Monday, November 16, 2009

MLS to Detroit?

Hot on the heels of an announcement that Detroit would be receiving a USL-1 expansion team, more soccer news broke today related to the auctioning off of the Pontiac Silverdome.

A Toronto real estate company has submitted a winning bid of $583,000 for the property. The company plans to use the facility for a Major League Soccer team and a women's professional soccer team.

This could be a case of Pontiac’s emergency financial manage getting it wrong in his interview with the Free Press. MLS did not included Detroit in its next round of expansion, so he may be confused about to the team's position in the US soccer pyramid. He may have assumed professional soccer = MLS.

**A senior vice president of marketing and communications for MLS confirmed that there hasn't been any recent discussion about placing a team in the Detroit area. The Detroit News quotes Dan Courtemanche: "We've had very preliminary talks in years past, but nothing in the last six to 12 months of substance."**

It is not known if the real estate company is working in concert with Michigan Bucks (PDL) owner Dan Duggan, the presumed owner of the new USL-1 franchise. I doubt that Detroit would get a USL-1 Team and a MLS franchise.

In my opinion, If Duggan is involved, he will be the owner of a USL-1 Team. The Toronto company will probably run the Silverdome and lease it to Duggan or be a part of the team's ownership group. When Duggan's MLS Detroit campaign failed, he publicly stated that his new plan would be to pursue a USL-1 team with the hope that that team would be eventually promoted to MLS like the Seattle Sounders were.

Of course there could be an entirely different entity involved. Details are thin at this point and only time will tell.

**The Free Press has confirmed that Dan Duggan is not involved with the investment group. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and how this will affect the USL's plans to bring a team to the Detroit area.**

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spaulding Court

The Corktown Residents’ Council is working with residents to retake the Spaulding Court apartment complex on Rosa Parks. The century old property has long been abandoned by its owner and is unoccupied, except for two units. The group has launched a Nuisance Abatement suit against the owners and a default judgement is likely.

In October community members cleaned up the site, sealed the unoccupied units, and illuminated the grounds.

It is likely that the complex will be seized and the title will be transferred to Wayne County. It is hoped that the land bank will sell the property to the Greater Corktown Development Corporation for redevelopment.

 Check out Spauding Court in 2003 from detroitpix.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Detrot to Get USL-1 Soccer Team

Buzz is starting to build about Detroit getting a United Soccer League First Division expansion team. USL-1 is one level below MLS.

I haven't seen any coverage from the Mainstream media, but there was a reference to the team in a USL press release. At this point, it is not apparent whether the franchise will be built upon a promoted Michigan Bucks (PDL) team or a new organization.

It is also unclear where the new team will be based. From what I've read, USL requires a 5,000 seat stadium. If Bucks owner Dan Duggan is involved, a stadium could be built behind the team's "Ultimate Soccer Arenas" home in Pontiac. The team could find a temporary home to play in at a high school stadium in the area. Recently, the Bucks played their home games at Stoney Creek High School. Prior to that, they called Berkley's Hurley Field home. That field only holds 3,500 spectators, but additional bleachers were brought in when the Bucks hosted the NY/NJ Metro Stars in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup in 2003.

Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stripped Down

Work continues on the conversion of the Franklin Furniture building into a high school affiliated with the University Prep Science and Math Middle School. It doesn't look like there will be anything "Albert Kahn" remaining, except for the steel reinforced concrete skeleton.

Monday, November 09, 2009


Despite holding a ribbon cutting ceremony almost three weeks ago. William G. Milliken State Park (formerly Tricentennial State Park) remains closed to the public.