MLS Franchise Notes: Sounders Hope New Owners Help Revenue
The Sounders last week announced a new high-profile ownership group, and Owner Adrian Hanauer said they are "replacing a big-money guy with 11 big-money people, so that isn't an issue." Hanauer: "We want to go out and use this group to generate revenue and provide the resources to challenge for championships every year." In Seattle, Matt Calkins writes one of the club's priorities is to "find a new practice facility on par with the top teams in the league." Hanauer said that he wants to "upgrade the training facility," and that the team has been "involved in a feasibility study over the past few months" (SEATTLE TIMES, 8/20).
UNITED FRONT: PRO SOCCER USA's Caitlin Murray noted the Timbers issued an open letter to fans yesterday "denouncing fascism and defending the club's enforcement" of MLS' new "ban on political displays." In recent weeks, fans within the Timbers Army supporters group have "decried the Timbers' ban on displays with the Iron Front logo." Fans say the logo is an "anti-fascist symbol but the Timbers say it has been associated with the 'antifa' movement, which has sometimes included violent protests." This led some fans to suggest that the Timbers "support fascism, which the club strongly denied" (PROSOCCERUSA.com, 8/19).
DON'T ASK FOR ORANGE: In Houston, Brian Smith wonders why the Dynamo "continue to be an afterthought in America's fourth-largest city." As MLS has grown, the Dynamo have "been on the outside looking in." Dynamo President John Walker said, "We need to make the Dynamo cool in our market." He added the team has "been in between 15th and 20th in the league" in terms of average attendance. Walker: "We should be in the top 10 every year, just the size of the market alone." When asked if a team rebrand could be in the works, Walker said, "Everything's on the table" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/20). Walker was recently featured in THE DAILY's "Day In The Life."