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Author Topic: Oklahoma City FC will be playing the New York Cosmos, not Tulsa.  (Read 18112 times)
Laramie
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« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2013, 07:33:46 pm »

Funk Jr.,/Sr. have not been successful with the Barons' AHL hockey team.  They are not as familiar with the Oklahoma City market; that's where Lund has the edge.  Granted though it is going to take time to develop some new rivalries with Texas (Cedar Park-Austin) & San Antonio and the likes. Thanks to the season-ticket base of the Thunder (10,000/OKC; 2,800/Tulsa;500/Lawton); they will probably continue on their string which will exceed 110 consecutive selllouts.  Partial season tickets (20-game packages) is what's leftover over for the Thunder.   Funks, if they knew sports marketing--could capitalize on the opportunities.

The big decision with the Barons is deciding not the play in the Chesapeake Energy Arena.  They chose the Cox Convention Center Arena which seats 13,909; they would be economically more viable playing in the crosstown 9,750-seat State Fair Arena with the crowds they are currently drawing.  Why(?), the arena has been upgraded and there is plenty of open space free paved parking without the congestion downtown when they are playing on a night in which the Thunder are in town.  Many fans do not like going to the Cox Arena and paying the same for parking as the Thunder fans--and the nights the Thunder are in town, it's a nightmare trying to find a place in downtown OKC to park.

NASL soccer will become the new kid on the block; Taft Stadium will open after 2014 with renovations which will see a reduction in capacity from 15,000 (no back seats) to 7,500 seats.  Lund, believe me will take full advantage of marketing soccer in OKC.  He will be targeting the city's 110,000 hispanics in 50% of his advertising blitz.  

2017 MAPS IV  will have some kind of stadium referendum on the ballot.  More than likely it will be in the neighborhood of 20,000-25,000-seats costing around $125 million and it will be the city's vision to meet MLS standards should they decide to pursue MLS soccer.

Funk, took over the Redhawks AAA PCL baseball team when he had the opportunity to spend $10 million bringing MLS to OKC.   The Funks were not successful marketing AAA baseball and eventually sold the team.  Now, they want to test the waters in soccer with plans to eventually step up the ladder from USL-Pro to MLS.  They currently have plans to build their own stadium witn an initial capacity of 7,000 with designs to expand to 20,000.  The Lund (Sold-Out-Strategies) group has plans to do the same; an initial stadium seating 9,000-14,000 with expansion plans to hit the 20,000-plus range.  The race is on here in Oklahoma City. Funk's group will be given a head start (2014); whereas, Lund and SOS will begin NASL operations in 2015.

History of what the Funks have done here with AAA baseball and AAA hockey does not look good for OKC in those sports.  You question whether it will materialize with USL-Pro soccer in 2014.  Who nows, maybe, just maybe the Funks may be learning from past experiences in operating baseball and hockey.  They could make a complete turnabout.

It's going to be interesting seeing what occurs in 2014/15.

Tulsa has the edge with the more established soccer faithfuls from the late 70s-80s of Roughnecks and the NPSL Athletics current base; the fact that there isn't an NBA team to consume the sports dollars available.  Tulsa has close to $40MM available.  T-town would have no trouble supporting NASL or MLS.  There is some behind-the-scenes push to quickly get Tulsa into the NASL.  The NASL is trying to penetrate all of the markets which they think the MLS would not pursue. Tulsa nor OKC is currently on the NASL immediate radar.  One of these cities could easily become competitive for future MLS expansion.   The old Drillers stadium could easily be used for NASL and eventually expanded to 20,000-plus once the city officials see the demand for soccer will be more than they can handle.     The sports dollars are there for any league to explore.  Changes are really good for the NASL which could lead to MLS.  NHL hockey would be wise to get into the Tulsa market where there would be a regional draw which would include Oklahoma City and Wichita.  The proximity of Tulsa would prove to be more successful for the NBA to be in Tulsa than Oklahoma City.  That's where the NHL could become more of a regional draw (OKC-Wichita-Arkansas).  Tulsa would also attract fans from Arkansas as well (Little Rock is 230-miles from Tulsa).

It is going to be interesting to see the direction professional sports take in Oklahoma.  Tulsa has seen what a penny sales-tax can do to revitalize the city (eg., BOK Center, ONEOK Park); should the city continue the momentum as Oklahoma City has done it won't be long before you see the Green Country develop into a sports oasis.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 07:37:47 pm by Laramie » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2013, 09:16:19 pm »

Laramie- you post too much crap.  7% of the total thunder attendance comes from the Tulsa area.  In case you can't do the math that is 18,200 x .07 = 1274.  Stop posting false misleading statistics.  Is it any wonder the Thunder have been hosting a pre season game in Whichita since their inception as well.  The conclusion is just as much support has come from Whichita

I have been a season ticket holder since 2008 and my rep says the support from Tulsa has been minimal. 

