Report: Vikings increasing efforts to bring MLS to Minneapolis

MinnesotaVikingsNewStadiumSoccerDimensions (MinnesotaVikings)

By DAN KARELL

With Major League Soccer set to announce its latest expansion team in Atlanta Wednesday afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings are maneuvering to secure one of the two remaining expansion slots for Minneapolis.

Just as Atlanta’s future MLS team will be operated by an owner from the National Football League, the Vikings are leading the charge to acquire an MLS expansion franchise to play at their new 65,000-seat stadium, expected to be completed in 2016.

Speaking at a local business luncheon, Vikings vice president of public affairs, Lester Bagley, said that the team was “stepping up” it’s efforts to bring an MLS team to the city, and that they weren’t alone in their efforts.

“We’ve been stepping up our conversations with the MLS,” Bagley told the Pioneer Press. “There are definitely other interests in the market,” he added.

Those other interests reportedly include Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad and NASL club Minnesota United FC owner Bill McGuire. The Vikings are owned by Zygi Wilf.

Bagley also mentioned to the Pioneer Press that the new Vikings stadium has a “house reduction mechanism” that would bring capacity down to 20,000-30,000 to give the feel of a more intimate setting. This process is similar to what the Vancouver Whitecaps do at BC Place.

The field at the new Vikings Stadium allows for an MLS pitch of up to 121 x 72 yards. Most MLS pitches are anywhere between 110-120 x 75 yards.

MLS commissioner Don Garber has previously stated that MLS plants to expand to 24 teams by 2020. Currently at 19 teams, the league will expand to 21 in 2015 with the inclusion of New York City FC and Orlando City SC.

Atlanta is expected to be the 22nd franchise, and Miami could be close behind if David Backham’s group can secure funding for a soccer-specific stadium and build it in the downtown area. If Miami does receive an expansion team, it would leave just one spot up for grabs with a number of cities—including Minneapolis, San Antonio, and Sacramento—all vying for entry into the U.S. and Canada’s top tier of soccer.

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What do you think of this report? Do you see Minneapolis receiving a bid? Disappointed to hear that they might play in an NFL stadium? Do you think an MLS team can flourish in Minnesota?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Expansion. Bookmark the permalink.

107 Responses to Report: Vikings increasing efforts to bring MLS to Minneapolis

  1. Vic says:

    MLS policy 2014: Stadium not required just 100 million entrance fee.

    • timmytwoshoezzz says:

      A brand new shiny stadium has never been a requirement for an expansion team. Why would it be now?

      • Tyler says:

        It seemed to be in 2013 ha.

        • timmytwoshoezzz says:

          There was no team awarded to an ownership group in 2013 that has a stadium or even approved plans for a stadium at the time of the award.

          • MLSsnob says:

            Ha! “Stadium mechanism” plan, similar to what Vancouver has – AKA bed sheets hung from the rafters, since when are bed sheets a mechanism?

          • anikan says:

            Somebody forgot about Orlando. They had to wait until they had a stadium deal before MLS would add them. Yet teams like NYC and Atlanta are getting free passes due to the amount of money they are spending. Seems like a double standard.

            • JayAre says:

              That is because Orlando doesn’t bring the same strategic benefits that NYC and ATL bring. When will you all get it through your thick heads? MLS winning in a sponsorship and TV rating hub like ATL or a influential market like NYC will go further than Orlando thats why the league can be more lenient them.

            • Clyde Frog says:

              Double standard? It’s called making decisions on a case by case basis. Creating cross-the-board standards that apply to every city, no matter how different the contexts may be, would be foolish.

              • agree whole heartedly here…some of the negative statements i have been reading here are ridiculous IMO…all you nay sayers stop and look at what is happening in the US demographically…the melting pot is alive and well..many ethnic groups are represented in these citys and they come from countries where soccer rules…Garber will go down as one of or The Best commissioner any pro league in the US has ever had…he is smart enough to see that soccer is going to explode in America…it already has at the youth level..a recent poll showed that the number one sport of kids around 18 years old is soccer…..thats my first comment…and as far as Atlanta goes it has a huge hispanic population and the largets Kurdish population of any city in the world other than in Iraq….

