If CFL & NHL owners in Canada came together and created Canadian MLS?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by GIO17, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. GIO17

    GIO17 Member

    Nov 29, 1998
    O.k. we all know that the Toronto Maple Leafs have expressed intrest to come into MLS here in the states and the Montreal Impact has already decided to build a stadium and the Vancouver Whitecaps are still around.

    But what would happen if you had a contingent from MLS talk to the Canadian Soccer Association & owners of the CFL as well as the NHL teams in Canada (with the exception of Toronto because they already want in), and somehow start building your own league? I understand that money is tight up there, but here in the States. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, Lamar hunt past owner of an NASL side and Kansas City Chiefs also run there respective MLS sides.

    Obviously during the CFL season probably majority of the teams play in the same stadiums as if there were soccer as well. Now if Toronto does come into MLS here in the states, that's fine. But just thinking out loud you know. Trying to spark up conversation.
  2. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    As dumb as this sounds the CFL millionaires aren't rich enough to take ownership of an additional sports franchise. Canadian NHL franchises would not look at this either, they have enough problems dealing with a currency exchange and figuring out the myriad of problems with the new CBA being negotiated (rumoured to be the most complex in sports)

    We lack facilities for soccer, to be truthful, not facilities but playing surfaces. CFL stadiums have six FieldTurf/Astroplay surfaces, two AstroTurf surfaces and one turf field in Edmonton. Toronto and BC have FieldTurf tray systems which may or may not get Fifa approval and Ottawa has Fifa approved FieldTurf. Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal will all get new SS stadiums within the next two years.

    I believe I've read that Saputo in Montreal and Kerfoot in Vancouver are not keen on the MLS ownership model. These guys have the bucks to do what they want. The Toronto Lynx are not so fortunate.
  3. RealGooner

    RealGooner New Member

    May 2, 2005
    Look guys, much as Americans want to keep Canadians and Mexican teams out (yeah I take note of all the anti-Chivas undercurrents), you guys will have to get used to us being in the MLS. After all the league's name is Major League soccer, not American League Soccer, so quit bellyachin about foreign based/owned teams already. The global village is here to stay.
  4. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    I think you've missed some points there. MLS was conceived as an American development league. They don't have to allow anybody in. It's not a global league hence the player restrictions. If we had the same thing here I would hope we would do the same as them.

    The MLS has made many overtures to get Toronto in (Garber speeches). It seems those who don't want Toronto in are those in Toronto itself. (Lack of investors with only rumours to back up claims) ie MLSE
  5. RealGooner

    RealGooner New Member

    May 2, 2005
    Joe, anti-Canada comments are litterd all over these boards, mainly coming from people in places like Rochester, Seattle and other cities competing for an MLS franchise who resent the idea of being passed over for a Canadian city. As for opposition to MLS in Toronto, I live in Toronto and there isnt much oposition (apart form a couple of pro-hockey and baseball sportswriters who know nothing about the sport) so you are wrong on that count. Canadians opposed to MLS in Canada tend to be from outside Toronto. These people generally want an all-Canadian league, and see an MLS team in Toronto as a threat to that pipe-dream.
  6. What on earth? Leading MLSE figures are on record as wanting to bring in an MLS franchise if a suitable stadium is built. Lack of investors isn't the problem. The stumbling block is a suitable mid-sized stadium for soccer now that Varsity, which was the solution for most of the NASL era, has been demolished.
  7. HarryHooters redded

    Jul 14, 2005
    No one with money , at least the smart ones would invest
    in Canadian soccer. looking at the recent gold cup failure (again) there is nothing to look forward to for us canadian soccer fans, just more disapointment, know we know how the leaf fans feel. So a Canadian league will not happen,
    that new stadium in Toronto is just a PIPE dream, so the outlook for canadian soccer has died, and we have Frank
    and the CSA to thank for that.
  8. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Why then did MLSE pull out of the Varsity deal or not invest in any stadium venture. They were being handed a stadium on a platter and they still found the numbers not to their liking.


    For a corporation that is so keen on soccer they have been behaving very strangely. Aren't they looking at investing heavily into the proposed Maple Leaf Square?

    Aside from MLSE rumours what other investors have there been? Few in Canada can afford to lose the chunk of change Hunt has. And this is coming from someone who wants to see MLS in Canada.
  9. GIO17

    GIO17 Member

    Nov 29, 1998
    When I started this thread here on the Canada boards my intentions weren't to bash Toronto never to come into MLS here in the USA or any Canadian soccer club making any attempts to be apart of the MLS. If it does happen then I am happy not only for MLS But for Canada as well.

    All I wanted to do was to spark conversation about hopefully looking at a Fellow CONCACAF brother to see if there was a possible way for their country to start their own league someday. It's good to see the Whitecaps, Impact & Lynx right now in the USL 1st Division.

