Report: MLS closing in on $300M stadium project in Queens, New York

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Major League Soccer's desire to have a second team in the New York market is well-documented, as is the fact that league officials have been working feverishly to find a stadium project in New York City that could make a second NY team a reality.

Now we know just how close to realizing that goal MLS actually is.

According to the New York Post, MLS is closing in on a $300 million stadium project in Queens, New York, with a 25,000-seat stadium expected to be built in Flushing Meadows, next to Citi Field and the Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium.

Approval of a stadium project would make it that much easier for MLS to find an ownership group willing to spend the money MLS is hoping to generate from a second team in the New York market, though at this point it is unclear if there is currently an ownership group winning the race for a second New York MLS team.

What do you think of this development? Surprised to see the league making this much progress on a New York stadium? Still don't think the New York market should have a second MLS team?

Share your thoughts below.

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143 Responses to Report: MLS closing in on $300M stadium project in Queens, New York

  1. Topher says:

    Really hoping they can work something out and make sure its the Cosmos. Even if it means just buying the brand from the current owners if they can’t flip the expansion bill.

    I mean if you spend $300m on a stadium, surely you can buy the Cosmos name at probably no more than 1% of what you’re spending on that stadium.

  2. BSU SC says:

    The time has come. This will take MLS to a whole new level.

    …now, let the people start whining about how “New York doesn’t support the team they have now…ya da, ya da, ya da…”

  3. giaco says:

    David Beckham will be part owner, that’s a lock.

  4. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I think it’s great for the NY Market and for the league. To have two teams so close to each other can really build the intense rivalries and passion we see in other parts of the world.

  5. THomas says:

    Worked well for Chivas USA…

  6. Jake says:

    What about a little help for a stadium in DC, MLS!?
    Does NY really need to have the Cosmos in MLS?
    At least it isn’t as stupid as 2 teams in LA. I’m not sure how this will really help attendance in Jersey though. Maybe the rivalry will drive attendance. These guys certainly know more than me about the market, but I’m skeptical.

  7. Wtfgarberga says:

    Da South, U big dummies

  8. elgringorico says:

    Yeah seriously, can DC get some of that $$ pelase?!?!

  9. chris says:

    Bring the Metro stars back!!!

  10. Dimidri says:

    I think the biggest slayer to arguments like ‘red bulls dont get support, why would second team get support or if they do why wouldn’t it be @ expense of red bulls, orlando or other city would be better’ is that what is success is radically different for a New York team in Queens than say Orlando or San Antonio.

    Is a San Antonio team really doing better because they sell out their 16k SSS and the Cosmos (worst case scenario) only averaging 16k in their 25k SSS all the while they are booming away attendance and TV ratings when they play?

    And let’s not forget, the Red Bulls averaged almost 20k last year with a pretty bad team with Rafa.

  11. Casey says:

    New York United

  12. Dimidri says:

    a) No Geographic Differentiation (at least right now)

    b) Historically no talent parity with Galaxy to make potential fans choose them over the Galaxy (getting the Galaxy’s remains like Angel, etc.)

    c) Little success competitively.

    d) Very poor branding that has the potential to alienate large swaths of potential fans.

    Assuming the Cosmos have money poured into them like it would take just to buy them, not a single one of those will be true.

  13. RK says:

    Wait, MLS is footing the bill for this? Not some rich owner?

  14. Gnarls says:

    Well, it’s a true criticism.

  15. Aguinaga says:

    1. Two new stadiums in NY Metro before 1 in DC is tragically comical.
    2. A stadium on its own does not a success make. Could be a good start. But what will happen when the very soccer snobby potential fan base surrounding the stadium realizes that despite all the pretty bows and ribbons, it’s still an MLS team they’ll be watching?

  16. Gnarls says:

    Assuming the Cosmos have money poured into them, they’ll still be bound by DP rules. So what, they’ll have three highly paid, big name players and a bunch of run-of-the-mill MLS talent.

    That sounds like the Red Bulls.

  17. bcoug says:

    So what’s the explanation for why they don’t? It’s a legitimate question.

  18. The Imperative Voice says:

    Who pays the $300 million? Because to the extent the league places a monetary bet on NY via a stadium loan and then sells a pre-packaged deal to an ownership group, I think that’s risking proven progress on a double-down bet on a city with few years of decent MLS attendance. I’m concerned we’re risking all the good Seattle and Toronto and everyone else have done us on an obsession regarding a mediocre MLS soccer city.

    Considering Cosmos’ best attendance years were in NJ I think the assumption that NYCers will support Cosmos in droves is unproven. Go back and look at their old Hofstra attendance, which will not be disproven by going back to Hofstra again.

    “Pretty bad team?” They were fast out of the gate, made the playoffs, and spent a lot of money on players. NYRB/NYM has in fact finished better in the playoffs (made the final) but often done so from a similar wild card spot. NY has a better team this year in the table and worse attendance by ~2000. Philly and KC have better attendance and no one’s talking Philly2 or Benfica KC.

    I think we have all the lowhanging fruit for expansion. I see risk in SA, NY2, and a lot of the candidates. NY2 merits no better chance just because it’s a bigger city version of equally risky, nor should it be chosen to make the magical 20 just by criticizing the other choices. We shouldn’t be alcoholics because you’ve heard meth and coke are bad choices, you have to compare the other choice to the bad choices.