                secondly, can we not see what is happening in Seattle Portland etc? it is awesome…do you really think NYCFC playing in Yankee stadium is a negative? REALLY? with the Yankees being part owners of the team im sure the game day experience there will be electric..just like it will be in Orlando,Miami and Atlanta…some of you people have more faith in something negative happening than you do that something good will happen…
                Check out You Tube and enter DCFC look at the passion of the Detroit City Football Club in the NPSL level..its amazing…the Untited States is going to be every it as soccer crazy as the rest of the world because MLS has made BOLD AND STRATEGIC MOVES under Garbers watch that have paid off big..the best of which was bringinig Beckham to our shores and giviing MLS instant credibility…his coming is the reason Henry came…then Keane then DeFoe and Bradley and it will continue..and Garber knows that when certain markets are in place the
                TV money will rise ,then the salary cap and then the players will begin to come in numbers..we have new stadiums or classic stadiums in almost every city and the worlds best players love the great facilties and passion that is building..

                in closing i will repeat what SAF said a few years ago when asked bout MLS future..he said that the US could eventually have three ten teams divisions in MLS west central and east and it could thrive..imagine the three division winners plus a play in team for a four team final that crowns the MLS Cup champion…it would be awesome and with the current and future teams coming it would be very very easy to see six other markets who could support a team just as well as other MLS citys..so all the nay sayers be ready to eat your words in ten years when MLS is on par with leagues in Europe…Garber and MLS have hit a home run in almost every single move and now with the purchase of Chivas USA and it impending sale and rebrand the MLS has assured the world that we are going to remove the one stain we have…next is to increase the standard of the officiating and the season ticket base of every team..that will come with new players new teams and an increased salary cap..and it will happen fast because of the growth of the sport, the USMNT ,the demographic of the US and the leadership of MLS heads….write it down MLS will be on top or in the top four leagues in the world by the end of 2020….way to go MLS…comeoneyoudynamo!!!

            • Phil c says:

              Excellent point!

      • Greg says:

        “A brand new shiny stadium has never been a requirement for an an expansion team, why would it be now?”

        REALLY!?!?! Did you not see the bullshit Orlando City SC had to go through to get an expansion team????

        MLS should really consider adding one more prerequisite to enter MLS: PLAY IN THE LOWER DIVISIONS TO BUILD UP YOUR FAN BASE!!

        NYCFC: No players, no true fan base, no stadium
        MLS MIA: No players, no true fan base, no stadium
        MLS ATL: No players, no true fan base, no stadium
        MLS MIN: No players, no true fan base, no stadium
        MLS ORL: Players, true fan base, stadium.

        • Logan Jahnke says:

          Actually, both Minnesota and Atlanta already have NASL Clubs that could just be promoted into the MLS. There is your fan base and there is your players.

      • SilverRey says:

        Before ManCNYCFC and Atlanta, MLS stance was that you had to pay $100mil and provide an SSS. Beckham skirted the first part but is still following through on the stadium.

        The lure of TV markets has dollar signs in Garber’s eyes and he has dropped the stadium requirements. This led to the catastrophe that will ensue for MCNYCFC’s first decade (there is no way they move into their own stadium in 3yrs). And the deplorable position that somehow it is ok for new teams to play on plastic fields.

        Short term financial gain is trumping the quest for quality in MLS.

        • Gazza says:

          “Before ManCNYCFC and Atlanta, MLS stance was that you had to pay $100mil and provide an SSS”.

          Do you have a source for this? Probably not because it is utter crap. Orlando didn’t pay $100m. And Beckham was always going to pay $25m.

          Also you have no idea if Atlanta, Miami or NYCFC will play on ‘plastic fields’

          • RBNY says:

            NYCFC will play on a “baseball field” for at least 3 years – that is one thing that we can be completely sure about.

            • Waning Interest says:

              My MLS interest has been waning since the league started backtracking on what they were doing well with fans: SSS, for one.

              NYCFC was done wrong. Atlanta? Just another less important tenant on football lines in a cavernous stadium whose signage and identity will be Falcons, not the MLS club.

              Even Orlando is talking about sharing the stadium with college football. Just not okay and one of the reasons why my interest in MLS is waning as of late.

        • Ryan SATX says:

          Short term financial gain is going to lead to long term quality. More money for better players->better competition->More viewers (live and tv).->Even more money.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Except Montreal came in with Saputo, TFC with BMO, Philly with PPL, Chivas at HDC, Seattle at Seahawks. There are some counterexamples but I’d hardly hold up stadium situations like SJ or Vancouver as approaches to imitate. My concern is we’re moving away from stadium built or being built, and fans already excited and showing up in the minors, towards the guesswork approach, which allocates the risk of failure to us.