    I like to think that if there were a better way to make CONCACAF a stronger confederation in the sport, then we could hopefully see great strides. Watching those three Gold Cup matches involving Canada along with Frank Yallop as the head coach impressed me that Canada can become greater within it's self if only certain forces and financial backers can see past their rose colored glasses that it's not a soccer country. The USA was like that as well after the NASL died. So far in MLS ten years is being celebrated right now. Can this be true for Canada? Yes it can only if certain people can work together and make the dream possible. But if Toronto does come to MLS in the future I will be the first to embrace them and shake there hands.

    Not bashing at all. Just trying to see if their was a way to help your cause.
  10. piltdownman

    piltdownman Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    The MLS makes a big deal about how they are there to be an American Development League and how they are devoted to bettering American Soccer. The truth is thats all a load of rubbish. Its a business, look at their corporate structure. If they really cared at all about what they claim they would at least pay some attention to FIFA's Mandates. Look at the Fifa Days Designated for International Competition and the MLS Schedule. You will notice that MLS doesn't pay any attention to these days scheduled for National Competition. If they cared about soccer in America they would observe these days so the US national team could play in both early September and October. Same goes for both the World Cup and Gold Cup, the MLS not only doesn't take a break, but has been known to not release players.

    I believe Canadian cities will get teams if they have the cash and stadiums. In Vancouver Kerfoot (Whitecaps Owner) has publicly stated that 'the caps will be in the best League in North America in 3-4 years' I can only assume this means MLS, and he does not have plans to bring aPrimera División de México franchise to Vancouver.

    As for a Canadian League, we already tried that and it failed. Edmonton and Calgary couldn't even make a USL Div 1 work, so I doubt smaller cities would be able to have teams. The travel costs just don't make it work. Although I would like to see a CSA Cup for teams playing at different levels to compete to crown the best team in canada and possibly go to the concacaf champions tournament.
  11. SJJ

    SJJ Member

    Sep 20, 1999
    Royal Oak, MI, USA
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Why don't you send a team to the Concacaf Champions Cup? Concacaf recognizes Toronto Croatia NSC as your country's champion: http://www.concacaf.com/Signals.asp?id=12/28/2004&year=2004
  12. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    FC Edmonton
    Jan 11, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    FC Edmonton
    Nat'l Team:
    More that the CFL's ownership structure is one that really doesn't fit into what MLS has.
  13. piltdownman

    piltdownman Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Shows what I know. I didn't know whatever team wins some toronto tournament is recognized as the nations champion, although it does not surprise me ;)
  14. Bad timing given the NHL labour contract situation and from what I remember the fact that the Maple Leafs were involved was actually a big issue for some of the politicians and academics. Suspect the end of the lockout may be a good thing where the stadium plans are concerned. We'll see what happens.

    MLSE interest is not a rumour. Leading MLSE execs have go on the record about it. Beyond that given the scarcity of would be MLS I/Os in most American cities I'm not sure what your point is.
  15. RealGooner

    RealGooner New Member

    May 2, 2005
    The varsity deal was not "handed to the MLSE on a platter" The University of Toronto pulled out because they werent comfortable with the prospect of cost overruns. The York University stadium fell through because the Argos football team pulled out when Rogers offered them a sweet deal to stay at the Roger's Centre. MLSE's role in this was to put up the money for the franchise. The CSA, the Argos and York and Toronto universities were supposed to get together to build the stadium. They couldnt make it happen, and the deals fell through. This is not the Maple Leafs fault, they are still are ready buy the franchise if their partners can produce a stadium. The problem was unreliable partners in the universities and the CFL team. Now it sounds that MLSE, the CSA and the city, provincial and federal governments are going to go it alone to build a stadium for WYC, so perhaps it might get done this time round.
  16. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    I don't know what you guys are reading but it's not the same stuff as I've been. U of T did not pull out of the project because of cost overruns. They stated that for public consumption but it's public knowledge it was because the school's elders and the surrounding neighborhood (and neighborhood politicians, Olivia Chow) were against a project of that size. The Argos were contracted to pay for any cost overruns on the project. So that was all BS.

    Gimme some time and I'll hunt down the articles.

    Afterwards U of T had a plan in the works for an athletic project that would have cost more than the CSA/Argo project that would have had the university paying the total shot. It has since been downsized and a few days ago they announced a plan for a 5000 seat stadium complex.

    As for MLSE they have to my knowledge never stated they were committed to MLS. They have stated publicly that they "were interested in" "looking at" but never said outright any certainties about an MLS project. To me that is rumour. If you can come up with a quote from an MLSE official (not a writer) saying they were committed I will stand corrected.

