamers are making a comeback though (in an indoor setting again). If they do, I’d be 100% behing them moving to Cleveland immediately.

  163. jimoh8002 says:

    True. Mls Should target markets that can produce a rivalry for example Dc & Baltimore. They Should try to exploit what other sports Do , the ravens redskins rivalry breaks attendance records all the time just imagine how many people would support a franchise in Baltimore simply to see them out do Dc or philly even if they never play each other its good marketing and not to mention the ORIOLES suck and theres no basketball team so every year we have fans sitting around doing nothing till football season

  164. Aaron in StL says:

    Depending on where they plan on stopping expansion, they could go a number of ways. I’m not so sure they’re dead set on stopping at 20. Who knows, maybe 22 or 24 (I believe the English Championship has 24, right?).

    It’d be cool if they blitzed the SE like they did the NW: Atlanta for sure, and then maybe Raleigh, Nashville, Richmond or some combo of those. I think that would help form some natural rivalries right off the bat, assuming there are solid ownership groups. Although Nashville probably would be a tough one to sell, not entirely sure they could support a team even though the WCQ there was great.

  165. lp revolution says:

    Chivas USA should move to a new stadium in San Diego. ST. Louis at least has some tradition, and maybe beer won’t be 7 bucks a pint.

  166. Andrew H. says:

    Alright, fine. As far as New York getting the 20th team, which seems to be Don Garber’s preference, that is crazy right now. And I live in Manhattan. Until the Red Bulls can get at least 10,000 season ticket holders, a 2nd team is ridiculous.

  167. ganzo says:

    hmmm… you are right.

    but in my head,, i see FCD taking more than 5 years + to get into the same place that many MLS teams are at now. They could move FCD to St Louis with the promise that dallas would get another MLS team after like, a one year hiatus. The relaunch of the new team would probably increase attendance sporatically instead of the gradual method of just letting them work the situation out themselves. anyways… I just kind of see FC Dallas as the lagger behind all the other teams. I cant think of any other team that affirms what the ignorant soccer basher thinks, that soccer cant succeed in this country. i just feel like even if they won the championship, they wouldnt sell out the next season

  168. elopingcamel says:

    As a native Las Vegas, I couldn’t be more excited by the idea of MLS in Vegas. I haven’t heard anything from or about the Vegas investment group in a long time, though. For whatever reason, it seemed like they pulled out of contention for the last round of expansion and then went silent. Well, almost silent, there was the “scare” that they were trying to purchase the Crew and relocate them to Vegas, but nothing ever came out of that more than just rumors.

    Ives, can you enlighten us on the Vegas Investment group’s status?

  169. Knuckles says:

    I’ll buy you two beers if you can get rid of Mr. Mohawk. Maybe make him a Portland fan or something. He gives all Seattle sports fans a bad name.

  170. elopingcamel says:

    I agree that the stadium should be on the strip (the south end makes the most sense to me, near the I-15 and 215, so you have access from those freeways and it is centrally located), but even if they put it in Henderson (or N. Las Vegas, or even Boulder City), it takes 20-30 minutes to get anywhere in Vegas. 40 minutes max.

  171. Knuckles says:

    I couldn’t agree more and voted for SD, although I still think the best solution would be to move Chivas down south.

  172. elopingcamel says:

    I would love for there to be MLS games in Vegas! I’d even pay good money to go watch teams that I’m indifferent about (like DAL v. KC match) play.

  173. DClee says:

    Seattle’s 5-6 k that use to attend Sounders USL games. And for those that can’t find your team on TV regionally then you should purchase the $40 HD streams on mlssoccer.com. The streams are pretty solid and they are HD feeds which is nice and you can watch whomever, whenever minus the national games which you can then watch them on FSC or ESPN.

  174. RK says:

    Ug. Just saw this article on ESPN:
    link to sports.espn.go.com
    MLS adds Montreal, wants 2nd NY club

  175. elopingcamel says:

    Vegas is mid-size, diverse, no other pro sports team competition, but I don’t know how to quantify its “urban-mindedness.” There are suburb-like areas, but the geography and freeway system makes any place in the Vegas valley accessible within a 30 minute drive. So, a stadium (attached to a casino) with a retractable roof (like the investment group planned/proposed) at the south end of the Strip would be accessible and an amazing atmosphere.

