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Application deadline day for MLS expansion hopefuls


Today is the deal Major League Soccer announces the list of candidates to be among the two cities to receive MLS expansion teams by 2011 and Tuesday say several of the candidates revealed.

Here are cities whose bids have been revealed or reported as having been submitted already:

Two cities missing from that list are New York and Las Vegas. No word on whether those groups have submitted bids yet or if they are waiting until today’s 5pm deadline to put a bid in.

Two weeks ago I asked you which cities you thought should be up for the next two MLS expansion slots and Portland and St. Louis were the winners in the poll (though it should be noted that fans from both cities set up voting drives to stuff the SBI ballot box). It wasn’t a real surprise to see Montreal finish third. Interestingly enough, Atlanta and Las Vegas finished last in the voting, not Ottawa. I have a feeling that large contingent of SBI readers in Canada took care of their own because there is no way Ottawa should be considered ahead of Miami or Atlanta.

MLS will reveal the finalized list of expansion candidates after 5pm today, when we will learn if the Wilpons have decided against MLS expansion in New York, or if it is getting ready to win what should be a fierce battle for two (and perhaps four) upcoming MLS expansion slots.

What do you think of the cities that have applied? Share your thoughts below.


  1. Revised standing (mistake before)

    Team W L T GF GA

    NYC 8 0 0 30 6

    Mont 7 1 0 26 6

    Miami 5 3 0 21 9

    Port 4 3 1 14 11

    StL 3 3 2 9 13

    Vanc 3 4 1 14 13

    LasVegas 2 6 0 5 25

    Atlanta 1 7 0 12 20

    Ottawa 0 8 0 1 27

  2. Blank would probably be able to build a large parking deck with 5 or 6 levels in the lot that is at Silverbacks park now, and do something similar with the small one, and throw a million dollars at the driving range owners, too.

    But I still don’t see it happening.

  3. Ok, I decided to have some fun with this. I decided to form a league where the prospective teams competed 1 v 1 against each other and compiled the resulting record to see who would come out on top. The teams scored “goals” against each other based on their respective TV Market Sizes, Fan Support History, Potential Support, Strength of Ownership Group, and other (possible rivalry, geographic balancing). I tried to look at the matchups as I thought Garber and MLS execs would evaluate it, not how I would (or who necessarily “deserves” it).

    The results:

    City W-L-T

    1. NYC 8-0-0

    2. Montreal 7-1-0

    3. Miami 6-2-0

    4. Portland 4-3-1

    St.Louis 4-3-1

    6. Vancouver 3-5-0

    7. Las Vegas 2-6-0

    8. Atlanta 1-7-0

    9. Ottawa 0-8-0

    The closest games were between 3-6 with Portland- St. Louis coming out a tie. I gave a slight edge (goal) to St. Louis for TV Market (slightly bigger), a goal to Portland for proven fan support (St. Louis doens’t even have a USL-1 team), potential fan support I ended up a tie, Portland has the history but St. Louis is slightly bigger geographically, tie in ownership groups and proposal (both cities have pretty solid, though different proposals), and “other” came out a tie. Both have reasons to claim they bring instant rivlaries to the table and there is no compelling geographic balancing (like no team in the SE).

    For what its worth it was fun.

  4. “Atlanta to be considered over cities that actually support soccer and have a history of supporting soccer.”

    When has it not? The Beat were very successful, and the Silverbacks do well for their stadium (it is small). Not to mention that they must be doing well, since they were able to build their own stadium (and surrounding fields, which are constantly filled).

  5. This is a sight for Opinions, and Ives has one. I just would like to know what qualifies Miami, NY, and Atlanta to be considered over cities that actually support soccer and have a history of supporting soccer. Don’t give me that “Market” crap. The Revolution play in the 3rd largest market and it is embarrasing to watch them play on a football field with 3/4 of the Stadium empty. Howabout Chivas. A solid team playing in LA and can barely draw 15,000 to a game. This league needs passionate fans that will support the team. MLS needs more Toronto’s and less Red Bulls.

