Major League Soccer descended upon Fresno, CA over the weekend for a preseason match-up between the Earthquakes and Galaxy. Billed as the Central California Cup, the match drew a sellout crowd of almost 13k. As we have repeatedly stated, these types of exhibition games provide the league with a great opportunity to spread its message beyond the MLS cities. For a league that is hoping to grow its television audience, it is important for fans outside the home markets to become interested in the league and its players. MLS somewhat accomplishes this through its efforts in Tucson and regular exhibitions in Texas. 13k is a great number for a neutral site preseason game.
The effort to locate a soccer specific stadium in DC continues, with United releasing some additional stadium renderings as part of a season ticket holder event. The team also noted that renowned architectural firm Populous will be the architect in charge of the design. Populous has designed a number of MLS stadiums and during the construction process in Houston, the Dynamo presented this interesting Q&A with Loren Supp from Populous. The possibility of locating the stadium in DC requires some land swaps with private entities which remain underway.
Finally, there are reports that an ethics review is underway because of alleged improprieties in how David Beckham has approached his effort to gain support for a stadium project in Miami. There are suggestions that Beckham’s dinner with the Mayor violated rules regarding lobbying and interaction with public officials. While the initial issue seems minor, this is indicative of some of the minefields that await Beckham’s efforts in Miami.
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