Charlotte Cancels Bid/Project For MLS Team

-

Drew

Its a post, about nothing!
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
5,624
Likes
7,827
City of Charlotte Cancels $175 Million Major League Soccer Deal in Elizabeth Neighborhood

Tensions ran high this week as the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg county moved closer and closer to approving the new $175 million MLS stadium contract, which would essentially replace Memorial Stadium and the Grady Cole Center in Elizabeth and bring a Major League Soccer team to our city for the first time in history.

The deal called for the city and county to each give $43.75 million to Marcus Smith and his team, with another $75 million being financed by the county, to be paid back over the next 25 years.

Yesterday morning, Mecklenburg County commissioners voted 5-3 Thursday to approve the deal, but moments later, the City of Charlotte announced that it was shutting down the deal
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
7,818
Likes
4,643
Fairly bad math skills or editing on the reported government v potential owner's $ contributions, but clearly a ballsy attempt by the cash-rich NASCAR owners' family to bleed city and county government coffers. If the same or other prospective owners bring more dinero to the table versus trying to wack taxpayers for 1/2 the cost of a stadium, Charlotte could be a good future MLS target.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
16,622
Likes
6,373
Ownership groups also made bids in these cities:

  • Cincinnati
  • Detroit
  • Indianapolis
  • Nashville
  • Phoenix
  • Raleigh/Durham
  • Sacramento
  • St. Louis
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg
Interesting list of expansion candidates. Excluding Charlotte, 6 NFL cities, 6 MLB cities, 6 NHL cities, 5 NBA cities, 2 cities having teams in all 4 major leagues. Well balanced list of cities. Too bad no more Rochester.​
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
7,818
Likes
4,643
Update, looks like the Smith family is moving forward with the bid even without the city's support: Bid submitted to bring Major League Soccer team to Charlotte
For Charlotte, that makes far more sense. Taxpayers shouldn't get gouged so much, especially to build stadiums for multi millionaires.

Regardless in NC, 2 competing bids (CLT v RDU) may not help either metro area's cause. Based on soccer's historic strength alone, it's still surprising St Louis has not had an MLS team. No idea whatever team/league they've had has drawn well of late, but talk about a soccer community. Tampa/St Pete and San Antonio on the surface make sense admittedly without any ¥£€$ supporting facts.
 

ZooCougar

Shut Up Carl.
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,538
Likes
14,205
Detroit
Tampa
St. Louis
Cincy
Sacramento
San Antonio

That's my prediction.
 

Drew

Its a post, about nothing!
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
5,624
Likes
7,827
Don’t worry soccer fans, Charlotte rejects everything the first time

The prospects of bringing Major League Soccer to Charlotte were dealt a big setback this week when Mecklenburg County commissioners effectively withdrew their support for a new stadium.

But before you get too bummed out, soccer fans: This is just the way Charlotte tends to operate. Don’t be surprised to be rooting for a local pro soccer franchise sooner than you’d expect.

Back in January, a deal was hammered out between the city, county and NASCAR moguls Marcus and Bruton Smith that would have torn down the old Memorial Stadium in the Elizabeth neighborhood and built a MLS-ready stadium in its place. The county commission voted to put up its half of the $88 million and lend the Smiths another $75 million.

But the City Council wasn’t willing to play ball on such a tight timeframe, not in the immediate aftermath of September’s protests over inequality in the city.

Back-room conversations and a little more time weren’t enough to get City Council on board. Now the county commission has moved funding for the stadium back to the “wish list” and will re-evaluate in August.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
7,818
Likes
4,643
The NASCAR guy Smith could have scratch his bum and enough cash would flow out to self-fund a way better than average MLS stadium. Good for Charlotte's city and county telling him to finance his own whim.
 

Drew

Its a post, about nothing!
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
5,624
Likes
7,827
The county just threw a huge wrench in the Major League Soccer deal

Charlotte’s chances of landing a Major League Soccer team aren’t dead. But the bid was dealt a significant setback. Meanwhile, supporters of parks and greenways earned a major victory.

After a winding debate, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners ultimately voted 5-3 to deed Memorial Stadium to the city of Charlotte and end the possibility of contributing cash to the deal.

If this sounds different from anything you’ve ever heard about the Major League Soccer deal, you’re right.

And the vote came after commissioners chairwoman Ella Scarborough — the swing vote — appeared confused about what she was voting for.

The county commissioners essentially were going to vote between two choices.

Choice 1: Mecklenburg County delays a decision on whether to put up cash for Major League Soccer until the City Council makes a decision. The county would essentially agree to put up $30 million if the city does the same.

Choice 2: Mecklenburg County votes to deed Memorial Stadium over to the city and then wash their hands of the whole thing. The county would not put up any cash. Instead, they’d take $49 million and finish all the park and greenway projects that have been delayed since 2008.
 

ZooCougar

Shut Up Carl.
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,538
Likes
14,205
What's MLS' end game? 30 teams?
Everyone is looking at Atlanta right now. Atlanta basically gets NFL attendance at Mercedes Benz Stadium at least 24 times a year.