See the reference from the t-world.  There is a reason aaa hockey and baseball are in okc.  The same reason aaa soccer will be there soon.
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« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2013, 09:24:32 pm »

BOK Center sellout shows Tulsa fans are buying in to the Thunder
By BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer on Oct 18, 2012, at 2:07 AM  Updated on 10/18/12 at 5:16 AM



 
OKC's Kevin Durant defends Memphis' Rudy Gay (right) during the last NBA preseason game at the BOK Center on Oct. 12, 2010. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World file

Having been declared a sold-out event, Friday's Oklahoma City Thunder preseason game is expected to attract the largest crowd in the four-year history of the BOK Center.

For the Thunder game, the BOK Center's seating capacity is 18,233. The largest crowd for a BOK Center event was 17,931 for a February 2010 concert by George Strait.

"Thunder tickets are no longer available. They're gone," said Jeff Nickler, the BOK Center's assistant general manager. "It should be electric. It's a great event."

"It will definitely be the most-attended event in the history of the BOK Center," Nickler added. "That's a given."

Said Brian Byrnes, a Thunder senior vice president: "I knew we were tracking in the direction (of a sellout), but we're very pleased. We're humbled by the response of the fans in the Tulsa area. ... We put the tickets on sale in May - during the playoffs - and the tickets were 75 percent sold in June."

The defending NBA Western Conference champion Thunder faces the Phoenix Suns at 7 p.m. Friday.

For the fourth time since relocating from Seattle to Oklahoma City, the Thunder will play a preseason game at the BOK Center. Previous attendance totals were 9,549 in 2008, 10,427 in 2009 and 11,297 in 2010. Because of the NBA labor dispute that delayed the start of the 2011-12 season until late December, there was no preseason game in Tulsa last year.

"We obviously knew that the game would sell better this year because of the Thunder's success, but we had no idea that it would sell out," Nickler said. "The majority of the (tickets) were sold out within days of going on sale.

"Obviously, the Tulsa community is buying into the Thunder. They really are a statewide team now."

On Thursday, the Thunder conducts its annual Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage at the SpiritBank Event Center, located at 105th and Memorial in Bixby. The scrimmage begins at 6 p.m.

"We take it serious," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We have the fans involved, ball boys involved, everybody involved. We want to have a great time, but we take it serious."

Players like NBA Sixth Man of the Year James Harden (groin injury), Thabo Sefolosha (thigh injury) and Kendrick Perkins (sore wrist) may not play in the Thursday scrimmage or the Friday game, but All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are expected to play in both events.

"There won't be just an all-star game with a bunch of alley-oops and no defenders," Brooks said of the Blue-White exercise. "We have a mini-practice before the doors open with a group of (Tulsa-area high school) players watching. We'll usually play about two or three quarters (during the Blue-White scrimmage)."

The Thunder's previous Blue-White scrimmages were played in Oklahoma City suburbs Bethany, Yukon and Midwest City. The OKC organization's decision to bring the Blue-White event to the Tulsa area was based in part to the Green Country response to the Thunder's surge through the Western Conference playoffs and into the NBA Finals.

During the NBA playoffs, Tulsa-area ratings of Thunder telecasts and merchandise sales soared to unprecedented levels. At one point during Game 4 of the Thunder-Miami Heat NBA Finals, the telecast was watched in 190,270 Tulsa-area households.

For any given game on the Thunder schedule, Byrnes says, about 7 percent of the 18,203 fans in attendance have made the drive from the Tulsa area. The Thunder database indicates that 13 percent of all single-game tickets are purchased by Tulsa-area residents.

The Thunder owns the Tulsa 66ers NBA Development League team, which in 2012-13 will play home games at the SpiritBank Event Center.

For two reasons, Byrnes said, Thunder officials felt compelled to bring the Blue-White scrimmage to Bixby.

"First, it was the fact that the 66ers moved to Bixby (from the downtown Convention Center). It gave us an opportunity to reinvent the 66er identity and the 66er brand," Byrnes said. "Also, we saw how Tulsa really got behind the Thunder during the playoff run. Television ratings spiked. Merchandise spiked. Ticket numbers spiked. The appetite was really significant.

"We thought this was a perfect opportunity to take the (Blue-White scrimmage) to Bixby - to help drive 66er awareness and reward Tulsa for being so involved and so passionate in supporting the Thunder."

