Oklahoma the front-runner to be awarded NASL expansion team

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By MIKE GRAMAJO 

An Oklahoma City soccer franchise is coming close to a reality in the North American Soccer League.

An expansion group from Oklahoma has been invited to formally present their bid to join the North American Soccer League at the league’s Board of Governors meeting in Dallas on June 25th. NASL commissioner Bill Peterson confirmed the invitation on Monday evening.

News surfaced about an Oklahoma franchise last June when Brad Lund, president of Sold Out Strategies, beat Bob Funk Jr., the owner and president of Prodigal LL, for the rights of the lease to Taft Stadium. 

Lund was awarded the lease to Taft Stadium, a potential future home for an Oklahoma City NASL franchise, with renovations costing approximately $9 million dollars. The renovations would be expected to be completed by the end of 2014, which would make the stadium ready for the 2015 NASL spring season.

The Oklahoma expansion bid must still be approved by the NASL, but sources tell SBI that the strength of Oklahoma’s bid makes it likely to be accepted.

What do you make of this development? Do you like the idea of an Oklahoma City team in NASL?

Share your thoughts below.

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42 Responses to Oklahoma the front-runner to be awarded NASL expansion team

  1. K says:

    why does the media use the word “franchise” instead of club or team?

    • Sebastian says:

      Because it’s a single entity league, which is why a team is called a franchise. It works the same way in the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB

      • K says:

        the NASL is not a single entity league. Neither is the MLB, NFL, NHL, or NBA.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Franchise is usually used because the pro sports leagues are “closed” groups of teams — as opposed to pro/rel that many advocate where a team that wins can move up into the league and a team that loses can drop out (although they don’t necessarily acknowledge that some leagues have stadium requirements…..teams routinely don’t go up to SPL because they don’t meet the stadium demands, and Fulham had to use Loftus Road and rebuild) — so you bid to join the league and the other teams vote on it, and if you get a franchise you are part of the league no matter how much you suck, and you have, more or less, territorial rights. Like your local McDonald’s or Ford dealer. Players sign up with the Cosmos or whatever and not the league.

        NASL is closer to the franchise model than MLS. MLS you sign players with the league and technically the league is a single business entity with team owner/operator shareholders.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Look up the word franchise in the dictionary and maybe that will help you figure it out.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Bring a team to Albuquerque!

    • Bobb says:

      Find a local ownership group with money who are willing to do so. Sorry but posting a comment on a blog isn’t going to make it happen…

    • SuperSonicSlamaJama says:

      El Paso too! Are there no rich people in these cities?

      • bring NASL to el paso tx says:

        Exactly, el paso tx can easily support an nasl team. El paso tx wants to make a soccer stadium for any ownership group willing to bring soccer to el paso tx. The stadium would be located in downtown, just how its suppose to be. As for albuquerque, el paso would be a natural rivalry.

  3. Frank says:

    Tulsa Roughnecks did very well on the old NASL.

    • Mike Gramajo says:

      Wouldn’t it be cool if both Tulsa and OKC were in the NASL? Not speculating, but in an ideal soccer world in America, the more the better, right?

      • Falsify says:

        Being that I have family in Oklahoma I think this would be great. Not to mention both teams would fit regionally with MLS teams like SKC and Dallas.

    • Michael says:

      + 1

  4. dudeman22 says:

    OKC FC has certainly been packing in the people in the PDL, so I do see the NASL as a natural evolution.

  5. meh says:

    Oklahoma City Slickers!

  6. jonf says:

    speaking of franchise, i hope nasl come to either hartford or providence. I have become disenfranchised by the krapps organization

    • Md Kibria says:

      Any team in providence should be called “Hearts of Providence”, what do you think? by the way i’m British.

  7. El Paso tx says:

    El Paso tx :) come to us and we will pack that baby all the time. El Paso and Albuquerque don’t like each other and west texas don’t like east texas. Supposedly El Paso texas will pay for the stadium if an ownership comes in, and even downtown.

  8. Ben says:

    I watched my high school win the 5A championship at Taft in 1994 with a cracker of a golden goal by the legendary Matt Swanson. I hope they do well- I’d love to catch a game in my old stomping grounds some day.

  9. Zach says:

    USL Pro will announce an expansion team tomorrow. Wonder if that will get any SBI coverage?

  10. Bean says:

    OKC FC had a friendly with the Club America U-20’s yesterday. Apparently they had more then 5K attend.

  11. Jon says:

    Good for the NASL expanding to the west.

  12. Been There says:

    Would have been smarter to bring a Franchise to Tulsa first. Much more of a Soccer culture. Once upon a time they would regulary draw 20 – 30,000 in the old NASL. The City nearly built a soccer specific stadium about 10 years ago without even having a team. Not sure OKC folk care for anything but Thunder bball and Sooner football.

    • John2013 says:

      The team that they have in USL PDL is drawing over 5k for matches. That is a good candidate for NASL.

      • AzTeXan says:

        PDL games:

        May 11 1,400
        May 18 1,121
        June 8 1,177
        June 15 896
        June 22 1,578
        June 29 1,136

        Not sure that’s an accurate statement. I’m not finding any PDL games with 5K fans. Still impressive.

  13. bring NASL to el paso tx says:

    I thought tulsa and okc where going to get nasl teams, i guess first okc due to their nba success. As for nasl expansion, i think nasl can easily reach 20 teams by 2020. You got austin,el paso tx, fort worth,.nebraska, phoenix, san diego, san francisco, albuquerque, boise idaho, tucson, las vegas. And thats for the west because the east has a buffet.

  14. Al says:

    I hope they build an underground stadium…being that they will be playing in tornado alley during tornado season……..

  15. Brad Burgess says:

    The Tulsa Athletics are apart of the NPSL and they draw approximately 2k per game. They play Club Americas U-20 team tonight and we could have up to 8k for that game. This is our first year in the league and we are undefeated and heading into the playoffs. I am hoping we move up a league or two in the very near future.

  16. Joseph says:

    In a league where there is no relegation/promotion and licenses are bought and possibly rescinded, the term franchise is entirely appropriate.

    On the opposite side, the argument can be made that not every team is a club. Only team entities for which fans pay seperate dues for membership should be called clubs. As such, none of the US major sports (correct me if I’m wrong) have memberships that are not simply season tickets. For example, Arsenal (UK) has membership levels which once you are a member, you have the ability to purchase game ticket packages.

  17. Pingback: Oklahoma City set to be awarded USL PRO expansion team | Soccer By Ives

  18. Thomas nef says:

    I like that The North American Soccer League (NASL) is expanding out to the west.