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.**

1 comment:

motz said...

I am actually pretty excited that soccer may be coming back to Detroit. After the 2006 World Cup (and admittedly, a reasonable amount of drinking with various European friends), I have wanted to go to a pro soccer game, but haven't got the chance. I know we have a lot of teams around here, but we are sports nuts, so I think the team should be alright.