  176. BSU SC says:

    I say “deserves a team” for a few reasons.

    1. St. Louis has a good location picked for a stadium to be built.

    2. Geographically, it would be a great location with 3 other teams within driving distance (Chicago, KC, Columbus…and a long drive for Toronto).

    3. The fanbase is there.

    I agree that there needs to be an owner with solid financial resources, all I’m saying is that if/when an investor comes along, St. Louis should be at the top of the list. I’d be just as excited to see another team in NY.

  177. elopingcamel says:

    I so badly want Vegas to get it, but I am doubtful that it will. Ives, can you update us on where the Vegas Investment group stands? Are they still around? Are they still pursuing an MLS team? Has MLS really shown interest in a team in Vegas or has it mostly been lip-service?

  178. Garrett says:

    Tampa didn’t fold because of lack of attendance, they folded because the team never had an owner. They averaged just under 12k for their entire existence without ownership, which is better than many teams can say now.

    The rebranded Tampa Bay Rowdies play their first home game in over 25 years saturday nght. Expect a sell out, the first of many to come this season. Not to mention the have a residency program, the only of its kind in the US. Ives, watch out for Tampa as a dark horse for #20.

  179. jamin barnes says:

    Move Chivas to San Diego. We have more soccer fans than most markets. Plus, the rivalry between San Diego and Los Angles would be classic. The MLS is missing out by not having a team down here.

  180. hartman says:

    LOUISVILLE!!!!!!!!!!!! 30th largest city in the USA, largest without ANY pro sports teams. could be called “southern”, or at least a gateway to the south. massive base of soccer playing kids. could pull from Cincy and Nashville markets. border rivalry with the Crew. great demographics (several fortune 500 companies in the area, horse farms employ a large contingent of latin americans!). it would work.

  181. Garrett says:

    there’s about 12 of them right now who go out to Miami FC games, they call themselves the Miami Ultras. Once they got 20. Hence I have rebranded them as the LOLtras, and hope it catches on.

  182. GSScasual says:

    the key to attendance and success is to have teams in close proximity.. darby matches… enough of these bumblf**k cities getting teams/

  183. hartman says:

    climate is perfect for soccer as well. having been there a few times myself, i can say that anybody expecting someone to play a 90 minute game in LasVegas is insane.

  184. SJultra says:

    The FO does market to families and kids, for sure. They’ve made a couple of signings in an attempt to bring the Latino market out (Ramon Sanchez, Eduardo, Andre Luiz), but SJQuakesFan81 is right – as soon as we get the stadium built, more people will come out. The team’s performance is steadily getting better – see our defense this season. A long way left to go, though!

  185. Andy in Altanta says:

    I was just kinda thinking about this… anybody ever felt that perhaps towns that don’t have at least 2 of the so called major sports might support a team better?

    What about good soccer towns like Birmingham, Louisville, Austin, Las Vegas, Raleigh, Jacksonville, Orlando, Memphis and Hartford?

    I mean I am still voting for St Louis even though I live in Atlanta but I think Raleigh would support MLS very well…several college kids around the area, fantastic youth soccer org…

  186. drewcore says:

    the Prem. has 20 teams last time i checked. And we need 20 teams to keep the conferences even, which the league has stated are not disappearing any time soon.

  187. Clayton says:

    Tampa supports their teams better than Miami or Atlanta…Miami-Tampa would be a great rivalry if you could get the people in Miami to actually care about anything besides plastic surgery and getting hammered.

    Also would like to see Chivas moved to San Diego and rebranded in a way that doesn’t exclude the majority of the market. Less than half of SoCal is Mexican-Americans and less than half of Mexican-Americans are Chivas fans so why did they think that was a good idea?? A stadium in SD could be a problem, but if the Chargers get a new stadium downtown, the MLS team could build a new one where the current Chargers stadium is. Obviously this would require an ownership group with a lot of money, but so would all of the cities in this poll.

  188. Skinn says:

    “Our attention is very focused on a 20th team as we speak. We’d like that team to be in New York City representing a second team in the tri-state area,” Garber said. “The Red Bulls are very supportive of that and believe that rivalry will help grow the popularity of the sport in the New York metropolitan area. So we’re going to work hard and try to get something done perhaps as early as 2013.”