  6. Furball, why does everyone have to love Portland as an expansion city? Last time I checked this was a free country and people are entitled to their opinion.

    And saying that Ives is losing credibility because he doesn’t agree with MLSrumors is the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Thanks for the laugh.

  7. Apparently Timber fans are stuffing the ballot box over on Goff’s site as well. Over 1200 votes and Portland is leading over there as well. Eventhough the Timber message board has been down all week and they have no way of organizing a “Ballot Stuffing” drive. Ives, the Timber Army is not ACORN. Your buddies like The Offside Rules, DUNORD, and MLSRUMORS have been pushing for Portland on their sites. You seem to be the only national Blogger who seems to not like Portland as a potential site. No Portland, but you like Miami? Your credibility is taking a serious hit.

  8. Portland and Vancouver. Keep the Cascadia Cup Derby intact with Seattle. Seattle/Portland/Vancouver is the biggest rivalry in North America. It’s a cash cow for the league. ESPN would be showing those games whenever they could.

  9. And for those that think Miami and Atlanta deserve a franchise because they are the largest metro areas that don’t have a team…..

    They are that way because they have the suburbs the same burbs that have failed so righteously in Dallas.

    Population numbers alone are no indicator of success.

  10. Thumpjosh has it pretty much right on. Move KC to St.Louis and Chivas to San Diego (change the name too while you’re at it).

    Then Go Portland or Vancouver and Montreal as the next two after Seattle-Philly

    Barca Miami is an astoundingly BAD idea. Lets make Soccer an American friendly sport, what better way than to have foreign ownership and identification with our teams.

    Sheesh, who thinks this is a good idea? They must be on crack. I can see the ESPN lead in now (All spoken in a heavy Catellano accent.):

    Deportivo Chivas vs Barcelona FC Miami. (don’t forget to roll your R’s and lisp the S’s)

    Yes, that will play really well in the heartland of Ameica.

  11. Miami and NYC 2 are locks unless something goes wrong.

    Miami and Atlanta are the two largest metro areas in the US without MLS, and Miami has Barca. Besides Miami flopped last time because they played out in the boonies somewhere, like FC Dallas now. I understand Barca’s bid has them playing in a local university right in the city. BIG DIFFERENCE.

    New York two is a natural also. People up here don’t drive to Jersey to see the Metros play and quite frankly a city based team will have twice the fan base of the Metros.

  12. Ives,

    I’m one of the “ballot stuffers” you referred to. I followed a link to your site on a Timber’s board and then voted for one time for Portland (and also Montreal, the only USL team with higher average attendance than Portland). I had never been to the site before but now visit daily. Would you like me to stop coming? Perhaps Timber fans should act like supporters in other cities where they don’t give a damn?

    Portland has an average attendance of over 8000 a game. For USL-1! Crowds of 13,000+ are not an uncommon sight at PGE Park and this is with an awful lot of benches, not stadium seats, and they are only on one sideline and one goal line. I can guarantee that Portland will have sell outs year round even without any modifications to PGE *when* MLS comes to town.

    Great downtown stadium location, noisy supporters and a proven track record for supporting soccer (NASL, USL, Woman’s World Cup, not to mention the youth). Excellent public transportation (2 light rail lines right out front and several buses), a metro area that is growing faster than just about anywhere, an above average per capita income, huge Hispanic population, corporate support potential (Nike and Adidas both make the area their US HQ) and an Army of people who give a damn.

    Hell, why doesn’t Portland have a team already?

  13. Just read what Alex said about Mont and Van and that would be AMAZING for the league and for MLS coverage in NA/Canada, as well as support for hte league in the country (which believe it or not, is healthy for the sport in the US).

  14. Shouldn’t these teams at least need a drawing of a new stadium to propose a franchise? If MLS is serious about this stadium push, they need to make it a requirement. Did you see Vancouver’s article? They plan to play at a 55k seat stadium – and then later porpose a new Soccer Specific. I don’t like that on ebot.

