Discussion in 'MLS: Expansion' started by BLG, Jul 17, 2002.
Starting to look like no playoff games at ANY major league ball park.
More Allen shenanigans
Paul Allen is attempting another bait-and-switch, this time using a puppet corporation to avoid disclosing the finances of his football operation. The state treasurer has called him on this, but the WorldCom board of directors -- er, Public Stadium Authority Board is once again covering Allen's tail.
Law seems clear to everyone but Paul Allen, PSA lawyers
Peter Callaghan; The News Tribune; September 8, 2002
Re: More Allen shenanigans
So "and" can mean "and" or "or", then?
I suppose this all depends on what your definition of "is" is, though...
Hmmm... maybe all this talk of Paul Allen being a sports savior was just that. I mean, look at the Sea-hacks and Jail Blazers -- $$$ doesn't buy championships does it. I'd be a bit concerned given these two examples of what an Allen-owned/operated MLS team might be like.
Yes, but look at the Rose Garden and Seahawks Stadium. That's what Paul Allen brought. The NBA and NFL both have salary caps, so a mega-rich owner doesn't help much. It can help in luring the best coaches, GM's and such in theory, although the verdict is still out on Allen in that respect. An owner as wealthy as Allen wouldn't guarantee a winner with the SEM format either, but it would add stability to the overall ownership group IMO.
This is precisely my point. With a salary cap, Allen's $$$ don't matter so much. We'd probably even end up with Trader Bob Whitsitt in the front office, and one can only imagine how much turnover in the squad there'd be from year to year
All-stars light up PGE Park: http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/or...standard.xsl?/base/sports/103269577587560.xml
With the (successful?) staging of the All-Star Game in Portland yesterday and the upcoming Women's Gold Cup tournament at Safeco Field, the USSF and WUSA seems to be testing the Northwest market for women's soccer. How are ticket sales for the Gold Cup?
Here's a fact sheet on high school stadiums in the metro area (144K PDF): http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/art/sports/highschool/extra/fbpreview02/2002stadium_directory.pdf . There's nothing promising for MLS (except maybe the Memorial Stadium in Seattle or Everett), but perhaps WUSA would be interested in upgrading one of these stadiums? Considering what it's done in San Diego, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, WUSA seems better at achieving stadium solutions. If it does expand here and fixes up Memorial, the T-dome, or a high school stadium, would MLS be more receptive to bringing a team here and sharing that stadium with WUSA?
After yesterday's event, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see WUSA expand in Portland. I would be surprised to see them come to Seattle.
I also wouldn't be surprised to see San Diego move to Carson. I wouldn't call the San Diego stadium expansion a success; the capacity is smallest of all their stadiums.
Gracious, WUSA would probably be perfect in Everett Memorial.
WUSA works easier with other stadia simply because they aren't too proud. They may not see the need to have full-sized fields in the way that MLS does. The bowling alley at Bobby Dodd in Atlanta (2001) was probably worse than when Columbus was playing at Ohio State. Moreover, the expectations of WUSA leadership (projecting 6-8K crowds) are simply lower. They probably won't think twice about playing on NeXturf in Portland.
Now that I've experienced some FieldTurf, BTW, I'm more convinced that this surface, IF you're sharing with gridball, is a bad idea. The stuff doesn't hold shape very well- lumpy stuff not conducive to good soccer after the cattle trample all over it.
Another question- let's say that the school district actually cedes Seattle Memorial. Is there enough space to expand the field space and seats?
You could expand the field by taking out a couple of rows on 1 or both sides. The old sounders averaged 17,000 before the move to the Kingdome. The problem is the stadium hasn't aged well, sound system, wiring, bathrooms, roof columns etc. It could be done, but I'm not sure that it wouldn't be cheaper to strip it down and start over.
For a 70+ yard wide field, I'd expect they'd have to remove three rows of seats on either side (assuming some room between the pitch and the stands, and room for team benches, etc).
Yeah, I'd agree that knocking the place down and building something modular would probably be the best route. The facilities are in terrible shape as it is. You'd certainly need a new scoreboard, locker rooms, press box, concession stands, and bathrooms. Quite a few of the bleachers would need to be replaced too. Might as well nuke it and create an inexpensive modern facility, or at least do the sort of renovation that MLS did down at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
With P.A's money I would build something like the stadium at Amiens, France it would be a perfect compliment to the EMP and would really help to revitalise Seattle Center as an outdoor arena & concert venue.
I also feel this idea would be best for the Sounders, EMP and Seattle. (Man but I am good at spending other people's money.)
Actually, I think Paul Allen is adept at spending your money for him to make more money.
And MLS is adept at spending our money for, well, just for the hell of it.
Wasn't Memorial Stadium partially renovated in the mid-1990s to accommodate international dimensions?
Still no word on Gold Cup ticket sales?
It was rennovated a few years ago by replacing the carpeting and eliminating the pigeon roosting places in the roof. I don't think the field dimensions changed at all.
If you call that renovation.... More like a patch job for the roof and that's it. Nothing else was touched, to my knowledge.
The dimensions of the pitch haven't changed at all.
On the pre-crash thread we had discussed some potential Sound area soccer investors other than Allen and the current Sounders group. Don't remember if we mentioned him before, but I'll throw former Sounder Jeff Stock into the mix. I don't know if he's into real estate or what, but a couple of years ago he sold Enchanted Village/Wild Waves to Six Flags for $19 million. I doubt he has the amount to be a majority MLS investor or fund the Sounders proposed complex. But perhaps, because of his background, he could be a lead investor in one of those proposals, sort of the group spokesman and soccer knowledgable member, along with contributing some funding.