    Garber has held talks with the Wilpons, who own the New York Mets. Those talks may resume.

    “Our discussions, which were fairly active with the Mets, clearly got put aside with the energy that they were putting into the launch of Citi Field,” Garber said. “We haven’t had discussions with the Wilpons in over a year and we’ll hopefully reopen those discussions.

    “But there are certainly many, many other potential ownership opportunities in that market. With the economy turning around, we hope to be able to start some discussions with potential other investors.”

  189. Missoula says:

    Missoula, Montana deserves the next team

  190. In case you’re interested, I did a post at Sounder at Heart several months ago making the case for Austin as MLS city No. 20. Here’s the link: link to sounderatheart.com

  191. Garrett says:

    Ok Ives, here’s my pitch for Tampa.

    The Tampa market consists of 4 million people. That ranks number 13 in the nation. Of those 4 million people, many have deep roots in the city, having lived here for 30 plus years; although there are plenty of yanks and snowbirds in the area, it’s not as much of a retirement area as people think. These Tampa natives all remember the Rowdies of the old NASL, and have missed the team since they left. The Mutiny never could never fill that void because they didn’t conjure up those same feelings and connections with the Rowdies of old. Despite all of that, and the team never having an owner, they drew an average of 12k/game, which still beats many MLS sides.

    The 2010 Rowdies play their first game in Tampa tomorrow night, which is expected to sell out. The team is not only bringing back old fans, but also creating new ones, led by the younger supporter’s section Ralph’s Mob (named after original team mascot from the 70s Ralph Rowdie). The organization has done a great job building up the team and found a great partnership for their stadium. Playing at the NY Yankee’s spring training facility until getting our own soccer specific stadium instead of what certainly would be an empty RayJay makes the team financially viable in this market (plus the Steinbrenners are on the BOD). The team also has started a residency program, similar to those in England at very little cost to them (someone from Saddlebrook, the location, is also partnered with the team).

    The last piece of the puzzle is the new stadium. Project developers have already cited building a new baseball stadium for the Rays and a soccer specific stadium near the fairgrounds (right off of I-4, next to the Hard Rock Casino, and 5 min from downtown). Couple this location with the high speed bullet train that will connect Orlando and Tampa in the coming years (yes it’s, happening), we have two top 20 markets (yes, Orlando is in the top 20) who will be coming to Rowdies games.

    The history of soccer in Tampa, coupled with the commercial viability and strong ownership, should warrant the 20th MLS team here.

    If not here, then anywhere but Miami.

  192. Clayton says:

    Orlando is not as built on snowbirds or transient populations as Tampa or Miami?? Orlando only exists because of Disney World. It has no history to speak of, and is almost entirely made up of snowbirds and transients.

    The problem with Tampa was the lack of an ownership group, not lack of support. As mentioned in other posts, the Mutiny averaged 12k per game over 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the Glazers decided to put all their money into ManU instead of MLS. That is why Tampa folded, not bc it couldn’t support the team.

    The problem with Miami was the stadium and the fact that they played in Ft. Lauderdale, not Miami. Both Tampa and Miami could work with the right ownership and stadium situation and if they both got teams, it would be a great rivalry. Tampa-Miami derbies would have the same dynamic as LA-SD would.

    I think this is the best way to tackle the south, bring 2 FL teams in at the same time and then they could bring in Atlanta and Nashville or Charlotte together. One team at a time would not allow the rivalries to fully develop.

  193. Sonicdeathmonkey says:

    Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that thats how many games their contract with MLS says they can broadcast.

    Some folks think that companies like Fox and ESPN can magically wave a wand or snap their fingers and make things happen. It doesn’t work like that.

  194. Steve M says:

    soccer is huge in Miami. attendance was getting better but MLS made a huge mistake in killing the Fusion. not to mention the stadium they played on was no where near Miami. It wasnt a lack of interest. it was managements incompetence.

  195. Steve M says:

    are you really judging an entire region based on a newspaper and “local” news somewhere in Florida?

