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Canadian Expansion Imminent


superbrad

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According to other articles no announcement came yesterday as expected other to say that the league will be expanded in 2011.

From the following article....

"But it is worth noting that a day after Garber took the podium, the MLS Board of Governors formally committed to expanding by two more teams by 2011 and issued a statement saying that MLS will work with TFC owners Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the Canadian expansion candidates, corporate sponsors and national broadcasters to develop commercial revenue streams to support expansion in Canada."

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=557435&sec=mls&root=mls&cc=5901

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This is ESPN's Jen Chang's take on it, for what it's worth:

"It's not confirmed, but it's looking more likely that MLS could select two more Canadian cities (Vancouver and Montreal) when it expands in 2011. This will be contingent of course on whether or not the league believes that the unqualified success of Toronto will be replicated in those cities, and I don't see any reason to think that MLS won't take off in the same fashion in both places (Montreal's USL team already outdraws several MLS teams). On the other hand, awarding two expansion teams to Canada might be a bit much, considering the quality of some of the other U.S. markets that are bidding for teams too. The irony is that -- and this assumes that MLS maintains the requirement for Canadian teams to field a certain number of nationals -- MLS would effectively become a strong training ground in helping Canadian soccer talent grow and possibly helping Canada start to rival the U.S. in CONCACAF play down the line. The other question of course is whether or not there is enough Canadian talent for another two MLS teams."

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Nor did the article check to see how much Canadian talent exists in the Montreal and Vancouver sides as we speak.

Anyways, the issue is partly one of development: certainly, with three teams in MLS, there will be more jobs for Canadians and over time there will be more Canadians capable of landing these jobs.

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It looks like Kerfoot & Nash are hoping to run it as a non-profit organization.....and apparently there's another ownership group in Vancouver that wants a team.

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080725.wsptnash25/GSStory/GlobeSportsSoccer/home

Where were all these investors before, you ask? Probably investing in things that they felt could make money, and until we entered MLS, they probably didn't think soccer was one of them.

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If Aquilini wants to be part of MLS in Vancouver, by all means he should explore the possibility of buying a stake of the 'Caps from Kerfoot. If he is thinking of making a competing bid, I wish for him to f*@# off down a hole somewhere so he can't mess up all the good work that Kerfoot has done for football in BC. I like the idea that Nash and Kerfoot will sink any profits made from MLS into development across the province. It is consistent with Kerfoot's actions over the past several years and Nash's public statements in the last couple of years. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that Aquilini would make the same commitment.

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The only way I'd want Aquilini involved is from a property point of view. Obviously that's where their expertise lies. And if they can help score a stadium for the Caps I'm all for it.

However, I also think that the NHL and MLS are good natural partners for cross promotions. Hockey = winter MLS = Summer. Both soccer and hockey have more international support than either football or baseball. Hockey players are known to also play soccer and are very knowledgeable on the game. NHL is coinsidered one of the big 4 in North America but is a distant 4th. MLS is on the rise big time and the NHL could use the MLS to help grow it's game and vice versa.

Aquilini seems very sly and it puts the Kerfoot/Nash bid in a very precarious position. If kerfoot/nash accept him as a third, Aquilini may want more than just a minority share. If they don't accept him, he may run against the Caps and really f&*% things up.

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I think it's fair to say that soccer fans in BC would react very negatively if another owner other than Greg Kerfoot's group were to snatch the MLS team. The Whitecaps have built up a lot of goodwill over the years, and I don't think that would carry over to another owner. It would also be foolish for MLS to take a situation where you have virtually guaranteed success, and throw it into doubt by handing the team to someone else.

I also think it speaks volumes that the Municipal & Provincial governments are now firmly behind the Whitecaps bid. There were a lot of high profile politicians at the announcement yesterday.

I really hope there's nothing in this story.

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quote:Originally posted by Danny Boy

The only way I'd want Aquilini involved is from a property point of view. Obviously that's where their expertise lies. And if they can help score a stadium for the Caps I'm all for it.