  19. RK says:

    I wonder what other rules MLS will make up to make sure NY2 is a winner…

  20. beachbum says:

    confusing why DC cannot get this kind of help to get their stadium done. A class organization with long standing history and a dedicated fan base

    can someone explain this to me? I don’t get it

  21. bcoug says:

    I don’t get this reasoning at all – Philadelphia and Boston are, respectively, closer and nearly as close to NY as the PNW teams with a whole lot more people involved. Yet they still can’t get the support moving in NY.
    Why is that?
    That’s an honest question – I think its important for the league to have a strong presence in NY, but for whatever reason the Red Bulls aren’t making it happen and I don’t see how putting another team in their backyard is going to be the difference.

  22. joel says:

    this is great news!

  23. beto says:

    crazy its really happening! i guess this means that New York will not likely be hosting the Olympics anytime soon.

  24. bcoug says:

    To your last point, they have a better team now and attendance is down. So why is that?
    Seriously, with the size of that market, this would be like the Whitecaps, Timbers, Sounders, Sporting, etc. not being able to sell out the bleachers at a HS game.

  25. mephime says:

    is there any evidence that another team in NY would automatically generate a larger TV audience?

  26. beto says:

    cuz NY wants to work with MLS and DC requires an act of congress to even talk about a stadium! One city is about business the other is about politics.

  27. Just plain Yogurt says:

    Living in Manhattan, there is really no difference going to Flushing or going to Harrison. Hope the Long Island residents and Queens “ethnics” are what the promoters claim them to be.

    Wish they would build a deck over the rail yards in Long Island City as they are in Brooklyn (Atlantic Yards) and Manhattan (West Side Rail Yards). You could walk over to the Queensbrodge Stadium.

    Was in Coney Island and there is a massive track of open space there too. Would rather venture there than Flushing. Could hit the boardwalk and the beach before/after the game. get some Russian flava to the team.

  28. mephime says:

    probably another DP slot.

  29. Jake says:

    McKayla is not impressed!

  30. David St. Hubbins says:

    Can you explain why people who won’t take a 20 minute PATH ride to RBA will suddenly take a 20 minute subway ride to Flushing?

  31. jspech says:

    So much jealousy. Whiny little mouses. MLS is doing okay. If they want to invest $300mil in a soccer loving community who am I to go negative.

    Keep screaming Red Bull attendance, they still outdraw most MLS teams. PHil- sellout their 18k stadium( red Bull’s avg. ) better yet MLS avg. What’s United attendance avg.

    Enuff bashing the team.

    Currently The Red Bull organization, MLS, & City of Newark are realizing their mistake. They should have built RBA instead of the Newark Bears Minor league Stadium. Which is drawing like less than a thousand fans/game. RBA belonged in Newark, But in the long run Harrison will work out. JUst management has fialed to sign player that really excites the local So. American pop. ( KaKa anyone)

    RB will is successful, trust me they are making money. Those empty seats(yellow & red) are sold season tickets holders. Getting their butts in seats at game time, well people are supposedly being paid to do that. Fire someone again.

    Ps. Even with 2MLS teams a minor league team can do okay in Coney Island

  32. BSU SC says:

    It’s between 60-90 minutes on public transportation to get from certain parts of NYC to Harrison, NJ. It’s a lot to ask of people to take 2-3 hours of travel time alone to attend a game. We can’t act like the Red Bulls are the NY Giants because the fan base simply isn’t there. While I understand why you can criticize New Jersey residents for not supporting their team, the Red Bulls are not a New York City team.

  33. David St. Hubbins says:

    I think the mediocre attendance in Montreal should slow everyone down from assuming every expansion will be a success… Montreal has had some awful numbers this year some games at 12k.

  34. ted says:

    I don’t think there are any bad choices in regards to MLS. I think there’s another 25-30 markets that could EASILY fill up 20K stadiums.

    There are over 300 professional and semi-professional teams in England, and they have a population of 60 million. There are already 38 professional teams in Japan (in two divisions) with a promotion and relegation system in place…and their population is 100 million, and growth continues explosively there as well. The only difference is their league was founded in 1974 and didn’t die financial death like the old NASL did, which set pro soccer back 20 years in the USA.

    The thing about soccer is, it’s a skill game. Being an elite athlete helps, but ultimately you can be a dominant soccer player being any race, any size, and honestly, even with modest athletic talent, if you’re willing to put in the work. This is not the case with the NFL or NBA. People who look at football or especially basketball and project artificial limits on the growth potential of soccer are missing the point.

    You understand the caution of MLS to avoid the NASL’s old mistakes – financial overextension, uncontrolled expansion – but there’s a massive grassroots base for soccer here that simply wasn’t here 25 years ago. Plunk MLS (or revamped NASL) teams down in just about any major city and they’ll be successful. What’s limiting MLS right now is more the lack of centralized TV coverage than lack of game attendance…and if MLS were to get into every corner of the US far more TV coverage would follow.

  35. RK says:

    You bet I’m jealous, when my original team can’t get a stadium, and I now live 10 hours away from the closest team.

  36. john.q says:

    there is no point in new york city where flushing queens and harrison new jersey are equally 20 minutes apart.

  37. Tyler says:

    They’ve had some awful performances on the pitch as well.. There’s obviously a slight correlation between the two.

  38. drew11 says:

    60 minutes? Oh the humanity. I did not realize NYers were so delicate.