  196. bryan says:

    “Our attention is very focused on a 20th team as we speak. We’d like that team to be in New York City representing a second team in the tri-state area,” Garber said. “The Red Bulls are very supportive of that and believe that rivalry will help grow the popularity of the sport in the New York metropolitan area. So we’re going to work hard and try to get something done perhaps as early as 2013.”

  197. Steve M says:

    its funny how ppl are so quick to hate on Miami. the city never had an mls team in the first place. maybe in name, but look at the location where the Fusion played–Ft.Lauderdale! even then attendance was progressing but MLS pulled the plug due to ownership issues, not because theres a lack of interest for the game or team. Miami consistently ranks on top of ratings regarding soccer. if MLS should expand anywhere, it should be Miami. and if they do, then hopefully MLS does it right this time.

  198. Sonicdeathmonkey says:

    Technically, Columbus is closer than Dalls, IIRC.

  199. bryan says:

    i know WHY they dont. but i want to know WHY they agreed to that. the truth is, they can bargain with MLS and wave their wand to get more games. you don’t think the MLS wants to have more games on TV? they’re not going to say no. they’re not going to agree to ALL games so that they can still get money from Direct Kick and all that jazz, but 1 to 2 games. come on, that is pathetic. it’s a soccer network, they can bargain harder to get more MLS games on this american channel which has expanded to 2 channels.

    i think both parties would agree and thus amend said contract. but maybe i’m crazy.

    as far as ESPN, i don’t expect it from them anyway. im strictly talking FSC.

  200. Johnny Thunder says:

    Charlotte wouldn’t be the pick for a North Carolina town. Do Raleigh or Greensboro…much bigger soccer community and have already proven themselves with the Hurricanes.

  201. Sean says:

    Dear MLS,

    STOP EXPANDING. You are watering down the league. Not to mention that NONE of these cities would draw good crowds, anyways. St. Louis, no thanks..MLS has been avoiding STL every single time they have expanded until now, and whatever reason it was that kept you out of there should continue to keep you out of there. Just because you are running out of places to expand to doesn’t mean you have to go there…how about you move the un-supported wizards to St. Louis! Miami, no…that was a failure already…and anywhere in the south hellllll no…they don’t like soccer down there! Baseball and American football (and NASCAR) are the only sports they care about. As for NY, the Red Bulls have the most beautiful arena on the continent and they can’t get more than 15k (other than the first 2 or 3 games), so why would you put a 2nd team there? Vegas is not a good sports town. Really only San Diego would be feasible but, as I said before, do we really need more expansion? Move unsuccessful clubs to new cities if you must. Portland, Vancouver and Montreal all have the fan bases so not any bad moves there…but please, no more.

    Thanks,
    A fan who would love for this league to keep getting stronger

  202. C. says:

    New Orleans. Most culturally rich city in America. Wouldn’t have to pull my arm to get me to make some away trips there.

    I’d also love to see the Puerto Rico Islanders in the league. Pipe dreams, I know

  203. sharmon says:

    St. Louis. Live nearby and have been waiting for a team for quite some time (was extremely excited about spot 16 when we were vying with Philly). The past history of supporting the game has been mentioned, and I think the area could really support a team well today. And as for the claims of ballot stuffing by St. Louis people (occasionally reference above), that’s not my impression from the majority of the comments on here. Seems that most live elsewhere but are still voting for StL.

  204. victor says:

    facebook would say st louis. their fan page has 18k fans. borough boys have.. 18. though that number would instantly climb on a dime after an official announcement about ny2

  205. Mario in QT says:

    Some good thoughts in the ‘srfinger’ post.

    The differentiation between cities with Hispanic populations and “young professionals” is very intriguing.

    The old time soccer fans have not supported MLS in droves. This includes both the Hispanic as well as other ethnic fans. They show up for the summer friendlies with the big teams but are waiting on the sidelines for MLS to become a big time league where they buy the Ronaldos and Messis. Its a shame but it may be a fact.

    MLS should look for city with the same ‘young professionals’ when identifying the next team!

  206. BetaMale says:

    Begin from San Diego, this is my vote. We’re putting together a supporters group to help bring MLS to the area

    link to facebook.com

  207. Steve says:

    I say St. Louis, but only if the right management group is in place.

