MLS Notes: St. Louis Bid Group The Difference In Landing Team
In St. Louis, Ben Frederickson notes the city's "effort to secure an MLS expansion team has experienced ups and downs for years," but none of the previous attempts were "better prepared to finally pull it off than this ownership group." The bid group, led by Enterprise Holdings Foundation President Carolyn Kindle Betz, "presented a plan that offered a primarily privately funded stadium in the downtown setting MLS desires, a locally-sourced ownership group with deep pockets and a refreshing, progressive approach that offered the league its first female majority owned team." The St. Louis business community "wowed" MLS Commissioner Don Garber during his visit to the city, "calming any uncertainty he had about sponsorship with a show of force" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/16).
ON A NEW WAVE: THE ATHLETIC's Matt Pentz noted there is "a lot of Microsoft money" among the 11 new families joining the Sounders ownership group. Half of the trophies the Sounders have won came while the team was "still partnered with the Seahawks' business operations, and sailing over that safety net the NFL franchise provided." Running a "responsible and sustainable franchise has been a trickier endeavor" since the two teams split in March '14. The "expense side of the ledger got a whole lot heftier." Multiple Sounders staffers referred to the split as "like going from working for a team that felt like NFL-lite to MLS-plus" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/14).
STANDING TOGETHER: In Portland, Jamie Goldberg noted the MLSPA is "asking the league to overturn a policy that prevents fans from bringing political signs and banners to games." Among the "specific signage that is barred by the policy are displays that include the 'Iron Front' symbol, an emblem with three arrows pointing downward which was first used by an anti-Nazi paramilitary organization in Germany" in the 1930s. MLS has "faced backlash from some fans for its decision to ban the symbol" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/14).