  39. bcoug says:

    ~60 minutes on public transit each way is what lots of fans do around the league.
    If you looked at just the fan base within that 60-minute radius, the Red Bulls should still be doing much better.
    My concern is that if you pretend that its a commuting issue you’ll never solve the problem. There has to be more to it than that. I’m concerned that will end up with two teams not drawing a combined 30K a weekend.

  40. drew11 says:

    I can’t wait for Chivas NYC to be playing in Queens.

  41. BSU SC says:

    LOL. I’m not a New Yorker and I’m not disagreeing with you there. But I visit there on a regular basis and that’s what my friends and colleagues are always saying. I drive 3 hours each way to see the Chicago Fire or the Columbus Crew several times a year. I wish there was more passion there but RBNY has not tapped into it for whatever reason. I really think, with the right touch, that NY-2 can be THE franchise in MLS.

  42. bcoug says:

    The Impact have been more than respectable for an expansion club. Initial excitement of a new club should have been enough to carry them to a full slate of filled seats for this season – particularly when they are hovering around 0.500.

  43. Chicago MIke says:

    The $300 million dollar question is who is paying what? ……Is MLS going to foot that entire bill? Then they gonna sell the team for $3,000,000+?

  44. The Imperative Voice says:

    We’ve already covered most of the major soccer cities, and a lot of the proposed expansion sites are places whose minor league attendance is, to be polite, modest. That makes those choices somewhere between big risks and outright, demonstrated stupidity.

    I use the “low-hanging fruit” term purposefully. For example, Montreal traditionally drew 12-13K for minor league soccer games. Some MLS teams weren’t getting that at the time. That’s a no-brainer because they could get the same attendance and still be better than some league teams. But a lot of these candidate markets have no recent history like Montreal that screams, “can’t miss.”

    I think we should wait until the next Montreal proves itself and then promote that franchise and ownership group. I don’t believe in us taking expensive risks and leaps of faith when we have a working league just moving to solvency, and no proven next step. The Cosmos, in NY, aren’t a proven next step. San Antonio at just under 10K is not quite there yet, just like Rochester has never quite gotten over the hump consistently.

    There is no need to rush. If you think soccer success is so easy, let these candidates prove they can attend minor league ball like a major league team, show me it’s as easy as you think.

  45. BSU SC says:

    I don’t disagree. I’m simply repeating what people living in the NYC area are always saying. The fan base is definitely there in New York and MLS sees it, but Red Bull has not been able to capture it. With the right touch New York can be the Seattle/Portland of the northeast. And for that to happen an urban stadium location is essential.

  46. Shark says:

    Its a fact…

  47. stpauljosh says:

    Every game’s a huge rivalry in our fair league. Didn’t you know?

  48. Shark says:

    I drove 45-50 minutes to see RSL every week both ways so that is a weak excuse…

  49. stpualjosh says:

    THis was my quetion too… DC? Chivas? $300 mil could’ve covered a whole lot of ground.

  50. joshstpaul says:

    I’ve figured out why MLS needs another NY based team: in order to accommodate all the DP stars that “would love to play in MLS someday”, but really only mean NY and LA. So, 6 uber-stars will get to play in NYC soon.

  51. bcoug says:

    I guess that’s really what I’m asking – why hasn’t the RB been more successful with the fans? What are they doing wrong?
    I’m out here on the other coast so don’t have any sense of what they are doing other than spending money on marquee players and putting a reasonable team on the field, yet when I see their highlights there are way too many empty seats.
    Is it all bad stadium placement? I’ll admit that a downtown stadium here in Seattle is mighty nice.

  52. TomG says:

    b/c, as BSU stated, it’s not a 20 minute PATH ride. For me – on a weekend, from the Upper East Side, with all the subway closings and delays that are rampant on weekends, it’s at least 90 minutes (1h 27mins according to hopstop – that’s w/out delays) there and much more on the way back, since you have to wait an hour or so to get a PATH train back. When we go, we make plans to eat in Newark afterwards until the lines clear out. It’s a huge deal to get a couple friends together to clear their whole day for it. Also – stubhub doesn’t deliver tix to the stadium, so you have to wander around Newark looking for some hotel 30 minutes walk from Red Bull Arena to pick up your tix. Conversely, it’s a 15 min. trip to Yankee Stadium that can be arranged in a moment’s notice.

    It’s still going to be an hour for me to the Queens Stadium, so it’s not that easy either, but there won’t be the huge wait for the PATH after the game.

  53. TomG says:

    The flaw in everyone’s logic is that, as New Yorkers, we are accustomed to having everything close by. The whole (expletive) reason I pay an absurd amount of money to live here is that there’s a lot of fun stuff to do really, really close by. I make my trips to NYRB arena every year because I love the sport, but when I can get to a Yankee game or a free concert in Central Park in 1/10th the amount of time and hassle, which do you think I’m going to do?

  54. drew11 says:

    They won’t go to Flushing either. Hey, if these owners want to spend $300 million on soccer in NY that is a great thing. But NY2 won’t be a special thing. Just another team in the league. NYers can’t be bothered to see Henry play at a soccer palace like RBA. They won’t give strong support to NY2.

    After all, where did Pele & his Cosmos play most of their games? NEW JERSEY!

  55. DJ777 says:

    Its about the TV market, not the gate. The MLS is more concerned about another NY team that they can put on TV.