    Also to my knowledge MLSE is not involved in any stadium talks presently. Although to be honest they should be. It never made sense to me why they would have been a tenant in the Argos venture. MLSE is a big corporation that would want total control of the building (concessions, parking etc.) Why would they want or for that matter need partners unless the partners could get some gov't dough to help pay for the stadium.

    MLSE didn't like the projections for the stadium being able to be sustainable and to make them money. They backed off. Basically the same as what the Argos later did. The Argos knew there would be a big price to pay and they weighed that against the deal they got from Rogers. They backed off.

    Maybe with the Argos out of the picture and whatever deal is being negotiated now it might be more to MLSE's liking.
  17. narduch

    narduch New Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Joe, the new U of T project is still suppose to be fully built for around $65 mil. The only difference is that they will now only build it in stages. The first stage will be a 5,000 seat football/soccer/athletic track stadium for around $16 mil. I'm guessing it will be awhile before money will be raised for the other stages (new hockey arena, athletic centre, shops, etc.)
  18. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Ok, I'll buy that even if it was only less than a week ago and I'll eat my own words because I posted it here first.


    By the way is this what I have to do to get you to post an article rather than a link that'll expire. :)
  19. RealGooner

    RealGooner New Member

    May 2, 2005
    Just to add to Bob Hunter's comments, heres what MLSE CEO Richard Peddie had to say back in March before the York debacle. The man seems to have done his homework on it:

    Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has no financial stake in the football/soccer stadium going in at York University for 2007, but it’s still hoping to enter a team there.

    Richard Peddie, president and CEO of the ownership/investment group, confirmed yesterday that MLSE has been talking with Major League Soccer (MLS) about locating an expansion franchise in the city for 2007.

    While the acronyms are similar, Peddie agreed "cautiously optimistic" was a fair enough term to describe what he believes to be a fit in the works.

    "We’ve done a fair amount of work on this," Peddie said. "Enough that we’re going to keep looking at it."

    The New York-based MLS launches its 10th season April 2 and, while both commissioner Don Garber and chief operating officer Mark Abbott were travelling and unavailable for comment yesterday, MLSE has met with each on several occasions and they were courtside for a Raptors game last month.

    MLS, expanding from 10 teams to 12 this season (after contracting from 12 to 10 a few seasons back), assures on its website that future expansion – to as many as 18 or 20 teams by 2010 – remains a priority.

    MLSE already owns the ACC, the NHL Maple Leafs, the NBA Raptors and the AHL team in St. John’s that is moving here.

    As Peddie explained in a recent interview on Foxsports.com, "Our board is not only interested in winning championships but in increasing enterprise value" and, in that regard, was "running out of runway in how to grow revenue."

    "We have an objective to add facilities, to add teams," he said yesterday. "There’s over 300,000 soccer players registered in Ontario. We think it’s a sport of the future."

    To be part of Major League Soccer’s first venture outside the U.S., Peddie also has a vision of this team being large on Canadian content and hopefully attracting many Canadians now playing in Europe.

    For that, there would have to be a flip-flopping of MLS regulations that now call for roughly 75 per cent American roster content – only one of the myriad of business details (currency exchange being another) which need to be worked out.

    "We’ve been talking about the right made-for-Canada solution," Peddie said.

    Peddie also stressed the need for a strong three-way partnerx ship between MLSE, MLS and the Canadian Soccer Association, for which the stadium at York recently secured the 2007 World Youth Championship.

    "The better we do growing soccer, the better the Canadian national team can become, the more people become interested in soccer," Peddie said. "It’s a big circle."

    If there’s anybody left out of this loop, it would have to be the Toronto Lynx, one of three Canadian teams (Montreal, Vancouver) now operating in the 12-team first division of the United Soccer League.

    "How about being stabbed in the back (by the CSA)," said Bruno Hartrell, chief financial officer for the Lynx, now drawing about 2,000 a game to Etobicoke’s Centennial Stadium.

    "We’ve been banking, waiting on this stadium – the one that’s coming in at York – for 10 years," Hartrell said. "Cumulatively, we’ve put $4.5 million into carrying this team, $4.5 million into waiting, knowing that, one day, we were going to get this stadium.

    "Along comes the CSA two years ago – on its own, unilaterally saying it was going to promote a Major League Soccer ownership group in Toronto.

    "As if we needed that, right? As if soccer’s doing so really well, we don’t need one professional team, we need two teams in Toronto?

    "We’ve tried to sell soccer tickets in this market for nine years and have a pretty good idea of who buys what and for what price. We’re not missing anything, you know.

    "I think any professional team – the Lynx or, let’s call it, MLS, in the near future, meaning within the next five years, would be hard-pressed to draw more than 10,000 fans a game.

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