7.03.2007

MLS Team for Phoenix?

Leaders of a group called PHX Soccer Development are hoping to convince MLS executives to bring a professional team to Arizona in the next few years, citing the area’s large Hispanic demographic and the popularity of recent soccer events held there. MLS President Mark Abbott will visit the region on July 11 to hear the group’s pitch for an expansion franchise.

Over one-million Hispanic people live in Maricopa County alone, according to the 2005 census. Earlier this year, more than 60,000 people attended the USA-Mexico friendly held at University of Phoenix Stadium, a game won by the United States in front of a mostly pro-Mexican crowd.

5 comments:

Laurie said...

Because hell yeah. Wouldn't that be a fun place to play in July and August.

Anonymous said...

Haha, Fox Soccer Report was also saying there is already like 6 or 7 other major teams in Arizona, so it would have a hard time competing.

Course I guarentee it would draw a huge mexican crowd. Look at any game in Texas, or LA. Always huge amounts of mexican supports.

Nelson said...

Hey, its Laurie! I read your Galaxy blog. I agree, that weather sucks. They would definitely need a closed roof stadium, and those aren't cheap.

Anonymous said...

University of Phoenix Stadium? USA vs Mexico took place there..

Peter C said...

I for one, would love to have MLS come to Phoenix. There is a large soccer community in the Valley. Indeed 63,000 turned out for the US/Mexico friendly. A couple of MLS preseason exhibitions drew around 4500 this spring, about normal for MLS preseason in any venue. But the fans are pretty discerning as well. Evidence the disaster of the Copa PanAmericana. A poorly planned event which, while it offered up some big name Latin clubs, was nearly unpublicized, overpriced, and featured teams in preseason fielding 2nd and 3rd string players. In fact there is a growing grass roots organization, the MLS Phoenix Rising Supporters Group that signed up over 150 new members at the Copa event, bringing the total membership to over a 1,000 valley fans working to bring attention to the desire for MLS to come to Phoenix.
The Valley would definitely need a domed stadium, either with a retractable roof or, as in U of Phoenix Stadium, a removeable field(gotta have natural grass). Estimates are that Dick's Sporting Goods Park cost around $131m, including youth soccer fields (24 fully-lit professional fields, retail development, and a new Commerce City civic center, you have to think the cost would be around $150m. And there's the rub. It would be nice if the Colangelo family or Arte Moreno, owner of the MLB LA Angels, who train in Phoenix and owns some land in the area, would step up and fund the project. We can always dream.