Nov 29, 2012, 11:35 AM EDT
CARSON, Calif. – The stadium-related, out-of-nowhere story from Tampa Bay yesterday will need much untangling.
Luckily, almost everybody who has anything to do with domestic soccer is in Southern California this week, site of Saturday’s MLS Cup final; we’ll have our untangling tools at the ready.
Here’s what we know about yesterday’s whopper, a news story from Tampa that says a group (with more money than it knows what to do with, apparently) is about to spend $400 million on a soccer stadium, minus any promises of an MLS franchise.
- Hopes are for a 28,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof. (It does tend to get wet in Tampa, so that ability to shut the lid would be nice.)
- The stadium to open in March of 2016.
- The money is out of England, from VisionPro Sports Institute Holdings, which has heavy business and political connections to Tampa Bay.
- The timing couldn’t be better; MLS commissioner Don Garber reiterated Major League Soccer’s desire to find its way into the Southeast, and also reinforced the league’s desire to avoid ill fitted venues (i.e., big football stadiums in most cases.)
There are three sticky points here:
One is the commitment for 19-team MLS to make a second New York franchise No. 20. That’s still targeted for around 2016, and most of the MLS expansion energy will presumably remain pointed in that direction.
The other is finding an owner. As I’ve mentioned several times before, nothing happens until a city has the right owner to go with the right stadium plan.
Finally, there is a matter of history. Tampa Bay had an MLS team before, the short-lived Mutiny (pictured). That lasted five seasons, folding in 2001 as MLS contracted to 10 teams (and came very, very close to going away altogether.)
That was a very different time in MLS. Tampa was league owned and operated, and surely suffered from that status. Still, that could create an awkward obstacle if competition gets fierce with a place like Orlando, where officials are eager to get past the MLS expansion velvet ropes.
Mar 30, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT
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Mar 30, 2015, 2:29 PM EDT
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Mar 30, 2015, 1:32 PM EDT
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Mar 30, 2015, 11:58 AM EDT
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Mar 30, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT
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Mar 30, 2015, 10:39 AM EDT
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Mar 30, 2015, 9:21 AM EDT
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Mar 30, 2015, 8:20 AM EDT
Barcelona striker Neymar was furious with former Premier League defender Gary Medel, who clattered him hard during the first half of a physical match.
Mar 30, 2015, 7:50 AM EDT
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Mar 29, 2015, 11:27 PM EDT
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Mar 29, 2015, 10:52 PM EDT
Kane will join England’s U-21 squad for this summer’s European Championship.
Mar 29, 2015, 9:18 PM EDT
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Mar 29, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT
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Mar 29, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT
Harry Shipp. Harry Shipp. Harry Shipp.
Mar 29, 2015, 5:58 PM EDT
Sterling isn’t interested in negotiating a new deal until the summer — even if it’s for $270,000/week — and a few reassurances are made.
Mar 29, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
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Mar 29, 2015, 2:55 PM EDT
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Mar 29, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT
Thierry Henry showed off his sparkling passing skills at Steven Gerrard’s testimonial.
Mar 29, 2015, 10:43 AM EDT
The United States loses one of their goalscorers from Friday’s friendly, but now it’s a youngster’s turn to make a statement.
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