Soccer Business Bits: Stadium Trouble in San Jose, TV Bonanza & More

san-joseDuring the season we have provided updates on San Jose’s efforts to build a stadium.  When MLS awarded Lew Wolff an expansion franchise it was largely understood that the deal was partly contingent on promises to build that stadium.  Now however, Wolff has announced that the planned opening of the stadium will not go forward as previously planned.  According to Wolff, a naming rights deal is required to fill a $50 million gap in funding.

The city of San Jose had previously agreed to chop $40 million off the purchase price of a 75 acre parcel that will include the Stadium and additional mixed use development. Mr. Wolff will now pay $89 million for the site (purchased by the City for $81 million). The stadium will seat 15,000 (with additional seating for 3,000 more on a berm at the stadium’s open end) and will use 14 acres of the site. However, his need for this additional funding will create a further setback and further delay.

Elsewhere, the plethora of soccer available on American television this summer was underscored on Wednesday night.  Without even considering the games on during the afternoon, Wednesday night saw the Fire/Galaxy on ESPN2, Houston/Metapan on FSC, a Champions League replay on CSN, a Bundesliga replay on GolTV and WPS playoffs on FSC.   Seemingly every night, there are quality games available on televsion.  The explosion of available soccer has been remarkable, and will continue with the availability of EPL games on ESPN.

Finally, it was interesting to see the promotion of the new EPL/ESPN relationship during the Galaxy/Fire game.  The games were certainly mentioned during the broadcast.  Will ESPN promote its MLS games during itsEPL games?  Despite using the British feed, there will be opportunities to promote their MLS coverag.  Will they?