When the organization moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008, what did Thunder officials expect from the Tulsa area in regard to television ratings, merchandising and ticket sales?

"It's way beyond our expectation after four years," Byrnes said. "(In 2010), our preseason game in Tulsa was very well attended but not sold out. To see that Friday's event will be sold out - and that most of those tickets were sold months ago - is a real testament to how quickly the Tulsa community really embraced the Thunder.

"We're not that far removed from a little bit of a cultural divide between the two cities. The 'Oklahoma City' on the front of the jersey was a bit of a deterrent, but I think we're beyond that. I think the Thunder, with the way the team has performed and how our brand has evolved - I think people appreciate and respect that this is a team for the entire state. Tulsa is a very important part of our business."
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Laramie
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« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2013, 10:24:10 pm »

Tulsa could certainly support a 2nd NBA team in the state of Oklahoma.  The numbers are there and the BOK arena is much more equipped to handle the NBA or NHL than the shell structure we originally put up as a temporary home for the New Orleans-Oklahoma City Hornets.   The MAPS for Hoops' sales tax extension provided an additional $100 million to bring the current Chesapeake Energy Arena up to NBA standards.  It also built the team a practice facility which costs an additional $15 million.

Tulsa has all the demographics necessary to take the next step into the Big Leauges; be it the NBA, NHL or MLS?

I have always felt that Tulsa would be the first Oklahoma community to enter the big leagues; if OKC can experience successs in the NBA, Tulsa in my opinion would be just as viable.
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« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2013, 10:47:41 pm »

Laramie- you post too much crap.  7% of the total thunder attendance comes from the Tulsa area.  In case you can't do the math that is 18,200 x .07 = 1274.  Stop posting false misleading statistics.  Is it any wonder the Thunder have been hosting a pre season game in Whichita since their inception as well.  The conclusion is just as much support has come from Whichita

Okay... I personally believe Tulsa is too small a metro area to ever be able to successfully support an NBA or NHL team on a long term basis... but soccer is different here... we're a unique soccer market.

But first, before we go much further, you need to learn how to spell "Wichita"... people from that city might think that you know little to nothing about them if you misspell it like that... and Wichita has a much more distinguished soccer history (albeit indoors) than OKC has ever had...

Quote
I have been a season ticket holder since 2008 and my rep says the support from Tulsa has been minimal.

Typical OKC-centric pablum from your "rep."
Downtown Tulsa bars were filled with Thunder fans during the last two playoff runs... you might want to give former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor a little "thank you."
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3361374  

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See the reference from the t-world.  There is a reason aaa hockey and baseball are in okc.  The same reason aaa soccer will be there soon.

Triple-A hockey hasn't exactly been a rousing success under Funk Jr in OKC, now, has it?
Triple-A baseball makes more sense to me, since OKC has always had approximately 20% more population than Tulsa, but that may also be in jeopardy these days... Tulsa's double-A club is pretty stable but I guess that will happen when you get a new stadium built for you...

However, the ONLY REASON why OKC will get "aaa soccer" over Tulsa is because a multi-millionaire from Edmond and a multi-millionaire's son from OKC decided to take the plunge... strangely enough, both leagues (USLPro and NASL) can lay claim to "aaa soccer" for different reasons... the NASL team will play at a high school football stadium with a WPA facade... while the USLPro team slated to start in the spring of 2014 doesn't yet have a place to play...

This summer, the OKC club that played at my alma mater drew around 1,200 fans per game... the Tulsa club that played at the old ballpark at 15th & Yale this year in a similar league drew 3,066 fans per game.
Of course, the dipwads from your side of the turnpike who think they're OKC's version of "The Onion" insisted our NPSL team would never be successful... yet curiously those same douchebags never saw fit to criticize Brad Lund's new OKC-based soccer team (Oklahoma City FC) in their little social blog...  
http://www.thelostogle.com/2013/04/09/tulsa-is-getting-a-new-sports-franchise-at-least-until-it-fails/

Ten years ago the two cities held MLS exhibition games one week apart... Edmond's drew 9,300 while Tulsa's drew over 14,000 and signed up 3,500 for season tickets...

Oh, and then there's this......

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2013/08/18/nbc-telecast-of-swansea-city-manchester-united-posts-highest-overnight-rating-in-u-s-history-for-premier-league-opener/198140/

« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 09:10:05 am by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2013, 01:44:20 pm »

I agree with you Rufnex that Tulsa is a unique soccer market.   If I am correct, SLC it is currently the smallest market in the MLS.

