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MLS Gauging Market for a Team in Baltimore

On the eve of the second leg of the conference semifinals, the league has stirred some intrigue around one of its teams not in the playoffs.  According to Steven Goff of The Washington Post, soccer fans in the Baltimore, MD area have begun to receive surveys gauging their interest in locating an MLS franchise in the city.  Obviously this is a major issue for fans of DC United, whose franchise has been searching for a home and for the past few years has been rumored to be moving to Baltimore or outside of DC.

According to Goff and Craig Stouffer of The Examiner, the survey asks how likely would fans follow and attend the games of a team in a soccer-specific stadium in the Westport area of the city; the questions ask about a new franchise or a relocated franchise.  The survey then asks which of the following teams residents would lobby hardest to have move to Baltimore: DC United, Columbus Crew, Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls, or other.  The final two questions ask specifically about DC United’s relocation to Baltimore.

Some DC fans have already begun to prepare themselves for what seems to be an inevitable move, but I can see a few different reasons why MLS is doing this survey at this time.  Here are my thoughts (and for my previous thoughts on DC United in Baltimore, check out my previous article):

DC United is preparing to move to Baltimore

In an incredibly informative interview last month with Goff, DC United President Kevin Payne was blunt about his team’s courtship with Baltimore:

We’re not hiding anything. We are trying to work through some issues with the District and we are having conversations about how to get something in the District, but we’re having those same conversations with Baltimore. I’m not sure I want to categorize it, but the state of Maryland, Maryland Stadium Authority and city of Baltimore know how to do this. They’ve done it successfully.

DC United last year did an economic benefit study with Baltimore last year so they have some research to back-up potential moves.  And the team has discussed outside of the city stadium sites, including failed negotiations with Upper Marlboro, MD, to build a soccer stadium there (similar to how the Redskins play in Landover, MD, not DC).  Before the end of the season, DCU presented Events DC, which owns RFK Stadium, with almost an ultimatum to either renovate the stadium for soccer use or the team is gone.  How much the city is willing to put into a fifty year old stadium is unknown.  So the most likely reason for this survey is that it is the first step in a multi-year process to move DC United to Baltimore.

DC United is aggressively trying to have DC call its bluff

Despite the negativity surrounding DC United’s stadium situation, it is not all a dark cloud.  The Poplar Point stadium is up in the air, but has never been declared absolutely dead.  In fact, with changing DC demographics and the continued development of the Southwest Waterfront, this may turn out to be an economic option intriguing to the DC Council.  With the grassroots movement Keep DC United picking up combined with the thought of losing what is essentially a business to Baltimore (and the DC government hates losing large businesses to competing regional cities), these tactics by the league and the team are just pressure points to keep the issue on the DC Council’s radar.

MLS is feeling out Baltimore for relocation of another franchise

In all likelihood the inclusion of Philadelphia, Columbus, and New York was a poor attempt to not make the survey all about moving DC United to Baltimore.  But what if MLS is considering Baltimore not just as a landing place for DC United but any other troubled MLS franchise?  If DC works out a stadium deal somewhere in the nation’s capital, could Baltimore be a destination for a team like Columbus, whose attendance has fallen and MLS has publicly worried about its financial well being?   If this was the case, Baltimore would have to compete with cities like Las Vegas and New York, who are also clamoring to get into MLS (or in NY’s case, have a second franchise).  Baltimore is a good location with a good sports tradition, only two major league franchises, and some soccer tradition.  So while maybe the survey was about testing Baltimore as a landing place for any team, I find it unlikely that they would be surveyed now to establish themselves as relocation site #1.

MLS is considering Baltimore to host an expansion franchise

Many of the arguments for the previous idea apply, but I find this even less likely.  The twentieth team will probably be the New York Cosmos, but MLS has publicly courted Minnesota, San Antonio, Las Vegas, and even Miami about housing an expansion MLS franchise.  For Baltimore to suddenly be the new home of a 20th, 21st, or 22nd team, they would have some work to do.  But maybe, just maybe, the survey is designed to see just how much of a possibility this is.