However, I also think that the NHL and MLS are good natural partners for cross promotions. Hockey = winter MLS = Summer. Both soccer and hockey have more international support than either football or baseball. Hockey players are known to also play soccer and are very knowledgeable on the game. NHL is coinsidered one of the big 4 in North America but is a distant 4th. MLS is on the rise big time and the NHL could use the MLS to help grow it's game and vice versa.

Aquilini seems very sly and it puts the Kerfoot/Nash bid in a very precarious position. If kerfoot/nash accept him as a third, Aquilini may want more than just a minority share. If they don't accept him, he may run against the Caps and really f&*% things up.

"Sly" is a kind way of saying "sleazy". Francisco Aquilini and his brothers are the biggest sleazeballs in the city. They're tied with some unsavory business, they've earned their reputations as slum lords. They pulled an end around on former partner Tom Gaglardi leading to a huge lawsuit.

A great example of their lack of integrity is when a long term Canucks season ticket holder was told to give up his prime GM Place parking so friends of the Aquilinis could be closer to the exits.

There is NO WAY the Aquilinis will have anything to do with MLS in Vancouver...PERIOD. If MLS does any homework at all, they'll unearth the same dirt that everyone in this city already knows.

Besides, Kerfoot and Garber have been talking for YEARS about this process...it hasn't just been the past few weeks.

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quote: "They're tied with some unsavory business, they've earned their reputations as slum lords. They pulled an end around on former partner Tom Gaglardi leading to a huge lawsuit"

Yep. Madame Cleos Massage parlour. He's been trying to evict Madame Cleos for years. He's trying to build condo towers right in that spot. Just walk on by and look at the Development signs and you'll see the name Aquilini Investments.

I found the Supreme Court Decision between him and Cleos. It's a public document so if you PM me I'll show you what Aquilini is involved with at 1094 Richards.

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quote:Originally posted by Bill

quote: "They're tied with some unsavory business, they've earned their reputations as slum lords. They pulled an end around on former partner Tom Gaglardi leading to a huge lawsuit"

Yep. Madame Cleos Massage parlour. He's been trying to evict Madame Cleos for years. He's trying to build condo towers right in that spot. Just walk on by and look at the Development signs and you'll see the name Aquilini Investments.

I found the Supreme Court Decision between him and Cleos. It's a public document so if you PM me I'll show you what Aquilini is involved with at 1094 Richards.

C'mon Bill...the Madame Cleo's business is childs play compared to some of the shady people the Aquilinis are associated with.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Vancouver and Montreal candidates for expansion

Doug McIntyre

TORONTO -- Fans and the media alike have come to expect a major announcement every time MLS commissioner Don Garber grabs the mic to deliver his biannual state-of-the-league address.

Toronto fans have demonstrated Canada's appetite for MLS. (Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages)

Who can blame them? At the 2006 all-star game in Chicago, Garber revealed that ESPN and MLS had entered into a landmark multimillion-dollar television rights deal. Later that year at the MLS Cup, Garber spread word that the league's owners finally had given the go-ahead for the designated-player rule, which would bring living legends like David Beckham and Cuauhtemoc Blanco to MLS fields near you.

And so, with the most recent speech taking place in Canada's largest city one day before Blanco and Beckham teamed up to dispatch yet another Premier League foe in soccer's version of the Midsummer Classic, many of those in attendance at the Liberty Grand on the banks of Lake Ontario were hoping the commish would announce the latest winner in the MLS expansion sweepstakes. Even more so after NBA star Steve Nash, a Vancouver native and the face of his city's bid for a spot in MLS, recently stirred the pot by saying he was "hoping to have some good news" this week.

But there was no news to be had Wednesday. Instead, Garber rattled thorough a laundry list of the league's many recent successes. He trumpeted the overall attendance bump and the 20 percent ratings increase on ESPN. He highlighted the diversification of the MLS ownership portfolio -- 10 new moneymen since 2005. He talked about the stadiums being built in Salt Lake City and New Jersey and the ones on the way in Kansas City, San Jose and Philadelphia, which will join the league in 2010.

He noted that Seattle Sounders FC already has sold almost 16,000 season tickets with its debut season still eight months away. And, not least, he spoke about the respect MLS is slowly but surely earning, both at home and overseas. Impressive? Certainly. News? Not to those who follow closely.

