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MLS Expansion to Grand Rapids?

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After stumbling on this article regarding Amyway's heavy sponsorship of an MLS team does it seem possible for the MLS to expand to Grand Rapids?

Amway deal significant in current economic climate

I know that other markets have failed (Tampa Bay & Miami) but that was before the league was on firmer gound. The league is pushing for additional growth.

- Seattle started their inaugural season this year.

- Philadelphia, Vancouver, & Portland were all awarded expansion teams.

Any possibiliy into merging the outdoor amphitheater project into a MLS stadium? Soccer specific stadiums are sized for GR's market (avg just under 25,000). This is skewed somewhat as some teams are still playing in NFL stadiums vs soccer specific stadiums.

Grand Rapids' other sports teams have done well (albeit the Hoops) but can the city jump into the big leauges? Is there even local support (avg attendance last year was just over 15,000) to make a team here reasonable?

Could GR beat out other potential expansion cities? Pittsburg/Detroit/Phoenix? I know market size can justify an expansion but would the metro buy into it?

The expansion fee at $40M presents limited local ownership possibilities, however, one choice, Amway is already a major MLS sponsor, Devos owns the Magic and DP Fox owns the Rampage and Griffins.

I suppose the rapid succes of my adoptive city's MLS expansion team the Sounders got the topic on my mind, especially with the Amway sponsorship.

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I hate to say this but an area between the Arena and North Wyoming would be the best location for such a stadium. I would say even the Grand Rapids property on the river just south of 131 would work. All I can say is that it would have at least 5,000 to 10,000 fans if the team was good. Another area that might work is the Kentwood/Forest Hills area would work since both have great HS teams. And yes I think the team would be a success since we have enough minorities that would support it. I think 25k stadium would work.

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i think Gr should enter the minors of the MLS first, Portland And Vancouver are currently in the USL D1, if GR entered USL D2, I think it could work, there are a lot of minorities around here, just because it doesn't make a lot of sense to go full throttle when things are not fully researched to know it would be enough of a success, but I would love to see an MLS team here. so if we get right into the Majors i'm happy.

i agree the space behind the Arena would work well, but i've heard extreme soccer fans argue Soccer and American football can't be played on the same field properly, due to different field sizes, so GV's football stadium is out, i guess, they need to expand and upgrade that anyways.

Other MLS stadiums hold concerts, like Toyota Park in Chicago, so the hybrid soccer stadium/amphitheater could work well.

we have the West Michigan Edge right now, i don't know how they fit into the MLS structure, and the league is mostly a summer league for local colleges, and they don't win much, i probably never would have heard of them if I didn't have soccer player friends.

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I assume the Edge is below the USDL2?

If that's the case then GR is long off the MLS soccer radar. The Timbers will play in a renovated Triple A stadium and the Sounders play in an NFL stadium and I've not heard plans of a soccer specific stadium here in GR.

Realistically, I think a multi-use stadium would work. Either for GVSU football, Baseball stadium or amphitheater.

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