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I am just now realizing you said Rogers Arena and not Rogers Place and am now feeling very stupid. Nevertheless, what are everyone's thoughts on MLS to Edmonton?
 
I am just now realizing you said Rogers Arena and not Rogers Place and am now feeling very stupid. Nevertheless, what are everyone's thoughts on MLS to Edmonton?
I think the big impediment to MLS is many things:
  • Timing - Would have been better to get in earlier on with the league as it was established, I think they are getting closer to a ceiling of teams they want to be at in near term
  • Geography - Don't quote me but I thought with MLS trying to stick to a USA model (as many leagues in europe tend to do a national league) and the current Canadian teams are grandfathered in a bit maybe? Would need to do more research on this but with the Canadian Premier League established don't want to step on territory?
  • History - We have a good history of supporting events for Soccer but in recent history we didn't exactly overwhelm with support for the Eddies who have now folded
  • Venue/Facilities - Commonwealth could work as there are some NFL stadiums used in the league but that's a big number of seats to fill and would certainly need big renos to bring fans closer to the action
  • $$$ - Would need a big money player that believes in Edmonton and the possibilities of the team. Going back to timing expansion fees, salaries, and costs are way up with MLS from earlier days
  • Competition - I talked about timing but competing with other cities in North America for any major pro teams is very difficult and while our population is growing big which is great we are up against (hypothetically) some big metros in the likes of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Detroit to name a few I see at a glance.

Not impossible (dependent on my national federation note under geography) but it would likely start with needing a big money investor that believes in Edmonton willing to probably build a new soccer specific stadium and strongly pursue the idea with the league of putting a team here.
 
Definitely would be a surprise! I realize this message is a joke and I agree that Edmonton getting an NBA team is definitely a long shot, there are probably 10-15 cities the NBA would look at expansion before Edmonton (including Calgary, once their new arena finishes)

However,

I wonder about MLS, they have been expanding very rapidly over the past decade and unlike the big 4, football has a precedent for having multi-tiered leagues, making something like 50 teams possible with relegation. I wouldn't be surprised if Alberta (and Commonwealth in particular) is on a short list of 10 or so potential expansion sites. The MLS also has a history of expanding to smaller cities with untapped potential. Like Austin for example (not quite a perfect example as Austin had no pro sports before and is larger but I think it's a decent comparison). I've actually seen MLS fans (not the league themselves necessarily but still), suggest that both Edmonton and Calgary could be on a shortlist for MLS expansion.

There haven't been any bids or actual movement on any of this but, I think it could work in the next decade or so, given MLS continues its rapid growth, made possible by its centralized ownership structure.

Maybe it could take the form of an Alberta FC playing out of Commonwealth but representing the whole province, or an Edmonton and Calgary FC, maintaining the fierce Battle of Alberta rivalry through American Football, actual Football and Hockey. I would immediately become a huge fan of either an Alberta FC or Edmonton FC and would be buying jerseys, hats, etc. right out the gate.
Would love MLS here but it'd have to be in a smaller stadium and we'd have to get our CPL team back and show that the city will support soccer in some way. Long ways to go and a lot of investment before that's a reality in my eyes.
 
Has anyone else noticed that HCMA (Hughes Condon Marler Architects) has opened up an office here?

That's amazing news for this city in my opinion. They've got 3 offices in Canada, and we're the first one outside of BC.

I wonder if Gene Dub had anything to do with that?
 
No linear thinking allowed here. Let's review the NHL franchise vis-a-vis Edmonton. We started with a WHA nascent organization and the Edmonton Oilers with a young aggressive team. When the WHA "merged" with the NHL Edmonton already had a powerhouse team that shortly thereafter won 5 Stanley Cups in 6 seasons thereby erasing any doubt about the viability of an NHL team in Edmonton. Daryl Katz had the vision of building a new state-of-the-art stadium in downtown Edmonton with an associated entertainment/hospitality/office/residential complex to go along with it -- it still hasn't reached its full potential and should do so within the next 5 years (if we look at the ersatz Staples Center in Los Angeles and what has happened over the years there). The Edmonton Oilers outgrew the Coliseum which was outdated in so many ways shortly after it was built, especially with the demise of Northlands, horse racing, etc.
If we think similarly with Major League Soccer (Football if you like), there are some parallels. The Eddies played in Clarke Stadium on the final years before collapse -- talk about a third rate facility -- a place where one imagines that their team is bush league, not major league. Now if someone had the vision to duplicate the Oilers' success (and I know that person exists) then I could see a new multi-purpose stadium with a moveable roof developed downtown that would be specifically modeled to host soccer (er football) games on the highest professional standards. Can Edmonton support 2 or more professional teams? Well it certainly had no problem doing so in the '70s when Gretzky et al were setting NHL records and when the quarterbacking duo of Wilkinson and Moon were performing equally stunning magic in the CFL -- and that at a time when Edmonton's population was merely half of today's numbers. In fact a new state-of-the-art Stadium might well serve as home base for several pro franchises -- men's and women's pro soccer and a relocated CFL Elks. I have a lot more to say about this, but I have noticed that, if the post becomes too lengthy readers are easily bored and tend to stop reading.
 