48 Responses to MLS Gauging Market for a Team in Baltimore

  1. teddy says:

    From Goff’s piece – MLS at it’s smarmiest. What could they glean
    from this ridiculous question: – The (MLS) survey also asks fans:
    If you could influence any of the following MLS teams to relocate
    to Baltimore, which team would you rather have move to Baltimore?
    Columbus Crew D.C. United FC Dallas New York Red Bulls Philadelphia
    Union No preference

  2. bradjmoore48 says:

    I remember reading the Baltimore stadium viability study and one of
    the conclusions that came out of it was how little interest area
    businesses had in a soccer team, MLS or not. While the study
    suggested it made more sense to have an MLS club than build a
    stadium for an NASL side (which were the options given to the
    committee) the study seemed to suggest, at least to me, very little
    interest in a team in Baltimore. But that, of course, was only from
    the perspective of the local business community, not the fans. I
    still think the study was done to put pressure on the DC Council to
    get a new stadium, the issue is I don’t think DC has much leverage
    in the negotiations. I also can’t see anyone in Baltimore drop
    $100M for a new franchise fee. Though if this did happen, Omar
    Cummings would HAVE to be traded to Baltimore, just so Baltimore
    fans can chant “Omar comin’” during every match

  3. Cavan says:

    Baltimore is a great soccer market. It’s been overlooked by the
    other MLS cities league headquarters for far too long. They draw
    7,000 to the friggin’ Baltimore Blast indoor team for crying out
    loud. What kind of attendence did Toronto or Seattle have in their
    Division 2 incarnations? Not as much as the indoor Baltimore Blast!
    It’s the best expansion candidate out there. Baltimore sports fans
    are among the best. They show up and care. They’re not fair-weather
    fans. They’re very passionate, like Philadephia fans but without
    the bad reputation. For that reason, Baltimore is a better MLS
    expansion option than even Queens or wherever in the NY outer
    boroughs. NY sports fans only show up when the team wins. Other
    than that, forget about it. Just look at the Red Bulls. So many NY
    fans give a billion excuses (it’s in NJ!) why they don’t support
    the team they’ve already got when the real reason is that their
    trophy case is bare. As a DC United supporter, I would like to see
    them get their own team. They deserve it and it would thrive in a
    SSS on their light rail line. I wish it’s not a relocated DC
    United. I have to qualify that my reactions are slightly mixed. I’m
    so mad at the D.C. government for how they don’t seem to even
    answer DC United’s phone calls anymore when all they ever wanted
    was zoning and bonding authority. The team has always agreed to pay
    all construction costs. A local government gives zoning, bonding
    authority, and infrastructure to any new construction. A small
    piece of me wants United to move just so they can’t be mistreated
    by the D.C. government anymore. D.C. United isn’t a part of the
    buddy system and doesn’t know whose back to scratch in order to get
    access to the city government. It’s the same story as happened in
    Prince George’s County, MD. Both of those jurisdictions require
    vast knowledge of the insiders’ game in order to even be taken
    seriously. I don’t want my team to leave. It’s our team. The D.C.
    area fan’s team. I live in Silver Spring in Montgomery County, MD,
    inside the beltway on the Metro. I’m a Washingtonian through and
    through. Baltimore is our friendly neighbor to the north that (in
    my county’s case) we build coalitions with in state politics. It’s
    a different metro region with a distinct culture. Sports fans are
    split along those lines, too. It’s just the nature of the beast. On
    the east coast, because of the age of the cities, they’re more
    distinct than something like in Southern California where a
    baseball team in Anaheim can all itself Los Angeles. Interestingly,
    Anaheim seems to be about as close to downtown Los Angeles as
    Philadelphia is to D.C. I’ll still go to games if DCU moves to
    Baltimore. I might even join their supporters’ group for the
    rebranded Baltimore Bays (or whatever they end up calling
    themselves). It won’t be the same and it won’t be my team. I’ll be
    going as a soccer fan. However, it’ll always be second-best to DC
    United. It’ll be like when I was kid and my parents refused to buy
    me a Nintendo. I went to my friends place and played all the
    classics but they were never mine. In the scenario that DCU becomes
    the Baltimore Bays, I’d be the kid who plays the video games at his
    friends’ house: still very fun and worth the price of admission,
    but ultimately not mine. I do recognize that a move to Baltimore
    and coming to my friends’ house to play games is better than having
    no games in the neighborhood whatsoever. It’s still hard.