  208. erik says:

    is there any interest in bringing a team to AZ? we would need it to be an indoor stadium.

    i think it would be well supported, given our high hispanic population

  209. Texas 1836 says:

    Ives,

    Is San Antonio even on the MLS radar? I’ve recently moved here, and I think this place would go absolutely bananas and be a slam-dunk, home-run, insert your mixed-sports-metaphor here for the MLS and for San Antonio.

    But I haven’t ever heard any real, substantive chatter.

    On a scale of 0-100%, how likely is it in your opinion that San Antonio will ever get an MLS franchise?

  210. CrazyMike366 says:

    Another Vegas local here – cool!

    I couldn’t agree more. Vegas is a glitzy location with lots of local money that could play a big part in regular lucrative sponsorship deals and long term financial stability for a club here.

    Other than NY2 or Miami, its the only proposed location that could attract a superstar DP to do for the league what Becks did for LA.

    Best of all, MLS would have the market all to themselves, as Vegas is the largest metro area (2 million) in the entire country that has no major league sports team of any kind. The support is here – UNLV sells out the 19k-seater Thomas & Mack for basketball every game and the 51’s (AAA baseball) are near full capacity for most Fri/Sat/Sun games.

    Vegas is clamoring for a professional sports team. Mayor Goodman has tried to lure a team here in the past (MLB and NBA) and expressed a willingness to build a stadium if we could get a long-term team. We’ve hosted big events before, such as the NBA All-star game and US basketball NT to great success.

    We just need a group of investors to realize this and make it happen. I haven’t seen anything from the Mark Noorzai led group since they made that controversial bid for a stake in Columbus a few years back. Anyone heard anything?

    I’d love to see a Western team (especially LA) find a way to play a friendly or open cup game in Vegas just to test this theory out. Perhaps the MGM arena (17k indoor stadium inside the MGM hotel) can be configured for a small field?

  211. Cavan says:

    Now you’re onto something with the young professionals. DC, Chicago, LA, (New York needs time to build their presence in their transit-oriented stadium) and more recently Houston, Toronto, Seattle, and Philadelphia… all destinations nationwide for college-eduacated professionals. What city in the South is like that? All those sunbelt boomtowns are now busting. That is the future.

    You can’t attract the younger generation college educated demo without a vibrant walkable city with great mass transit. The younger generation doesn’t want to run away from the city. It wants to be right in the middle. Hence why the centrally located stadiums have worked much better. It’s the younger professionals who grew up playing the game that are the core MLS fans, not exurban families or Spanish-speakers.

  212. Garrett says:

    Last year, Miami FC played games at FIU (actually in Miami) and at Lockhart (in Ft. Lauderdale). The attendance numbers were significantly higher in Lauderdale. I mean, they were still terrible numbers all around, but keeping them in the city of Miami (aka the cesspool of Florida) does not solve the problem.

  213. Peter says:

    I just wish Detroit would have a team but with Michigan’s sad economy I can forget it. Before the auto industry demise I could say Detroit’s Metro area would be a lock, but only with the right ownership and direction. This is a problem for most current MLS teams.

  214. mark says:

    i think they need to pick a soccer-rich town, a place where there is some history on some level and a passionate local fan base. basically, copy the model of selecting Seattle…..ST LOUIS it is!

  215. joejoe says:

    MLS should have stayed at 16 for a while. The growth is too rapid, and the level of play, which was already poor, will get worst. Forget about CONCACAF trophies for a very long time. The product on the field will be diluted.

  216. joejoe says:

    Maybe you haven’t been watching news, but Arizona has become a curse word for many in the Spanish speaking community. AZ: No Bueno.

  217. Steve M says:

    what does Miami FC have to do with MLS? apples to oranges. Miami FC? really? no one here really know that team even exists. i rarely see any kind of promotion and like someone else said earlier, were not like other cities that have some sort of tradition like say the Portland Timbers. Miami FC came out in 2006 and its not MLS. Kind of hard to build a fan base around that when we can always watch better soccer somewhere else. lets stick to MLS. Miami has yet to have a soccer team.

