Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Quakes sold to Club America

So fresh off of the heels of the Chivas ownership setting up an MLS expansion team in LA, it seems that their big rivals are planning to purchase San Jose and move them to Houston or San Antonio.

And my question is...why is anyone surprised?

The Quakes haven't been able to draw flies in their current situation, and apparently can't make headway in pulling in a sizeable fan base. All this when you have a championship team, and you have one of the two "faces" of American soccer in Landon Donovan playing for you.

Now, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this is a difficult market to play in. Everyone knows the stadium is not a good place to watch soccer, and from my limited knowledge of the area, to folks in the northern bay area and San Francisco, San Jose might as well be on another planet.

I know that they have loyal fans, I know that they've sought a place to play up in the San Francisco area. But as with everything, it comes down to money. And if the Bay area people can come up with a stadium, there's a good chance that AEG will be back in town with an expansion team. It's a market they clearly want to be in as a league. But if they can't make money, then it's not a good place to be in.

So now lets look at Club America getting involved.

There's been a lot of talk about people getting upset that Mexican based clubs are purchasing American clubs and essentially making them farm teams for their clubs. But I'll wait until I see it. At this point, these guys are investors in a single corporation who have asked to run a division in a city. And they need to play by whatever rules exist overall for the corporation. And with a grand total of four investors in MLS, I welcome a fifth and sixth. If anything, the owners meetings will be very entertaining considering that America and Chivas are like the Red Sox and Yankees.

And that will be something to look forward to.

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