    • theakinet says:

      “I’m so mad at the D.C. government for how they don’t seem to even
      answer DC United’s phone calls anymore when all they ever wanted
      was zoning and bonding authority.” Please read the “Field of
      Schemes” blog. They explain how cities ALWAYS lose money on these
      public-private stadium deals. ALWAYS. @theakinet

      • Cavan says:

        The Field of Schemes author certainly had his agenda. You twisted
        my point. Insider access is required for anything, even building an
        apartment building. There is a HUGE difference between bond
        authority and public funding. In the first, the government issues a
        bond while the team pays it off. If it’s not paid off, the team is
        on the hook. It’s just a mechanism to get a better interest rate.
        The second one is not always a bad deal, either. The devil is in
        the details. Baltimore paid for constructing Camden Yards on what
        was abandoned warehouses. In the last 20 years, they have gotten
        far more tax revenue off of the stadium and its 90+ events a year
        than if the land had just stayed derelict. The stadiums also
        contributed to a larger revitalization of that section of downtown.
        A stadium can also be a planning tool to attract attention and
        business to an area. Other times, it can be a boondoggle. The devil
        is in the details of the specific financing mechanism and urban
        context.

    • CTBlues says:

      Baltimore really shows support of their baseball team. /s Whenever
      I watch them play the Yankees the stadium isn’t full and most of
      the fans in the stadium are Yankee fans and same goes when the
      Redsox are in town. I’ll give ya that they aren’t the Pirates, but
      to say Baltimore fans show up all the time no matter if they are
      winning or loosing is a bit of a stretch. You can’t really compare
      the Ravens because they almost always seem to be good plus it’s
      football not being played in Flordia so people show up.

      • Cavan says:

        Historically, Orioles support had been good. It took many years of
        having such a terrible owner to gradually whittle away attendance
        to the current sad state. With Angelos a owner, the fans have
        resigned themselves that the team will splash a ton of money on
        free agents and meddle with the team such that it will always be
        less than the sum of its parts. He’s kind of the Dan Snyder of MLB
        and the Orioles fans are giving up hope. That’s very different than
        poor support.

        • crybabyorioles says:

          Wow what a crybaby orioles fan… how horrible that your owner got
          you a brand new stadium and splashes tons of cash on free agents
          for your team and you still don’t show up to support them. He spent
          a ton of money getting Miguel Tejada from the A’s; Javier Lopez,
          Rafael Palmeiro, Ramon Hernandez, JJ Hardy all big free agent
          signings… to go with the numerous stud players you have had over
          the past few years Roberts, Bedard, Scott, Jones, Markakis,
          Wieters, Reynolds etc etc etc. And you still don’t show up to
          support your club.

          • Cavan says:

            I’m not actually a baseball fan. I’m completely uninterested in the
            game. I was just trying to describe the situation.

          • Shas says:

            First of all, Angelos wasn’t even the owner when Camden Yards was
            built. That was Eli Jacobs, who eventually went bankrupt, allowing
            Angelos to buy the team for $175 million in a bankruptcy auction
            after the team had already started playing in Camden Yards. It was
            really Larry Lucchino, team president of the Orioles, now CEO of
            the Red Sox, who had the vision for what Camden Yards should be (he
            also spearheaded the remake of Fenway). Second, you’re claim that
            Angelos spent heavily in bringing in players is absurd. You’re
            citing guys who played here 14 years ago, which coincidently was
            the last time they put a winning team on the field. The Orioles
            have a $85 million payroll, which is half what the Red Sox spend
            and well below the $200 million the Yankees spend. Stud players?
            Give me a break. Beside, it’s not even about spending money. The
            Rays have the second lowest payroll in the league and the worst
            stadium ever built, and they still have a far superior product. The
            franchise has an irrelevant joke and the fans eventually came to
            treat it that way. It’s not crying. It’s ignoring. It’s moving on
            to something else that is at least relevant. There isn’t enough
            room here to go through the list of mistakes. We’ll leave it at
            this: Free agency started two days ago and the Orioles are the only
            team in baseball that doesn’t have a GM in place to address the
            numerous needs. The old GM refused to come back and the two guys
            they wanted to hire spurned them. It’s a critical time for
            preparing for the 2012 season, and there is absolutely no one
            behind the wheel right now. We’re supposed to support that? The
            point of all this is that if a team is competitive, it will get fan
            support. But if we’re talking about a dysfunctional MLS franchise
            that has no hope of competing, then no, we aren’t going to support
            it. That doesn’t make us crybabies. It makes us realists.

