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Expansion Rumors Megathread

Discussion in 'Major League Soccer' started by MagnusPax, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. derek_villa

    derek_villa Active Member Seasoned Supporter

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    Looks like the Crew have been saved: https://www.reddit.com/r/MLS/comments/9nljri/save_the_crew_megathread/

    Current summary of rumors:
    • Precourt to take his franchise to Austin
    • Jimmy Haslam (Cleveland Browns owner) to buy "expansion" franchise
      Crew players stay in Columbus, and Haslam keeps the records and brand
    • Potentially no interruption of play in Columbus
    12:26ET Edit:
    • Haslam to be majority owner with unknown minority partner.
    • Minority partner potentially has land for a new stadium.
    • Announcement pushed to today due to leaks, Crew/MLS initially planned a later announcement
    My take: I don't know if MLS wanted the Modell's Law(suit) to play out.
     
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  2. sbrylski

    sbrylski Senior Member

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    That would leave one expansion spot (until they vote to approve more, of course). Phoenix? St. Louis? Both, plus one of Detroit/Charlotte/San Diego, in that order? 30 by 2026? Then merger with Liga MX (lol)? What even is happening anymore... I gotta stop trying to think beyond 2-3 years, the decision makers clearly don't and these things are so insanely fluid.
     
  3. Fantazma

    Fantazma Senior Member Seasoned Supporter

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    the jist i recalled was that there was no precedent so no one really knew how it would play out but i think people thought it would go to Precourt.
     
  4. Fantazma

    Fantazma Senior Member Seasoned Supporter

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    so in the end precourt wins? by this i mean, crew stays where it is brand/ players/ etc. MLS loses on expansion fee money, and precourt still gets team in Austin?
     
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  5. LionNYC

    LionNYC Senior Member Staff Member Elite Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    They're going to 30.
     
  6. Fantazma

    Fantazma Senior Member Seasoned Supporter

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    answer from reddit:

    "Haslam is paying an expansion fee, so MLS not losing out. PSV maintains their current I/O status, but is being given right to operate MLS Austin while Haslam is given the Crew history and players for his Expansion Team.

    PSV doesn’t necessarily win, MLS Austin still not confirmed until McKalla lease and temp venue finalized. Apparently those negotiations aren’t going great."
     
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  7. ferrarinycfc

    ferrarinycfc Regular Member

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    I'd imagine 32, if not more.
     
  8. sundance

    sundance Regular Member Elite Donor

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    Agree with LionNYCLionNYC. If Columbus/Austin leapfrogs normal expansion, as appears to be the deal here, it seems like a clear sign we’re heading at least to 30. With a newly legitimate prospect in STL, viable bids already up in Sacramento and Phoenix, and potential surprises in Detroit and San Diego, there’s no way we end with 28. Which is great! A big league with more room for regional rivalries is more fun for everyone.
     
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  9. Seth

    Seth Active Member Elite Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Might as well go to 36 teams. That gives you two conferences of 18 (three divisions of 6 in each), 34-match balanced schedules in each conference, and a meaningful Cup at the end of the season between the two winners of each conference's playoffs (that have not played each other all year). Like the old-school baseball leagues, except with a lot of teams, and with the division winners and wild card winners in the playoffs.

    If you want more teams in the playoffs you could have the four non-division-winners play a two-match, single-elimination, Wednesday and Sunday mini-tournament to determine the one wild card winner, with the three division winners getting byes and a week off. And the all-star game could then mean something, maybe home field for the Cup match for the league that wins it.
     
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  10. ferrarinycfc

    ferrarinycfc Regular Member

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    San Antonio must feel the most slighted here.

    Austin never applied for an expansion slot and will likely get one.
     
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  11. ferrarinycfc

    ferrarinycfc Regular Member

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    I agree.

    Regional rivalries are what makes mls worth watching for a neutral.
     
  12. ferrarinycfc

    ferrarinycfc Regular Member

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    I think this works as its basically two seperate leagues. Id base it on geographical location. ie New York arent playing games on the west coast and vice versa.
     
  13. SoupInNYC

    SoupInNYC Senior Member Elite Donor

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    I heard somewhere that the expansion fee Haslam is paying is at a discounted rate.

    Wonder how the other league owners feel about that.
     
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  14. adam

    adam Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    It’s probably less of a discount than a huge lawsuit and a black eye for the league.
     
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  15. SoupInNYC

    SoupInNYC Senior Member Elite Donor

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    True, and I'm sure the two happiest people about it are Precourt and Garber.

    But I can't imagine the other league owners are thrilled with:
    1. Precourt putting them into this position; and
    2. The ultimate reduced fee (depending on how reduced it is obviously matters
    I know Columbus relocating would be a black eye for the league, but it would be one that would blow over in a couple of years from a PR standpoint. It's a completely survivable event that may have a short-term impact, but at the end of the day, wouldn't really affect the league long-term.
     
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  16. mgarbowski

    mgarbowski Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    If they didn't expect this when the league sold Columbus to Precourt they are all fools. The deal had that clause in the contract allowing him to move to Austin. Did they think he wanted it for sentimental reasons? No. My guess is the league had trouble getting another investor, and wanted a team in Austin anyway. If the longshot hit and Precourt fell in love with Columbus, and the team started making money, fine, but the 98% odds were always that he would move. Everyone knew it but the public.
     
