Thunder to join the MLS?

Discussion in 'MLS: Expansion' started by prk166, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. prk166

    prk166 BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 8, 2000
    Med City
    http://levyashin.blogspot.com/2007/09/thunder-to-join-mls.html


    Thanks to Josh at Throughball.com for this bit of news. It looks like the Thunder are on the verge of new ownership. The new owners are not only looking to build the team their own stadium but to bring the team into Major League Soccer. It makes sense for the stadium and being an expansion team in the MLS to go along together. Why spend money on a soccer specific stadium if you're not going to play in the top tier of US soccer? The question is who exactly are these new owners and will they really be able to secure the funding and get the politicians on board to get it done?
     
  2. NORML

    NORML Member+

    Aug 9, 2002
    Lake Wobegon, MN
    Club:
    NSC Minnesota Stars
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Right now I'm just hoping they can get the Thunder out of the Jimmy.
     
  3. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
    Hey, if they have the $$$ and can get a park built, why not?
     
  4. Schwalker

    Schwalker New Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    Gelsenkirchen/Finja
    Club:
    FC Schalke 04
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Well, as we currently got around 12 cities trying to join MLS they need something special to stick out...
     
  5. hogmesh

    hogmesh New Member

    May 13, 2006
    msp (formerly va)
    Club:
    DC United
    this'd be fantastic... but i won't hold my breath just yet. however, if it translates into a better thunder team in the short run, then i'll be quite thrilled.
     
  6. prk166

    prk166 BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 8, 2000
    Med City
    But just think if they got to play the Rapids while still there. It would be the Jimmy - Dick showdown.
     
  7. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    It would be cool if they were renamed the Minnesota Kicks and brought back the logo & the colors.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Couverite

    Couverite Guest

    There is a world outside of nostalgia for the NASL.

    The Thunder have played three times as long and won more silverware than the Kicks ever did. They've had a bad spell lately, but it's the Thunder who have tradition on their side.

    Plus, that logo (minus the kid) looks like it was ripped straight from the airbrushing on a 1974 Ford Econoline with Quadrophonic sound. :p
     
  9. bright

    bright Member

    Dec 28, 2000
    Central District
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Speaking of soccer tradition: Buzz Lagos, the long-time coach of the Thunder, is practically a Minnesota soccer institution all to himself. His son, Manny Lagos, MLS and US National team player, is now the Thunder's Director of Operations.

    The Thunder have been going strong since 1990, and it is their new owner who is talking about MLS.

    - Paul
     
  10. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    And averaged 3, 4 or even 5 times less in attendance. Every year top pro soccer was played in Minnesota, they were always among the league leaders. Contrary to the status quo, I really believe the MLS would benefit a great deal to try and recapture some of that NASL tradition and atmosphere. In Seattle, Minnesota as well as other venues.
    Minnesota Kicks
    23121
    Minnesota Kicks
    32775
    Minnesota Kicks
    30928
    Minnesota Kicks
    24580
    Minnesota Kicks
    18279
    Minnesota Kicks
    16605
    Minnesota Strikers
    14263
     
  11. prk166

    prk166 BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 8, 2000
    Med City
    I don't buy into the "we had great numbers in the NASL days" argument at all. Just look at the number you used Falvo. During a few years their attendance drops by half. Great attendance numbers for the NASL were a flash in the pan.

    One step beyond that is the implication that it is the name that somehow attracts the fans. There is a lot that goes into selling tickets. There's marketing, selling tickets to individuals, selling tickets to corporations and other all those other things. Fans don't just show up at at the gate on their own no matter what name the team has.

    The Minnesota Thunder have been around for nearly 20 years. I'd love to see them make the step up into the MLS WITH THE SAME NAME. I wouldn't complain it but I don't think there is much to be gained from doing so.
     
  12. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Actually, attendance dropped only the year before the team folded. From 1976-1980, the Kicks were the team. Maybe its a different time and era but the fans did show up in Minnesota in those days and there was hardly any marketing, tv or anything else, for that matter as the game for some reason sold itself. Heck the Kicks never even really had any name players as the rest of the league did unless you count 2nd, 3rd division Brits like Steve Litt, Alan Willey & Alan Merrick.
     