  56. TomG says:

    So, maybe there’s nothing else to do closer to you. I have a million other things to do that are much closer and easier to get to. It’s not an excuse – it’s a fact. If you want to live some place with nothing close by, that you have to drive everywhere, that’s great for you, but I like to be able to walk outside, hop on my bike for 15 minutes, and see a band or kayak on the river or play some pickup soccer or catch a Yankee game.

  57. TomG says:

    What’s the big deal? The team draws as much or more than most MLS teams and the TV money is probably better than all but LAG, and the fans sing the whole game.

  58. CG says:

    I’m not necessarily for or against NY2, but this argument isn’t really relevant. It’s great that Montreal and the PNW had what they had before joining MLS, but not having that doesn’t dictate future attendance at professional games. If you need examples of that, just look at the original MLS franchises over the life of the league and go back and count how many of them had vibrant minor league attendance (or even teams). Or try MLB… does not packing a 3500-seat minor league baseball “stadium” mean that 35K won’t show up for 162 games every summer? No.

    Somebody above said it was about TV markets. As unfortunate and un-cool as it is to declare, they are correct to a large degree. If you don’t have a large TV market, you’d better have A LOT of something else. I believe in the end, this is where St. Louis continually falls apart.

  59. slowleftarm says:

    Look, some people are determined to find excuses why they won’t attend NYRB games. RBA is just as far from midtown as Yankee stadium and certainly if you are anywhere near a PATH station in lower Manhattan, RBA is closer. Getting a path train back to the city is ridiculous (although it doesn’t take an hour) but they are beginning renovations on the Harrison path station which (someday at least) should significantly improve that situation.

    Bottom line – this is a terrible idea. The support isn’t there. These franchises will be east coast versions of Chivas USA within 5 years.

  60. Aaron says:

    Im not sure why they want a second team in NY that will just be like the Red Bulls. The MLS really needs to tap into the Twin Cities area, basically another Portland but in the Midwest.

  61. AcidBurn says:

    Ding! Correct, for those “it’s a 20 minute PATH ride”, it is much longer than that from anywhere except lower manhattan. From Brooklyn, it is easily at least 90 minutes each way with weekend subway closings, waiting for PATH trains, the “dump-off” at Journal Square (for those who don’t know, you push through a mass of humanity for ~10-15 minutes to get into the PATH station, then push onto a train, which takes you one station and then goes out of service)…it is not accessible. The PATH is a joke.

    By the end of the season, I would start seeing if it was possible to do it in less than 90 minutes with excellent connections, etc…and it’s not. Something is always screwed up and you end up waiting.

    Now, a stadium in Queens is also not centrally located, but it is on an MTA subway line – which already makes it an easier commute for anyone who lives in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, etc.

  62. ET says:

    The Cosmos current Ownership is the team going into MLS,they stay in the NASL is only one year.

  63. BSU SC says:


    Thanks for explaining it. I just think it’s hard for people who are not familiar with NYC to comprehend just how difficult it can be to get to Harrison, NJ. If it was as simple as a 20 minute PATH ride then every game would be sold out.

  64. The Imperative Voice says:

    I’d be careful about “awful,” Dallas and C-bus and NE sometimes dip down to 8-9K. Those 2 teams plus Chivas are in that same 12-13K range this season as Montreal if you drop out the Olympic Stadium games. More prevalent than you’re granting. Montreal is not amazing or a resounding success but it’s a solid fanbase for a lousy team.

    Bluntly, it’s amazing a team like TFC gets people to show up week after week at decent numbers with how they’ve historically performed. That’s lightning in a bottle but in most other cities the attendance is more elastic to performance, ie, people will show up as empty seats if you’re un-competitive long enough.

    I think Montreal’s CCL and Olympic Stadium history suggests a successful Impact field product will garner higher attendance. Now that attendance will wax and wane relative to winning, but outside Seattle and Toronto I think that’s true of most teams. I don’t think the Olympic Stadium attendance should be completely discounted because I think it hints at future possibility.

  65. jspech says:

    here’s a problem, we can all like & dislike where the next team is but guess what it takes someone w/millions to make that decision. Let’s get over ourselves. It’s their$$, just maybe the investors w/$$ wants NYC, how about that?

  66. The Imperative Voice says:

    Our TV deals are not big enough where we should treat them like a big factor. ESPN pays like $7-8 million for MLS. I’m not sure how much NBC Sports or the others pay, but surely they’re not breaking their banks. ESPN’s figure comes out to less than $500K per franchise, and the franchises may not get to just divvy the whole deal. That’s a fraction of one team’s salary cap.

    So I have difficulty buying the whole TV market thing. This is not NFL-level telecasting, or even MLB or NBA.

    Until TV ratings and revenues actually go up, the more material financial consideration is probably butts in seats paying dollars for tickets and jerseys, followed by sponsorships. NY might be a decent sponsorship location if fans responded but whether fans will respond is the $300 million question.

  67. BSU SC says:

    No disrespect to Salt Lake City (I’ve never been there but I’ve heard great things about it) but SLC is no NYC. There is a reason New York is nicknamed “the city that never sleeps”. With all of the entertainment options the city has to offer, people are not going to make extraordinary efforts to see a MLS team if it’s going to take 3 hours of travel time round trip. New York is unlike any other city on the planet (which is a reason why I love the place) so it’s just not a fair comparison. It would be one thing if RBNY had Real Madrid type talent, but that’s certainly not the case. Until the Red Bulls are a consistent winner, they are going to struggle with their attendance being based out of New Jersey.

  68. BSU SC says:

    Little doubt about that. I think it would be good for the league if that happens.

