Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Is FC Dallas a candidate to be moved?
By Buzz Carrick
Steven Goff has an interesting story yesterday about a potential soccer specific stadium in the Baltimore area that DC United is looking at. As part of the process MLS sent out an email survey to fans in the area for research purposes. Goff has some quotes from MLS chief marketing officer Russ Findlay and DC United United President Kevin Payne.
But that's not why the Goff story is interesting to FC Dallas fans.
What is interesting is this question and the 5 potential answers in the survey, "If you could influence any of the following MLS teams to relocate to Baltimore, which team would you rather have move to Baltimore?"
New York Red Bulls
Wait, FC Dallas? The other clubs are all in the Northeast area, why FC Dallas?
Well first, I suppose, is the not great attendance and apathetic fan base in Dallas. The stands do not lie.
But probably more importantly is the Hunt Sports Group desire to sell one of the two renaming franchises. MLS has always wanted one team per owner. The Hunts have always wanted just one team. I have to believe that's why FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew are listed as potential answers in the survey.
All the insider info I have gotten points to the Hunts desire to sell the Crew and keep FC Dallas. Of course most of my info comes from the Dallas area so there may be some bias there. Yet the amount of money the Hunts put into the stadium here, the economic viability of Pizza Hut Park with its stage and surrounding fields, and Dallas being the Hunts home town, all back up that insider info. Dallas is also a bigger market and is better for the national footprint.
Are there problems in Dallas? Sure. FCD isn't going gang busters in the stands. The Dallas market has not embraced the club. Is it to far from the center of the market? Probably. Has the Hispanic section of the fan base forgiven the Southlake betrayal? Not so much.
Is that stuff all bad enough to make the Hunts move the team? I wouldn't think so.
But this is MLS, if a new investor comes in with a hundred mil, wants to buy FCD and only FCD... and wants to move them to Baltimore... then who knows, maybe it could happen. MLS does need a couple more deep pocketed owners and the Hunts do need to sell one of their two teams.
I would think it highly unlikely and a long shot of long shots... but you never know, stranger things have happened.