  13. adam

    adam Member

    Mar 6, 1999
    Minneapolis
    I think a team in MLS would be better served by starting from scratch...ala Toronto. The Toronto Lynx were minor league, and were treated accordingly by Toronto area soccer fans. In my opinion, the same applies to the Thunder. They have a long history of soccer in the Twin Cities and should be given credit for all they have accomplished. They are, however, still a minor league team in the public's eye. That's not meant in any way as an insult, but I think to succeed in a major league town you have to be perceived as a major league organization/operation (see again TFC).



    Any word on who exactly these new owners are?


    -On a side note, I always thought there was a missed opportunity for MLS here a few years ago at the height of the Twins contraction/stadium funding bitchfest. People were tired of politicians and billionaires arguing about stadium money and fan interest in the Twins was very low.

    Imagine the momentum that could have been gained had a group of private investors popped up and built a privately financed soccer stadium right under the noses of both the Twins and the Vikings who were/still are begging for free money from the state.

    Oh well...
     
  14. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 25, 2006
    As a long time Kicks fan, I agree. I would be much more interested in starting fresh with a Twin Cities United team than the new and improved MLS Thunder.

    Either way though, I think an additional sports franchise in the Twin Cities -- MLS or otherwise -- is a difficult proposition. The Twin Cities has a lot of professional teams and Gopher athletics competing for the sports dollar. It's a crowded, competitive marketplace, one where even the Vikings have struggled to sell out this year.

    It would take an owner with very deep pockets and a strong commitment to succeed, IMO.
     
  15. scheck

    scheck Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    Denver
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Twin Cities FC


    nice!
     
  16. WhiteStar Warriors

    Mar 25, 2007
    St.Pete/Krakow
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  17. Krammerhead

    Krammerhead Guest

    The Lynx were a shell of a team even for the USL-1. They were poorly run, of course they wouldn't want their MLS team associated with that name even if they could have bought it of their owners. Well run teams at the USL level would have no problem carrying their present names into MLS if they made the move. I'm not sure the Thunder fit into that category though.
     
  18. adam

    adam Member

    Mar 6, 1999
    Minneapolis

    That may be, however, Denver pulls it off and we have about 1 million more people in our metro area than they do.
     
  19. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Manistee, Michigan
    Club:
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Somehow, I don't think that TC United would fly. ;)
     
  20. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 25, 2006
    TCFC it is. :D
     
  21. VioletCrown

    VioletCrown Member

    FC Dallas
    United States
    Aug 30, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    Club:
    Austin Aztex
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    *sigh* Where the love for Wolfgang Suhnholz?
     
  22. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
  23. denver_mugwamp

    denver_mugwamp New Member

    Feb 9, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    Cities like Denver and Salt Lake show that there is now a critical mass of soccer fans most everywhere in the country. I believe that a good ownership group with the right SSS will succeed almost anywhere these days. Atlanta, Phoenix, Orlando, and Las Vegas could all be great MLS towns. The league has finally figured out that the stadium is the key to turning a profit and the actual city where it's located is not that important.

    BTW, Minnesota already has one thing--Thunder is already a bad soccer team name circa 1996. All they need for true retro authenticity is the crappy uniforms. :p
     
  24. Kot Matroskin

    Kot Matroskin Member+

    Aug 10, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Thunder isn't that bad as a club name, and I'm usually the first one to hate that style of naming.

    OTOH, Twin Cities FC has a great ring to it. Twin Cities United wins out in my book, though, because I think MLS will have another "united" club, and it works for the Twin Cities perfectly.

    Of course, that implies that you want the Twin Cities to be united, which I don't know. Do you?

    What do you think of rival sides, one in MPLS and one in St Paul? That would be kind of cool, too. I love the idea of rivals in a "single" city.
     
  25. Jc1231

    Jc1231 Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    San Bernardino
    How about you make a new team unite Thunder with the new team and call it St. Paul United. The team name sounds like an English team name. I don't know I think I'd be kind of cool
     

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