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Gores, Gilbert to try to get a Major League Soccer team in Detroit


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Gores, Gilbert to try to get a Major League Soccer team in Detroit

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It looks like Major League Soccer will come to Detroit.

Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and Platinum Equity founder Tom Gores are joining forces to bring an MLS franchise downtown.

The plan includes building a soccer stadium at a still-to-be-determined site. A source says the abandoned Wayne County jail site on Gratiot near Greektown is the No. 1 option, although the site remains under county control.

More at the link

 

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This is pretty cool news. Detroit always seemed like a good expansion candidate. The things working against it relative to other cities that have received teams was their lack of a highly supported upper level minor league club like Orlando and Minnesota for example. Detroit City FC has good support for a lower level club, but they are still small potatoes.

Stadium location will be interesting. It would make sense to try something adjacent the new hockey arena area.

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I think this is great news for the city. Anything to attract more business and money into Detroit is a really good thing. I would actually like to see the stadium built outside of downtown, on the site of the old Tiger Stadium at the Corner. The Corktown area desperately needs an anchor business/attraction to keep its revitalization efforts going and this could be the perfect spot for it. 

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Just now, Mr.TaterSalad said:

I think this is great news for the city. Anything to attract more business and money into Detroit is a really good thing. I would actually like to see the stadium built outside of downtown, on the site of the old Tiger Stadium at the Corner. The Corktown area desperately needs an anchor business/attraction to keep its revitalization efforts going and this could be the perfect spot for it. 

I think a big anchor would hurt Corktown.  Corktown is doing just fine.  People are getting squeezed out and the next thing is West Village.  Have a few friends that live there now.  

Plus the site of Tiger Stadium is going to be for PAL.  They should be starting any time now.

 

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http://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/2016/04/27/many-rooting-soccer-detroit/83624866/

I'm not a huge soccer fan, but I'd probably follow it a little bit more if Detroit had a team.  Gilbert and Gores apparently want to purchase the area just south east of Ford Field... meaning there could potentially be four sports stadiums/arenas all in a small cluster.

What do you think?  Are you a Soccer fan?  Would you like to see MLS in Detroit?  Would you go to games?

I think Soccer is a big up and coming sport in the US.  As I said above, I'm not a huge fan but I suspect that in 10-20 years soccer will start to replace Hockey and maybe even Basketball in terms of popularity.  I guess I'd like to see Detroit get in on that.

It also raises a question: (For the sake of argument assume that MLS is a "majors" level sport) How many cities have all five major sports?  Would Detroit, especially given the recent decline in population, be the smallest to have all five?

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34 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I have a hard time buying the idea soccer will replace hockey or basketball in terms of popularity in 10-20 years, if for no other reason the exact same thing was suggested 30 years ago when I played youth soccer.

Well... I'll readily admit that I pulled those numbers completely out of my **** and I'm by NO means an expert in things like this.  But, 30 years ago you didn't have a national league that was playing in it's 20th year.  

Also according to wikipedia at least, average attendance at MLS games is higher than average attendance at NHL and NBA.  Now that's only one part of "popularity" and is skewed by a few factors like fewer games in a season (34) and fewer media outlets for those who'd prefer to watch at home vs. have to go to the game.

There's also been 13 soccer-specific stadiums built in the last decade and a half, with another set to open in 2017.

Again, I'm no expert in this, but it feels to me that MLS isn't going away anytime soon.  I think combined with the continued growth of youth soccer as well as influence the world over with soccer/football, the sport will probably continue to grow here.  Maybe not as quickly as 10-20 years, but I'd guess that it would be very near the NBA/NHL level in a few decades.

It's worth noting though that this is all conjecture... I remember thinking Arena Football was going to be the next (little) big thing... It was becoming more and more popular... They were getting national TV deals... NFL owners were getting involved in the AFL.  The league was expanding... heck, they even formed the AF2 as a minor league to the AFL!

And then things just sort of fell apart.  They went from 19 teams in 2007 to cancelling the season in 2009.  The league came back, but it's no where near what it used to be.  Only 8 teams right now.  So maybe this is just an AFL flash in the pan and in 2026 the MLS will be a shell of itself.  But again citing things like a large youth movement (there's really zero "arena football" youth sports) as well as a very large fan base around the world to keep interest in the sport alive even if it's only lukewarm in the US (virtually zero interest in American-style Football outside of North America and even less for America Arena-style Football), I don't anticipate that happening with MLS.

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Soccer stadiums hold more people than basketball or hockey venues, so I am not sure attendance per match is the correct metric.

That aside, I stand by my statement.  A professional soccer league in the US is not going to pass by the NBA or NHL in my lifetime unless

a. the NBA or NHL really screw something up, or

b. I live 50+ more years.

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I've heard about soccer being big here my whole life... I'll believe it when I see it.  Not saying it will never happen but I've heard it all before... as Biggs said.

Tony Bruno once said on ESPN Radio, back when it was good, "Soccer... the sport of the future... and always will be"

 

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I have been trying to find contact info about getting involved.  I would like to purchase a couple shares (depending on how they are splitting them up).  How much would a share of a venture like this cost?  Depends on how many investors they plan to get involved I guess, but I would assume they are going to keep it to a select club.  The big time millionaire club, but it would be nice if the shares were small enough to get regular people involved.

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41 minutes ago, Oblong said:

I've heard about soccer being big here my whole life... I'll believe it when I see it.  Not saying it will never happen but I've heard it all before... as Biggs said.

Tony Bruno once said on ESPN Radio, back when it was good, "Soccer... the sport of the future... and always will be"

 

I had a marketing professor say a similar thing about Brazil....Brazil, the next big world economy, and always will be.

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