The last full week of February is upon us and the MLS season is just three weeks away. Here are some business stories from the weekend to get your Monday off to a great start. In San Jose, plans to build a $60 million stadium for the Earthquakes is continuing to creep forward. According to this article from the Mercury News, the stadium plan is set for a final vote on Wednesday night by the local Planning Commission. Final approvals were obtained by the team in late 2011, but a neighborhood group expressed concerns about the facility that is set to host 30-40 events per year near the local international airport. The proposed stadium is set in a fairly industrial area, bounded by the airport, rail stations and highways and the final approval should be cleared (perhaps with additional conditions). According to the article, initial suite sales are going well, “10 suites have been purchased by individuals or corporations, each for $350,000 for a five-year contract. Unlike other stadiums that feature luxury boxes, these suites are on the field for an up-close experience. “
While not exactly an American soccer story, this tale from the NY Times about measures taken by Mexican Clubs to withhold salaries and training tools from their players is a must-read. Remember the late 1980s move Major League (a personal favorite)? From an MLS perspective, the refusal of Mexican owners to pay their players could have the effect of driving players to MLS. As has happened in places like Colombia, the relative safety and certainty of a weekly paycheck could motivate athletes to look North to ply their trade.
Finally, it was announced that PPL Park will host an international friendly between Chile and Ghana on February 29. The Union are bringing the match to Chester as part of their partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles. The game will kick off at 7:00 and is set to feature the stars of both rosters.