- Sep 19, 2014
Found something... maybe I'm not going senile yet...I have to find it, but I swear to God, back in the day the original owners of Metro wanted to essentially split the team into a NYC-centric team and a NJ-centric team, but failed in NYC and later sold.
The pin-drop quiet that has prevailed over Major League Soccer this offseason will be broken on Tuesday when the New York/New Jersey MetroStars announce plans to build two 25,000-seat stadiums in New York and New Jersey.
Why two stadiums? Because MetroStars' owners John Kluge and Stuart Subotnick have exercised their right to own an expansion team in New York that would begin play in 2002. If this sounds like something that could only happen in MLS, it is.
When the league started play in 1996, it gave its original group of investors the option of buying an expansion team for $5 million. Kluge and Subotnick will exercise that option when the league expands to 14 teams in 2002. Philadelphia, Houston and Atlanta are among the most frequently rumored candidates for the second team.
Construction on stadiums in New York and New Jersey won't begin until September with the openings targeted for 2003. The New Jersey-based MetroStars will continue to play at 77,000-seat Giants Stadium, where they averaged a little more than 17,000 fans per game last season. The New York team would probably play at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Long Island until its stadium is built.
Despite appearances to the contrary, MetroStars' officials say their attendance will not suffer because of competition across the Hudson River.
"According to our surveys, 94 percent of our fans are from New Jersey," MetroStars spokesman Chris Brienza said. "In New York, both Queens and Long Island are soccer hotbeds. You've got all the M-imigrM-i groups pouring out to play in Flushing Meadows on weekends, and in Long Island there are about 200,000 registered youth players."
When completed, the two venues will join Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, as the only stadiums built for soccer in MLS. Possible sites for what would become the New Jersey MetroStars are Newark, Jersey City and Harrison. Queens or Long Island are probable locales for the New York team.
Both stadiums would cost between $40-$60 million, depending on whether a roof is included. The Miami design firm Arquitectonica has drawn the plans for the stadiums, which can be expanded to 40,000 seats.
Plans are also in the works for MLS stadiums in Los Angeles, Chicago and Colorado. All three clubs are owned by billionaire Phillip Anschutz.