By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
  1. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Country:
    Philippines

    MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

    By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
    Am I going have to move Miami farther up the MLS Expansion Power Rankings!, now that Team Beckham has permission to buy the land in order to build a stadium with no parking? Look, just because Winston Churchill managed the logistics enough to get the troops to the peninsula, that didn’t mean Gallipoli was likely to be a success.

    I read too much into these things, but look at this tweet from Michelle Kaufman.

    The league “appreciates” the “assist” in “efforts” to “try” to get a team the league already approved? Four degrees of separation from actual enthusiasm serves as a very healthy reminder that this particular team wasn’t chosen through fan efforts, but through contractual obligation.

    It’s amazing to recall that Beckham didn’t have to put himself through this, at least not specifically in Miami. Anywhere but New York, is what Paul Kennedy reported back in 2013. MLS officially announced that Beckham was going to start a team in Miami back in February 2014. Four teams have been added since then. To put that in perspective: since Beckham announced his MLS intentions, Chivas USA dissolved, and its replacement was formed and has broken ground on a stadium.

    Of course, no one knew back in 2007 that, ten years later, a $25 million fee would be a huge, huge bargain for an MLS team in a major metropolitan area. The year before, Toronto bought in for $10 million.

    Would MLS be heartbroken if Beckham’s plans fell through, freeing up a spot worth up to $125 million or more? Well, no one believes in Beckham’s star power more than MLS at this point, a successful Miami team would be a tremendous coup, and frankly no one other than David Beckham would have gotten even this far towards a Miami MLS team in the Marlins Park era. He is a persistent fellow, this Beckham. Although a lot of people would be persistent if it meant a 500% return on investment.

    One which Beckham may have earned. An MLS expansion fee of $25 million would have been bad craziness in 2007. Rumors that popped up around October 2013 made mention of a 25% discount off the existing fee, but since the official announcement we’ve only heard the $25 million figure.

    Earlier in 2013, Manchester City and the New York Yankees bought in to MLS for $100 million. A 25% discount off $100 million would be - $74 million? $76 million? Something like that. So, even in 2013, $25 million was a bargain. Now it’s almost a heist.

    Beckham himself was a big reason that MLS expansion fees have reached the ninth digit. But according to Jeff Carlisle, some current owners are ungrateful.

    It would be churlish to hope Beckham fails so that a more stable team might get its chance, but 1/22 of $150 million is $6.8 million and change, while 1/22 of $25 million is a bit over one million. Five million bucks buys a lot of churl.

    In Carlisle’s article, Miami Beckham United pasha Tim Leiweke (whose name I think I’ve heard somewhere before) actually addressed those concerns, saying that the league needs Miami and “a deal is a deal.”

    I don’t know what’s in that deal, but apparently Beckham is stuck with Miami. If Beckham at this point could have simply chosen some other location, I can’t help but think some wiseguy owner in, say, San Diego or Cincinnati would simply have, literally, bought Beckham’s franchise. The analogous example was, of course, Chivas USA – why wouldn’t a sane owner simply have packed up and moved from second banana status in Carson to literally anywhere else?

    I think the answer is that the league forbids it, and unlike the NFL, has the contractual power to stop it. Expansion fees are rising delightfully high – probably less than the value of many existing franchises (like Chivas USA) and certainly more than Beckham’s promised stake. Somewhere tucked in the contracts, especially in the current expansion mania, are pretty solid no-takesies-backsies clauses.

    If the Seattle Sounders move to Oklahoma City next week, of course, then I will look very silly. But I don’t think I’m that far off. Of course, Beckham might be staying with Miami for the same reason Vergara stuck with Los Angeles so long – both were strong-willed men, not raised in wealth or power, who have grown accustomed to achieving their goals. This wouldn’t be the first time ego has played a role in American soccer, and it won’t be the last.

    There must be some reason why San Diego didn’t simply bring Beckham into its ownership group in exchange for his golden ticket. Do Beckham and Landon Donovan not get along, or something?

    As far as other expansion news – sorry, this is bizarrely fascinating to me, and it wasn’t like the Venezuela game was Thrillsville ’17, was it? – I still have low hopes for San Diego in the near term. Just as many people were impressed with David Beckham’s ability to buy three acres, many were impressed with MLS San Diego’s achievement in keeping an early special election alive on the basis of the mayor’s promised veto of a City Council resolution. That’s not terribly impressive.

    Yes, San Diego – like Miami – is a wonderful community that MLS has pined for. That was true when Chicago joined the league, it was true when Salt Lake City joined the league, it was true when San Jose moved to Houston, it was true when Toronto, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, Montreal, Vancouver….you get the point.

    Think of it this way – MLS has been pioneers in an unprecedented, and uncharted, American soccer landscape. And what did pioneers do? SETTLE. Less romantic but more feasible locations can be hand quicker than you can say Real Salt Lake without laughing. (In other words, about three years.)

