Although these cities' expansion plans are still premature, each location has a high chance at gaining a team, whether it be expansion or adoption, in the future.
Yeah, that’s right. The Sin City might be a tremendous opportunity for the MLS in the future.
First off let me start by saying that Las Vegas is the only team on this list that does not feature a professional sports team in either the MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL. That being said, an MLS team would have a greater chance to bond and blend with the community than a third team in LA or a second in NY.
Other than hitting up the casinos, entertainment options in Vegas are fairly limited, making it so that an MLS team could really make some cash if they were to place the stadium in a prime location. And by looking to your left, it seems as though Texas Developer Chris Milam really has some bright ideas on the infrastructure.
A trend that we have seen in the last couple years in the MLS is: New Stadiums = More Fans. And I am willing to bet that if this said stadium is built by 2014, Las Vegas could be a very attractive option for Don Garber and company.
Possibly the best part about the whole expansion would be the fact that home game attendance would have less of a chance to fluctuate than other clubs’. With Sin City being a top tourist attraction in the United States, there would constantly be a part of the population that had not yet been to a game.
Add these “one-timers” on top of the consistent fans, and the team has a great chance to be well supported. Although I doubt the Vegas population would have the capabilities of supporting an MLB team for 81 games or NBA team for half that, selling 20,000+ tickets 17 times a year might not be all too difficult when you consider all the factors.
An expansion to Vegas would also spawn a Mountain West rivalry with RSL. All of a sudden, a move to the desert doesn’t seem all too sinful.
I have always been a big fan of Minnesota in the MLS and here is why. First, the fan support in Minnesota (for any sport) replicates that of what we see in the Pacific Northwest. No matter how good or bad the professional teams are performing, the seats always seemed to be filled up at Target Field, the Metrodome, and the Xcel Center.
For example, the Twins this season have a 99.1% capacity rate despite the team playing under .500 since Opening Day.
The Minnesota Wild have reached the playoffs merely three times in the organization’s history, yet nearly every home game ends up sold out at the end of the season. In other words, if you build it, they will come.
The second reason why Minnesota seems like a logical option is because the Wilf family (Owner of Minnesota Vikings) continue to express interest in moving their NFL team to Los Angeles, presenting an enormous economic opportunity for the city’s NASL team, NSC Minnesota Stars.
However, if the Vikings don’t depart Minneapolis, Zygi Wilf has confirmed he would be interested in bringing MLS soccer to Minnesota.
Thirdly, a Minnesota team would provide a powerful rivalry opportunity in the Midwest, something that the middle of America desperately lacks compared to the Left and Right coasts.
Finally, with MLS being in the summer, it would never be too cold up there, eh?
The San Antonio Scorpions will be joining the NASL in 2012, providing hope that someday there will be another big team in big Texas. The owners of the Scorpions (also the Spurs owners) are looking to take a slower approach to the MLS and prove that they have consistent fan support over a few years, instead of applying blind.
This of course is a safer, but much more tedious strategy. The Scorpions may draw big crowds for their 2012 season, but the real trick will be keeping attendance up once the commencement craziness has died down.