Seattle to Become MLS 15th Team. Can You Get a Sixteenth by 2009?
So I’m sitting here this early morning looking a couple of my favorite websites and I spot this little nugget…
“Can Drew Carey ever show his face in Cleveland again after becoming part owner of a soccer team? In Seattle?”
Curiosity gets the best of me and MLSnet is reporting that the world’s worst kept secret will be confirmed in a press conference that Seattle will get the fifteenth franchise to begin play in 2009. It’s obviously a natural fit for Seattle to get a franchise with it’s history in the sport and the fact a team in the northwest is just smart business sense.
Two things though worry me about this selection.
1) The team will be playing at Quest Field, current home of the Seattle Seahawks. I guess we’ll get those idiots who will damn this team to hell because American football lines will be on the pitch. While it doesn’t bother me to the extent of some people, it could turn off a select number of people.
2) The Seattle Sounders playing in USL only averaged 3325 this past season, a drop from the 3826 it was in 2006. Even in winning the USL 1 Title, they only averaged 3374 for their two playoff games.
The one positive thing about this move though does excite me. Drew Carey will have a minority ownership in the club that also includes Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen, Seattle Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer, and majority owner Joe Roth, a Hollywood producer. What this does tell me is this team will be financially stable and hopefully they use that money to openly market the club to the region to put fans in the seats. Another thing I think will prove to be a positive is Drew Carey appears to really want to make this club a club of the people, even going as far as holding elections every four years for the General Manager. I will feign ignorance on this, but it does surprise me that teams don’t openly try to promote official club memberships. (On a side note, I will be doing some research on this matter sometime this week so I can see how truly wrong I’ll probably be.)
The biggest question I have is can MLS get itself in gear and also in the near future announce a sixteenth franchise to start in 2009? Obviously Philadelphia looks to be a sure fit, but I would also like to see if there is a possibility that someone in the Vancouver area could get an MLS investment group going. You couldn’t go wrong with either one of those two cities (I’ll even include St. Louis in that mix) and with 16 teams, you could go to a table structure similar to that in Mexico and also schedule everyone home/away for a comfortable 30 game season.
Also on a side note, I will also be doing a live blog of the MLS Cup Final live as it happens on the USA Soccer Spot website from noon Sunday. I hope you stop by and take a look.