If he is a potential investor it would make sense for him to get together with the current Sounder group who are also in the fray.
FYI, there's currently a thread in B & M discussing ManU's U.S. tour next summer. Rumor has it they may be facing the Japanese National Team in Seattle in July. I already let my emotions get the best of me on that thread. One positive I can think of is if the Sounders can make it a doubleheader...or would we not want that?
Anyway, here's the thread:
Blast from the past
I just finished reading the 1978 book "All the Best: The Story of the Seattle Sounders," by Doug Thiel. It's a breathless account of the successful early years in the NASL. You can check it out at the King County library or other local library systems.
Why do I mention this? Well, there's a nice photo of a sold-out Memorial Stadium with bleachers behind the goals. More importantly, it describes how the team came into being. Lamar Hunt convinced the NFL Seahawks' original ownership group (listed below with claims to fame - past and present) to start a soccer team:
* Lamont Bean (Pay 'N Save, Ernst, Lamont's, etc.)
* Lynn Himmelmann (Westin Hotels)
* Lloyd Nordstrom and family (Nordstrom's, obviously)
* Herman Sarkowsky (original Trail Blazers co-owner, current racehorse owner, downtown real-estate mogul, Eagle Hardware, WebMD, etc.)
* Ned Skinner (Skinner Corporation, Boeing board, arts patron)
* Howard Wright (developer/construction company owner - built the Space Needle and most of the downtown towers; Wright Runstad)
When the Seahawks owners got worried about the $600,000 projected loss for the first year of the Sounders, they brought on a few more partners:
* Walter Schoenfeld (original Mariners co-owner, necktie retailer, Britannia, Vans)
* Walt Daggett (Alpac Corporation)
* Les Smith (original Mariners co-owner)
* Dick Vertlieb (Seahawks/Sounders/Mariners front office guy)
(Aside 1: SPU soccer coach Cliff McCrath was a consultant to the owners when they were originally pputting together the operation. I didn't know he'd been in this community that long.)
(Aside 2: Did the Coluccio brothers buy the Sounders directly from the original owners, or was there another ownership group in between?)
Anyway, if these guys (or their families) learned or retained a love of the game, maybe we can get some of the old Seattle money back into pro soccer.
Nice post... will have to see if Snohomish Co. library system has that book too, or a way to order it. Sounds like a great read.
From what I can remember, I think the Coluccios bought the team around 1979 or so, and kept it until following the '82 season... selling it to Bruce Anderson who managed then to destroy the team and alienate most of the fans in one short season.
Totally off topic, but just now noticed that my ORIGINAL username started working now -- after my usual Win2000 user profile got toasted and went back to one I hadn't used in a couple years... and I'd forgotten the password to "ericgi" long ago... go figure!!
Oh well, back to my regular one.
As a matter of interest Vince Coluccio still owns some land down in the Kent Valley that he was going to let MLS use if they ever got their act together to build a stadium. It was one of those weird deals that the land was in Kent but used Tukwilla sewer and Seatac was going to annex it but Tukwilla wouldn't let them use their sewer lines, the whole thing became a fiasco, too complicated so it was dropped.
I missed the early part of the Sounders' NASL years, so I enjoyed reading about how the Sounders took the city by fire, the thought processes behind the players/coaches/front office people, the stories (wetting down the AstroTurf, getting the first radio contract, how the players ended up in Seattle, etc.), and just the general optimism of the time. OTOH, I though it could've described more about the Soccer Bowl year.
When did the sewer fiasco go down? The speculation about the Tukwila/SeaTac soccer stadium first appeared in the news in 1994/95. In 1996, a taskforce study found that part of the county to be the best suburban location for a new Seahawks stadium. (Was Coluccio's property the actual target?) Wouldn't the study have addressed the sewer issues?
The Sunday Times wrote about how the UW's neighbors were worried about the university's expansion. An accompanying graphic showed (among other things) the new $26M *indoor practice facility* for the football team, which reminded me how shabby the *game* field for the soccer teams is! Add to that the ironic "Dictator Hedges" article and the modest plans for a $4.5M, 3,000-seat soccer stadium, and you wonder whether sports other than football and crew will ever get a decent shake.
I think the soccer people should team with the track people to build a 15 to 20-thousand seat, 75x120yd pitch, European-oval stadium. It only cost U of Texas $13M, and UCLA has a similar setup, but with smaller capacity. (If these football powerhouses can take care of their other sports, why can't UW?) This might appeal to the Barbara Hedges and company, because with the track teams out of the football stadium, they could move the stands closer and increase capacity to 90-100 thousand. Also, if the Booth Gardners, Coluccio brothers, and Jeff Stocks of Seattle are reluctant to contribute to shaky pro soccer propositions, they can invest in the "university of 1000 years" and name the stadium after themselves for only $1.5-2 million (if their egos are big enough). With their donations, they could require the university to let pro teams rent the stadium cheaply. (Could an MLS team survive without alcohol sales revenue?)
Any Husky diehards want to chime in?
UW soccer needs grass field, but Dictator Hedges says no (UW Daily, 10/15/02)
Campaign for the Student-Athlete (UW Athletics site)
Build It, They Will Run: UT's New Track Stadium Is Outstanding in Its Field (Austin Chronicle, ??)
Built for speed: State-of-the-art track at University of Texas' Myers Stadium was created with the shape and surface to make the record books obsolete (Austin-American Statesman, 05/11/01)
Drake Stadium - Home Of Bruin Track And Field/Soccer (UCLA sports website)
Reconstructing UCLA (Part 2): RENOVATION: Drake Stadium is being overhauled to include European track designs, complete with new soccer facilities (Daily Bruin Online, 09/27/99)