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tozmervo

MLS in Charlotte?

595 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, ah59396 said:

 

I don't disagree with the population numbers, but that doesn't tell the whole story.  The MLS is looking for specific markets, hot beds of millenial growth.  I think Charlotte can make that argument, however I think Raleigh can make it stronger with their tech/education background.  Charlotte is perceived as a "white collar/stale" town and I don't necessarily disagree with that perception.

Also, Charlotte is MUCH higher on the MLB expansion list than the MLS expansion list, again in due time.  However, given your time frame noted above when the MLS decides to go to 30, we may be talking about the late 2020's.  It's not unreasonable to believe that in the late 2020's when additional MLS expansion is announced, Charlotte already has an MLB team.  Which would completely saturate our pro sports market. 

 

But you are right, money talks more than anything.  If a Bruton Smith or Jerry Richardson or whoever, swooped in tomorrow and said "I'm bringing an MLS team to Charlotte, I've got $100m to spend on a team and stadium in uptown", the MLS execs would be on the next flight to Charlotte.  I just don't see that happening.

I was traveling today but did NCFC announce the site for their 20k stadium in Raleigh?  Downtown or close to it by public transit is starting to become mandatory for MLS stadiums of expansion clubs.  If they don't have a site locked down their MLS talk is just as much hot air as the current Charlotte talk.  Sacramento Republic plays at the USL level with consistent fan support (13,000+ each home match) and a shovel ready MLS stadium project downtown but they're not even a lock to get in.  So market + stadium is of greater interest.  The current Indy ownership is working with a firm to court outside investors (see Phil Rawlins when Orlando City was USL and attracting big Brazilian ownership).  We get that plus Memorial in a good place and we're right back in the running.  At this point MLS and USL are stable leagues and I'm content watching the Charlotte club in either.  The Independence despite their front office flaws knows how to put a good product on the field, those players are the reason that I wish more fans came out to see.  They deserve it.

Edited by SouthEndCLT811
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The plot thickens....

Erik Spanberg tweetered that Marcus Smith is involved in the Charlotte MLS bid. Charlotte is one of 10 cities that MLS mentioned as possibilities for the 4 team expansion today.

Surely Smith isn't planning on a speedway stadium for the bid? Hate to seen McPhillarmy get thrown under the infield bus.

from Erik's article: " A source close to Smith told me Thursday that, while Smith has spoken with city and county representatives, he views Memorial Stadium as one of several stadium options. Smith had representatives at the MLS Cup earlier this month, where they met with Garber and other league executives. "

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2016/12/15/speedway-ceo-bidding-for-mls-franchise-in.html

 

Edited by kermit
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^I'm not overly optimistic that Charlotte will land one of those 4 MLS franchises but if there is someone outside of Michael Jordan or Jerry Richardson that can bring one here it's the Smith family. They have long expressed an interest in the Panthers and could easily afford a MLS team for a fraction of the price. They would put their money where their mouth is. They are also savvy enough to not build a stadium by the speedway.

Edited by HopHead
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On the one hand I would like the Smith's to own a MLS team. On the other hand I don't really know how to feel about that at the same time. Bruton Smith can be very bullish.

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As I said, an action of this caliber is the only avenue to an MLS team in Charlotte.  Frankly I'm stunned.  The reality is money talks and the fact that Smith is even talking to Garber is more than what I've seen out of McPhilliamy.  I'm still skeptical, but this is the only way forward for MLS to get to Charlotte.

 

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/article121184193.html

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2 hours ago, ah59396 said:

As I said, an action of this caliber is the only avenue to an MLS team in Charlotte.  Frankly I'm stunned.  The reality is money talks and the fact that Smith is even talking to Garber is more than what I've seen out of McPhilliamy.  I'm still skeptical, but this is the only way forward for MLS to get to Charlotte.

 

Wow, this is extremely positive news for MLS in CLT.  

I'm curious about which part are you most skeptical on now? The only criteria Charlotte is missing is an already established fan base and the stadium component (the Smith ownership group can at least address those if not satisfy them the way St. Louis or Sacramento can). If the Independence hadn't been such a hot mess we'd be far further down the road than we are now. Playing games at Ramblewood Park is an embarrassment for a professional team, even if it is Division III.

From the list of cities being discussed, St. Louis and Sacramento should get 2 spots, that leaves 2 for this group of cities:

Detroit (largest market on the list, MLS want clubs in the north. Minnesota FC joining league in 2017)

Charlotte (MLS wants the Southeast, large media market)

San Antonio (desirable for MLS, but how many Texas clubs?)

