SAT, 8:45AM ET
NEW
LIV
SAT, 11AM ET
CHE
QPR
SAT, 11AM ET
ARS
BUR
SAT, 11AM ET
EVE
SWA
SAT, 11AM ET
HUL
SOU
SAT, 11AM ET
STO
WHU

Ottawa Fury Applies for a USL-1 Franchise

 Ottawa Fury Applies for a USL 1 FranchiseHere’s a link to the press release.

I know, this is MLS Talk, not USL Talk. But given recent events, this is newsworthy.

This has been rumored for awhile, not always the Fury, but that a party in Ottawa was interested in entering the USL First Division. But they picked a really strange time to do it, didn’t they?

A little more about the club: It was founded in 2005 and currently fields teams in the PDL, W-League (Ottawa Fury Women), and the Super-20 League.

It appears that they plan to play matches at a new stadium to be built at Lansdowne Park, pending the approval of the Ottawa city council. Currently Lansdowne Park is the home of Frank Claire Stadium, which hosted matches at the U-20 World Cup. Frank Clair is in, let’s say, less that pristine condition and there’s been talk about redeveloping the place. We may well be looking at a ground-share with a potential new Ottawa CFL team.

The Ottawa council meets tomorrow (Sept. 2) to rule on the stadium plan, and that’s probably what this whole thing hinges on.

So, what do you guys think of this news, and the timing of the announcement considering everything that’s going on with the USL at the moment? I think it’s great news for Canada, the more professional options for Canadians the better.

Update: Here’s a link to the Lansdowne Live project including the potential stadium. The stadium would seat 25,000. That’s massive by USL standards.

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, USL and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Ottawa Fury Applies for a USL-1 Franchise

  1. JMB321 says:

    USL is clearly trying to one-up the TOA and dispel the concern that USL will be contracting. This is even more curious because it is announcing an “application” for USL-1 not the acquisition of the franchise. In my time following USL, I don’t recall press releases on applications occurring the so nature and timing are suspect. Seems like the plan will only move forward if they get the stadium approved by the city council.

  2. Derek says:

    The timing of this(considering recent events anyway) makes it look like USL is indeed trying to put up the “everything is okay” front. A week or two ago, this makes perfect sense seeing how Vancouver and Portland are leaving for sure in 2011 with Montréal likely to follow. USL needs to reload. However with the sale and the rebellion from many of the teams’ owners, this seems like taking something and using it as propaganda for the league. I’d like to see Ottawa, either in USL or in a potential breakaway league with the USL rebels. I just hope there is a second tier of pro soccer in some form moving forward.

  3. Uncle Ed says:

    LOL, Why would Ottawa want to join now at this very instant?

  4. Scap says:

    Not sure why Ottawa wants in right after Toronto, Vancouver and probably Montreal all jump to MLS. However, if it advances soccer in North America and makes roster spots for kids to fill I’m all for it.

  5. Murray Wentworh says:

    Ottawa could never support an MLS team. But it can a USL team. Being local I could see them getting 5-7K a game. The real money behind this is the guys who want to the contract to develop the stadium and area around it. They are local developers with deep pockets, one who currently owns the JR 67′s hockey team that averages 8,000 people per game. They are also the money behind the CFL team. They simply want to add dates to the stadium. A USL franchise is cheap compared to insane money the MLS want.

    This has more to do with them, than the USL trying to look like everything is alright with the league.

  6. sal says:

    U.S.L as we know it is done, all because of Nikes greed. I realize that this was a private sale but I have 2 questions. Is it illegal what they did, to leak the bid to Nurock?
    Is it illegal not selling to the highest bidder ?

  7. JMB321 says:

    Normally the sale of a business is open to bidders until such point the Buyer and Seller agree to a price. At that stage, a non-binding letter of intent is signed by both parties usually accompanied by some earnest money. Usually included in the letter of intent is a binding clause disavowing the ability of other bidders to offer a buying proposal until such time due diligence is completed and a Purchase Agreement is concluded or the parties decide togo their separate ways for some reason.

    If if was advised to Cooper’s group and the TOA that they were the high bidder weeks ago, I cannot understand why a Letter of Intent with a no competing bids clause was not drawn up at that time. How they could have continued to be doing extensive research up to last Wednesday and then outbid is beyond my ability to comprehend. Nike may have refused to accept this clause in which case it is very surprising that legal counsel did not advise caution and want to get some kind of protection during the due diligence process.

    Somebody dropped the ball on this and got seriously snookered!

  8. sal says:

    JMB321
    Thanks for the explanation.

  9. Vnice says:

    Could the new breakaway league possibly be the long fabled MLS2?

    They could coexist on the second tier with USL (sub-top flight tiers can be composed of multiple leagues), and I could see it being a good deal for MLS.

    A budget MLS, if you will.

  10. Ottawa MLS Fan says:

    I agree with people who have posted that the Fury announcement is nothing to do with demonstrating the strength of USL. The timing is all about sending a message to Ottawa City Council in advance of tomorrow’s debate, that they can satisfy soccer and football fans when the Lansdowne Live proposal finally reaches a vote (in a couple of months). Not sure how well that will work since it won’t satisfy soccer fans who still want MLS. And it won’t satisfy people who just don’t want a stadium in their neigbourhood. And I have doubts about the viability of USL-1 in a 25,000 seat stadium with CFL end zones. The atmosphere is not likely to be the best

  11. Ottawa USL Fan says:

    Red Bull draws 5000 people to a 80 thousand seater. I doubt an Ottawa MLS team would fill the proposed 30,000 seat Ottawa MlS stadium.

    I doubt there are more than 200 people who wouldn’t go to an USL game simply because they only want MLS.

    This is a test for soccer fans in Ottawa. Put up Montreal attendance numbers and then you can tell everyone that this is a demand for a local pro team.

    Until then, no one knows.

  12. Lars says:

    As someone who has seen the Fury play, excellent. I hope this club has a hugely successful future in Ottawa. Going to see the Fury play this summer was a treat, and the owner of the club is dedicated to the game. He owns as a hobby more than anything else, because he enjoys the game so much.

  13. K says:

    TFC fan here…

    I’ve been to an Ottawa Fury game. To the comment from the Ottawa USL Fan, “I doubt there are more than 200 people”….

    Well, the Fury already draw more than 200 fans on average, under less than ideal conditions. They currently have three distinct disadvantages:

    1) The Fury are 2 divisions lower in the PDL
    2) The Fury play in the suburbs, not as far as Kanata, but far enough, definetely not transit friendly.
    3) Next to zero marketing effort outside the little league soccer community

    The proposed USL-1 Fury would be downtown and will play in a Professional league, compared to the semi-Pro PDL.

    If they can draw more than 200 fans per game in a sparsly populated suburb in a semi-professional league, I think the USL-1 Fury can fill at least 3000 seats at the worst of times. Thats better than the former USL-1 Toronto Lynks.

    NOw add proper marketing to the community at large, and not just soccer mom’s and little league soccer players and you can expect up to 5000 fans per game. Not to mention the prospect of cross-marketing between the CFL & Fury.

    I know plenty of Sports fans that follow both pointy footy, and given the right marketing, soccer as well (àie: plenty CFL fans I know follow EPL)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>