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Mets want MLS expansion team in NYC

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Confirming rumors that have been circulating in the New York/Jersey area for years, New York Mets vice president David Howard revealed that the Mets are interested in buying an MLS franchise in New York.

Howard also stated that a Mets-owned MLS team would have its own stadium, and would not share the Mets new Citi Field.

MLS Vice President of Communications Dan Courtemanche told Bloomberg that a Mets-owned New York franchise could be one of the league’s expansion teams in 2011.

What’s my take? I have been saying it for years: A second MLS franchise in New York is inevitable. I know there are enough jokes from folks outside of the area that the market doesn’t even support the team that’s here, but having a second team in the area that plays in New York City could provide a boost for the league as well as the New York Red Bulls by creating a natural rivalry. With Philadelphia set to join in 2010, having a third team in close proximity would create some amazing rivalries and help MLS establish a more visible foothold in the local sports scene.

It is time for a poll:

What do you think about a second New York MLS team? Like the idea? Hate it? Share your thoughts below.


  1. We need a soccer team in Queens, NY!! Have you ever been to Flushing Meadows Park on a Weekend?! It’s non-stop soccer everywhere. don’t tell me NYC couldn’t support a second team. In fact, I don’t go to Red Bull games because there on the other side of the River. That’s a hassle. Now they’re taking them even farther from NYC. They’re more like the NJ Red Bulls. Give me a team I can take a subway to and I’ll become a fan with season tickets!! Also they need the backing of top tier teams like Barcelona, Manchester United, or even my team…Boca Jrs!!

  2. I am a big fan of soccer and have been wanting to go see the red bulls play but to get to the meadowlands to see the red bulls play from long island is really not worth it. Its the same reason i dont see the giants or jets play but i have been to shea 15x this year and 1 yank game

    So i support this the team would do alot better if the team was closer to the city

  3. NYC needs another team. It’s the economic, media, and cultural capital of the United States and North America. MLS needs to remember that without the top INTERNATIONAL world city markets doing well (New York, L.A., Chicago, D.C., Bay Area) it doesn’t matter how evenly distributed the teams are geographically. RBNY’s weaknesses as a strictly New York market are obvious and well-documented. The New Jersey market is a good one in its own right both as an outer extension of the New York and Philly metropolitan areas as well as having a large and diverse market of its own in and around Newark. It also has been a major soccer hotbed in its own right from the beginning of U.S. soccer. If it was rechristened Metrostars F.C. and allowed to be a secondary New York franchise drawing primarily (though not exclusively) out of New Jersey I think it would have a much more cohesive regional identity. Another NYC team based in the boroughs could draw out that difference more starkly and create a real derby rivalry. City vs. suburbs. New York vs. New Jersey. Gotham Derby. It works with the Devils and Rangers (and Islanders) and I think it could work here.

    Besides, those poo-pooing the SuperClasico need to remember that bringing Chivas USA into the league was a great boost to bring Latino fans to MLS and gave a rivalry and a sporting voice to Latino-Americans, especially recent immigrants who make up the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. It’s already an intense rivalry and it draws on one of the biggest tensions and divides in the U.S., the line between Anglo-American (in terms of language and culture as much as actual ethnicity) and Latino-American. Like the Celtic/Rangers rivalry it responds to and feeds off of local conditions. It’s Hollywood, David Beckham, Landon Donovan against the real, working-class, immigrant L.A. From a marketing standpoint, the decision by the MLS to bring in Chivas USA was very bold and if both teams find success on the field it could pay off handsomely in the future. Chivas USA will eventually need to build its own stadium (preferably in or around East L.A.) but if it grows its product intelligently and especially if it attracts top-level Latin talent and the Galaxy settles their front office and back line this could soon become one of the better rivalries in soccer in the Western Hemisphere.

    Looking at the alternatives to a second New York team the best expansion opportunities aren’t even in the U.S. Montreal has proven to be one of the strongest candidates for expansion as well as a natural rival of Toronto (given the passion and history between those two cities that could quickly become one of the world’s great club derbies) and has shown strong investment and attendance in its USL team and it taps into the more European-oriented market in Francophone North America. Vancouver also is a large, strong world city with an incredibly diverse population (doorway to Asia) and has shown progress in securing a stadium, though that will have to be finalized before their bid is truly legitimate.

    In terms of the U.S., other than Miami (and Atlanta if it proves it deserves it through attendance and investment of its USL team) there really aren’t many big cities left in the U.S. which are true international economic and cultural centers that are lacking a current or future MLS team. Yes, St. Louis is a soccer hotbed and deserves a MLS team somewhere down the line but it’s still an aging Midwestern city and metropolitan area that’s been in decline for decades. Same goes for Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Milwaukee too and they also don’t seem to follow soccer much. The Twin Cities are the only other Midwestern area I’d even think about though that’s still a relatively small market and the weather would be problematic early spring and late fall (though no more so than Montreal). Arguments could also be made for Phoenix and Las Vegas, though only with an astronomically expensive retractable roof stadium. Portland’s intriguing but it’s a small market and Vancouver would probably be a better choice for a second Pacific Northwest team. Any number of other random U.S. cities (New Orleans, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Charlotte, Nashville, etc.) all have significant shortcomings in terms of market size, location, local interest, potential for growth, etc.

