Soccer Business Bits: Back to B-More, RSL Friendly and More

unitedWe are back on our regular schedule now and thought we would start with a quick look to one of the big business stories of the week.  After getting rebuffed by PG County and desperate to leave RFK, DC United is still considering a permanent move to Baltimore.  According to the story from the Washington Business Journal, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has written to the Maryland Stadium Authority asking them to research a possible stadium project for United.  According to the story, the inquiry was made without consultation with DC United.

This is not the first time United has explored a stadium in Maryland.  Those prior efforts died After an 8-0 vote by the Prince George’s City Council refusing to support funding for a study of a potential stadium in Maryland.  United was then in the unenviable position of having thumbed its nose at the District of Columbia while being left at the alter (or perhaps engagement party) by the State of Maryland.  Now United may have another opportunity to build in the State.

There are many benefits to MLS teams playing mid-season friendlies: exposure, revenue and more.  That said, RSL’s decision to play Chivas in mid-October seems a bit contrary to their efforts to make the playoffs for the second consecutive  season.   With RSL needing points, it seems someone counter productive to exhaust their players with three games left to play.  Nevertheless, with a lenghty break between games, RSL probably needs the matches to stay fit for the run to the playoffs.  However, it is interesting that this match will likely draw about the same amount of fans as a typical MLS match at Rio Tinto.

Finally, the Globe & Mail is reporting that Vancouver will go forward with plans to build a retractable roof on BC Place.  The open air stadium is a requirement of the MLS franchise and moving forward should continue to make the transition for the Whitecaps smooth in 2011.

5 Responses

  1. What leverage would Major League Soccer have in this DC United situation?

    Are they able to tell DC they have to remain in Washington DC?

  2. Kyle:

    I don’t believe the League has much leverage. This is espeically so because the drive for a soccer specific stadium is one that is fully endorsed by MLS. If DC could get a stadium in Baltimore, that would be something the League would likely support strongly

  3. I guess when you consider the showing Baltimore area fans had during the Chelsea/Milan game it could be a great market for Major League Soccer.

  4. Could be, but those one-offs are a tough comparison to 15 home dates over the course of a year.

    It would be great for the League from a rivalry standpoint to have teams in DC, Baltimore, Philly and NY.

  5. If D.C. United moved to a stadium in Baltimore, would they still be called D.C. United? If they were still called D.C. United, how would they gain fans in Baltimore? If they are renamed, will they be able to convince people from Baltimore to support the team? a lot of people from Baltimore have a chip on their shoulder because of Baltimore’s reputation as second-tier American city.

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