Our View - Time to Throw in Towel on Elk Grove's Pro Soccer Dream

December 3, 2014 | In their increasingly fickle, some might say flaky, behavior, the Major League Soccer (MLS) once again deferred its ...

December 3, 2014 |

In their increasingly fickle, some might say flaky, behavior, the Major League Soccer (MLS) once again deferred its decision on what city's would be granted an expansion franchise.

At an owners meeting yesterday, MLS Commissioner Don Gerber said the league will not make its decision on where it would expand until mid-2015. The league had indicated earlier that a decision would be made as early as this Saturday.

For those following MLS's decision making process, this is not the first time they have yo-yo'ed on when it will announce which city will be awarded a franchise. Why the delay - is this wavering indicative of some operational or hidden financial problem with the league?

[On a side note, although I am not a professional soccer fan, I have watched portions of several televised MLS games this fall with an eye on how many seat were filled. In my unscientific observation, every game revealed lots of empty seats. Granted, these observations were made when MLS was competing against NFL and NCAA football games. Nonetheless, unless there is some seismic changes in Americans' sports viewing habits, it seems unlikely MLS will overtake the NFL or NCAA football anytime in the near future.]
Elk Grove has allowed itself to be  held hostage by MLS 
Commissioner Don Garber while nearby city's are 
gaining a competitive forging ahead in edge in the race 
for tournament and tax dollars. 

Closer to home, even though the MLS has not specifically mentioned Elk Grove in its announcements, city leadership insists that the city is still in the hunt. In a story posted on Fox 40's website, a city spokesperson expressed confidence the investment group hoping to locate the franchise in elk grove it will be awarded the franchise.

So if Elk Grove is still in the hunt as city leaders insist, does this mean the other proposal for competitive fields is frozen until MLS renders its decision? Building a stadium and building competitive athletic fields are two entirely different endeavors.

So our Mayor and city council members need to take a hard look at its pursuit of the MLS. Do we really have any chance of getting the soccer stadium? Furthermore, is it something that a majority of taxpayers would support given the money problems of other MLS teams?

Given that Roseville-Rocklin-Lincoln have announced their plans for competitive soccer fields to help attract tournaments and all the tax dollars that come with it -  does this sound familiar - Elk Grove's hopes of capturing this lucrative trade will be severely diminished, if not forever lost to the South Placer County cities as we allow ourselves to be held hostage by Don Gerber and the money-losing MLS.  

We urge Council Member Pat Hume to resurrect his plan presented last June (see video below) to kill Mayor Gary Davis' pro soccer scheme, Council Member Steve Detrick to change his vote and for Council Member-elect Steve Ly to immediately exert his independence from Davis' mentor-ship lest he be forever beholden to his influence and kill his own political future and identity. 

The time has come to put this delusional and taxpayer-dangerous plan to rest. 

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Anonymous said...

This is one of those very rare moments when I agree with EGN. This project was, is, and always will be folly and it's detracting from other priorities. Guys, drive a stake in this bloodsucker's heart.

Bend it like Beckham said...

It is unlikely the mayor is going to let go of this dream of his. As long as he can perpetuate these pipe dreams, he will be able to fool a sufficient number of voters that he is actually doing something. I hope Hume can accomplished what he set out to do in June.

Steve L said...

So the city wants the citizens to fund a $100 million stadium to be paid for by revenue bonds with no chance in hell that we'll ever get a team to play there. But, for sake of the argument, let's say that we're a front runner for a franchise.

The way the project is set up, we pay for the stadium, players and admin salaries, yet we get little if any of the parking, concession proceeds, nor a share of the licensed clothing and misc. profits. - Sounds good, right?

Now, the AP reports (click the link in the 1st paragraph of this article)the league lost $100 million last year and is in dire financial trouble.

Sounds like a business that we need to sink our dwindling tax reserves into, right?

So much wasted money and time by this city's leaders. Build for the kids, not MLS or Olympic swimming and diving. Make EG better for those who actually live here. - What a concept.

Anonymous said...

It was never about the MLS. It was a way for the CC to get a foothold in the SOI area. Now that the CC is full of developers puppets the can turn around and say the City cannot afford to build the soccer fields, so they will sale it off to the developer's who pay for their election.

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