Forget Kraft and the Hunts. This new breed of NFL owner gets it.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
954
Likes
801
Everyone is looking at Atlanta right now. Atlanta basically gets NFL attendance at Mercedes Benz Stadium at least 24 times a year.

Forget Kraft and the Hunts. This new breed of NFL owner gets it.
45K per game is hardly NFL attendance. More importantly, Atlanta is a front-runner city. At various times the Braves, Falcons and even the Thrashers (who remembers them?) were a hot ticket, but it wears off quickly. Now if they are still getting 40K per game in year 10 like Seattle is, then I'll believe they've actually found the secret. I'll bet within a few yers you'll read about how they need a soccer specific stadium because the football stadium is too big.
 

ZooCougar

Shut Up Carl.
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,538
Likes
14,205
45K per game is hardly NFL attendance. More importantly, Atlanta is a front-runner city. At various times the Braves, Falcons and even the Thrashers (who remembers them?) were a hot ticket, but it wears off quickly. Now if they are still getting 40K per game in year 10 like Seattle is, then I'll believe they've actually found the secret. I'll bet within a few yers you'll read about how they need a soccer specific stadium because the football stadium is too big.
45k 16 more times a year is better than 45k zero times a year. You get more out of your facility.

That owner is invested quite a bit in facilities and staff as well. They should always be in the top half.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
954
Likes
801
45k 16 more times a year is better than 45k zero times a year. You get more out of your facility.

That owner is invested quite a bit in facilities and staff as well. They should always be in the top half.
Won't happen in Atlanta. In the early 90s the Braves were one of the hottest tickets in baseball. By 1997 I bought Braves playoff tickets the day before the game and it wasn't even sold out on game day. That was in the first year in the new Turner Field. Once the bloom is off the rose interest in Atlanta will drop off quickly. Georgia also does not have a native soccer fan base. Georgia and Georgia Tech don't even sponsor men's teams (although Georgia does have a women's team, presumably for Title IX reasons). Once the newness of the team and stadium wear off, they don't have a core of hard core fans to fall back on.
 

ZooCougar

Shut Up Carl.
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,538
Likes
14,205
Won't happen in Atlanta. In the early 90s the Braves were one of the hottest tickets in baseball. By 1997 I bought Braves playoff tickets the day before the game and it wasn't even sold out on game day. That was in the first year in the new Turner Field. Once the bloom is off the rose interest in Atlanta will drop off quickly. Georgia also does not have a native soccer fan base. Georgia and Georgia Tech don't even sponsor men's teams (although Georgia does have a women's team, presumably for Title IX reasons). Once the newness of the team and stadium wear off, they don't have a core of hard core fans to fall back on.
Nobody in Atlanta is from Atlanta. The soccer fan base is distinct from the Falcons.

Nobody cares about college soccer. Not even soccer fans. Anywhere.

KU and MU don’t have soccer. But St. Louis and KC are still soccer towns.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
1,388
Likes
1,323
Not sure - folks from the soccer-crazed NE are moving to the sun belt. Metro ATL is producing USYNT and soon to be MNT caliber talent, and they have the internal buy-in and people running the show at ATLU to keep things moving in the right direction.

I don't know if 45k per game is sustainable, but remember, they're charging $4 for beer or something like that, so it's a place to see and be seen in addition to watching a game at a stadium with easy access to public transpo.
 

ZooCougar

Shut Up Carl.
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,538
Likes
14,205
Not sure - folks from the soccer-crazed NE are moving to the sun belt. Metro ATL is producing USYNT and soon to be MNT caliber talent, and they have the internal buy-in and people running the show at ATLU to keep things moving in the right direction.

I don't know if 45k per game is sustainable, but remember, they're charging $4 for beer or something like that, so it's a place to see and be seen in addition to watching a game at a stadium with easy access to public transpo.
They have a really smart CEO too. He was on Sirius this morning and he clearly gets it. Atlanta and LAFC are going to help modernize the league.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
954
Likes
801
Nobody in Atlanta is from Atlanta. The soccer fan base is distinct from the Falcons.

Nobody cares about college soccer. Not even soccer fans. Anywhere.

KU and MU don’t have soccer. But St. Louis and KC are still soccer towns.
We'll see. We heard all about the northeastern transplants that were going to support hockey in Atlanta. In fact, we've heard that story twice (Flame and Thrashers). I was at the Thrashers first game in brand new Phillips Arena and heard about how successful they were going to be this time and how many season tickets they'd sold to northern transplants. That worked very well until until the newness of the team and building had worn off. Then again, perhaps if ATLU can continue to win 70% of its points for 10 years it will be able to do something even the Braves couldn't do while winning an amazing 11 Division titles in a row and 14 out of 15, keep the attention of the fickle fan base in Atlanta. While winning was new and fresh or when they had a new stadium (in the case of ATLU they have both) attendance spiked. Both times, however, it fell back dramatically after a few years.

Hey, you never know. Maybe Arthur Blank knew something that absolutely no one else knew just two years ago - Atlanta, a top 10 market that the league didn't add until it had 25 teams, is a soccer town.
 
Last edited:

Top