As such, the most intriguing topic of discussion remained expansion. And with Canadian journalists filling much of the room, the focus clearly was on the potential for new clubs north of the border.

"Expansion is being driven by the success that we've had in Toronto," Garber said. "It is the blueprint of what we want to see happen throughout the rest of the United States and Canada."

Along with Vancouver, one of the other expansion front-runners has to be Montreal. The USL's Montreal Impact, which Garber watched eliminate Toronto FC from the Canadian Championship on Tuesday at BMO Field, draw more fans to their newly minted, soccer-specific stadium (about which Garber raves) than several MLS teams draw. The city is a natural rival for Toronto. Plus, Liverpool and Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett reportedly is considering buying in. Ottawa is another Canadian candidate, if a long shot for now.

But even though Montreal and Vancouver are making stong cases for inclusion, and even though TFC has been a smash hit on every level (except, ironically enough, in the win column), with six American cities also in the running for just two spots, a second Canadian team -- let alone a third -- being added during the next three years is hardly a forgone conclusion.

"We understand that this country is passionate about the sport, but that passion is not enough," Garber said. "We need to make sure it makes good business sense here in comparison to adding those teams down in the United States."

Despite that warning, it is obvious that everyone associated with MLS is smitten with Toronto FC, as well as with the idea that what has occurred here can be instantly duplicated in other Canadian markets.

Whether that is a realistic expectation remains to be seen. But it is worth noting that a day after Garber took the podium, the MLS Board of Governors formally committed to expanding by two more teams by 2011 and issued a statement saying that MLS will work with TFC owners Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the Canadian expansion candidates, corporate sponsors and national broadcasters to develop commercial revenue streams to support expansion in Canada.

"We believe the potential here is massive," Garber said.

"If we can recreate in Vancouver, Montreal and potentially Ottawa what we have here in Toronto and deeply engage the local and national media and the business community behind this effort, we believe -- and this is a bold statement -- that soccer can assume its place at some point alongside hockey as one of Canada's great national sports."

Bold statement indeed. Another bold statement concerning the Canadian intentions of MLS could be coming via an announcement in late November, at Garber's next state-of-the-league adddess.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPNsoccernet.

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GlobalTV BC had a "Aquilini Report" on their go for MLS. Title of the report was called "End Run"

Looks like Vancouverites are seeing a theme here w/ FA as Greg Douglas pulled no punches in his Sun article below -

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/sports/story.html?id=2fb86ac4-4bcd-42f3-bcec-783dae7ca1c7

Aquilini may have interest in MLS

Greg Douglas

Vancouver Sun

Saturday, July 26, 2008

SCENE & HEARD: There is reason to suggest that Francesco Aquilini looked at the incredible success of Toronto's Major League Soccer franchise, noted that it was owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., and said to his siblings Roberto and Paolo something like: "Why aren't we actively pursuing a franchise? We have all the infrastructure in place."

Let us count the reasons, Francesco. For openers, in sports jargon, it's called an end-run. After the time and money Greg Kerfoot has unselfishly committed to the soccer movement in British Columbia, it would be disrespectful to try upstaging him. It would clearly not create goodwill in the community on behalf of the hockey club.

Aquilini won't admit it, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan most assuredly won't admit it, but there've been private discussions about expanding Swangard Stadium to 20,000 seats if it would help Aquilini get the attention of the MLS. The feisty mayor does not like the thought of losing the Whitecaps to a retractable-roofed BC Place Stadium come 2011. His Worship has to get over it.

Kerfoot has spent $6 million on a soccer facility at Simon Fraser University. He has invested $750,000 a year for the past three years on the women's national team. Kerfoot has pledged to funnel any profits from an MLS franchise back into the B.C. Soccer Association, a move new partner Steve Nash thoroughly endorses.

Aquilini's sudden interest in professional soccer stems from an entirely different agenda. In light of the political and community support expressed at Friday's Whitecaps pep rally, it wouldn't behoove Aquilini to continue his pursuit.

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