Tampa/St. Petersburg (desirable in size, but MLS already failed here with the Mutiny)

San Diego (I can't see MLS giving two expansion teams to California, that would make 5 Clubs in the state)

Nashville (in the SE, but behind CLT)

Raleigh/Durham (in the SE, but one of the smallest markets)

Cincinnati (middling market and the Columbus Crew are close)

**I think the favorites have to be Detroit, San Antonio, and Charlotte. Three cities, two spots.


 

Edited by JoshuaDrown

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I'm skeptical because it's Bruton Smith.  You can be assured that anything he does will come with a significant taxpayer price tag.  Bruton didn't make his billions without being ruthless.  Just ask Cabarrus County.

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On 12/16/2016 at 10:41 AM, JoshuaDrown said:

Wow, this is extremely positive news for MLS in CLT.  

I'm curious about which part are you most skeptical on now? The only criteria Charlotte is missing is an already established fan base and the stadium component (the Smith ownership group can at least address those if not satisfy them the way St. Louis or Sacramento can). If the Independence hadn't been such a hot mess we'd be far further down the road than we are now. Playing games at Ramblewood Park is an embarrassment for a professional team, even if it is Division III.

From the list of cities being discussed, St. Louis and Sacramento should get 2 spots, that leaves 2 for this group of cities:

Detroit (largest market on the list, MLS want clubs in the north. Minnesota FC joining league in 2017)

Charlotte (MLS wants the Southeast, large media market)

San Antonio (desirable for MLS, but how many Texas clubs?)

Tampa/St. Petersburg (desirable in size, but MLS already failed here with the Mutiny)

San Diego (I can't see MLS giving two expansion teams to California, that would make 5 Clubs in the state)

Nashville (in the SE, but behind CLT)

Raleigh/Durham (in the SE, but one of the smallest markets)

Cincinnati (middling market and the Columbus Crew are close)

**I think the favorites have to be Detroit, San Antonio, and Charlotte. Three cities, two spots.

Thanks for the list.  

I am not sure San Diego is going to be able to get their game together in time.  They would need to resolve the Chargers issue, which will be soon, and then refocus on a stadium for SDSU and the MLS team.  Not sure the city has an appetite for any type of stadium project right now after the Chargers drama.  

As for Detroit...that's an interesting hand.  The current Club DCFC is owned by a group and are not the potential owners of a MLS team.  The MLS pitch is being done by the Cavs and Pistons owners.  Here is an interesting read on how many of the DCFC fans don't actually want a MLS team.  I wonder how much this will play into things.  

On  Raleigh, I get the other comments about how it's a younger city but the MSA for Charlotte is almost 2x the MSA for Raleigh and Charlotte is growing at a much faster clip.  

 

Super excited as I really think Charlotte will get a team and personally I would love to become a fan of the sport and support the team.  Don't see myself as ever becoming an NBA fan but I do see me following and supporting the MLS team.  

 

 

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30 minutes ago, cjd5050 said:

Thanks for the list.  

I am not sure San Diego is going to be able to get their game together in time.  They would need to resolve the Chargers issue, which will be soon, and then refocus on a stadium for SDSU and the MLS team.  Not sure the city has an appetite for any type of stadium project right now after the Chargers drama.  

As for Detroit...that's an interesting hand.  The current Club DCFC is owned by a group and are not the potential owners of a MLS team.  The MLS pitch is being done by the Cavs and Pistons owners.  Here is an interesting read on how many of the DCFC fans don't actually want a MLS team.  I wonder how much this will play into things.  

On  Raleigh, I get the other comments about how it's a younger city but the MSA for Charlotte is almost 2x the MSA for Raleigh and Charlotte is growing at a much faster clip.  

 

Super excited as I really think Charlotte will get a team and personally I would love to become a fan of the sport and support the team.  Don't see myself as ever becoming an NBA fan but I do see me following and supporting the MLS team.  

 

 

I believe the Chargers stadium issue is resolved...they are leaving for LA.  The team is opposed to a new stadium in MV and there is no way to get a downtown stadium done after the recent vote.  The poor on-field performance contributed to this likely outcome.  All of this makes MLS in San Diego MORE likely in my opinion.  They will likely build a 25-30K stadium in MV to be shared by SDSU and MLS team, with a massive mixed-use development and/or expansion of SDSU campus sharing the site.  Based on proximity to Mexico and the history of soccer in community (Sockers by far most successful MISL team ever), I think SD gets a team.  

