SBD/Issue 52/Franchises

Saputo Still Interested In MLS, But Says Expansion Fee Too Steep

USL club Montreal Impact Owner Joey Saputo "remains keen on joining" MLS, but he "won't risk the team's future or the continued growth of soccer in the city and across the province to do it," according to Randy Phillips of the Montreal GAZETTE. Saputo: "In soccer, like any other sport, we have to make sure our next acquisition will not be our last acquisition because it was a bad acquisition. We strongly believe that a [US$40M] franchise fee alone would seriously mortgage the future of soccer and our team." Saputo said of the city's MLS bid being dropped last week, "We were told that MLS is out of the picture for 2011, but we remain open to any possible expansion in the future. Why our bid was taken out, I really don't have any idea. I also have no idea why we were never called to meet with league officials in New York, to go into the specifics of our bid" (Montreal GAZETTE, 11/25).

GAME TIME: The Women's Professional Soccer St. Louis Athletica unveiled their name and logo Tuesday at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. The Athletica crest resembles a medieval coat of arms inspired by St. Joan of Arc and features the silhouette of a woman atop her horse, hoisting an "STL" flag overhead. Below the crest, a SAINT LOUIS ATHLETICA banner is flanked by two fleurs-de-lis, a tribute to St. Louis as an 18th Century French settlement. St. Louis Athletica will play begin play in April '09, and will play home games at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville's Univ.'s Korte Stadium (Athletica).

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