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Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by Kqql, Nov 4, 2003.
Sounds like Leiweke stold Gerbers thunder.
Yes and no, it seems to me. He did steal Garber's thunder but I think it's true they haven't figured out the SSS situation in Cleveland yet, so any "announcement" or "presumption of Cleveland expansion" does seem premature to me.
And MLS Cup is pretty close. I personally don't see how they'll tie up all the loose SSS ends by then, but I'm obviously not privy nor up on all the details.
by magic of course this is THE MLS...
The Stadium location question remains to be resolved, but not for the usual reasons.
In this case, Wolstein was originally considering building it in Warrensville Heights, on the site of a shoppping Center he owns (Randall Park Mall) which is adjacent to a Thorghbred Racetrack (which he laso owns).
But it's not such a great area, so they looked elsewhere and were close to striking a deal for a site in Bath Township, about halfway between Cleveberg and Akron.
There are some other good sites, including the old Colliseum, which was torn down a couple years ago.
All this was predicated on Wolstein spending his own money, which he is prepared to do and very capable of.
It's the City Fathers in Cleveland who have caused the delay now, apparently. They WANT it downtown to take advantage of the synergy with The Jake, Browns Stadium and Gund Arena, which are all within walking distance. It would only add to the bustling restaurant and bar scene there and they don't want it elsewhere.
So the City is trying to throw together a package they can sell to Wolstein AND get past a skeptical public which has coughed up big money the last few years for all these edifices.
If the City can put a package together which gives Wolstein some advantages, he's all for it so he's willing to wait and see. If they can't do it, he'll say "Okey dokey" and build it on his own, which is what he planned in the first place.
The bottom line is that, unlike most everywhere else, the problem is not a lack of will or money or approvals, just one of picking the right place.
Thanx for the update, Bill.
That's very interesting. Certainly a different dynamic than in other cities where stadiums are in process, which just goes to show you every market is different and one size does not fit all.
Also explains why Cleveland is seen as such an attractive expansion candidate. Instead of struggling to try and get the team a place to play, instead there's fights over who gets to build the stadium.
The Richfield Coliseum site is now part of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It's not available for redevelopment.
Bill, thanks for the insight. Since this is your turf, I would appreciate your thoughts as to whether this has the makings of a real "derby." The geography looks right to an outsider, but I don't know if there is any inherent Cleveland/Columbus animosity like there is for Nor Cal v. So Cal or NY v. the U.S.
anyone else think that it is really exciting that there are so many different models of financing of SSS appearing... I doubt that we will see anyone having to plop down the full freight for a stadium from now on (a la Hunt in Columbus)...
Well, this is a matter of some debate. The two cities don't compete in anything at all presently. The "major" sporting events in CBus are OSU football (Cleveland has no major University) the Bluejackets (Cleveland has no NHL team) and of course the Crew.
Cleveland, conversely, has NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA, which CBus has none of.
So there's never been anything like it, no ready-made rivalry to build on. We're in uncharted waters here.
But Clevelanders view Columbus as a sleepy rural backwater full of rubes in overalls and Columbus sees Cleveland as a post-industrial rust belt sewer with flammable rivers.
So while the "us vs. you guys" model isn't currently in place, my personal opinion is that it won't take very long before these boards are full of delightful name-calling and spiteful diatribes.
I can't wait.
Overdone rivalries are a basic building block of Ohio culture.
This would turn in to a big one.
Out of curiosity, how much would the media (all flavors) in the respective cities pick up on that?