  4. F19 says:

    It would be a shame if DCU moved. It would be a huge black eye for
    the league, as United is one of the few MLS teams that has built a
    great history since 1996. Other clubs like Seattle, Portland,
    Vancouver, even Montréal coming in have some great history too but
    they date back to other leagues, in the case of the former 3, all
    the way back to the 70s in the NASL. Baltimore may very well be a
    great market for MLS. But my problem is that you already have
    Philly, DC, RBNY, New England, Toronto and Montréal in the
    northeast. Columbus is not that far away. Then you look at all the
    media markets and regions that MLS has no influence in, and it
    makes no sense to add another team to the northeast. You have 5
    D2/D3markets in the Southeast(Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, Orlando,
    Atlanta and Carolina) all averaging as many or more fans per game
    than Seattle did when they were in D2. You have other major towns
    like Phoenix, St. Louis, Detroit or Las Vegas. If MLS wants to be a
    truly national league and join the “Big 4″, it needs to carve out a
    presence in the areas where there is a void right now. There is no
    excuse not to be in the Southeast, particularly Florida. The new
    Strikers and Rowdies have proven that if you don’t disrespect local
    history and the fans you’ll succeed. Orlando has come into USLPro
    and done great.

    • Cavan says:

      Completely disagree about the South. It’s now clear that MLS
      thrives in cities that have vibrant historic cores and a young,
      professional class. The Southern cities are both too small and/or
      too dispersed. Atlanta has the population of the D.C. area on
      something like four times the land. Its urban core was hollowed out
      for a 20-lane highway decades ago. Are there any other cities in
      the South outside of Texas with the size and vibrant urban cores of
      the northeastern cities? Compound the fact that the pro sports that
      are already there don’t do so hot while college football is a
      religion.

      • CTBlues says:

        I agree with you there look at the most popular league in our
        country now the NFL have you seen any Tampa, Miami, or Jacksonville
        home games this year? The attendance is awful I don’t know how the
        games aren’t blacked out. Then you have the Rays in the MLB which
        is a really good team that if you put say any place else but
        Florida would be selling out every night. The Marlines I don’t even
        want to go there and I don’t watch the NBA or NHL so I can’t
        comment on how those games are attended. The only games that are
        sure fire to sellout in Flordia are Gator and Seminole games.

      • The Gaffer says:

        I think it’s disgraceful that MLS doesn’t have one team in the entire southeastern United States. How can you call it an American league when a significant chunk of the country isn’t even represented?

        Cheers,

        The Gaffer

        • BamaMan says:

          If MLS heads south, they should think outside the box. Birmingham,
          Nashville, Asheville, or Richmond would all be interesting options
          for MLS. All of those cities have a decent soccer tradition and all
          have the kind of urban hipster mentality that could make an MLS
          franchise successful. Birmingham ought to be building a 25-30,000
          seat stadium downtown for UAB as it is, but the Hoover Met would
          make a great transitional venue (it’s hosting NCAA Final Four next
          week). We always had great attendance for the USMNT. Can I say we
          should get a team ahead of St. Louis, NY, or some others? No. But I
          can say that, despite what the metrics say, Birmingham would
          support a pro franchise better than Atlanta or Ft. Lauderdale. Both
          of those cities are oversaturated with pro sports franchises and
          have fans that only show up when teams are uber-successful. And,
          even then, attendance is spotty. Bham could be the Green Bay of the
          MLS.