  69. Bkyn says:

    I live in downtown Brooklyn. It is a 60 minute trip door-to-door. Couldn’t be easier.

  70. The Imperative Voice says:

    The lesson of NASL is do not let the ability to pay an expansion fee, or the ability to receive that expansion fee, dictate the expansion process. NASL owners would take their cut of each subsequent expansion fee and get bigger and bigger until it collapsed under its own weight. You only get one expansion fee but the franchises, yours and theirs, have to keep alive after that.

    That MLS might like tens if not hundreds of millions in expansion cash, and that someonemight have the wherewithal to pay it, doesn’t mean either side can deliver an effective franchise that draws fans.

    You can’t let the tail wag the dog.

  71. TomG says:

    Yes – a stadium in Manhattan would sell out every game. It’s the same problem with the Nets and Devils. Then Nets had to move. You can’t accuse NYers of not being passionate about basketball and hockey, MSG sells out every night. It’s not about passion, it’s about location.

  72. TomG says:

    So why are the Nets moving and why can’t the Devils draw large crowds? Are you saying there’s no passion for hockey and basketball in the NY area?

  73. MattJack says:

    As if you needed another reason other than Chivas brand that it was stupid to put 2 teams in LA…. NYC will be fine.

    Cities with 2 major teams (# people per mile)
    LA : 8,092/sq mi
    Manchester: 11,260/sq mi
    Milan: 19,000/sq mi
    NYC: 27,243.06/sq mi
    Paris: 54,900 /sq mi

  74. bryan says:

    this is what angers me the most. you have MLS threatening DC United about moving them and now these suits want to give $300M to a team that doesn’t even exist?! DCU has brought so much to MLS, it’s a complete slap in the face.

    absolutely ridiculous and goes to show they don’t care about anything else right now other than getting NY another team.

  75. bryan says:

    the only issue now is $. not land.

  76. dan says:

    25K for a stadium is WAY too small and anyone but the Cosmos would be a huge letdown for pretty much everyone in the league

  77. bryan says:

    as a DC fan, this really makes me mad.

  78. DJ777 says:

    You are obviously underestimating the value of having big tv markets within the league. Its not about how much espn paid for the current deal, but what it will become after 2014 when the deal is over with.
    NBC & ESPN want to cater to the casual fan and the more games they broadcast with teams named NY or LA or CHI or Seattle or Houston, the better ratings they get.
    This is why the MLS wants another team in NY. The gate & the fan commute is not a big issue to the league.

  79. Hoss says:

    $300 million is alot of cash that can re-invested in the league as a whole or to help existing teams. It seems to me that they could get a site much cheaper in another potential market like Orlando or San Antonoio.

  80. The Imperative Voice says:

    I think listing cities you believe DO support 2 teams begs the question of whether NY WILL support that many. It’s an argument — and a pretty bare one since square miles have nothing to do with soccer fandom — disguised as a factual comparison.

    Shanghai is one of the most massive cities in the world and it has 2 teams with combined Chinese Super League 2011 attendance of 20K. Sheer size creates a potential but not necessarily actualized market.

    Who are you counting as Paris 2, I’m only aware of PSG.

    And one thing no one seems to be considering is how the heck a $300 million stadium gets paid off. Red Bull is a special but already expensive (albeit cheaper) case because they throw around money insanely as something like free advertising for the brand. Want to spend tens of millions to buy F1 titles to advertise energy drinks? Have at it. Ditto soccer. But what if someone wants to make a profit and not just have one big set of billboards they’ve paid to use ad infinitum?

    I mean, take Red Bull ticket prices and then factor in this would be 50% more expensive a playpen and need to be paid for on a more profit-minded, rather than advertising budget, basis. How expensive would the seats be, and isn’t this flipside of NYC real estate, the carrying cost, the reason most NY sports teams flee cross-river?

    So, let’s say people go to Hofstra for $10 a pop, will they go to the big league park for $50? At some point aren’t you charging enough where you re-create the “I am a Europhile who could pay this to watch Chelsea or Brazil in the Meadowlands, and what I will get is MLS” snobbery issue, anyway?

    At minimum, I think MLS should tell Cosmos, fill Shuart (Hostra) for 2 years without fail as a minor league team, and then I’ll take you seriously and we’ll finance a NY MLS stadium, and give an expansion side. That’s close to what Montreal used to do in the pre-expanded Saputo. You could even tell the fans this is the “bet.” You want MLS soccer, earn it. That would cover everyone’s interests and risks, and not make this such an “if you build it, he will come” exercise in faith.

    The scene is actually set for such a “test,” MLS would just have to hand it to the student.

  81. CG says:

    That’s a shortsighted view. Today you may (or may not be) right. In the long run, it’s not valid.

    I don’t like it anymore than it seems you do, but the league is making business decisions, not passion decisions.

  82. CG says:

    Sorry. I should have read this before posting. CG

  83. Charles says:

    Yeah that and $100 million entry fee.
    It is good for MLS, so I am not against it, just hope that the big money doesn’t distract MLS’ focus from the huge growth elsewhere.

  84. Charles says:

    Not sure if you are being sarcastic or not.

    Relevant post either way, as the Sounders play the Whitecaps for the 127th time in front of 60k + this week.

    Hopefully it is not relevant, while making you look like a fool.

  85. slowleftarm says:

    What a waste. Other than a few fanboys who spend their time coming up with excuses not to come to RBA, there is not much of a market for this team.