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  17. Gotham Gator

    Gotham Gator Senior Member Donor

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    I wonder if the league would even let Precourt in as an owner at this point. Standards are a lot higher now.
     
  18. adam

    adam Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Austin ain’t getting no extra Garber Bucks, that’s for damn sure.
     
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  19. sbrylski

    sbrylski Senior Member

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    Haven't posted any detailed but wild speculation lately. Let's do it. Spent some time thinking about the most plausible Liga MX / MLS merger scenario post-2026, here's what I came up with. Overall, I think they would follow a keep-it-simple model, keeping both leagues still at arms length to protect rivalries and reduce travel. Therefore, I think it would look a lot like the AL / NL merger in baseball, with two leagues not overly concerned with symmetry in their structures, as long as the seasons like up to allow some meaningful interleague play (the entire point of a potential merger). I think they'll also force a Liga MX / MLS cup final each year, but I'll get to that in a bit.

    1. First, we have eight years to finish up MLS expansion. It's more difficult for a bid to actually reach the finish line that it seems, as we've seen, but I definitely think they'll be able to push beyond 28 teams in the near future. But as more large markets are taken, the expansion fee rises and smaller markets get priced out, leading to an equilibrium around 30-32 teams (e.g. every other US sports league.) Let's say we get to 32 by the World Cup: St. Louis, Phoenix, Detroit, Charlotte and San Diego. It feels like Charlotte is gearing up to produce a massive bid in the next round, and I think the league finds a way to get the San Diego group in eventually even if the Soccer City vote fails, due to Juan Carlos Rodriguez's involvement. Las Vegas and Sacramento are also options for #32 if they have the right investment groups.

    2. Next, the merger. Let's call it Liga NA. We have 32 teams from MLS in two conferences and 18 from Liga MX. To open up interleague play opportunities in a 34-game schedule, we need to introduce divisions:

    Liga NA East
    Atlantic (8):
    Toronto, Montreal, New England, New York City, NY Red Bulls, Philadelphia, DC United, Detroit
    Central (8): Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Miami

    Liga NA West
    Frontier (8):
    Real Salt Lake, Colorado, Minnesota, St. Louis, Kansas City, Dallas, Austin, Houston
    Pacific (8): Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Jose, Los Angeles, LA Galaxy, San Diego, Phoenix

    I hate that the Midwest is so fractured (Minnesota/St. Louis, Chicago/Columbus, and Detroit all in different divisions), but tough to split it up another way. There's a natural North/South split in the middle of the country and only Detroit would have to be moved East, but I feel they'll want to keep two East/West conferences rather than stretch things across time zones and group cold weather teams together.

    Liga NA South
    North (9):
    Tijuana, Santos Laguna, UANL, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Atlas, Necaxa, Leon, Queretaro
    South (9): Morelia, Cruz Azul, Club America, UNAM, Toluca, Puebla, BUAP, Veracruz

    I don't know that much about Liga MX, but the above seems like a reasonably natural division. Not entirely sure these are the 18 teams that would make the cut either though.

    [​IMG]

    3. Third, scheduling. Each division in the Eastern and Western conferences plays their own division twice (14), the other division in their conference once (8), and 12 interconference games. In the Southern Conference, it is the same (16+9) but with 9 interconference games. For the Southern Conference, all 9 of those interleague games are against Eastern and Western conference teams in the US and Canada. For Eastern/Western conference teams, they play about 5 games each year against Southern Conference teams, and 7 games against the other former-MLS conference. The numbers clearly don't line up perfectly, but on a managed rotation, each team would play every other team in Liga NA at least once per four years. In total, this schedule produces 162 games between former MLS and former Liga MX teams, a massive media boom despite modest amount of crossover scheduling.

    4. Lastly, postseason. I'm tempted to project a mixed conference postseason, maybe even group stages, but most likely two factors will come into play: length and competitiveness. It is best for both leagues to force a Mexican-American/Canadian final, and due to the already difficult calendar adjustments required to merge the leagues, there's probably not much time to squeeze in a postseason tournament.

    As stated in the into, I don't think they'll concern themselves with symmetry too much. They'll have a Southern Conference bracket, probably of 8 teams (four from each division or a wildcard system) in a single-elimination knockout spanning three weeks. Above the border, they'll probably need four weeks to run a single-elimination knockout of 16 teams (or 12 if you give the division winners byes) that would see the Western Conference winner face the Eastern Conference winner in the overall semifinals. The winner advances to face the Southern Conference winner for the Campeones Cup (or a new trophy), preferably at a neutral site (Jerry World?).

    Reactions?

    EDIT: Honestly imagine going from nationally televised games of the week between Atlanta United and Chicago Fire, or LA Galaxy and Minnesota United, to nationally televised, meaningful regular season games between LAFC and Chivas or NYCFC and Club America. Or San Diego v Tiujana annual border rivalry. I'm excited about the potential.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
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  20. adam

    adam Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Miami renderings and video:



    C9789B3C-24CD-4FF3-AFFA-D562EA1F9FED.png
     

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