Thursday, May 31, 2007

MLS in Seattle could be death for the Sounders

If potential owners Michael and James Keston decide to bring a MLS team to Seattle, Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer says he will either have to fold his team or move.

“I’m a pretty rational businessperson, and it’s unlikely that two professional teams in the Puget Sound region are going to work,” he said. “I’ll cross the bridge when I come to it, but I wouldn’t think it’s likely that two franchises would coexist.”

If Hanauer decided to move, chances are the team would end up 30-miles south in Tacoma where the team played seven games in 1994. Tacoma is already home to the Premier Development League's Tides, but the two clubs think they could work something out if the move happens.

However, Hanauer has not ruled out folding the team and joining up with the new organization, which James Keston thinks is a wonderful idea.

“We get along great and if we could find a way to integrate him and the existing Sounders organization into what we’re doing we would love to make that happen,” James Keston said. “So far, we have a very good relationship with them …”

Talking about the Kestons, if they picked Seattle, Qwest Field would be their home for a little while till they built their own, smaller stadium. Possible sites include Renton or Tukwila, both of which are about 15-miles south of Seattle, near the international airport. Also, they would like some public funding for a new home.

“Renton is a very interesting site because of the demographics and the growth that I have seen around that area and the land that is available,” James Keston said. “And based on what has happened with the Sonics, they’ve already gone through the first stages of this: the making sure that the community and the city at least have an interest in a potential stadium there.”

The Sonics issue is their failure to gain public money for a new home even with the threat of relocation.

Interestingly enough, Keston thinks MLS's low salary numbers might make it an easier sell when it comes to public subsidies.

“These guys get to play soccer every day, but they’re certainly not going out and buying multimillion-dollar houses on Mercer Island as soon as they sign their contracts,” Keston said. “It gives you the opportunity, when you go out and talk to sports fans and the people of the state, to say these are not necessarily a bunch of multimillionaires coming in here.”

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Anonymous said...

good website

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good on Keston. Adrian Hanauer couldn't promote a party for pedophiles across the street from a grade school.

12:52 AM  

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