Regarding Michael Wilt’s bid in Austin:
“They’re looking at the idea,” Hartman said. “I don’t think that’s any different from numerous cities around the country. The difference is…we have a stadium that’s expandable, we have community support, we have a team, we have a mayor who is very much engaged in this. I think that puts us light years ahead of wherever they are.”
Link to Source
Garber on Austin (when asked if better market than San Antonio):
“You know its premature for both markets. I said in a meeting that I had this past weekend, expanding in Texas is something that’s likely to happen. If that happens, when that happens is still to be seen. We have been spending time, as our league will continue to do, to look at markets that have the right fan demographics, that have the right soccer interest, that have the right potential ownership groups, that have the right stadium plan. We will look at any market that has those, that formula cause that’s the formula that drives success in professional sports, not just in our league, but in any league. I’ll be at SXSW speaking at a panel next week. I look forward to spending some time down there. Pretty cool place. I won’t be wearing a pin stripe suit but we’ll be talking about soccer….Mayor Michael Wilt has got some plans for a downtown stadium. That’s interesting to us. Clearly can’t do this right without having the right stadium plan. Mayor Cole has shown interest there to try and see whether an MLS team make sense. We will continue to track it. San Antonio, I have been down there recently. Mayor Castro is one the great politicians of our country. demographics of his city can embrace our sport in ways that would be special. If you just look at what the Scorpions have been able to do its an incredibly impressive organization, a fantastic ownership group. I just saw that Eva Longoria promoted some sign-in with her 8 million or 7 million twitter followers that would get behind MLS in San Antonio I think they had about 8000 or so people … for a recent exhibition match … against FC Dallas … last weekend. So I think there are good things happening there but we’ll see.
Garber on Crew (when asked about Cleveland):
I’ve said a lot that we need more teams in the midwest. Many years ago we had discussions about a possible team there [Cleveland], there haven’t been any discussions of late. What I would say to folks that are living in Cincinnati, the folks living in Dayton, the folks living in Cleveland, support the Crew. Great new owner in Anthony Precourt, a fabulous dynamic that exists in that market. I would describe it as a rebirth, a newfound level of interest. Gregg Berhalter is a super cool guy who’s got a lot of experience. We think he’s going to represent this great new coaching dynamic… so if you’re living in Ohio support the Crew, great legacy MLS team.
@MLS Better expansion market Austin Texas with our growing, innovative city or San Antonio? #AskGarber
Link to Tweet re Austin vs San Antonio
Will there ever be MLS in Cleveland? #AskGarber
Link to Tweet re Cleveland
From meeting minutes:
22. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to work with appropriate stakeholders to research the feasibility of a Major League Soccer franchise locating in Austin. (Notes: SPONSOR: Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole CO 1: Mayor Lee Leffingwell CO 2: Council Member William Spelman) Resolution No. 20140306-022 was approved on consent on Council Member Spelman’s motion, Council Member Morrison’s second on a 6-0 vote. Mayor Leffingwell was absent.
Item number 22, jane morgan? James morgan. >> Good morning, everybody. I’m here to discuss about austin possibly taking the bid for mls. Mls is probably one of the most intariking sports in america at the moment for one specific reason. It’s growing. And it’s growing rapidly. It creates a specific environment where the great cities can actually embrace their creativities, become part of the activity and embrace a sport culture that is progressive and moving. I think the city of austin would a perfect city for this growth. If you look at our demographics, we have two key factors that have — two key factors that really help succeed for any of the professional sports teams, like cities of portland and seattle we have a growing tech culture and a more youthful culture, which is pushing for them to — pushing between 30,000 and 64,000 fans showing up for each game. We actually have the same demographics of that, but we also have a large hispanic based backgrounds that pushes teams like dallas and in houston to actually fill the stadium. But point of that, saying that we can fill a stadium and fill the fan base, is that we can have a chance to really build more strong leaderships within the east austin community. And that’s where I really see this as a real chance for our culture to do. We have in east and north austin we have a large hispanic population who need positive role models and soccer is one of the main key successes that we can really use to build proper leadership roles because unlike most other sports, the collegiate college players who actually become mls players generally come from schools such as duke, harvard, yale. They generally have zero criminal backgrounds or criminal accidents such as you see in the n.F.L. And other major sports. And they really have a chance to build these positive role models that you can proceed by going through education and pursuing sports and combining the two together to become a bright citizen. I see this a possibility and a chance really for austin to help mobilize our disadvantaged youth and hopefully bring a professional sports team to austin, texas. >> Cole: Thank you. I appreciate your comments. We also have signed up clayton matthews, michael wilkes and brandon balladin, not desiring to speak, but registered in favor of the item. Council, that concludes our consent agenda.
Link to Original Source
City Council Minutes (PDF) – see item 22
City Council Meeting Transcript (PDF) – search for “soccer”
Link to an original source about the TV deal
The Time Warner deal is derided. One recent source commented:
The worst. TV. deal. ever. results in, like, 14 people being able to watch games for the next two years. Was Precourt trying to snuff out the red-hot passion of the Nordecke faithful? Let’s just say he wasn’t not doing that.
Another source said:
The team (or the league… or its broadcast partner(s)… it’s not exactly clear who’s responsible) has instituted a 75 mile radius to black out all Crew games on MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick. Home and, inexplicably, away. How blacking out a road game makes any sense whatsoever is some kind of Neil deGrasse Tyson stuff. This means that if you live within 75 miles of Crew Stadium you can only watch games on TWC, every other option will be blacked out.
Yet another source says:
So if you’re a Crew fan who is hoping to watch your team locally on television, you are firmly SOL if you aren’t a Time Warner subscriber. By signing with Time Warner Cable and instituting this harsh blackout policy, the Columbus Crew effectively cut off a huge portion of their local fanbase from watching the team play. What’s more, there is only one Crew game on the national television schedule this season. To make it all the more unnerving, FC Dallas, another Time Warner team, does not black out their games on MLS Live. Why does Columbus have a blackout policy but Dallas does not? It’s a serious question that incredibly at this time nobody seems to have a decent answer to.