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Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by pc4th, Nov 16, 2007.
Is that true?
I've read interviews where the owner of the St. Louis club has said that they will be at the construction site, breaking ground, the day after the franchise is awarded. They've had funding for a few weeks now, no?
I believe so. I think their only obstacle to getting a team has been the league's concern about the ownership group. I read something the other day that said they are looking for more investors.
Did a search. Found this
"MLS would like us to really finalize our ownership group, which we're in the process of doing. They would like Philadelphia to finalize its stadium deal. Both things will be done in the near future, and both cities will have teams in the league, if I had to read the tea leaves. Whether we start in 2009 or 2010 would be up to the league's discretion."
Garber said there are issues in both markets and the league is working to see which city will be ready to play in 2009.
"We're bullish about the (St. Louis) market," Garber said Wednesday. "I've said this before: It's hard to imagine when you have a strong ownership group — assuming they're able to finalize it — a facility and a market and us not having a team in that market. If Philadelphia comes in, it doesn't preclude St. Louis coming in. Once we make a decision on the 16th team, whether it's Philadelphia or St. Louis, we'll figure out what do with the market in the next round."
That next round of expansion could take place in 2010 or 2011, Garber said, so the wait might not be long. Ten other cities have expressed interest in teams, and Garber is going to discuss each city's situation in his state of the league speech Friday.
Where St. Louis stands is pretty much the same place it stood when the Collinsville City Council approved plans for a stadium on Sept. 10. Cooper's ownership group, St. Louis Soccer United, appears to have met all the criteria the league has set forth: a financially qualified local investment group, plans for a soccer-specific stadium, and a host city that has a history of supporting soccer. The league apparently wants deeper pockets to the ownership group — the Seattle ownership group, for instance, includes billionaire Paul Allen — and Garber said the league has been working with Cooper to find additional partners.
COOL. Maybe Man Utd or Liverpool owners could invest in St. Louis as a partner. (so they can loan St. Louis some players).
St. Louis has had their stadium deal finalized for over a couple months. The ownership group, however, appears yet to be finalized.
"60-90 days" 'til finalization?
Or "Seattle/RSL expansion process in which the pieces fell together in less than 180 actual, real-life calendar days" finalization?
Just curious, how's the housing market doing in the Midwest? Also, how dependent is the state budget of Illinois on property values?
I know in RI, where I'm at, it means everything. It's also one of the few areas of the country which has actually acted somewhat like the bubble model, which has recently popped and our little state recently said "whoops, we aren't at a zero balance, we're actually 500 million in debt". This was four days after the state legislature overturned several vetos to increase dependency programs. Now, a lot of pet projects are looking at getting defunded.
I'm just curious if the municipalities involved in the St. Louis MLS movement could see a similar crunch like the one we are seeing in parts of New England?
You could say the Seattle movement was going for years waiting for a money man to come to town to lure Paul Allen into the mix.
WHAAAA? I never understand shoot-from-the-hip comments like this.
Does anyone know just what a "strong ownership group" means? Does it mean a group willing to pony up an expansion fee, or is a letter of credit with substantial assurances involved?
that's one very interesting statement....why would the league push for VERY RICH investors?
do they have some sigificant financial changes in the near future that requires DEEP POCKETS? salary cap increases??? dp slots increases?
if there's any sign to this, i think there will be many exiciting changes for the league by 2010.....
Oh, I know that...
... But come last Feb/Mar, it was clear that there was major momentum...
We have had funding since Sept. 10th. THey are looking to solidify an ownership group surrounding Jeff Cooper. What we think that means is they are looking for other deep pockets to join Cooper.
I think it means avoiding a Miam Fusion repeat. One wealthy owner getting dunked in cash calls until they go tits up. Once they surround Cooper with some other fat cats, St. Louis is golden.
Agreed about the Fusion comment.
So how rich is Cooper? Anyone know?
Hopefully it's that they just want more money behind him, and not that they don't like Cooper.
Wait a minute, they don't have an ownership group? That's just nuts.
Right now, Cooper IS the investment group (there are no team owners in MLS).
So Philly has a investment group with deep pockets but looking for a decent gov't public contribution for the stadium (they have $30 million already wrapped up from the County). STL has the gov't contribution (~$30 million) but doesn't have a robust investment group.
Fight at MLS Cup to see who gets the team
I was under the impression that MLS was getting away from that model entirely, and going towards single owners for teams (as far as I know, Lew Wolff and the Hanauer/Roth group actually own their franchises, just not the players).
At this point, I believe all grous are still I/O (investers/operators) and MLs is still single entity. It's likely that once AEG and HSG divest themselves of their multiple teams (AEG seems headed that way by reportedly planning to sell Houston), I suspect all teams will basically operate as traditional single ownership franchises, but the league will probably continue to be single entity in name and in certain functions for the purposes of negotiating with the players and for anti-trust reasons.
That said, it's still in MLS's best interests to have investers/owners that are well capitalized, which Cooper alone doesn't appear to fit (by their criteria; I'm sure most of us would be happy to be as "undercapitalized" as he is).
I haven't heard that at all. The League still owns the player contracts and then assigns them to teams. What most ppl term ownership groups are actually investor/operator groups. They are investing in MLS for the right to operate a team in their city. They own a piece of MLS but do not actually own any one team.
Lew Wolff, for example, is just one person in a much larger investment group, which includes his fellow Oakland As investors (John Fisher etc) and also the NHL SJ Sharks.
That seems like semantics to me. Wolff et. al. own the franchise. Sure, MLS has a funky structure, but the brand itself is owned by the franchise holders.
Your numbers certainly make a lot more sense than the linked news article, which reads:
"The Philadelphia investment group has proposed a $115 million stadium along the Chester riverfront. Delaware County has pledged $30,000 for the project. Now the investors await state aid that would make or break the project, group attorney Charles Kopp said."
With that in mind, it would be interesting to review the groups that own/operate MLS teams. We tend to think of them as individuals, but reality is that they're large groups with lots, lots, lots of money.
If I tried naming them, I'd just look foolish, so maybe someone else can chip in.
It would give us an idea of what MLS wants from St. Louis.
The newspaper got the county contribution wrong.