Wednesday, October 10, 2007

MLS Expansion - Seattle and Portland could both get teams

MLS senior vice president Dan Courtemanche has made it clear that just if one of the Northwest cities get a MLS club, that doesn't mean the other will not get one soon after.

"If by chance we do finalize an agreement to bring a team to Seattle, that would not preclude us from bringing a team to Portland."

This should not be much of a surprise to anyone, however I do think it again shows the league leaning towards a Seattle franchise since Courtemanche specifically says Seattle. However, Portland still makes a good case and could beat out Seattle if MLS decides playing at Qwest Field is not the way they want to go.

With PGE Park needing around $20 million of changes to make it suitable for the league, it work not be that difficult to make this happen. In addition, if a team came to town, Merritt Paulson, who owns both the Portland Timbers and the Portland Beavers (baseball), says that he would be open to building the Beavers an 8-9,000-seat stadium elsewhere in the city if he was given a MLS franchise. That would mean that for most of the soccer season, PGE would be soccer only.

Seattle seems to still have the inside track, but Portland is making it hard for MLS to ignore them.

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