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.
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May 24, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
In case you missed anything, here’s what happened on the final day of the PL season.
May 24, 2015, 2:36 PM EDT
The club won just three of its final 14 matches, nosediving out of a Champions League position and leaving the manager without a job.
May 24, 2015, 2:15 PM EDT
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May 24, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT
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May 24, 2015, 1:21 PM EDT
It was almost like Stoke wanted him to score.
May 24, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT
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May 24, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT
The Liverpool manager knows he could have hurt his position today with a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Stoke City on the season’s final day.
May 24, 2015, 1:03 PM EDT
The Blues hoist the trophy in front of their own fans in west London.
May 24, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT
Hull spent on Abel Hernandez and others in a relatively splashy summer, but still sink into the second tier.
May 24, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT
A resilient John Carver, buoyed by Newcastle United avoiding the drop, has reiterated his desire to lead the Premier League club.
May 24, 2015, 12:35 PM EDT
Clarets sign off with a win as Villa go into FA Cup final on the back of two-straight defeats.
May 24, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT
West Ham released a statement on Allardyce’s removal seconds after Sunday’s final whistle.
May 24, 2015, 12:24 PM EDT
Saints must wait for Europa League spot, as Lampard signs off in style.
May 24, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT
Tigers relegated after throwing everything at United.
May 24, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT
Kane nodded home an Eric Dier cross to give Spurs a lead, and Tottenham controlled possession for most of the match in holding on for all three points.
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