Connect with us

Leagues: MLS

Ottawa Fury Applies for a USL-1 Franchise

Here’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.

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
110+ channels, live & on-demand
  • Price: $59.95/mo. for Plus Package
  • Includes FOX, FS1, ESPN, TUDN & more



  1. K

    May 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    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)

  2. Lars

    September 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    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.

  3. Ottawa USL Fan

    September 2, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    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.

  4. Ottawa MLS Fan

    September 1, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    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

  5. Vnice

    September 1, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    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.

  6. sal

    September 1, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks for the explanation.

  7. JMB321

    September 1, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    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

    September 1, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    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 ?

  9. Murray Wentworh

    September 1, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    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.

  10. Scap

    September 1, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    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.

  11. Uncle Ed

    September 1, 2009 at 3:55 pm

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

  12. Derek

    September 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    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.

  13. JMB321

    September 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    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.

    • Bobby Brandon

      September 1, 2009 at 3:30 pm

      Yea, it strikes me as a bit of a smokescreen too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Leagues: MLS

Translate »