    Decades from now, when our nation’s colleges and universities offer doctorates in Major League Soccer Studies, it will be argued amongst the learned whether it was better to take an existing lower division team and soup it up to MLS status, or to create one out of whole cloth. Toronto, Philly, Atlanta, NYCFC Real Salt Lake and (depending on how you look at it) San Jose were summoned from chaos; Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Orlando, Montreal and (depending on how you look at it) Houston were built brick by brick with the labor of centuries.

    There’s no real help or precedent there, so we will have to see whether larger metropolitan areas with no teams are better choices than smaller cities with successful teams – which are pretty much the main choices here. I’m convinced that the transition from lower pros to the upper pros will be nearly seamless for Sacramento, Tampa Bay, and San Antonio…and rather less so for places that don’t have teams and stadium plans already ticking over.

    Then there’s Cincinnati. The ownership group – like most ownership groups, a bunch of local plutocrats whose names would mean nothing to you if you lived more than about six counties away – has done a fantastic job of promoting FC Cincinnati. One of the things our descendants in Advanced MLS Divination classes will study is the amazing corporate and business promotion behind this team.

    Here is but one example:

    [​IMG]

    That's a local brewery trotting out a batch in honor of a lower division American soccer team. I assume Mr. Lindner had something to do with at least encouraging Moerlein to do this. But neither Lindner nor Moerlein would have bothered if there weren't at least someone tugging on the line. On your way to a Cincinnati-area grocery store to purchase this beer, you will probably see your fellow citizens in FC Cincinnati shirts, available in a dizzying variety. This one, a dual salute to FCC and the Cincinnati Zoo's baby hippo, is the best...if not the most officially licensed.

    [​IMG]
    This sort of thing is impressive, effective, and unavailable to Miami and San Diego. Their efforts haven't, and probably can't, include games, merchandise, beer, fun, and so forth. MLS teams have tried expensive local promotions before...and to be fair, any promotion in places like New York or Los Angeles is going to be hideously expensive. Why, to even get out the word about a soccer team in, say, New England, you'd have to be some kind of giant in the sports landscape, and probably a billionaire to boot.

    But I digress. What may put FCC over the top is, of all things, that lovable relic the US Open Cup. The Columbus Crew are coming to town.

    A record-setting attendance in front of MLS fans and personnel will probably not go unnoticed. If FCC were to win the game – and the home form of the USL team along with the Crew’s current swoon make this a highly distinct possibility – it will be one of the year’s sports highlights. A practical demonstration of a new and fierce MLS rivalry – and MLS loves its rivalries – should be enough to allay doubts about the college football stadium, which would immediately supplant Yankee Stadium as the most hated venue in MLS to visit.

    A midweek sellout for a US Open Cup match might even inspire the Lindners to spend their own money on a stadium.

    And this game will be the first match of a rivalry that already has perhaps the best derby nickname in the world. You can keep your Clasicos and Freeway Series and Little Brown Jugs. Oh, sure the FCC official site is calling it the Ohio Derby, but that’s not going to be the name.

    [​IMG]


    That is a sign visible from both directions on Interstate 71 between Columbus and Cincinnati. It is by far the most interesting landmark on a very plain stretch of America. So appropriately – inevitably – the first professional sports rivalry between Cincinnati and Columbus has been named the Hell is Real Cup.

    The only thing remaining, then, would be to add Dayton to MLS as well as Cincinnati. Because the only thing that would be better than the Hell is Real Cup? The Hug Me Jesus Trophy.

    [​IMG]

    That's the Lux Mundi, crown jewel of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio, a little town between Cincinnati and Dayton. This is actually a replacement statue - a previous one was struck by lightning. I think Solid Rock embodies the most constant and enduring facet of American soccer - the inability to take a hint.
     
    Kurt Kline and Cincy Liverpool fan repped this.
?

What roadside attraction would make the best rivalry?

  1. Twine Ball Trophy (Minnesota v. Fargo, ND)

    4 vote(s)
    9.3%
  2. Coppa della World's Largest Thermometer (LA vs. Vegas)

    9 vote(s)
    20.9%
  3. Four Corners Challenge (Colorado, Salt Lake, Phoenix and um, Albuquerque?)

    11 vote(s)
    25.6%
  4. Waffle House Museum Plate (Atlanta v. Charlotte)

    17 vote(s)
    39.5%
  5. Cadillac Ranch Cup (Oklahoma City v. hey, Albuquerque again)

    2 vote(s)
    4.7%

Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Dan Loney, Jun 7, 2017.

    1. Daniel from Montréal

      Aug 4, 2000
      Montréal
      Club:
      Montreal Impact
      Country:
      Canada

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      I think we're underestimating the allure of living in Miami for past-their-prime Euro players. Just look at Miami FC staff, players and rumours.
       