BTW, you're missing out on Hornets...fun to watch, good guys and coach, losses don't kill me like Panther losses.

 

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7 minutes ago, JBS said:

BTW, you're missing out on Hornets...fun to watch, good guys and coach, losses don't kill me like Panther losses.

 

Can't like this enough..

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2 hours ago, JBS said:

I believe the Chargers stadium issue is resolved...they are leaving for LA.  The team is opposed to a new stadium in MV and there is no way to get a downtown stadium done after the recent vote.  The poor on-field performance contributed to this likely outcome.  All of this makes MLS in San Diego MORE likely in my opinion.  They will likely build a 25-30K stadium in MV to be shared by SDSU and MLS team, with a massive mixed-use development and/or expansion of SDSU campus sharing the site.  Based on proximity to Mexico and the history of soccer in community (Sockers by far most successful MISL team ever), I think SD gets a team.  

BTW, you're missing out on Hornets...fun to watch, good guys and coach, losses don't kill me like Panther losses.

 

Oh I agree that the plan for what you're saying in San Diego is true.  My point was the timeline for getting that plan in place may take longer than the MLS wants for this round of teams.  There is a lot of anti (any stadium) in San Diego right now.  

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http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2016/12/20/mls-bidder-clt-strong-enough-to-land-team-in-2017.html?ana=e_clt_bn_newsalert&u=jDmEk%2BCKbYnAvaVfOFOlFGXcGSC&t=1482250226&j=76813691

So where is Marcus thinking of putting a stadium if not renovating Memorial. Smith says he is looking for a stadium site that has: " all kinds of amenities and flexibilities for fans and guests and it would probably give us an opportunity to design in flexibility to use it for all kinds of things while we’re not playing soccer. "

Honestly that quote makes it sound like a Speedway site to me. Yuck.

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8 minutes ago, kermit said:

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2016/12/20/mls-bidder-clt-strong-enough-to-land-team-in-2017.html?ana=e_clt_bn_newsalert&u=jDmEk%2BCKbYnAvaVfOFOlFGXcGSC&t=1482250226&j=76813691

So where is Marcus thinking of putting a stadium if not renovating Memorial. Smith says he is looking for a stadium site that has: " all kinds of amenities and flexibilities for fans and guests and it would probably give us an opportunity to design in flexibility to use it for all kinds of things while we’re not playing soccer. "

Honestly that quote makes it sound like a Speedway site to me. Yuck.

My initial reaction, possibly an overreaction, is that I'd rather not have a team if the stadium is at the Speedway....

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34 minutes ago, kermit said:

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2016/12/20/mls-bidder-clt-strong-enough-to-land-team-in-2017.html?ana=e_clt_bn_newsalert&u=jDmEk%2BCKbYnAvaVfOFOlFGXcGSC&t=1482250226&j=76813691

So where is Marcus thinking of putting a stadium if not renovating Memorial. Smith says he is looking for a stadium site that has: " all kinds of amenities and flexibilities for fans and guests and it would probably give us an opportunity to design in flexibility to use it for all kinds of things while we’re not playing soccer. "

Honestly that quote makes it sound like a Speedway site to me. Yuck.

One other thing the speedway offers (to an owner) is the parking revenue stream. 

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27 minutes ago, JBS said:

My initial reaction, possibly an overreaction, is that I'd rather not have a team if the stadium is at the Speedway....

It's not my money but I know the likelihood of 'adopting' the team or not would change if they didn't locate near center city.  

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I have an extreeeeeme failure of imagination seeing an MLS team having any kind of success at/around the speedway

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43 minutes ago, kermit said:

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2016/12/20/mls-bidder-clt-strong-enough-to-land-team-in-2017.html?ana=e_clt_bn_newsalert&u=jDmEk%2BCKbYnAvaVfOFOlFGXcGSC&t=1482250226&j=76813691

So where is Marcus thinking of putting a stadium if not renovating Memorial. Smith says he is looking for a stadium site that has: " all kinds of amenities and flexibilities for fans and guests and it would probably give us an opportunity to design in flexibility to use it for all kinds of things while we’re not playing soccer. "

Honestly that quote makes it sound like a Speedway site to me. Yuck.