  86. Matt says:

    It’s a 25 minute ride on the PATH from WTC or 33rd St. to Harrison. Yes, if you live out in the far reaches of Queens or Brooklyn it’s a bit of a haul to get to RBA, but people make it sound like it’s impossible. I drive to/from every home game from an hour and a half away, so I have no sympathy with people who need to have a team in their own back yard.

  87. bigprof says:

    garber isnt going to kill off 1st NY team (red bulls). friend of friend w/inside knowledge says the Don has committed to RB a “level 1 DP signing” when 2nd NY team enters the fray. This can only be interpreted as Neymar or something like that…which is the fair thing to do given that RB spent 250mil

  88. drew11 says:

    Or maybe NY2 will not be the current Cosmos group. Wouldn’t that be hilarious.

  89. evan says:

    25,000 is too small! Sounders get 40,000 per game…

  90. slowleftarm says:

    Yeah but people there are actually interested in attending MLS matches.

  91. Tyler says:

    More like Kaka.

  92. slowleftarm says:

    Neymar? I’ll believe that when I see it.

  93. BSU SC says:

    I definitely don’t think the league will kill off RBNY. They want 2 NY area teams more than anyone. I actually think this could be beneficial to both clubs (those comparing it to Chivas/Galaxy have no clue what they’re talking about).

    As for the DP talk, while I don’t see Neymar coming anywhere close to MLS within the next decade, I could absolutely see Kaka being that big DP target for RBNY.

  94. The Imperative Voice says:

    All due respect but I’m pointing out the OBJECTIVE, modest value of a present day national (much less cheaper local) TV deal for MLS, and the response is to call me shortsighted with faith based SUBJECTIVE theories on what a future TV deal might be worth. Throwing $300 million around on subjective guesses strikes me as passion overwhelming proof.

    And then the other factor no one seems to want to address is that if you go big money on a NY stadium the revenues have to go up by a multiplier from everyone else just to keep pace with the added cost/ mortgage, much less turn a profit. Two or three times the stadium cost means two or three times the cash issue.

  95. andy says:

    There is absolutely nothing to be jealous of when in comes to soccer in NYC since the days of Pele. People are mad that MLS decides who gets a new stadium and who doesn’t based on the size of the market, and not the investment of time and money that so many other communities have made.

    I thought when MLS sold part of SUM they realized they had to take the academy system to the next level in order to match the best leagues in the world. It turns out they just want to hand a team to NYC and have a stadium to play all the glamour friendlies involving USA and Mexico in downtown NYC and collect an expensive franchise fee, all while not having to add any additional revenue from club and national team friendlies in a prime location into the salary cap.

    As someone who has made a 3 hour roundtrip to support the Crew several times a year, my reaction is not one of jealousy. I just happen to loathe people who get things handed to them instead of earning what they get. In this pathetically short sited cash grab, NYC is getting handed a franchise for doing NOTHING in decades. Cry me a river about the long commute and lack of a player to “excite” the local market. You know what really excites true soccer fans in the USA? A team to support. NYC already has one. There is no group of fans I respect more than an original MLS NYC fan that has paid for the honor of watching crap soccer for close to two decades.

    Now I’m starting to realize I was sold a lemon when I started to spend money on MLS. I was told about a commitment to parity and how we needed to model our league after the NFL, and I bought into it. 300 million would be better spent on trying to develop a youth system to produce the next generation of USA talent, than on trying to impress a bunch of too cool for MLS New Yorkers. I don’t want MLS to turn into a rigged league like almost every other soccer league in the world, but we’re heading in that direction.

  96. georkt says:

    And the answer is: RBA is smack dab in the middle of the most passionate futbol area in the nation. The Ironbound section of Newark is a stones throw and Kearny and Harrison are major futbol hot beds. It’s a Brazilian, Portuguese and South American hot spot so of course you have an Austrian owner with, let’s see, ZERO Brazilian, Portuguese or South American DPs. I suggest you google the Ironbound section of Newark, which most casual fans don’t take advantage of.

  97. bcoug says:

    What about the Sounders’ support would indicate to you that they aren’t there for the match – the cheering throughout, the early arrival and late departure, the traveling to road matches, the strong supporter community, etc. ?

  98. KC Gunner says:

    I’m sure some of this is re-hash, but here are my main objections.
    1. If RBA is such a PITA to get to, why the F did MLS let them build it in Harrison in the first place?! They should’ve located RBNY in Flushing or Newark, or Pier 40 or whatever.
    2. It’s absolutley relevant to point out that NY isn’t supporting RBNY. Why should NY get a 2nd team when they can’t fill even HALF (!) of RBA consistently? If the location is the problem, move RBNY and explain to NJ taxpayers why they subsidized a giant white elephant.
    3. This is made a literal outrage by the league’s refusal to support DC United’s stadium efforts. To have your flagship franchise (most MLS Cups, I’m a SKC fan, so not a homer) playing in a stadium that 3rd world national teams would refuse to play in is a disgrace. Pi$$ing around $300M on a NY2 fantasy playground while DCU languish is indefensible.
    4. There are several better bets for attendance and developing rivalries in the league. Off the top of my head, St. Louis, Minneapolis, the Carolinas (Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham/Cary, or Charleston), and Orlando all make infinitely more sense for growing the game nationwide, expanding the league’s footprint, and/or fostering regional rivalries.
    5. Taken with the mid-season rule change to disadvantage a solid defensive team (coincidentally SKC!), the league’s continued obsession with NY2 is a persistent slap in the face of “flyover country” clubs that MLS shows no interest in protecting through equitable salary & competition rules, putting on TV, or helping by developing regional rivalries. Sporting KC’s nearest “rival” in the East is Chicago (8.5 hour drive away). Minneapolis might not be a huge improvement, but it’s a city KC is used to having a rivalry with and is a bit closer. St. Louis would be a dream. Instead of over-filling the NE I-95 corridor, I’d like to see some real diversity from the league.
    Finally, shut up NY’ers. KC fans routinely drive multiple hours from surrounding smaller cities (Omaha, Tulsa, Wichita, Springfield MO). Boston fans in the city or north have to drive 1 hour plus to Gillette (don’t get me started on how badly the Krafts are screwing the Revs). If NY soccer fans were really so committed, they’d be making it happen for RBNY now, but they’re not. Thus, I strongly disagree with the push for NY2.

