Red Bulls GM De Bontin Opposes New MLS Team, Arena In N.Y. Area
MLS Red Bulls GM Jerome de Bontin is “not a big fan" of one of MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s "favorite projects: a new stadium in Flushing, Queens" for the 20th team in the league, according to Jack Bell of the N.Y. TIMES. De Bontin said, “I don’t mean to be controversial, because I’ve just arrived. I know MLS well. I’ve been supportive but critical of MLS. At times it fails to learn from its mistakes and is maybe misguide. Competition is good. Over time. A second team in New York would be a good thing, but today it’s probably premature. I wonder if market is mature.” Bell wrote the “sound of those jaws dropping came from league HQ on Fifth Avenue.” When Red Bull “gained control of the MetroStars, MLS wrested from it the territorial rights that would have precluded a second team from within a specific radius, believed to be 75 miles.” de Bontin said, “For example, in L.A. clearly a second team didn’t work out. Rather than supporting the idea of a second team in New York tomorrow, I would question whether if the league would be better served looking at Florida, Atlanta, Minnesota. Many parts of the country have no team and we might find surprises like in Pacific Northwest rather than forcing something too soon” (NYTIMES.com, 11/17).