Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Baseball owners and soccer; some Earthquake news

So why are baseball owners suddenly so interested in soccer? Simple answer, value.

"You can still get a superstar talent for $250,000," said (Oakland A's principal owner Lew) Wolff, a savvy businessman as well as a sports entrepreneur. "It's a more affordable game."

When you compare that to the average baseball salary of $2.7 million per season, you can see how soccer would appeal to Wolff and other owners such as Will Chang (co-owner of the San Francisco Giants).

Chang is one of the new owners of DC United and points to value as one of the main reason for the purchase.

"We've won four championships," Chang said of his new club. "We had the best record (15-7) in the league last season, and we look in very good shape for this year. And soccer is growing exponentially."

Adding that you can still find value on the international market as shown by the recent signing of Brazilian attacker Helbert Frederico Carreiro da Silva. For just $150,000 a season, DC was able to get his talent. Could anything like that happen in the baseball market?

Soccer is the best value in the mainstream American sports market. If more people such as Chang and Wolff take this opportunity, they will more then likely see an exact return in the next 10-years.

That said, the most interesting part of the article for me has nothing to do with value. Instead it has to do with Wolff and his negotiations with San Jose State University over building a new stadium on campus that would be home to a reborn San Jose Earthquake club.

"We have a ball, an office and a staff; we just need a place to play," Wolff said. "But that's getting closer every day.

"The support has been overwhelming, much more than I expected," he added. "We should know for certain in the next 30 days (from San Jose State) if that direction is possible."

If they sign a deal with San Jose State, expect MLS Commissioner Don Garber to make a trip out to the bay area soon to make a 'major announcement.'

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