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  1. #1

    Default Major League Soccer in OKC

    Soccer is growing in popularity in the United States and in Oklahoma, as evidenced by Rayo and Energy. Check out this Economist article about the topic. It would be great if our OKC soccer lords banded together to get an MLS stadium and team so that OKC is at the forefront of a new surge in soccer popularity. I can see us getting an MLS team before we can get an NFL, MLB, or NHL team, and I think it would be another great event that pulls OKC together like the Thunder.

    http://www.economist.com/news/united...alls-kick-turn

  2. #2

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    I just don't belive this will ever happen. I've read a lot about it, as I would LOVE to have a team, and it seems we are nowhere close to being on the MLS' radar.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    I like the idea of having a high quality minor league team, but have to say pass on the MLS. I think we need to focus on keeping the Thunder. Sure at this moment that sounds dumb, but I'm sure Seattle thought the same thing. If for some reason Durant and Westbrook leave and our team sucks for the next 10 years is it still going to have the same support? Probably not, but if that's the only major league team most people will want to make sure they stay. Getting another major league team that hypothetically (in that same previous situation) does better, people might be okay with letting the Thunder go.

    At the end of the day my focus is keeping the Thunder, keeping them elite, and keeping them the main focus of people who want to support a major league team. Not everyone can afford tickets to everything, so they have to make choices and naturally they are going to compromise on the team doing the worst. Just my 2 cents.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by AP View Post
    I just don't belive this will ever happen. I've read a lot about it, as I would LOVE to have a team, and it seems we are nowhere close to being on the MLS' radar.
    I don't disagree at all... but, I'll just say there was no way OKC was ever on the NBA's radar. I think the lesson from acquiring the Thunder is that you have to put yourself in a good position for good things to happen. In this case it means that OKC needs to make progress on a stadium, even if it is just a 10,000 seat stadium that is built so 10,000 more seats can easily be added. Then when a team unexpectedly folds, OKC can make the argument that they've got a landing spot for the franchise.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    "I, for one, welcome our new OKC Soccer Lords."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    I don't disagree at all... but, I'll just say there was no way OKC was ever on the NBA's radar. I think the lesson from acquiring the Thunder is that you have to put yourself in a good position for good things to happen. In this case it means that OKC needs to make progress on a stadium, even if it is just a 10,000 seat stadium that is built so 10,000 more seats can easily be added. Then when a team unexpectedly folds, OKC can make the argument that they've got a landing spot for the franchise.
    Dan, you have better insight about the future of OKC than many who post here.

    Let's not forget; Oklahoma City was actively in pursuit of the NHL, the Peake was built with the NHL basics in mind. You had cities like Kansas City, Nashville, Louisville, Raleigh and Norfolk-Virginia Beach on the NBA's radar; unfortunately, Katrina afforded OKC an opportunity for a 'test run.' Our arena played a key role in the decision for the New Orleans Hornets' temporary relocation.

    OKC is ripe for MLS; we shouldn't have to stand in anybody's line once we get a venue in place.

    The NBA has given us name recognition; that's one of the advantages we have over our sister city of Tulsa (rich soccer history) besides 325,000 more residents in our metropolitan area with an ever growing diversified resident base. OKC Energy FC & Rayo OKC should join forces (bury the hatchet). Combined the two franchises average an impressive 11,000 fans per game--if they work together, the MLS would be a real possibility. You wouldn't have to phase in a stadium--just build a 20,000 plus seat venue.

    An MLS franchise would add to the many growing 'quality of life' attractions we have in our city; additionally it would reinforcement our name-recognition among big league cities.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    The Producers' COOP mill site has shut down in lower Bricktown in OKC--operations relocated to Ada, Oklahoma. The site has been purchased by someone; however, details about a buyer hasn't been disclosed or the sales price of the land:


    Producers Cooperative mill shuts down cotton operation in Oklahoma City - http://newsok.com/article/5432122

    The sale announcement on Friday did not disclose the buyer, the sale price or what will happen with the 37-acre property at 4 SE 4.
    Producers Cooperative Oil Mill members set vote on sale - http://newsok.com/article/5486039

    Who purchased this site as a future parcel investment?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    It would probably be the perfect location for a stadium.

    But on the other hand, it would also be a perfect location for a ton of other things as well.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by d-usa View Post
    It would probably be the perfect location for a stadium.

    But on the other hand, it would also be a perfect location for a ton of other things as well.
    Whatever the intent of the buyer to acquire this parcel of land it will require cleanup efforts to get this site ready for a building, skyscraper, apartment complex, stadium or a flip--for whoever ends up holding the deed.

