23 October 2008

Seven cities, including Atlanta, bid for 2 MLS expansion teams

I know this is officially old news now, but it's worth repeating. Arthur Blank and co, did submit their bid for an MLS franchise in Atlanta along with six other cities. Here is the breakdown of cities and who is backing the bids:

Three Canadian cities -

Montreal: bid submitted by the family of Liverpool co-owner George Gillett, who also owns the NHL's Montreal Canadiens and the Saputo family, who control the dairy processor Saputo Inc.

Vancouver: bid submitted by long time soccer player and NBA MVP Steve Nash, Greg Kerfoot, owner of the United Soccer League's Vancouver Whitecaps, and Jeff Mallett, a former president and chief operating officer at Yahoo Inc.

Ottawa: bid submitted by Eugene Melnyk who owns the Ottawa Senators

Four US cities -

Atlanta: bid submitted by Arthur Blank, the Home Depot co-founder and current owner of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and the Arena Football League's Georgia Force

Miami: Personally this is a very interesting bid...the parters are actually Spanish football giant Barcelona along with BrightStar Corp. chairman Marcelo Claure, a Miami resident who owns the Bolivian club Bolivar. The fact that Barca is interested in owning an American franchise sends a number of positive signals...clearly they see growth potential both as a team co-branded with Barcelona and with MLS as a rising world league.

Portland, OR: bid submitted by the Paulson family, who run the USL's Portland Timbers and Triple-A baseball team the Portland Beavers

St. Louis: bid submitted by Jeff Cooper, a St. Louis attorney who also heads the St. Louis WPS franchise and is on the board of Brentford Football club of England's League Two (the fourth tier of English football).


Anonymous said...

You can scratch Atlanta. He will never get public funding for a soccer stadium in the state of Georgia. Just ask Red Neckerson if it isn't so.

Jared Montz said...

I played in Vancouver for the Whitecaps for about a month. Soccer is pretty big up there and they get great media coverage, I think they will have a good shot at getting a bid.

Anonymous said...

good point Jared...Atlanta gets zero main stream media coverage...which is really a shame considering there are about 90K registered soccer players in the state of Georgia...and loads of immigrants who play outside of registered channels.