MLS Surveys Fans In Baltimore To Consider City For Expansion Or Relocation Franchise
Soccer fans in the Baltimore area have "begun receiving an MLS-commissioned survey to gauge interest about a team playing there through expansion or relocation," according to Steven Goff of the WASHINGTON POST. The survey "alarmed supporters of D.C. United, which has failed to find a replacement for RFK Stadium in Washington and is entertaining proposals from Baltimore." Fans are asked, among other things, "how likely they would be to attend matches if a current or new team moved into a soccer-specific stadium in the Westport area of Baltimore." Officials from the state of Maryland, city of Baltimore and Maryland Stadium Authority "have approached United about moving into a proposed venue in Westport, which is near Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium." The plan is "still in the very early stages." United President & CEO Kevin Payne said, "This isn’t a game. This is serious. This isn’t a bluff. Part of it is trying to understand what that means for our business. From our point of view, it’s just due diligence. You have to understand your options. We’re trying to understand the depth of interest in Baltimore" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 11/1). In Baltimore, Scott Graham noted the MLS survey "asked respondents if they would prefer to see the D.C. United, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, New York Red Bulls or Philadelphia Union franchise move to Baltimore." The "nearly 20-question survey also sought to measure the demographics of soccer fans in Baltimore, asking questions about household income, education, ethnicity and age" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/1).