    2. TOAzer

      TOAzer Member

      May 29, 2016
      Club:
      New England Revolution

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      Yes, but we shouldn't overestimate the allure among Miamians [Miamites? Miamisos? Miami-se-ren?] of watching past-their-prime Euro players. Just look at those who attend Miami FC events.
       
    3. Burr

      Burr Member+

      Boca Juniors
      Argentina
      Jul 8, 2014
      Tampa, FL
      Club:
      FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
      Country:
      United States

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      cigar_city and Dan Loney repped this.
    4. MM66

      MM66 Member

      Mar 9, 2009
      Brookline, MA
      Club:
      Real Madrid

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      FCC not only packed the house and won, but now it gets the chance to do it all over again against the fire. Got to figure MLS is taking notice. Also:

      - The USOC has become a bit of sleeper hit in the American soccer scene. I went to the Revs-Philly overtime contest at Harvard last year and it was everything your standard Revs game isn't in terms of crowd intensity. Even when they went back to Gillette to play the semi against the Fire, the crowd was hungry. It seems like maybe we've hit some sort of critical mass where we have actual soccer fans who dig having a classic cup competition.

      - Miami's already got plenty of parking, and some decent public transit. Given the proposed location of Stade Beckham, they don't need to be laying down any extra asphalt.
       
    5. Paul Berry

      Paul Berry Member+

      Apr 18, 2015

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      The Intercourse is Real Ruckus (Philly - Harrisburg)
       

      Attached Files:

    6. Cincy Liverpool fan

      Fc Cincinnati
      Jun 16, 2015
      Cincinnati, USA
      Club:
      Cincinnati Kings

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      You know how I know USSF and the MLS took notice? They gave us another home game via "random coin flip"
       
      MM66 repped this.
    7. Traumer

      Traumer Member

      Feb 25, 2016
      Cincinnati

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      One of the most surreal moments of my life was walking around my local grocery store (a Kroger) and hearing Alan Koch (FC Cincinnati manager) come over the speaker with a pre-recorded message to come out to the next home match. I really admire how much the club has penetrated the local zeitgeist. Old days I couldn't find people who knew the Kings existed, now almost everyone knows about FC Cincinnati.
       
    8. lufty

      lufty Member

      Aug 21, 2000

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      It seems to be set in stone that FCC will come to fruition. If they can pull off a even larger upset against Chicago in front of 35K in Cincy next week the league will have to take notice as the crowds will only get bigger and bigger in Cincy. They pulled in 22K last weekend for a league game. I see those numbers going up even further if the Team makes the final 8 of the US Open Cup.
       
      Cincy Liverpool fan repped this.
    9. Traumer

      Traumer Member

      Feb 25, 2016
      Cincinnati

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      I'd be stunned if had another 30,000+ crowd for Chicago. Columbus was a big deal in large part because that was the local big MLS club and they brought the largest away fan group ever to a FCC match with roughly 1,000 traveling fans.

      Tickets for the Chicago match go on sale today, I'd expect an announcement tomorrow as to how fast they are selling. My guess is we will have a 10,000+ announcement sometime Thursday. Keep in mind these are additional tickets not included in season tickets and have smaller window than normal and are on a week night. It's actually pretty incredible that people are this aware of the USOC and care enough to pay and attend it.
       
    10. Cincy Liverpool fan

      Fc Cincinnati
      Jun 16, 2015
      Cincinnati, USA
      Club:
      Cincinnati Kings

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      I respectfully disagree. People are pretty dang excited right now. I'd be disappointed with anything under 25k
       
    11. Traumer

      Traumer Member

      Feb 25, 2016
      Cincinnati

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      I want you to be right. I'm just saying what we've seen is staggering so not to get down if we "only" get 22,000 out for it.
       
      Cincy Liverpool fan repped this.
    12. Traumer

      Traumer Member

      Feb 25, 2016
      Cincinnati

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      [​IMG]
      Good luck to people trying to get tickets today.
       
    13. Cincy Liverpool fan

      Fc Cincinnati
      Jun 16, 2015
      Cincinnati, USA
      Club:
      Cincinnati Kings

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      Traumer repped this.
    14. AlbertCamus

      AlbertCamus Member

      Colorado Rapids
      Sep 2, 2005
      Colorado, USA
      Club:
      Colorado Rapids

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
    15. GlennAA11

      GlennAA11 Member+

      Jun 12, 2001
      Arlington, VA

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      If DC can build a stadium without parking why can't Miami?
       
    16. EL DORADO

      EL DORADO New Member

      Juventus
      Colombia
      Jun 23, 2017

      MLS Expansion - Hell Is Real, But Is Miami?

      By Dan Loney on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM
      We are call "Miamenses", Beckham is not going to built any stadium he already has one, one of his partners Riccardo Silva made a $4,000.000.00 million donation to FIU in order to change the name of the stadium, it has 20,000 seats.?????????????
       

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