On paper, it looks as though Tulsa is too small to support NHL or NBA in the long term.  Success will be determined by how well a franchise can utitlize the tools to market its product in any city.  Salt Lake City is one of those unique markets.  They have franchises in the NBA and MLS; yet, its slightly smaller than OKC and slightly larger than Tulsa.

Tulsa is currently (2010) about the size of Salt Lake City when the New Orleans Jazz relocated there in 79-80.

1980 Population of Salt Lake City:  910,000

http://www.city-data.com/us-cities/The-West/Salt-Lake-City-Population-Profile.html

2010 Population of Tulsa:  937,000

http://www.tulsalibrary.org/faq/population

2012 Metropolitan Population estimates by U.S. cities:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas

Some posters underestimate the strength of the Tulsa market.  The key as in any city will be determined by the product being placed on the field, court or ice. Oklahoma City went through this when NBA basketball first did its trail run.  Tulsa has Wichita & Oklahoma City within driving distance.  The triangular driving distances among Oklahoma City, Tulsa & Wichita areas about the same.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 01:53:12 pm by Laramie » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2013, 11:34:47 pm »

BALL CONTROL
Two soccer team operators battle for the honor of being OKC’s favorite football club.
Murray Evans September 4th, 2013

http://www.okgazette.com/oklahoma/article-19148-ball-control.html

Quote
Funk said that he first looked at bringing a pro soccer franchise to Oklahoma City in the early 2000s and initially considered a Major League Soccer franchise but decided against it. The idea came back up midway through 2010, when Funk said he began talking with the USL. He and John Allgood, Prodigal’s senior executive vice president of new business development, openly talk of using the USL Pro franchise as a springboard into MLS — North America’s top soccer league.
Meanwhile, Sold Out Strategies reached a deal in December to operate a USL Premier Development League (PDL) franchise, Oklahoma City Football Club, starting this year. Lund’s group also wanted to eventually run a USL Pro franchise and submitted an application to the USL in May.

Sold Out Strategies and McLaughlin, figuring they wouldn’t be the USL’s choice, also had begun pursuing an NASL franchise in April. On June 17, the Oklahoma City School Board heard presentations from both Prodigal and Sold Out Strategies about a proposed lease agreement for Taft Stadium, which is under renovation.

The school board quickly chose the group that included McLaughlin, a major benefactor of Oklahoma City Public Schools. Funk said during the board meeting that the USL planned to establish a pro franchise in the city, and Prodigal made the official announcement July 2.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Which brand of soccer is better, the NASL or USL Pro? It depends. In level of competition, the U.S. Soccer Federation considers the NASL to be Division II and USL Pro to be Division III. According to figures provided by the NASL, the annual league dues for the NASL ($225,000) are considerably higher than those for USL Pro ($35,000) and the NASL has a higher player payroll ($500,000 per franchise) than does USL Pro ($224,000).

Plus, the NASL has name recognition, although the current NASL is not the same league as the NASL of the 1970s and 1980s, which achieved fame by bringing in foreign superstars, such as Pele, and had franchises that included the Tulsa Roughnecks before folding in 1985.

“We have a product that has a great history. It has a high level of play. We’re going to be playing in probably the most historic stadium in Oklahoma City, revamped and polished up, with a great amount of soccer specifics to enhance it for the fans,” McLaughlin said.

USL Pro has something the NASL does not: a player development agreement with MLS, the unquestioned top pro soccer league in the U.S. USL Pro and MLS Reserve League teams compete in interleague play, and by next year, as many as 10 MLS teams will have formal affiliation agreements with USL Pro franchises, according to Todd Durbin, MLS executive vice president of player relations and competition, who spoke to reporters at the recent MLS All-Star game in Kansas City, Kan.

“What do we want as Oklahoma City?” Allgood asked. “Do we want an MLS franchise? If you want a MLS franchise, there’s a clear path to get there and there’s one team to support, if that’s what you want. It’s the best and only path to MLS.”

It’s a winner
The idea of eventually having an MLS franchise in Oklahoma City isn’t so far-fetched. Oklahoma City’s name has been bandied about by national media, including Sports

Illustrated and NBC Sports, as a potential expansion site for the league, which plans to grow from its current 19 teams to 24 by 2020.

Prodigal already has announced plans to build a soccer-specific stadium at a yet-to-be-announced site in Oklahoma City.

Initial plans call for the stadium to seat about 7,000 fans, with the potential to be expanded to 20,000 seats to meet MLS standards.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 11:46:06 pm by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2013, 09:52:54 am »

http://www.okcnasl2015.com/

***always nice to see somebody likes my idea(s)... except they're gonna play on the other side of the turnpike***
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 10:07:20 am by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2013, 08:27:30 pm »

I am not saying Tulsa doesn't have the demographics to make a team work.   Also, there is a huge difference between people watching the game from Tulsa vs. buying tickets and showing up in OKC.   I am happy Tulsa has jumped on the band wagon but let's not get carried away. 