        • Seriously says:

          Atlanta has similar attendance to Seattle when they were a lower division team. They will play in a beautiful stadium that can work for both soccer and football just like Seattle. I’m not saying Atlanta will be anything like Seattle, but if we are going to use them as an example then you can’t shut down Atlanta when it is in nearly an identical situation.

  2. slowleftarm says:

    Minnesota may be a decent spot for an MLS team but I’m not a fan of sharing huge football stadiums. These teams just want to be able to have a steady schedule of games during the NFL offseason to help pay for the stadium. Also, even in this idyllic rendering, the field barely fits.

    • bbstl says:

      I thought the exact same thing. If this is a true-to-life rendering, players would have about 2 yards on corner kicks.

      • fischy says:

        That’s how it was at Giants Stadium back in the day. I remember how it was for the World Cup. Made for lousy corner kicks. As a long-term MLS thing, it’s not good.

        I’m still rooting for the Twins to win this, with the smaller, soccer-specific field. I know Garber has all these connections with the NFL, but he’s gotta separate himself from those and figure out what’s best for soccer here. Smaller stadiums, generous fields, with seats configured for soccer, and, above all, natural grass. Given that it’s Minneapolis, I’d recommend the extra expense for a heating system below the field, too.

        • fischy says:

          However, if the VIkings are serious about the soccer team, then they should adapt their design to better accommodate the soccer field — not just the idea of hiding the upper decks. Suitability for soccer should start with the field. They should be asked to forfeit some seats there around the soccer corners.

        • Luke says:

          As a resident of Minneapolis I can tell you it was a low of 18 degrees yesterday. Today it’s snowing. March in Minnie is even more touch and go in terms of weather with a few days with lows below 0. Even with heating elements in the field, it would be miserable for both players and fans. No way MLS works here unless it’s played in a dome.

          • Drew says:

            As a resident of Minneapolis I can tell you it was a low of 18 degrees yesterday. Today was/is snowing. March in Minnie is even more touch and go in terms of weather with a few days with lows below 0(possible). Even with heating elements in the field, it would be fun for both players and fans. Yes way MLS works here unless it’s played in a dome.

            I had to fix it for you. Dome = dead, period. If it’s played in a dome, then it’s Wilf’s team and the last thing I’ll ever support is one of his team, yes even if it’s an MLS team. He’s a horrible owner and settles for the bare minimum just looking for his paycheck.

        • divers suck says:

          I’m on the fence with so many MLS expansion projects going on. With the latest expansion successes of the Cascadia teams in the PNW, I hope this doesn’t backfire on them. Cascadia was always going to work with the long soccer histories in Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. A second pro team in NY, fledgling expansion sites in Atlanta, Miami and Minneapolis/St Paul not so much…It would be fantastic if it works, however!!

      • MLSsnob says:

        2 yards is being nice, more like 1.5 steps.

        • Luke says:

          FIFA rules on dimensions of the field pretty loose.
          Length (touch line):
          * minimum 90 m (100 yds)
          * maximum 120 m (130 yds)

          Width (goal line):
          * minimum 45 m (50 yds)
          * maximum 90 m (100 yds)
          If they need more space for corners they can move the touchline of goal lines in further.

          • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

            I always thought the max length was 150.

            Did I remember wrong, or did they change it ?

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Shame Socrates is dead you could have him do corner kicks in his old penalty kick style, no real run up, plant one leg swing the other for the kick.

      • Drew11 says:

        I don’t believe the rendering. The design priorities were: 1)NFL 2)college baseball (!) , 3)Soccer. Soccer was really an afterthought in the design.

  3. Ryan Selby says:

    It is unrealistic to expect a city to have a specific football, baseball, basketball AND soccer stadium. AND all located in the downtown area. If a stadium is well engineered to accommodate two sports (Vancouver) rather than shoe-horned (RFK) then that is better than nothing. Especially if we are talking about a top 20 TV market city.

    • Vic says:

      I get about 2 emails from Red Bulls before every game to buy tickets. Why doesn’t MLS get a comprehensive email list from each team and send out the weekly MLS schedules to remind people. The American media promotes MLS at the same level as Sumo wrestling.

    • Ian says:

      I agree with this statement, but only if the stadium features grass rather than field turf.

      • Seriously says:

        Depends on the turf. I used to be hardline on this issue, but Portland has a great surface. If other teams could just get on board with the same quality of turf as Portland then I would have much less to say about turf for MLS.

