May 31, 2006
MLS Commissioner Don Garber recently talked about what he feels the San Jose area needs to do to make an MLS team thrive the second time around. Garber talked about needing more than just passionate fans. He talked about needing an ownership group that can take a passionate fan base and turn that into television viewership, suite sales, club seat sales, ticket sales, and just loads of revenue in general.
It goes without saying that a soccer specific stadium that the owner controls is the number one priority when Garber talks about getting this accomplished.
So once again, Garber says it's all about the money, without really saying it's all about the money.
What also went unstated is how much upfront capital is required to buy into MLS. The Toronto FC, which will join MLS in 2007, reportedly cost Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment $15 to 20 million US. And that initial payment is where Rochester first stubs it's toe when the conversation about a move to MLS gets tricky.
It's obvious that the Rhinos ownership group doesn't have pockets as deep as say Phil Anschutz, Lamar Hunt, Bob Kraft, Chivas, or Red Bull. If they did, then it's likely that Rochester would have been an MLS city long ago. Then there is the issue of operating expenses of around $2.5 million due to MLS' single entity operating structure.
Add in questions from MLS about whether they want to be in a market as small as Rochester, the fact that it has taken so long to open up PAETEC Park, and it's really rather easy to see why Rochester has yet to move up to MLS despite the strong performance of the team both on the field and at the box office over the team's first decade of operation.
As Ronaldo Turns
First came news that Red Bull had offered up the Real Madrid and Brazil striker a 10 year $120 million contract.
And now Red Bull is denying ever making such a huge offer.
With rumors that there are a few Italian clubs that might be looking to add Ronaldo this offseason, my guess is that Ronaldo's agent may have been planting a story to try and up the asking price for his client.
The other question that comes out of this is whether the "Beckham Rule" where one high profile signing doesn't count against an MLS team's salary cap has been approved, but not announced by the league.
In a weird way, Ronaldo not coming might be good for the Rhinos as I can't see how they would be able to use the "Beckham rule" if they were to move to MLS. Unless, they were to use their exemption on a player such as Dema Kovalenko.
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