  99. jspech says:

    Wht is the Red Bull ttendance average this year? Anyone? How does it compare to the other 18 teams. Just tired of hearing tem isn’t doing well. Fact is those empty seats you see are sold ST. Try buying one.

    18k in an 18k arena looks great vs. 18k in 25k arena, which team is drawing the most?Hmm! Anyone?

  100. CG says:

    Look, don’t take this personally. I don’t disagree with your passion about fandom and the games themselves. As a season-ticket holder who drives 120 miles to games, that is essential to my experience or I wouldn’t do it.

    If you want to ignore the business side of the league, and write long-term planning and benchmarking off as faith-based, demonstrated stupidity, be my guest.

    I want a team in St. Louis, but they’ll be hard-pressed to ever get one, and it’s not because STL lacks passion, history, fans, etc., etc., etc.

  101. jspech says:

    why the hand wringing? I m a life long NYer in Brooklyn. Over the pass 3yrs I have seen RB ads in BK twice ( on buses, & a billborad @ atlantic Ave next to Barclays Center. Nothing this years. Does that help u understand why RB draw less from the city. Why do you think they keep firing the business Pres? Don’t know why they advertise in Jersey, they don’t do spit in NYC

  102. Indy FC says:

    BSU, sounds like you may be a Cardinal fan as well! I have no idea how many times I’ve commuted to Columbus and Chicago for games, hearing New Yorkers bitch about driving time is ridiculous. If you are a fan than get to the stadium, there are tons of us soccer fans out here that would do anything for a team closer to their home.

  103. Tim Douglas says:

    The MLS is putting another team in New York so the networks can show a New York team playing on TV as much as possible.
    The amount of people attending the games is secondary.
    The MLS doesnt care about that as much.
    American sports are about big market teams. Plain & simple

  104. Brian says:

    Learn how to read. He was taking a dig against the NJ/NY area, not Seattle.

  105. andy says:

    “NY2 fantasy playground” is the best description of this travesty that I’ve ever heard. Well said.

  106. jspech says:

    your emotions re clouding your judgement because I better your are quality individual. NYC isn’t being handed anything. It’s called an investment. Look at it this way

    MLS spents $300mil
    They get $100mil fee (francise) to begin with.

    Now it is unclear who will retain ownership of stadium, less say MLS does, think of Friendlies, International & National, exhibition, concerts & other events in an urdan re with 10+ mil people, in a tri-state.

    It that really a bad investment?

  107. jspech says:

    Maybe so, but if I am about to invest $100+mil base around customers where would you choose FLA , or ATL? neither supports currents, See marlins new park and all, or NYC. Come on seriously the last opportunity to bring team in the area.

    The people with the flo charts don’t agree with you

  108. BSU SC says:

    Go Cards!

    I %100 agree. I commute to Chicago and Columbus multiple times every year to catch Fire/Crew games. The 3 hour commute each way is never easy, but it’s always worth the trip to see a professional soccer game. However, New York is a different place. If it can’t be accessed easily, people aren’t going to spend their time getting there. Chicago is a perfect example of just how different New York is from any place else. Bridgview is 45 minutes from downtown (and that’s before the horrible traffic getting into and out of the stadium) but that doesn’t stop +15,000 people from attending each game.

    I’m not making excuses for the lack of support for the Red Bulls, but like it or not that’s just the way it is there.

  109. jspech says:

    Gladly you are not the Commish! Where is the business logic in your posted?

  110. Eso says:

    NY gets a 2nd team because of sponsorship dollars.

    Who knows, 5-10 years from now NY & LA might have 3 teams each. Just warning some of you in advance

  111. jspech says:

    They tried Newark, It was a choice between soccer or Independent minor league base stadium. The dumb mayor at the time (James) when for baseball which is drawing in the 3-digits .

    RBA should have been down the street from the Rock( NHL Devils)

    If these markets are viable where re all the $$ people screming to go in there? Happen red anything.

    NY Cosmos all the way. Blame RB problems on poor management. Get someone in there to connect with the areas population. RB will succeed

  112. Eso says:

    Phoenix, Miami or Metro-San Francisco Area will probably get a team before Orlando or San Antonio.

  113. bcoug says:

    Interesting – thanks for the reference.

  114. bcoug says:

    The fact is that it’s down from last year (about 10%) and on par with areas with much smaller population areas to pull from.

    Going to StubHub, there seem to be plenty of tickets available for all upcoming games in the $20 range, so not a tough ticket.