        • Ian says:

          I’ll grant you Portland’s is the best turf out of the bunch, but that’s like being the tallest guy at a midget convention; hardly something to brag over.

          • RAMONE says:

            Yuk, yuk, yuk! Though neither is being the ugliest woman at a beauty contest. Just as there are differences in turf quality we have definitely seen a lot of variation in grass quality through the years also.

            I am all for every soccer game everywhere always being played on immaculately groomed where there is a fields budget of $20million a year to keep it that way. The reality is those places are very few and very far between.

            With the same constraints as discussed above with stadium, etc. in Portland, we decided to recycle what we had rather than go look for land (probably in the suburbs (yuck) to start from scratch. The century plus old sports venue location that current Prov Park sits on sits in a creekbed (you can’t see it, but there is a small creek running through a pipe about 2-3 feet below the playing surface) and 2-3 stories below ground level (ground level is slightly higher than the top of smaller stand with PORTLAND spelled out on the seats when you watch on TV). Decades ago, we did put real grass in there and it had to be re-sodded every few weeks because the grass died due to lack of light and the place turned into a mud pit after repeated use in the rain).

            Indoor stadiums have many of the same issues (though I love the Arizona design with the tray of grass pulled into the parking lot when the stadium isn’t in use). Additionally the wear on the field due to multiuse is much higher and if football totally screws up a grass surface on Sunday/Monday, it is difficult to get it playable again for soccer 4-6 days later (new grass simply doesn’t grow that fast, sod doesn’t root that fast to become a stable surface).

            If we are going to have all grass soccer fields in MLS they need to be more that just SSSs, they need to be Soccer ONLY Stadiums and in some locations with fairly huge investments in drainage, grow lights and field crews to maintain. If MLS had NFL type money flowing in, it wouldn’t be an issue … but they don’t.

    • Matthew says:

      It’s not unrealistic to expect that a MLS side has a stadium where they are the primary tenet and that other users of the facility pay them rent, rather than being tenants in another team’s building. That was the great folly of the early years of MLS. Maybe it wasn’t possible in the early years, but it also put a cap on the growth they could realize.

      I think that it’s way more likely that these new clubs will be New England Revolution 2.0 rather than Seattle 2.0 in their NFL stadiums. MLS will be better off in more intimate venues where they control revenues and the game looks good on TV rather than playing in front of 50% full stadium (20,000 out of 40,000), even if the TV markets aren’t the same.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        It is not unrealistic for the Sounders to own the stadium that the Seahawks play in and charge them rent ?
        yeah I’m going to disagree with that one…..

        ….but having the city help pay for the stadium, there is no reason why the soccer team has to play second fiddle….there CAN be two first fiddles.

        • Rory Miller says:

          “there CAN be two first fiddles.”

          Mark this day down… the day Quit Whining revolutionized Bluegrass Music forever!

        • Matthew says:

          I didn’t say that did I? I said that “It’s not unrealistic to expect that a MLS side has a stadium where they are the primary tenet and that other users of the facility pay them rent, rather than being tenants in another team’s building.”

          Seattle being an exception to that rule. They don’t pay rent. They keep most, if not all, game-day revenues. They get a cut of all the other soccer related revenues (friendlies, etc).

          I think that all MLS fans should be worried that a team in ATL & MSP will not fall into that same world, and will end up being little brother to the NFL’s big brother. Boston/New England is also a strategic market, like these two under consideration, and it’s really doing nothing for the league.

          If you tell me that the MSP gets a stadium that’s their own, then I think that it’s a great deal, but MLS should be beyond the point where they’re just plopping teams in any “critical” market that has an NFL stadium. That’s been done, and has been shown to be a real burden to the team and the league.

      • RAMONE says:

        Totally agree. Whether these teams turn out with the fate of NE or Seattle really depends on several things. 1. Location (I would argue that if NE’s stadium, even if the exact same stadium that is shared with the Pats, was located next to Fenway then the Revs would be a totally different vibe / franchise). 2. Owner who cares and wants the team to succeed and cares about attracting a loyal large following, not just a cheap stadium tenant to fill some extra dates if they field a team. 3. Will the fans actually show up when the team is struggling? Every team is going to go through cycles and are usually pretty bad the first year or two. Are there enough soccer fans who can fall in love and be patient or will the novelty wear off 5 games (or 2-3 years in)?

