SBD/Throwing A Changeup/Franchises

MLS Chivas USA Committed To L.A. Despite Game In San Diego

Chivas USA CEO Says Team Has Had Talks About Building New Stadium In L.A. Area
Chivas USA President & CEO Shawn Hunter last night said that the MLS club "will not be leaving" L.A., according to Grahame Jones of the L.A. TIMES. A friendly between Chivas USA and its Mexican counterpart, Chivas de Guadalajara, drew 23,216 fans at Petco Park last night. Before the game, Hunter said, "We're not coming down here. L.A.'s our home. We've said all along that when the right opportunity presents itself, we'd like to build our own stadium. We had a lot of great conversations going two years ago and then the economy crashed. We've kind of started those again, but all the conversations we're having are in L.A." When asked why Chivas USA scheduled the game in San Diego, Hunter said, "It's a great fan-development opportunity. There are a lot of Chivas fans down here. There are a lot of soccer fans. It was one of the top TV markets during the World Cup. For us it's an opportunity to do something we want to try to do on an annual basis." He added, "I have strong friendships with the ownership of the Padres, and we've been kicking this around for a year and a half" (L.A. TIMES, 9/15). Hunter also said, "We want to be the team for all of Southern California." Addressing the possibility of leaving The Home Depot Center, he said his club has "always engaged in conversations with different communities" and noted "three or four" such conversations are ongoing. Hunter: "It's a decision you typically make once in the life cycle of a franchise, so you want to get it right." In California, Scott French notes Chivas USA's identity is "tied to Guadalajara's," and the MLS club has "struggled to escape big Chivas' shadow." The "vast majority of fans at Petco, as at last year's meeting at the Rose Bowl, favored" the Mexican team (SAN BERNARDINO SUN, 9/15).
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Chivas USA, Franchises

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