No linear thinking allowed here. Let's review the NHL franchise vis-a-vis Edmonton. We started with a WHA nascent organization and the Edmonton Oilers with a young aggressive team. When the WHA "merged" with the NHL Edmonton already had a powerhouse team that shortly thereafter won 5 Stanley Cups in 6 seasons thereby erasing any doubt about the viability of an NHL team in Edmonton. Daryl Katz had the vision of building a new state-of-the-art stadium in downtown Edmonton with an associated entertainment/hospitality/office/residential complex to go along with it -- it still hasn't reached its full potential and should do so within the next 5 years (if we look at the ersatz Staples Center in Los Angeles and what has happened over the years there). The Edmonton Oilers outgrew the Coliseum which was outdated in so many ways shortly after it was built, especially with the demise of Northlands, horse racing, etc.
If we think similarly with Major League Soccer (Football if you like), there are some parallels. The Eddies played in Clarke Stadium on the final years before collapse -- talk about a third rate facility -- a place where one imagines that their team is bush league, not major league. Now if someone had the vision to duplicate the Oilers' success (and I know that person exists) then I could see a new multi-purpose stadium with a moveable roof developed downtown that would be specifically modeled to host soccer (er football) games on the highest professional standards. Can Edmonton support 2 or more professional teams? Well it certainly had no problem doing so in the '70s when Gretzky et al were setting NHL records and when the quarterbacking duo of Wilkinson and Moon were performing equally stunning magic in the CFL -- and that at a time when Edmonton's population was merely half of today's numbers. In fact a new state-of-the-art Stadium might well serve as home base for several pro franchises -- men's and women's pro soccer and a relocated CFL Elks. I have a lot more to say about this, but I have noticed that, if the post becomes too lengthy readers are easily bored and tend to stop reading.
Almost any city will support a professional sports team when they are winning.
The Edmonton oilers are an anomaly for having fans support them during the dark times. If you look at the elks, not much fan support with a losing team.
Same would happen with many other professional teams, if they can't win, won't get much support and won't be able to afford to stay in Edmonton
 
I think it would be great to get a Canadian Premier league team back with a 6-8k seat stadium (possibility for future expansion).
 
Almost any city will support a professional sports team when they are winning.
The Edmonton oilers are an anomaly for having fans support them during the dark times. If you look at the elks, not much fan support with a losing team.
Same would happen with many other professional teams, if they can't win, won't get much support and won't be able to afford to stay in Edmonton
This is a mostly North American phenomenon, though. I think the "winning culture" out here (and I blame it mostly on the US, tbh) is a problem.
If you go to Europe or South America, for example, you'll often see football teams that were on the brink of being relegated have record attendance as they "embrace" the team and try to support them to make a push to stay in the division. If they end up being relegated, you'll see high attendance even during their year(s) in the lower divisions. That goes especially for more traditional teams.

Fans are so much more passionate and engaged, on average, that even in what many considered to be a "boring" model without playoffs for their national leagues, when sometimes teams are barely playing for anything, especially towards the end of the season, when you're In the middle of the pack and won't make it to the continental championship, or be relegated, they'll fill out 40-60k people in stadiums.

Edmonton is one of the odd ones, and I honestly believe we'd still fill out the Commonwealth every game even if we were running 32nd on the league, and people will still buy merchandise and be proud of the team's history. But there are maybe only about a dozen of teams in all Big 4 (not just the NHL) leagues that are like this.
 
One thing to consider is that an MLS team would likely draw a lot more attention, hype and interest than a Canadian Premier League team. It's a completely different level of competition. A team that is in a legitimate, top-tier league is going to sell more tickets than a more minor league team. Not to throw shade at the CPL, but MLS is a completely different ball game (literally). It's part of the global network of football leagues. The current arguable GOAT is playing for Inter Miami, you can't convince Edmonton wouldn't pack the stadium to go see Messi live (even in his older age). I might be in the minority here but if a team isn't in that top echelon (at least for the region), I won't be very interested.

I think the fact that we couldn't keep the Eddies is more indicative of that phenomena than the general feasibility of professional soccer in Edmonton.
 
Oh, I was just phishing or trolling for phish -- I expect there will be many surprise announcements in 2024. At a minimum I expect the 39/40 storey tower for Qualico's Village to proceed along with the submerged ped-tunnel connecting same to Churchill Square and the Civic Precinct; I expect 2nd tower announcements for Le Parc and Falcon II (Peregrine); I expect the Shift to get in gear (see what I did there?); I expect both of the Westrich properties in the Ice District Precinct to reach the preliminary design phase with accompanying renderings; ditto for the Katz Ice district tower conjoined with Katz-west property -- none of these would I classify as "surprise announcements".
Surprises would include:
-- the announcement of a new professional sports team to take up residency in Rogers Arena (like WNBA as a "feeler" for an NBA team to show up later in the next decade).
-- movement on the Clancy Tower
-- a next phase development for NorQuest College
-- a re-announcement of the Alldritt tower in the Quarters
-- a Stanley Cup
-- a confirmed start on a two-tower project in west Oliver
-- a pick-up-the-pieces announcement on a revised Gondola route that does not offend First Nations' Interests in Rossdale.
Any substantial completion of the foregoing would send the Negs into a "what-should-I-do-now" tizzy that might finally force them to move to Calgary (some already have their foot half-way through that door).
meanwhile, others left to phish and troll from the warmer sunnier climes of san diego decades ago…
 
meanwhile, others left to phish and troll from the warmer sunnier climes of san diego decades ago…

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