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Soccer Business Bits: LiveStrong Opens, Citi Field Hosts & More

The curtain went up at LiveStrong Sporting Park on Thursday night just after 10:00.  Almost 18, 500 were in attendance at the inagural match providing a lively atmosphere.  ESPN2 did an adequate job showing the new stadium, including shots of the locker rom, concourses, player entry tunnel and cheering crowds.  The stadium looked and sounded great on television (although crowd mics seemed rather limited) and the outside images of the facility looked inviting.  ESPN included Lance Armstong and Chad Ochocinco pictures as part of their opening.  The broadcast team did a solid job of pointing out  features of the stadium at the start of the broadcast.  LiveStrong Sporting Park will be a great addition to the Soccer Specific Stadium universe in the United States.

There has been plenty of talk about the prospects of an MLS expansion team in New York.  Among the suggested ownership candidates is Fred Wilpon, the patriarch of the Mets ownership group.  While the Wilpons’ financial troubles are well known, the family has finally dipped the toe of their new stadium, Citi Field, into the soccer waters.  Now a second game is on the way.  Almost 40k were at Citi mid-week for an international friendly.  Other than the Mets home opener, it was the biggest crowd of the season at Citi. Now the Mets have announced a second soccer event this Summer.  Citi will play host to Club America and Juventus in July.

One final expansion note.  In the wake of the US Gold Cup match at Ford Field this week, there have been a number of stories about the possibility of MLS expanding to Detroit.  The recently purchased Pontiac Silverdome has been proposed as a venue, although with some significant modifications.  For more on this proposal, click here.