    The Producers COOP Mill site is toxic--it's an EPA Regulated facility: http://epa-sites.findthedata.com/l/4...ative-Oil-Mill

  10. #10

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    I'm not going to pretend like I know the climate of Soccer down in OKC. I know it's gaining popularity across the country, but that's about it. Having said that, I know this site (the COOP Mill) has been tossed around as a likely candidate for a MLS style/sized outdoor stadium. I think that, along with a master entertainment district around the stadium that links BT from the North and the river from the South would be unreal. Add that with the new convention center and the old Cox CC site most likely going to become a small cluster of buildings itself in the future, and to add the central park to top it all off, I'd say over the next 10 years, downtown OKC will undergo yet another massive transformation that will keep peoples eyes on the city.

    What a time to live in OKC...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Just not that optimistic that an MLS starter stadium will be built on that site until it is disclosed who purchased this parcel of land.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by Laramie View Post
    Just not that optimistic that an MLS starter stadium will be built on that site until it is disclosed who purchased this parcel of land.
    Same here, and that is what I was trying to imply with my previous post.

    Yes, the location would be a great fit for a soccer stadium. But it would also be a great location for a ton of other things, so it's hard to narrow it down to anything just because a stadium would be a good fit.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Steve made mention of the soccer stadium rumor in his chat Friday.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by shawnw View Post
    Steve made mention of the soccer stadium rumor in his chat Friday.
    9:56 AM
    do you have any updates on the Cotton Mill Coop? The rumor is the buyer plans to build a multi-use stadium (for the Energy) and mixed use develop surrounding. Any truth to this?

    Steve Lackmeyer
    9:58 AM
    I am waiting for the Coop folks to confirm whether they've approved a sale. It would be a great home for a soccer stadium, but any rumor of such at this point is likely just speculation. Could it happen? I can't think of a better location.
    Hopefully, we will learn more details about the Producers Cooperative Mill site's possible sale approval.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Do trains actually go through the Co-op any more?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by warreng88 View Post
    Do trains actually go through the Co-op any more?
    Yes!

    When the COOP was operational they did; the infrastructure & access to the mill are in place. Just wonder if this could make the site more attractive for future passenger rail transit.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by Laramie View Post
    Yes!

    When the COOP was operational they did; the infrastructure & access to the mill are in place. Just wonder if this could make the site more attractive for future passenger rail transit.
    No, I would think they would need to be removed along with a ton of soil remediation due to the business that was there before it. I don't think we would want a train track surrounding a stadium as that would take up too much space and they could only place in one area, inside the tracks.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    If the Hackensack Bulls were able to make it work, I think we should be able to build a stadium around the train tracks.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by warreng88 View Post
    No, I would think they would need to be removed along with a ton of soil remediation due to the business that was there before it. I don't think we would want a train track surrounding a stadium as that would take up too much space and they could only place in one area, inside the tracks.
    The Producers COOP Mill site is toxic--it's an EPA Regulated facility: http://epa-sites.findthedata.com/l/4...ative-Oil-Mill



    Some of those railroad tracks are visible from the outer perimeter of the property at it southern boundary just north of the new I-40 crosstown Interstate.

    My questions in regard to the railroad tracks:

    1. Who owns the track(s)?
    2. Is this as easement through the property or was this specifically set up for the mill?
    3. What rights does the new owner have regarding the tracks?

    If a stadium is built on this site; think how neat it would be to extend some kind of rail transportation to the stadium. Afterall, we are building plenty of parking facilities near the core; we could definitely use some kind of rail transit to the stadium if feasible.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    To the best of my knowledge, BNSF owns the industrial lead - the large loop of tracks extending all the way around the property. These tracks currently serve two customers - PCOM and Mid-States Lumber. The picture of the tank car in the middle of the PCOM facility depicts rails that, to the best of my knowledge, are actually owned and maintained by PCOM themselves, as they are inside the property line - however, I'm not 100% sure on that. If this parallelogram of land is developed into something other than industrial use (i.e. office buildings or residential or entertainment venues like a stadium), there would be no customers among the line and it is highly likely that BNSF would consider abandonment and removal of these tracks - especially if the new owner of the land requested it; however, the new owner of PCOM's land would have no direct rights over the tracks not on their property.

    Of course, there are a ton of variables in play here, but given the close proximity of this land to Santa Fe Station - just half a mile to the furthest corner of PCOM's property - I highly doubt that the future N-S commuter rail line will have any special stop here and will instead simply stop at Santa Fe Station. That doesn't mean that the Streetcar line can't or wouldn't be extended to service a potential stadium here, however.