  15. GOtta say if we look how the necessities stack up Montreal and Portland look good, if we over look that St Louis and Vancouver look pretty good too. Too much uncertainty with regards to NY2, Miami, Atlanta, Ottawa. Glad to see people are giving Canada a chance as it will help the league not hinder it, that is certain. There are far more benefits to adding Canadian teams then excluding them for a market thats not proven, or has previously failed. Fingers crossed its one of the first 4 i mentioned.

  16. ssartor,

    With regard to your “ESPN isn’t paying for Canadian eyeballs!” comment…I can only infer that you’ve never been to Canada. ESPN has its Canadian version of ESPN called TSN and yes, it is complete with their own Canadian version of SportsCenter. Further, if the initials of ESPN are really important to you…all of the sports bars and satellite TV systems do carry ESPN.

    Without question, this round should go to Montreal and Portland because they have the stadiums and fan support…a proposition that is unrivaled in comparison the other bids.

    The next round should go to Vancouver and St. Louis or NYC2. That gives both Vancouver and St. Louis time to get their stadium deals a little further along, as well as NYCers to get accustomed to seeing the Red Bulls in a proper footballing environment (stadium and pitch)…which give MLS execs time to then determine if moving to NYC2 is the right or wrong thing to do.

    Further, that time also gives the league time on whether they should pull the plug on KC and move to St. Louis…and likewise for Chivas to San Diego.

    And on expansion to Atlanta and Miami: THE ONLY PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAMS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN US ARE THE FOOTBALL TEAMS IN THE SEC AND ACC. Nothing else compares to them in that region…not NFL, not MLB, NBA, NHL…NOTHING! Got it? End of discussion. I’m sorry for being insensitive to the soccer fans in the region, but they have chosen where they live, with both the good and the bad that accompanies that situation.

  17. I think it was great that Timber fans came to SBI to vote for Portland. It shows you the passion the fans have for MLS in the Portland Market. It’s not a shock the NY, Miami and Atlanta didn’t really give a damn. Just as they won’t give a damn if they get a team.

  18. RK, you were right – there isn’t as much room as i thought. Unless they bought out some of those warehouses next to the highway, and that dumb driving range across the street. Blank would probably want to build his own stadium anyways.

  19. RK, I’m not agreeing with Jacob that the Silverbacks field could/should be taken over or shared, but the stadium is surrounded by undeveloped land, with plenty of room to build parking, roads, and other amenities – and even plenty of room to expand the capacity of the stadium itself. I really don’t think that aspect of it would be much of an obstacle. It’s an interesting idea. Probably not realistic given that the Silverbacks are already using it, but interesting nonetheless.

  20. GMD, I’ve got nothing against Portland, I just like some other markets better. I think Portland is a good candidate.

    As for the ballot stuffing thing, I found links to message board posts calling for people to come to the site and vote for Portland, which means some folks who wouldn’t normally have come to SBI came in just to vote for Portland. That’s not a bad thing, if anything it shows that there are fans who care enough to do that. St. Louis did the same thing. I wasn’t criticizing folks for doing it, I was simply pointing out that it happened.

    What I think I will do is find one fan for each MLS team and have them give their votes and see what that vote looks like.

  21. Jacob: although Silverbacks stadium is in a great location, that area isn’t big enough. Not enough roads, parking, room, etc. It would be a CF.

  22. Ives,

    What is your fascination with Miami and Atlanta? Miami and Atlanta do not support any of their professional franchises not in the NFL. Trust me, the Fusion failed for many reason, most of which had to do with the fact that no one wants to sit outside in Miami in the middle of July. Same with Atlanta. Now I know that as a journalist you would much rather travel to Miami and Atlanta than Portland and Vancouver, but once a franchise fails in a city, do they really deserve another? As far as New York goes, the city of New York will not support a franchise unless the franchise has star power. Ronaldinho surrounded by a bunch of John O’Brien’s is not going to sell in NYC.

  23. thumpjosh – question- is KC going to build a soccer specific stadium or is where they are at their final destination?

    If it is they should move to St. Louis tomorrow.


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