    Bottom line, New York needs, deserves and should have a second franchise within the city. The alternatives just wouldn’t do as much good for the growth and legitimacy of MLS brand in North America or worldwide.

  4. Ron the red bulls attract way more than 10k a gaem they average nearly 15k a game, and that number will be greatly increased once the stadium is done. With this said i still think a second team would be a big mistake, granted a larger fan base will be present when the stadium opens but is the fan bs really large enough to fill up th enew stadium and support a whole other team as well.

  5. Most people ignore RBNY in New York because they’ve always played in New Jersey, and will continue to play there. People who live in Queens and Brooklyn don’t want to make the trek to Giants Stadium to see the Red Bulls (unless its Beckham or a big-name club). But put a stadium at the former Shea site which has easy transportation access, christen them the Cosmos, and having them play in the most diverse county in the US, then you could get up to 30K a match.

  6. I’ve been reading that some of you dont like the idea of another MLS team in NY because of the poor attendance for the Red Bulls. OK PEOPLE NOW LISTEN UP!!! Red Bulls play in NJ (Meadowlands). It takes up to 2 hours to get to that Godforsaken place from Queens & Long Island. You have to drive there because it takes 4 hours by bus. If they put a team in Queens it will sell out every game because of the amount of people in Queens & LI. Flushing meadows park are full of people playing soccer every Sat & Sun. A lot of the people living in queens do not have cars to travel to the Meadowlands but they will be able to get to the soccer games in Queens. I love soccer (I was set free from media controlled games like Baseball and Football) and I most definately will buy season tickets for the MLS team in Queens.

  7. I second KLB, that poll presents a false dichotomy Ives.

    We should replicate the model cross-town “rivalry” between the Gals and Chivas. That’s going great. El Nuevo Superclasico!

    This isn’t about whether the team is deserving, but that doesn’t mean the deal should happen. RBNY doesn’t draw nearly as well as it should. A rivalry would help. But the new team with its accessible stadium could very well siphon off any NYC interest from RBNY. The team would cease to be a NY team in any real sense. That wouldn’t help build a rivalry any more than the Nets and Knicks are fierce rivals.

    The Mets and Yankees are compelling rivals partly because they’re both very wealthy teams and perennial contenders. That’s a result of their enormous fanbase, but that’s not going to be the situation in NY/NJ.

    It would also diminish the rivalries with DCU and potential rivalry with Philly. There are already plenty of potential RBNY rivals in the league, that isn’t a good reason to add a second NY team, especially before a 2nd Canadian club or a team in the SE US.

  8. I think the largest city in the country without 2 major league sports franchises is the odds on favorite to get it at this point: Portland.

  9. Don’t know if we need another NY team (unless you name the redbulls NJ which owners wouldn’t probably want)But I am definitely in favor of a team near Citi field. I always thought the metrostars/redbulls should of moved to flushing just in the facts that the area has a large Latino population that are just dieing for some soccer. The 7 train being right there also helps. N to the 7 from Astoria would also bring in European and Brazilian soccer fans. Baseball will become so expensive in NY come next year .. a cheaper soccer game can always be an option now. that’s my 2 cents

  10. I think its a mistake for reasons only furball has hit on. The NYC metro area is only interested in top level products not minor league products like MLS. I’m sure Mets FC would draw well the first year but once people see a team filled with Chris Leitch level players they won’t come back and they will struggle at the gate just like Red Bull. The Cosmos never drew well either until they put a top level product on the field. All the other excuses I read about poor attendance(transportation, astroturf, football lines) are weak. People flock to Giants stadium multiple times every summer when a perceived top level soccer product is on the field.

  11. Hurray for the Mets, make it happen! I ain’t a NY’er, and get really annoyed at Jersey-based “NY” teams, but think that a team actually in the city in a SSS would be fantastic for MLS. Done right, I think this is the best choice for the next team.

  12. Most of the comments here are ridiculous. Obviously from small minded American soccer and sports fans who have no clue about futbol or rivalries. A second team is essential to create the derby environment that exists in london, buenos aires and rome. the thinking amongst posters here is along the lines of all other sports. what would a franchise in st. louis do besides attract 5,000 fans if that? the league does not need to be in small markets. it needs to be in the large cities creating crazy rivalries just like arsenal vs. chelsea/tottenham, boca vs. river plate and as roma vs. lazio. besides, the best atmosphere i was in this past year was the ny yankees vs. mets subway series because of the friendly feuds between fans. let us enter the 21st century with some pizazz. and for those who say that citizens of the city would support a team because other mls franchises are located in the suburbs are just as clueless as the idiots who are about to vote for the mccain-palin ticket. i do not own a car nor have i in the 15 years i have lived in the city. it takes me 3 hours to get to the stadium and back from central brooklyn. a team in queens would be a true nyc team with a heavy following of the immigrant population that makes up nyc. nj red bulls can have their soccer moms. we will have our barra brava!!!