  218. soccer lou says:

    NEW YORK its the way to go
    Instant rivarly
    Jersey an NYC fan know that and i think a lot
    of people are waiting for that to happen
    and if am lying im here let the true Jersey fan say
    wassup
    and the true NYC soccer fan say that im wrong
    Let’s go Babyyyyy!!!!!!
    P.s why is it that the commisioner every time he gets a chance he says “Im really looking for a second team in NYC”
    wassup with that………….

  219. Brennan says:

    Lets see the Puerto Rico Islanders! Woo Yeah!

  220. Rick says:

    Vegas, just ’cause away-game road trips would be fun and convenient for me. :D

  221. Fabio says:

    NYC, only NYC !!!!!

  222. finalword says:

    everyone of you is on crack. No way any of the mentioned cities attract more 10k…2nd NY, Raliegh, STL, Las Vegas, etc. The only one that draws more then 10k is probably one that already has drawn over that – rochester. Just go big with the DP signing and put it in Miaimi. Everyone know that thats the formula to success in the large cosmopolitan areas- sign big names. You can now get three of them.

  223. Ryan says:

    How about Cleveland?
    It would be perfect, but this is coming from a clevelander so…

  224. Josh From GA says:

    Atlanta for sure or somehwere in the south east…as of right now I would have to drive to 12 hours to Columbus 10 to Houston or 16 to Phil to see a game…too many teams clumped up in 1 location imo

  225. KSjayhawk says:

    Oklahoma City hasn’t been mentioned at all. I know it’s a long shot but it’s a growing city that nearly got Salt Lake’s franchise. It may sound crazy but I see the city embracing a team similarly to how Seattle and Philly supported their expansion. OKC is crazy for their new NBA team, and with no other competing franchises during the MLS season other than a triple A baseball team, I see it being a great fit.

  226. Google This! says:

    Gotta go with Atlanta or Raleight-Durham the MLS needs a southeast presence. Tampa and Miami were set up to fail, Atlanta is the corporate hub of the southeast leading to lots of season tickets purchased(just have to make sure that the group that owns the Hawks and Thrashers doesn’t run the MLS franchise). The Silverbacks had potential, but poor management and marketing. You could still put expand the Silverbacks stadium for use by the MLS team.

    Raleigh-Durham is a hotbed for soccer on the east coast, Eurosport/Soccer.com is based there, as is the ACC which is the best college conference(as much as it pains me to say that being a Big Ten guy).

  227. jknoll says:

    oh and they can just move Kansas City to St. Louis. The KC metro area just doesn’t give enough support for a MLS team. Have them stop building that new stadium and move the team to St. Louis where it should have been all along.

  228. Google This! says:

    Just to remind you all, since it is in the desert a team in Vegas would have to play in a Dome or retractable roof stadium. That would be too much up front cost. It is 120 degrees in the summer, even if you start the games at 9pm local it is still hotter than….you know

  229. MiamiNewYorkLasVegasNOW says:

    Miami, New York, and Las Vegas are far and away the most deserving locations for Major League Soccer. This league needs to get attention and these three cities will bring in the glamor and the sexy a league like MLS deserves.

    MLS needs to stay the hell away from St. Louis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and any other embarassing blight on the landscape. Those cities are decaying and dying and will do nothing but bring the league down like a lead ballon.

    Are you listening Garber? Make it Miami, New York, and Las Vegas and do NOT put a team in those places I just mentioned under any circumstances. UNDERSTAND?!!

  230. BrooklynFC says:

    I think we need to focus on 3 divisions

    East
    RBNY
    NY Cosmos
    NE Revs
    TFC
    MTL
    Philly
    DCU
    Carolina (Charlotte or Raleigh)
    ATL
    Tampa

    Central
    Crew
    Fire
    Indianapolis
    KC Wiz
    AC STL
    FC Dallas
    Dynamo
    San Antonio
    Austin
    OK City

    West
    Van
    SSFC
    Portland
    SJE
    LAG
    Chivas
    San Diego
    Las Vegas
    Rapids
    RSL

  231. BrooklynFC says:

    Vegas and New York def need to happen Miami Probably wont unfortunately….. I think Florida Expansion will come down to whichever team has better USL attendance and Tampa seems to be leading that right now

  232. Marc Silverstein says:

    with the news comeing out today about the current state of financial affairs in St. Louis, I would rate Ottawa, New York and Atlanta in a virtual dead heat.