The fact of the matter is Tulsa is a fickle crowd for sports.  Look at the examples.  The NCAA b-ball game attendance has been average at best.   Compare it to okc in the early 90's and it is a joke.  OKC sold out every game in the early 90's through the mid 2000's.  The whole community got behind it.  Same with the Women's Softball College World Series, big 8 and early big 12 baseball championships.  Last years Thunder pre season attendance was a joke and don't get me started on every game since 2008.  The Conference USA tournament is a joke.   The only event that has performed exceptionally well is the PGA and LPGA events.

Why hasn't the NCAA scheduled to come back?   

I bet you OKC has a new soccer stadium within 5 years and AAA level soccer as well.  MLS within 10 years...

All apologies to Wichita but there is absolutely a reason they get a pre season game as well.  It makes perfect sense to build a brand in each market.   However,  83-85% of the total gate comes from the OKC metro area.  It just drives me crazy when people on here take credit for there success.  Especially since the majority on here proclaimed they would fail.  They only jumped on board after we made the finals.
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« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2013, 12:17:37 pm »

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRyoqwpDyMM[/youtube]

Meanwhile, in San Antonio...
Owner says Scorpions to turn six-figure profit
By Dan McCarney : October 23, 2013 : Updated: October 23, 2013 6:19pm
http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/scorpions/article/Owner-says-Scorpions-to-turn-six-figure-profit-4920784.php
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 12:20:18 pm by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2013, 01:08:28 pm »

And in this corner, Bob Funk Jr announces...

http://www.mlssoccer.com/sideline/news/article/2013/11/14/meet-oklahoma-city-energy-fc-okcs-brand-new-usl-pro-franchise-sideline



http://kfor.com/2013/11/14/major-league-soccer-coming-to-oklahoma-city-in-spring-2014/

Quote
OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC is going to be the home of a United Soccer League PRO franchise named, Energy, starting in the spring of 2014.

Prodigal LLC officials announced they are building a soccer specific stadium in Oklahoma City to be the home base of their USL PRO franchise.

Officials said this men’s profession soccer league serves as a springboard to the MLS for athletes.

The company is exploring sites to build the stadium.

“Part of the three-year long process to bring a USL PRO team to Oklahoma City was to explore the opportunity to build a soccer specific stadium in the metro area,” Prodigal CEO Bob Funk, Jr. said.

Funk, Jr. said the early plans for the stadium include seating for 7,000, with the ability to expand to 20,000; the minimum size for a franchise to be considered to earn an expansion team in North America’s best soccer league, Major League Soccer.

Prodigal is working with locally-owned ADG, Inc. to build the stadium.

It is the same group that designed the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.


Team colors will be green and white.

The full name of the team will be Energy FC which stands for Energy Football Club. Team officials say it means more than an industry it represents a metaphor for Oklahoma City.

Tickets may be reserved by calling (405) 235-KICK.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 01:10:30 pm by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2013, 12:32:43 pm »

Liking the logo, sweet!!!!
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« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2013, 12:58:06 pm »

Liking the logo, sweet!!!!


What I find even cooler is the usage of the State Motto ("Labor Omnia Vincit" - or "Labor conquers all things").
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« Reply #43 on: November 21, 2013, 11:48:15 pm »

Sporting Kansas City mulling options for new USL PRO affiliation
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2013/11/21/sporting-kansas-city-mulling-options-new-usl-pro-affiliation

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Tulsa, Okla., might seem a likely fit. It's close, it had a team in the old NASL and native son Joe-Max Moore said last month – when he and Vermes were both inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame – that he would like to be involved in the game once again.

“I haven't talked to him, but regionally is where we'd like the team to be,” Vermes said. “I don't know if it would be here in town. I don't know if it would be regional – Tulsa, Omaha, St. Louis. It could be a lot of different places. Again, that doesn't mean we wouldn't be willing to do some affiliations again as well.”
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 12:05:34 am by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: November 22, 2013, 10:44:11 am »

While affiliating with an MLS club might be prudent, being owned by an MLS club is a resignation to never being more than a farm team.

I long for a higher level of soccer here but everything that happens in this realm, besides what the Athletics have done so far, feels like a tighter turn in a spiraling out of control situation that will ultimately set us all back.

If I could steer this ship, you'd see more of this (particularly 50+1):
http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/5673975/success-germany-bundesliga
(I proudly admit BL envy.)


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