  13. I’m really excited about this. If we start now, the stadium will be complete by 2016 (like RB Arena). We’re planning on a 10,000 capacity stadium because it will be just like Chivas USA filling up half of the Home Depot Center. Even though there are a plethora of other great cities that don’t have MLS teams to begin with, this rivalry would be amazing. The fans of New York would get so geeked up about this rivalry that the rest of North America wouldn’t care. We all know you can’t have a rivalry unless it’s inner city. This would be a great expansion!

  14. I don’t think the Chivas/Galaxy is completely apt. For one thing, Chivas really blew a lot of things. They thought they only had to show up in red striped shirts and the Mexican Americans would flock to the team. Also, by playing in the same stadium they have denied themselves a clear geographic regional identification. The people running the Mets are much smarter and know something about fostering inter-city rivalries…

    PS – I hate the Mets, by the way. I’m a Yankee fan and will root for the Red Bulls over the blue and orange abominations. See? It’s working already.

  15. If they play in Queens or Brooklyn, some place accessible by subway, I think it’s a great idea. Seems like the Mets would be a very solid ownership group. As some commenters have pointed out and those unfamiliar with the New York area need to understand, it’s not easy to get Giants stadium from the city especially when you don’t have a car like a lot of New Yorkers. The move to Harrison will definitely make it easier, but it’s still kind of a trek, especially if you live in Queens or Brooklyn or Long Island.

  16. If Red Bull and Austria ownership continue to egotisticly keep their insulting name they deserve all the failure and irrelevance they will recieve in the fact of local competition that is true and traditional.


  17. Metrologist, you’re funny. Two questions for you:

    A) Do you think anyone here actually thinks that MLS will be using his/her own personal opinions, conditions and/or whims when choosing the next team? Just curious why you feel the need to keep repeating you’re opinion on what words should or shouldn’t be used here.

    B) If you consider how many MLS stadiums aren’t in the city limits of the city that they’re supposedly based in (and I would include the Revs in that group – I know they’re called “New England”, but like the Pats, who doesn’t consider them a Boston team?), is it really that odd for people not from NY to think of Red Bull as a NY team?

  18. If the Red Bulls and Mets want to really get it right, they’ll be sure to reserve a corner of their stadiums for visiting fans so we can get the full feel of a NY Derby.

  19. All the arguments you folks are using for a second NY team were used to place a second team in Los Angeles (big metro area/rivalry etc), and what kind of attendance do Chivas have? When I talk about “deserve” I mean a team that can expect to fill the stands and have passionate supporters. This maybe the most overlooked and under appreciated factor in the potential success of the league by the marketing/business “gurus”. These “gurus” look at TV market size, etc. but don’t realize that if a team creates buzz and excitement within the community by selling out its stadium and being the talk of the town (think Toronto FC) than that synergy will spill over into endorsements, tv contracts and excitement for the league vs. half filled stadiums in “major” markets that give the appearance that the league is floundering (think NYRB, NE, Chivas). In fact, it is you NYers who are bringing up the “deserve” factor based soley on conjecture and no firm ownership proposals in place. If you want to talk about more firm proposals by ownership groups, Portand and Vancouver are far further down that road than NY.

  20. “And though Metrologist wants us to base our personal preferences on his opinions and feelings rather than our own”

    Where do you get that? I said “putting on my fan hat”; that means it’s my personal feelings on the matter, nothing more, nothing less. As a potential fan minus a soccer team, I don’t feel the need to be equitable once I’ve made that particular disclaimer. I understand fully the feelings of people who want MLS to come to Vancouver, St. Louis, Portland, Moose Jaw, Petaluma, Chillicothe, Salina or wherever. I just don’t care, and I extend to you the offer to not care about what I want, either. As I’ve said multiple times now, our ideas of who “deserves” a team have minimal value, if any at all.

    “If you really wanted to show that you deserved a second team, then you’d be supporting RBNY and helping sell out every game.”

    Who are you to set those conditions? You’re mistaken if you think the only reason people have for not supporting CFKA Metro is geography (though that’s a biggie.) There are people here, for example, who supported Metro through thick and thin and refuse to support this abominable marketing experiment, full stop.

    “I laugh at the people who insist NYRB is “not a New York team” … then wear Giants or Jets stuff on Sundays.”

    Comparing any league – much less MLS – with the NFL, given its history and its place in national and local culture, is simply idiotic.


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