Will Ottawa's New Soccer Stadium Kill the Whitecaps Chances of Joining the MLS?
DH Vancouver StaffDec 03, 2008 11:01 pm
Well it looks like the people of Ottawa got their shit together. No I’m not talking about those buffoons in Parliament, I’m talking about Eugene Melnyk and the gang. Here is a rendering of a new proposed 30,000 seat real grass soccer stadium in Ottawa. This is part of Ottawa’s bid to lure an MLS franchise to Ottawa as they would be a natural rival to Toronto FC.
Recently Montreal’s bid was rejected by the MLS, citing financial difficulties by the Montreal group. It seems they were unable to secure the $40 million expansion fee necessary to enter the league. That leaves Vancouver and 6 other teams for two expansion slots in 2011.What does all of this mean to the Whitecaps chances of landing an MLS franchise? Well its doubtful that the MLS will grant two Canadian franchises this go around. However, with the current financial chaos in the states it’s not completely out of the question. Further adding to the uphill battle though is the fact the league wants to expand its ratings in the United States and having another Canadian team is not going to help with that cause.
Having said that, the MLS officials were blown away by the Whitecaps presentation and Lenarduzzi and his backers come with money and name recognition. Huge plus.
This brings me to the ongoing debate about the waterfront stadium. What the hell is taking so long, where is the political will to get this done, I mean the guy is building this stadium with his own money. The interim solution to play at the new BC place stadium is a start, however, I’d like to see them play on the waterfront or in a soccer specific stadium in the elements. If Ottawa can do it, why can’t we?
DH Vancouver Staff
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