        Those who can have positive outcomes in all 3 of those areas will do well, failing in 1 puts you in a precarious position, failing in 2 or 3 means you will probably be a total disaster.

  4. jimcrist says:

    Lip service. That’s all it is. Stepping up conversations from zero doesn’t mean much.

  5. Steven C says:

    While I don’t have a problem with expansion, it makes me nervous by how quickly they are putting these teams through.

    • Ian says:

      You’re not alone. I feel like the league has moved back to its old M.O. of “if you build it, they will come,” away from the Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Philly M.O. of “they’re already here, so let’s build it.”

      • 2tone says:

        Doesn’t apply to Minneapolis. Minneapolis was a huge soccer market back in the old NASL. Regularly pulling in 20,000 to 30,000 fans to games. Minneapolis already has the fan base like Seattle and Portland.

        • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

          exactly…like Seattle.

        • bryan says:

          which is why it was cool to hear the NASL club-owner is interested. if they can create an ownership group of him, the Vikings, and the Twins owners, that’s pretty fantastic. then make Minnesota United FC the name, bring the colors over, etc. just like OCSC did. maybe update the crest (if needed).

          would suck for NASL but at least there is an existing fanbase if they go that route. plus they’ll have the money of all three owners.

          • Drew says:

            Our crest does NOT need updating. It won the american soccer reddit competition beating all other badges.

            • Bob Dobalina says:

              It only needs to be updated for legal reasons. I agree with the crest. One of the best in all of soccer.

        • flagermunsen says:

          This should not be overlooked. According to my college soccer coach, who also worked for the Sting at the time, he claimed the Kicks actually made a profit in their penultimate season. He always thought it was one of the best NASL markets the league ever had.

        • RAMONE says:

          The old NASL folded 30 years ago. Portland, Seattle and Vancouver all had similar NASL crowds 30-40 years ago. So did NY Cosmos and several others.

          The difference is that the Timbers, Whitecaps and Sounders continued on (not every year for all) and continued to have a following in D2 soccer. The whitecaps used to sell out their tiny Swangard Stadium out every week (about 6k if memory serves) for D2 soccer. Seattle had variable crowds for D2, sometimes tiny with less than 1000, sometimes selling out their tiny Starfire Stadum (4500) but even when they played at the Clink they didn’t attract big crowds. Soccer fans didn’t really care about D2 there – but they jumped in the MLS bandwaggon like no other. Portland in their last years in USL even when playing an early season game at the same time as a home Blazer playoff game would get 5-6k out for a game and as the season wore on they would frequently pull 12-16k out for D2 soccer. Now Vancouver and Seattle make fun of Portland’s “small” crowds of just over 20k … because that is all that fit in the stadium.

          Minnesota in contrast has had a parade of D2 teams come and go. NASL and USL are hard to follow from a far, but do the locals follow them closely with a burgeoning supporter’s scene? Do they get 5-10k coming out for their games? Is there a group of supporters who are not family who follow them on the road to Tampa Bay and Edmonton? Portland, Seattle and Vancouver had fan support and structures that they just simply scaled up to MLS. I always question how much a “hot bed” really loves soccer (and Minnesota isn’t the only one, St. Louis, San Diego … several others) when they always talk about 30 years ago but don’t support their local D2 team now. MLS would take notice IMMMEDIATELY if Minnesota United was pulling in crowds of 5-15k week after week, particularly if they were an average or bad team and that was simply a measure of the strong base of die hard support.

  6. Reid says:

    How many more creepy old dudes with weirdo mustaches that don’t really care about their soccer teams do we need in this league?

    • John Waters says:

      Well, I never!

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      Arthur Blank cares about Soccer… always has… desperately wants Atlanta to be a World Cup host site as well… you are very uninformed.

      • MLSsnob says:

        Is he passionate about soccer or about the business opportunity about soccer? There’s a difference, no really, I’m asking?

        • SilverRey says:

          Arther Blank cares more about soccer than most NFL owners. His son is deeply involved in Atlanta soccer, and Home Depot has been a major sponsor of MLS for a long time now.

          I honestly think he cares, but does he care enough. My fears stem from it being a second child to the NFL team and having to play on a plastic field. I want my owners to have their MLS team as their priority – we need more Anthony Precourts out there!

        • bryan says:

          you could ask that for just about every owner in the EPL too. the answer is likely, “both.”