  5. theakinet says:

    Terrible. I’m not going to Baltimore for games. It takes at least
    45 mins. And that’s without game day traffic…Plus I identify with
    DC. BTW. There are 100+ markets that are rich enough to support
    MLS. Promotion and relegation could happen RIGHT NOW.
    http://wagesofwins.net/2011/10/31/could-your-city-give-a-sports-team-a-good-home/
    twitter @theakinet

  6. Michael says:

    So do they remain the ‘same franchise’ or do they pull a San Jose
    Earthquakes/Houston Dynamo thing? Would prefer the latter.

  7. Al says:

    Bring MLS to Miami.That’s what we want to see.

  8. Robert says:

    Funny how pro/rel solves all these problems of where to put XYZ
    team in what city. I believe its time we start demanding pro/rel.
    Under pro/rel, Baltimore can have a team, Miami can have a team,
    Ft. Lauderdale can have a team, Austin, San Diego, San Francisco,
    Boise, Phoenix, Bend, the list goes on. All that matters is how the
    team performs on the field.

    • Cavan says:

      Pro/rel zombie alert!

      • Cavan says:

        Robert, I know I’m wasting my time with you but I’ll say for other
        non-pro/rel zombies reading this that constructing an appropriate
        stadium for teams to play in has little to do with pro/rel. A
        relegated or promoted team ceases to exist if it loses money in its
        stadium for 17 years just like a team in a single-entirely league.
        This is about stadiums and being in a city where nothing gets done
        without being an insider and knowing whose back to scratch.

  9. Carl says:

    When has MLS publicly worried about Columbus’ financial well being?
    I have never seen that. Columbus is a good market. They had a down
    year at the gate but it wasn’t long ago they were averaging 17k and
    leading the league. Markets that are established over the long term
    have a cumulative effect. In ten years Columbus will be averaging
    20k in a downtown stadium and they’ll be doing just fine. Look at
    everyone that was screaming “move KC!” five years ago. They were
    down in the dumps and now…they’re a good, solid market. You don’t
    abandon markets because they have a down year.

    • Robert says:

      we need to stop calling MLS teams/cities “Markets” or we will
      continue to regress as a soccer nation.

      • joe says:

        Why? what you call it doesn’t change anything

        • Andy says:

          of course it does. Because the idea that being in the best markets
          is the most important thing for a league is no longer true
          (probably never was). Just look at the NFL and Los Angeles. The NFL
          hasn’t been in LA in 15 years and the league is more popular than
          ever. when we call a city a sports market we are basically saying
          how having that city in our league will affect two things:
          television ratings and gate receipts. MLS is setup as a single
          entity franchise league with no pro/rel between lower leagues. You
          have 18 teams in 17 cities. You can expect to have a pretty good
          media presence in those 17 cities. In those cities MLS makes the
          sports section, they are on local TV news, and their games are
          televised. But that’s it. Any other city in the US the MLS has no
          presence in print, TV, or radio. Look at the EPL. Does the EPL care
          which team from the Championship gets promoted and which team they
          lose because of relegation? No, they don’t. And you’ll never hear
          any soccer fan in the UK refer to cities as markets. I guess you’d
          hear some panic if every London club were to be relegated. But
          thats pretty much impossible. The EPL has a print, tv, and radio
          presence in every city. Why is this? because practically every city
          in the UK has a football club that is in the football pyramid. I
          don’t like the term “market” in place of a city for several
          reasons. But the two main reasons are that when referring to a city
          as a market we are essentially saying that we have a product that
          has scarcity no matter how much demand there is, so we must find
          the best markets to sell this product. It makes soccer feel
          soulless and that we will go where the money is and not where the
          passion is. When the reality is we don’t know where the passion is
          until we know where the passion is. All we have to do is just look
          at Portland and Seattle and wonder how many other Portland and
          Seattle’s there are out there. We don’t find them by looking for
          markets. We find them by opening up the soccer leagues and doing
          something exciting.