    You can’t solve a problem you won’t acknowledge.

  115. b says:

    Seattle invented misinterpreting other people’s comments as personal insults directed at them.

  116. b says:

    Not of a NY or LA team, I’m betting on Miami, San Diego, or Las Vegas.

  117. b says:

    No they can’t be called Chivas NYC because NYC is an actual world famous city. Maybe they should go even bigger than USA. I’ve got it, Chivas North America!

  118. inkedAG says:


    And accurate.

  119. b says:

    Well then good thing you have a billionaire Indonesian owner, isn’t it? NY2 doesn’t have that yet so the league has stepped in to provide that $.

  120. b says:

    Yes, and that’s a GOOD thing. Maybe some day Chivas USA will put “Los Angeles” in their name so Euro stars know it’s in NY/LA, and then MLS will be able to attract at least 12 major DPs. And the more they attract, the more players will be exposed to non-NY/LA markets like Seattle, Philly, Portland, Toronto, Houston, etc. and maybe some of them will be willing to play there. Then we can have 30 major DPs, whereas right now the only places European stars know are NY and LA. This is all a good thing. But as usual, people put a negative spin on EVERYTHING… trust the dudes who run MLS, they have done a fine job so far.

  121. b says:

    Hell maybe they will have 5 teams each.

    NYC: Harrison NJ, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx

    LA: LA live / Staples Center, Hollywood/Westwood, East LA, Inland Empire, Orange County

    Both areas could certainly support it.

  122. b says:

    SF should really be top of the list if they can get a downtown stadium going. Kezar?

  123. Old School says:

    IIRC, he isn’t allowed to by contract.

    Does anyone remember the fine print reported regarding this?

  124. Allan from Pittsburgh says:

    Great post!! Maybe someone should tell the Red Bulls of this “hidden” gem.

  125. Chris says:

    I’m sure the Borough Boys are $h!tting themselves right about now.

  126. Michael M says:

    Big stars want to play in big markets. To raise the level of attention the MLS receives in this country and to eventually attract the “Euro snobs”, MLS will need more major DP signings. NY teams are much more attractive for international stars.

  127. Matt says:

    The $300m isn’t charity from MLS. They’re just fronting the money for the rumored investment group(s) that will be announced later. It will likely all be paid back to MLS, plus interest, pretty quickly.

    I don’t think the league is planning to be in the stadium business longer-term than they need to, but I could be wrong.

  128. Matt says:

    An MLS team (in a brand-new SSS no less) – Quelle horreur!

  129. Carnifex2005 says:

    Montreal has an average attendance of 24k and a median attendance of 18k. They’re doing just fine.

  130. georkt says:

    You’re welcome.

  131. georkt says:

    Yes, since all one has to do is look out the office windows of Red Bull Arena. This is no secret, it’s just puzzling. We have great supporter’s clubs who march to every match over the Jackson Street Bridge, who sing and dance for 90 minutes and make it a blast to attend every game.

  132. Tom says:

    Also, there is very little parking at Red Bull Arena, making it hard to get there by car, And for a lot of people in the outer boroughs of the city, 90+ minutes each way in a crowded subway is not that appealing.

  133. mcbarbee says:

    I’m a Jersey girl transplanted to Houston, TX about 20 years ago. I am an adamant supporter of the Houston Dynamo now. Growing up in NJ, I got so sick of everyone moving into Jersey and then calling themselves a NY entity! Even the Statue of Liberty is technically in NJ!Maybe if they called themself the NJ Red Bulls, they’d have more NJ supporters.

  134. Ulf Sandstrom says:

    Southeast USA need an MLS team (Atlanta, Miami, Orlando or Tampa)Rowdies (Tampa) can use Ray James Stadium, cover the top seats so 30,000 can view. USA played Antigua/Barbuda there, (WCQ) in heavy rain and drew 20,000 I believe. Tampa has the soccer history (Rowdies in the 70’s and Mutiny (Valderama)Time to expand the league to 20 and then maybe 24. Then a second New York team could be the alternative (New York Cosmos, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Orlando City, Atlanta and Miami.

  135. Tim says:

    So tired of hearing the PATH train is terrible and its such a long ride. It is 20 minutes from downtown NYC and 35 minutes from Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan. The PATH service is just as reliable as the subway. The simple fact is that NYers are too stuck up to go into NJ for a game. A second team will pay 300 million just for the land and the stadium will be sht. It wont be as nice as Red Bull Arena and you will complain about that too. Shut up and go support the team. It takes me over an hour to drive to Red Bull Arena, but it doesn’t stop me from going.

  136. says:

    I absolutedly agree with you. The Red Bull are not a New York City team. And let me expand on this point: This is the malady, not only in New York, but all around the US. The day when a soccer team from a city like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc identifies with these cities We Will Have US Soccer of great caliber. To me to pay players like Beckan, millions of dollars to come to the States to play is preposterous and useless, a total waste of money that could have been used in fomenting a solid increase in youth players. The major clubs and Whoever are in charge of the MLS should look into the matter i stated above.

  137. Bill says:

    have you been in a coma for 5 years?

  138. Fred says:

    Wrong, the Red Bulls are the deepest club in US history

  139. Bernie says:


  140. Frick says:

    San Diego would be a great destination for Latin American players.

    With their new stadium, San Jose will also become very attractive. Rebranding to San Francisco would help even more.

  141. Poker H says:

    New York, then Florida.