      • Reid says:

        Andy take your Atlanta blinders off for a minute, there isn’t an MLS team there…. look to Colorado.
        If these guys cared about soccer so much they would design their stadium with soccer in mind (wider field, rolling grass like Arizona).
        Just went to a 65K seater stadium this weekend with 17k? people and they played on a plastic pitch, if Bob Kraft hung sheets down or put posters on the upper level seats it would still be a horrible place to watch a match.

        • Gazza says:

          Been to Vancouver or Seattle lately?

          • Reid says:

            Did the long drive to Toronto Pre-Grass field once. Atmosphere was great, the ping pong ball that was bouncing every which way was disappointing.
            I look forward to one day going to Vancouver and Seattle. But the turf fields in MLS I feel personally are hampering the on field product as well as giving some elite players pause maybe on coming here, but definitely playing on those fields.

        • Andy in Atlanta says:

          Reid… the stadium is being built with soccer in mind (dims that qualify for a WC game)… and in 2017… who knows what sort of playing surface technology will have been invented by then.

          the so called plastic pith argument is getting lame… yes NE is an MLS eye sore but Seattle and Vancouver are perfect MLS clubs. Atlanta can be that.

          • Reid says:

            Andy I agree with you that the clubs are pretty much perfect, but the fields I just won’t make that leap with the playing surfaces. I’ve been a fan of MLS since about 2005 and up until the past 2 years or so I liked the direction it was heading. I just don’t know if getting into these major media markets and compromising on the quality of the field is the best way to go for a person like myself (MLS fan not a specific club)
            I’m not mad, I’m not going to stop watching, just wish that Garber would be more forceful on the issue of playing surface.

        • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

          Reid maybe the problem is the number of fans.

          Nothing better than 67k ( full house ) in Seattle….I would be very bummed if those games were in stadium the size of a Texas high school football stadium

  7. PSU says:

    I love the Atlanta stadium (minus the lack of real grass). It’s a waste to have a soccer and a football stadium, but the stadium has to be designed for both. The Atlanta stadium is. This one isn’t. Not a big fan of this.

    • Sean says:

      A waste? I 100% disagree. It’s crucial, in fact. Identity will be diluted and, if anything, another failed MLS market will be the REAL waste.

  8. MNNiceFC says:

    This is a bit disappointing Ives. This is a complete throw-away article with nothing except Bagley saying the same thing he’s said in the past with absolutely nothing tangible. Calling it a report is disingenuous at best. I really wish that American soccer journalists would refrain from entering into the HuffPo route. If you have news to report, then by all means, report it. But this is nothing.

  9. Thomas says:

    Is MLS ever going to cap the number of teams? Too many teams will make the games more and more meaningless. It would be awesome to see a second division made with promotion/relegation between the two

    • Rory Miller says:

      Maybe once the league gets to a financial standing that it can survive on without the expansion fees. People don’t seem to realize the only thing keeping the league afloat now is expansion fees.

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        What facts is your statement based on?

      • RAMONE says:

        And SUM money.
        And sponsorship money.
        And TV money.
        And in some but not all locations gate and merch sales.

        MLS’s financial structure (and most US based sports league’s financial structure) are set up to make it look like teams break even if not lose money (because they bear the costs of operations of teams) but only get credited a portion of the income (gate, in stadium merch sales, food, etc.) so teams like NE and Chivas are always going to look bad. They don’t directly count a lot of the other sources of revenue which is what keeps team afloat.

        If MLS was totally reliant on expansion fees to keep the league afloat, then teams like NE and Chivas and probably Toronto (the last 2-3 years) would be folding. There is a whole lot more money in MLS than meets the eye.

  10. Matty says:

    Oklahoma City!

    Ok, its a dream. And I will keep on dreaming.

    • SilverRey says:

      At least you have a start with your NASL team next year. Anyway, NASL is supposed to be on the same level as MLS in the next decade right? You can say you were there at the beginning!

      • Matty says:

        NASL and USL Pro ( The USL Pro started this year). I DO NOT want two teams, it only competes for fans. If they want MLS they should have a joint effort one way or the other.

  11. Nandez says:

    Charlotte, San Antonio, or Tennessee before Minneapolis. Psssh and people think atlantas going to be a bust get a load of this.

  12. Drew11 says:

    Wilf is bad news. Robert Kraft with a potential rap sheet. I am sure MLS prefers the MN UTD/Twins SSS if they can get it done..

  13. Ivan says:

    Another team playing on a plastic turf. Disgusting!