  10. ssfc 4 life says:

    This is the thing I hate about the franchise system. You base a
    “clubs” performance and viability based on a cities population and
    viability of a market. Then you punish the clubs that truely do
    deserve to be at top flight like Orlando city or railhawks or ncs
    stars just because their market doesn’t suffice mls standards, yet
    you have clubs that are mediocre even for mls standards and are
    subsidize in mls. Now you have mls making these surveys. Pro rel is
    a self correcting system that would eliminate these problems. Yea
    there is a possibility that the best clubs are not located in
    glamorous cities but that’s the beauty of it, it ensures that the
    best supported clubs are in their proper place, the best supported
    clubs drive up ticker sales, ticket sales creates revenue for
    operations and increased revenue means better resources like
    players, staff and equipment. Crystal palace Baltimore, rip, never
    took off because like most lower division clubs because fans know
    they have no where to go. Only now has attendance for lower league
    clubs gone up cuz fans now know that there is a possibility mls
    could scoop them up. Let’s take away that possibility and turn it
    into a real chance, let’s foster growth of clubs. in America not
    just in potential markets. Let’s stop mls from turning into a rouge
    federation. Let’s create pro rel

    • Carl says:

      @ Robert – semantics have nothing to do with progress / regress as
      a soccer nation. We are talking about relocation here, so we’re
      obviously going to speak of markets. If you want insert club each
      time I said market and then try to actually make a point. @ ssfc -
      Pro / rel is a fantasy and it’ll never happen in American soccer.
      Never. This league was created in an era when people had to make
      big investments to make it happen. This is not late 1800s Britain
      where some guys get together and form a club.

      • Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

        F.C. United of Manchester is an English semi-professional football
        club based in Bury, Greater Manchester that plays in the Northern
        Premier League Premier Division. It was formed in 2005 by
        Manchester United supporters opposed to American businessman
        Malcolm Glazer’s controversial takeover of the club. The supporters
        own the club and vote on how the club is run. some guys get
        together and form clubs now “not late 1800s Britain”

        • Carl says:

          Roger, you miss the point. Of course people form clubs. But this
          debate is about MLS, and those clubs were all formed by
          millionaires with lots of $$$. It currently costs about $50 million
          to buy in. This is very different from the origins of the EPL, and
          it explains the different structure. Because once you put in over
          $50 million to get into MLS, you’re not going to put your
          investment at risk with pro / rel.

          • Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

            @Carl. I get your point. Not only they are not going to voluntarily
            put their investments at risk with pro/rel, but since the very
            begining they never had the intention to ever consider it. Think
            about this, before ever asking the fans, before the promotion and
            relegation debate had a chance to come to the surfice, they
            implemented “single entity”, a system that will make a transition
            to a pro/rel structure very complicated if we ever decided to go
            that way on the future. They sold the present and compromised the
            future at the same time, like they own the
            game!……………promotion and relegation will have to hapen IN
            SPITE of them, it is up to us the fans to take our game back, so
            that american club soccer could finally be in tune with the
            international game. ……in order for the games inside the field
            to be meaningfull, we first got to win the game outside the field
            and send them back to their little world where a small group of
            owners decide who gets in and who is out. In our game EVERYBODY IS
            IN! That is why association football is the biggest sport on the
            planet!

      • Andy says:

        Carl, you said this: “Pro / rel is a fantasy and it’ll never happen
        in American soccer. Never. ” This is not an argument. This isn’t
        bigsoccer. The truth is those of us that are in favor of pro/rel
        are the majority. And we’re starting to organize.

        • Carl says:

          @ Andy – Copy and paste one sentence and claim I’m not making an
          argument? I think you’re the one engaging in bigsoccer-esque
          debate. The argument is the next sentence: “This league was created
          in an era when people had to make big investments to make it
          happen.” It’s not hard to put together – the investors/owners that
          created MLS are never going to agree to pro / rel. And currently
          their product is doing pretty well, growing year-on-year at a nice
          rate. Organize all you want. Form a rival league, I’m all for
          competition. But if you think MLS will adopt pro / rel because a
          small minority of fans want it (I’m not referring to the bigsoccer
          community, but the American SOCCER community), then you don’t
          understand the economics of MLS.

        • Tim says:

          Where are they organizing? Hopefully they choose a smart
          spokesperson and not Teddy. The issue with the pro/rel argument is
          that there is no consistent message, no factual data, and the
          constant pounding of how it’s how the world does it, so we must to.