MLS isn't interested in the burbs anymore.  Hopefully he at least realizes that.  They put stadiums in the burbs late 90's earlier 2000's and have been moving back toward center city with every expansion since 2010 when the Philadelphia Union put their club out in Chester, PA.  All others (Montreal, NYCFC, Orlando, Portland, Vancouver, Atlanta, Minnesota, LAFC) are in downtown or neighborhoods accessible to center city via public transit.  That leaves Memorial or some other site likely near Uptown and either streetcar or blue line accessible.

Us Indy fans have been talking about this for years.  Fun other alternatives (excuse my paint skill graphic design), Scaleybark Crosland site

CfaIdA_WIAEQx0O.jpg:large

 

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Heck, wouldn't the city just give away Eastland Mall land for something like this to happen? Not exactly downtown but could revitalize that area of town. 

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1 minute ago, InSouthPark said:

Heck, wouldn't the city just give away Eastland Mall land for something like this to happen? Not exactly downtown but could revitalize that area of town. 

This is a great idea!  Would be the anchor that Eastland needs, as well as, act as another anchor to pull from Plaza Midwood and NoDa.  Love it.

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Uptown or Elizabeth are better but that Eastland site is a creative idea.  I think developers are sleeping on that site.  There is a lot of crap between Eastland and Plaza Midwood but hipness is heading that way.  The streetcar will help if it gets there as proposed.  That said, a lot of suburban soccer families would be less likely to attend games there in the short-term.  Still like the ALMS site, if done correctly.  

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A speedway stadium would be a huge failure. The memorial site is perfect IMO, though parking there could be a challenge.

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1 hour ago, SouthEndCLT811 said:

MLS isn't interested in the burbs anymore.  Hopefully he at least realizes that.  They put stadiums in the burbs late 90's earlier 2000's and have been moving back toward center city with every expansion since 2010 when the Philadelphia Union put their club out in Chester, PA.  All others (Montreal, NYCFC, Orlando, Portland, Vancouver, Atlanta, Minnesota, LAFC) are in downtown or neighborhoods accessible to center city via public transit.  That leaves Memorial or some other site likely near Uptown and either streetcar or blue line accessible.

Us Indy fans have been talking about this for years.  Fun other alternatives (excuse my paint skill graphic design), Scaleybark Crosland site

CfaIdA_WIAEQx0O.jpg:large

 

This is awesome.

I'd be interested in one of these for the NODA area or somewhere along the BLE.  Any chance you could make one of these for the area just west (or north really) of the 36th street station - it could have access to the BLE, North Tryon, and the Greenway there

Memorial is ideal in a lot of ways - but can being on the gold line really be considered 'transit' accessible?  You would have a lot more access to people on the blue line, especially over time.  Maybe this is more what Smith is thinking at this point - he definitely doesn't seem too high on Memorial/Elizabeth.

 

Side note: Count me out if its a Speedway site

Edited by deaconator

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15 minutes ago, deaconator said:

This is awesome.

I'd be interested in one of these for the NODA area or somewhere along the BLE.  Any chance you could make one of these for the area just west (or north really) of the 36th street station - it could have access to the BLE, North Tryon, and the Greenway there

Memorial is ideal in a lot of ways - but can being on the gold line really be considered 'transit' accessible?  You would have a lot more access to people on the blue line, especially over time.  Maybe this is more what Smith is thinking at this point - he definitely doesn't seem too high on Memorial/Elizabeth.

 

Side note: Count me out if its a Speedway site

I'll take a look around NoDa to try and do the same.  I was also trying to consider limiting the ownership of parcels for the site to make it easier acquisition for the ownership group.  Here is another West End proposal, along side Phase II streetcar where there is Charlotte Housing Authority town homes and a few vacant lots.  Assume the city sells valuable CHA land near uptown and expands Renaissance or other up and coming sites of theirs.  But I pasted Sporting KC's stadium over that location.

Figure the southern part of the stadium along Trade could be the major entry into the stadium, just went with the easiest copy/paste configuration.

 

West End Stadium.jpg

Edited by SouthEndCLT811
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There's plenty of space in North End for a stadium, and you wouldn't have to demolish as much as the other sites. It's also across the rail yard from the Blue Line, so connectivity wouldn't be a problem (but a pedestrian bridge between Matheson and 16th Street would be welcomed):

Google Maps

The Tryon Mall and North Park Mall are also good candidates for a soccer stadium. For the south side, I think the housing development site at the corner of Remount and South Tryon is also a great location. Double whammy for direct access to I-77 and the Blue Line. 

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