    Football must never be played on plastic, unless we are talking about playing on the North/South Poles.

  14. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Plastic pitches in MLS

    Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Toronto (most of the season), New England

    only New England is a poor place to watch a match…

  15. Brian Hall says:

    Does anyone else remember in the mid-90s when the NHL was all the rage and then they over-expanded, especially in Florida and the South.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      Miami, Tampa Bay, Nashville and Raleigh still have franchises?

      Atlanta lost theirs because of the Spirit Ownership Group that refused to invest… they only kept the Thrashers and the Hawks to collect revenue from Phillips Arena’s other events… Atlanta is a monster NBA market and the Hawks barely draw because the owners refused to invest seriously in the team… I mean they gave Joe Johnson a max contract back in the mid 2000s…

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      in addition… current end of the season NHL standings… here is who is as the bottom 3 of each conference…

      East… NY Islanders, Florida, Buffalo

      West… Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton…

      Pretty sure 5 of those 6 listed are big time hockey towns…

    • PSU says:

      Yes, but hockey is by it’s nature a cold weather sport. Not saying the southern push is a great idea, but it’s not a fair comparison.

      • Seriously says:

        Somebody outside of the south actually can use their brain on this? I’m impressed with your posts in here RE: Atlanta. Well done PSU.

  16. 2tone says:

    A lot of uninformed people. Minneapolis has a very deep rooted soccer culture going back 40+ years. A team in Minneapolis will succeed. The fan base has been there for a long time for a MLS team.

    • CamRahn Bay says:

      Well said. If you ever get a chance to talk to someone that lived in MN in the 70’s and 80’s, ask them about the pro soccer teams. It was the hot ticket in town – no joke.

      People hear Minnesota and all they think is unbearable cold. While this is true, we also have great summers and I think an outdoor stadium would be just fine – hell, even Baseball does well here outside and the team is awful. I prefer the Farmer’s Market option, and I would be a season ticket holder from day one. If they have to play in the new stadium I am okay with that. I just want a team to root for here!

  17. Cosmosfan says:

    So basically after doing so nice growing using small owned stadiums MLS had decided to go full Doug Logan and go back to partnering up in NFL stadiums. What the hell.

  18. bryan says:

    while i’m not totally opposed to the technology to downsize the stadium for an MLS crowd, that technology still cannot help keep sound in, right? even if it looks ok visually, will the sound stay inside the stadium when it’s 20k-30k people? that’s what is so great about SSS. they are made to fit MLS crowds and are designed to enhance the sound so that there is a great atmosphere even with 20k.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      yes, the idea behind Atlanta’s fold down roof flaps it will keep sound down around the field as well as shield view of empty seats.

  19. BamaMan says:

    We’ll see what happens. Outside of the Pacific Northwest, has this model worked well anywhere?

  20. 407 says:

    Unbelievable.

    It’s 4 minutes before the supposed big presser event with MLS and Atlanta, and here we have news about Minnesota wanting in using the same model.

    Meaning, the ink is still wet on Atlanta’s MLS deal using the MLS club as nothing more than an extra line-item on the NFL team’s balance sheet for the purpose of persuading Georgia residents to spend several hundred million in taxes for Blank’s new NFL stadium—and now the Vikings want the same line-item to add to their budget.

    I said it about Atlanta and I’ll say it about Minnesota: if there are proper Supporters Groups and the club advances MLS more than they detract from it, then fine.

    But don’t ever pretend like this was a ripe market for soccer success when the soccer team is a mere department buried inside the NFL club’s foundation.

    • Drew11 says:

      MLS needed ATL a lot more than they need MSP. I’d be very surprised if MLS got in bed with an absentee NFL owner like Wilf with another solid option (MUFC/Twins group) on the table.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      Atlanta residents tax money? You sure are misinformed. Blank is paying 800 million of his own private money. The other 200 million is coming from increased hotel/motel tax… barely causing any tax liability on Atlantans but rather on convention visitors and tourists.

  21. Joamiq says:

    I really don’t want another NFL owner who doesn’t care about his MLS team, another NFL stadium, and another turf pitch in MLS. These are backward steps.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      Manchester United, Aston Villa…both owned by NFL owners…

      The stadium is being designed with MLS in mind from the get go…

  22. Pete says:

    If they were true Vikings, they would take the MLS franchise by force.

  23. NUGUET says:

    ET NE PAS OUBLIER LE NEW-YORK COSMOS