    • Not Robert says:

      @ssfc who said: “……then you punish the clubs that truely do
      deserve to be at top flight like Orlando city or railhawks or ncs
      stars just because their market doesn’t suffice mls standards….”
      Say what? Orlando and Carolina don’t have MLS teams because they
      don’t have an owner or a stadium.

  11. Charles says:

    Am I wrong in thinking that the DC fans that WANT the United to
    look for another stadium, are the same that will be dissappointed
    when they move to Baltimore ?……..In the Seattle and Minneapolis
    markets we have seen a long time successful franchises
    (SuuuuperSonics and Vikings ) move and think about moving. It was
    the management that wanted the new stadium, while the fans were
    left deciding to hate the govt for not giving it to them or
    management for moving if they don’t get it. In this case, the fans
    seem to be lock step with manageement….but they are going to get
    crushed by it. bizzare.

    • Huh? (1) The team has never been referred to as “the United”. They
      are simply “United”. (2) The fans and management don’t want
      “another” stadium. They want a modest stadium of their own in which
      the team can turn a profit for the FIRST TIME in it’s 15 years. No
      one is asking the government to “give” them a stadium. DCU was
      always willing to pay for it. They have simply asked for the same
      type of reasonable considerations that other businesses get with
      tax breaks or other support. You haven’t a clue about the situation
      in DC.

  12. The original Tom says:

    Pro/rel would be great. Maybe one day in the distant
    future……………………….. I really like the Field of
    Schemes blog and book. However, and this is the exception rather
    than the rule, sometimes a stadium can be worth it. The Orioles
    stadium may be one of those times- it was replacing an old, not
    very good facility. And baseball- with 61 home dates, many in the
    summer when people walk about the area, and with no tradition of
    tailgating, can be worth it occasionally. The NFL with only 8 home
    games and fans that tailgate rather than go out to eat, almost
    never is. For the most part, stadiums are rip offs. I’d like to
    think MLS stadiums are worth it because they are cheap and a good
    size for concerts and big high school games; but I don’t know.

  13. Chris says:

    I’m interested in all those “Field of Schemes” people opinion on
    Frisco TX. I may be wrong but didn’t the city come out and say that
    Pizza Hut Park was the greatest thing that ever happen to the city?
    It was the spark that caused the city to grow alot. Please comment
    on this please. In fact, I remember that the same article was
    commenting that MLS sized stadiums were the only ones that weren’t
    a waste of taxplayer’s money. Their size which is smaller actually
    allows them to host many event that would be impractical at a 400
    million 85.000 seat stadium.

    • Robert says:

      OF COURSE THE CITY IS GOING TO SAY ITS THE BEST INVESTMENT EVER.
      Stop being such a rube

    • The original Tom says:

      That is the point, Charles, that I like to think makes them
      worthwhile- that there is more use for a 20,000 seat outdoor
      stadium- with concerts, High School football or soccer play-offs,
      etc… Especially as there wasn’t such a stadium before. But Robert
      is right, the politicians always say it is a great deal, even when
      it is an expensive, seldom used NFL stadium that is replacing a
      perfectly serviceable older NFL stadium in a city that has crappy
      schools and infrastructure. I pay a tax for the Broncos stadium
      every time I buy something, that is not right. And the press
      usually support it too, teams do sell newspapers and sports writers
      like the new building as opposed to the old one. If your not paying
      for it, who wouldn’t? Having said that, I know nothing about Frisco
      and if it was good for that community. And I do love the Rapids
      stadium and like to think it is good for Commerce City. But, still,
      Field of Schemes plays an important role in calling these guys out.

  14. soccer terms says:

    Soccer fans in the Baltimore area have begun receiving an email
    survey from Major League Soccer gauging their interest in a team in
    their city.

  15. Joe says:

    If MLS came to Baltimore I can promise you the club would get major
    support in the first few games of their first season. And if the
    team is good. (like winning record) then without a doubt Baltimore
    would support the team fully. Especially since MLS season is during
    NFL season considering the fact that the Ravens are by far the most
    Popular Framchise in Maryland.

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