Soccer Business Bits: Expansion and Stadium Updates

With the MLS offseason in full swing, we thought we would take a quick look at the state of expansion and stadiums around the league.  In New Jersey, Red Bull Arena continues to edge towards completion.  Click here for a look at the lastest interior and exterior webcams.  As we reported recently, Red Bulls have already renewed in excess of 85% of their season ticket sales for 2010.  As always, we recommend the outstanding virtual stadium tour provided by the Red Bull.  For our thoughts on the business impact of Red Bull Arena, click here.

In Chester, the new Philly stadium continues to rise.  Check here for their webcam. As we reported previously, multiple reports have pegged Union season ticket sales in excess 10k.  This is a great number and would slide Philly into third place among MLS teams in season ticket sales.  With an 18k capacity stadium to fill, and 4 months to do it, the Union should be close to a sell-out all year once they move to their new digs.

We neglected to comment last week on the Whitecaps’ hiring of Tottenham Hottspurs’ executive director Paul Barber as team CEO.  Barber will start in March and will have a year to get ready for Vancouver’s first MLS  season.  Barber is certainly a high profile hire, but it remains to be seen what a foreign executive can do in the wild, weird world of MLS

There are also multiple reports that BMO field will have more than 1,200 additional seats in 2010. Given that every game is a sell out, this represents a nice, incremental addition to seating capacity.  If demand continues to remain steady, TFC can explore further additions or expansions of capacity.