Starting last week (and in no particular order), we began the process of discussing the top American soccer business stories of the year. Here is the first entry. At the start of next week we will conduct a vote to see which of the entrants you think is the winner.
San Jose Stadium (Finally)
On October 21, 2012, the San Jose Earthquakes set a dubious record with more than 6,200 participants in the ground breaking at their new stadium. While the importance of having the Guinness Book of World Records mark the event is debatable, there is no question that moving forward with this long stalled project is great news for the team and the league. San Jose had a great year on the field and to cap this off with the start of construction of a new 18,000 stadium shows great progress for a team that was forced to depart for Houston just a few years ago.
After multiple fits and starts, the team appeared to cross some final hurdles and appeared ready to start the construction process a few months back. A while back, the team held a ceremonial ground breaking at the start of the demo process. Although the event included a fair amount of pomp and circumstance, the demolition does not guarantee construction. A rendering of the proposed stadium is here.
The Stadium will seat 18,000 and is set to open in 2014. According to the Mercury News, the facility “sits at Coleman Avenue and Newhall Street, across from Mineta San Jose International Airport.
NBC Makes a Mark
In 2011, NBC and MLS announced a three year deal that would make the Peacock the rights holder to the second level television package for the league. During the 2012 season, soccer fans got a taste of the big time promotion and top level production values that NBC promises as part of its relationship. Arlo White and Kyle Martino proved an excellent broadcast team and the network’s “between the benches” approach offered a great perspective. The network’s companion coverage on MLS 36 was excellent.
During the Spring, the NBC Sports Network did an excellent job putting MLS in front of their NHL audience. When Fall came and went without any NHL hockey, MLS arguably became NBCSN’s most important live property. With no hockey to show, NBCSN devoted extra air time to the MLS Cup Playoffs. Ratings were solid, showing a significant increase over the FSC broadcasts from 2011. The ProSoccer Talk website has also become an important online stop for fans looking for soccer news.
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