  21. #21

    Thumbs up Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Thanks, baralheia

    Oklahoma City Energy FC & Rayo OKC together average 10,446 (USL Energy FC 5,481 & Rayo OKC 4, 965). That's impressive for a metro area's minor league attendance with tier II (NASL) & tier III (USL) soccer franchises: http://www.kenn.com/the_blog/?p=8105

    Keep in mind that Oklahoma City has an NBA franchise that has averaged 18,203; 255 consecutive sellouts over the last 6 seasons and a PCL AAA baseball club that currently averages 6,491. Our metro economy is going thru tough times with the loss of energy sector jobs. Yet, these franchises are doing better than average.

    Oklahoma City is a big league city; we are ripe for another major league sport from one of the following: MLS (marginal), NFL (7-10 years away), MLB (10 years or more away) & NHL (concurrent schedule conflict with NBA; risky) would be the order for a metro of our size (approximately 1.4 million) to consider another major professional sport. OKC metro area's population should reach approximately 1.5 million in 2020.

    Stadium cost projections for 2020:

    MLS - Capacity (18,000 - 25,000 seats) $120 - $150 million
    NFL - Capacity (65,000 - 80,000 seats) $800 million - $1.5 billion
    MLB - Capacity (40,000 - 45,000 seats) $600 million - $800 million

    We built the Chesapeake Energy Arena which opened in 2002 for $90 million and added $95 million in renovations (2011) for a total investment of $185 million to get it NBA ready: http://okgazette.com/2014/09/09/ches...h-value-venue/

    OKC could support an MLS franchise which would draw state support from neighboring cities (40-mile radius) like Norman, Edmond, Midwest City, Moore, El Reno, Yukon; also some followers from as far away as Lawton, Tulsa & Wichita; however could our future include a bigger stage than MLS?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    I just don't think NFL, but especially NHL or MLB are viable for OKC in the foreseeable future.

    While I actually think OKC would support an NFL team, it would really hurt OU, OSU, and potentially the Thunder. There's just not enough money and sponsorships to go around.

    An NHL season totally conflicts with the NBA season so I only think one could be supported at a time. Or it could lead to both failing as attendance is split.

    MLB is probably the worst fit for OKC as it just requires the most fans, by far. I don't see OKC drawing 30-40,000 for 81 home games without either struggling or killing the Thunder.

    Most studies show that it requires one million people to support a professional franchise, and OKC is still under 1.5 million. When OKC hits 2 million people (which will be a while) then maybe one of those other major leagues would make sense.

    However, the MLS requires lower attendance and has a limited number of games. It's a niche sport that might draw some different fans. I really think OKC could support that now and not detract from any other area sports teams.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post

    Most studies show that it requires one million people to support a professional franchise, and OKC is still under 1.5 million. When OKC hits 2 million people (which will be a while) then maybe one of those other major leagues would make sense.

    However, the MLS requires lower attendance and has a limited number of games. It's a niche sport that might draw some different fans. I really think OKC could support that now and not detract from any other area sports teams.
    Agree, MLS would be our best bet; a good point you made Dan, '...not detract from any other area sports teams.' Major pro soccer fans are a different breed than NBA basketball & collegiate spectator sports.

    1 million per major league sport (except MLS) is the criteria safety support net for major league sports.

    Nashville acquired NFL (Oilers) & NHL (Predators) in 1997-98--their 2000 MSA population was 1,231,311; however, their state population (Tennessee - 2000 census) was 5,689,283 & corporate support had a lot to do with supporting 2 major league franchises. Memphis supports NBA basketball some 195 miles away. Vanderbilt University sports aren't on the same profile support as the University of Oklahoma.

    Charlotte acquired NBA Hornets (1988) & the NFL Panthers in 1995; Charlotte had a 2000 MSA of 1,499,293 with a North Carolina state population in 2000 of 8,049,313. North Carolina's state corporate support helped with both the NBA & NFL; an NHL Hurricanes are based in Raleigh .

    Minnesota (Minneapolis-St. Paul) is the smallest state with an NFL franchise (Minnesota Vikings) with a current state 2015 projected population of 5,489,594. The state supports MLB, NFL, NBA (in Minneapolis) & NHL (St. Paul).

    Oklahoma & Oklahoma City-Tulsa (100-miles apart) are not on the same level as Minneapolis-St. Paul or Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN.

    Oklahoma would need at least 5 million state residents & strong corporate sustenance to support something on the level of the NFL or MLB. The state's current population (3,911,338) suggests that Oklahoma should reach slightly over 4 million residents in 2020.

    Major League Soccer (MLS), would you support it?

  24. #24

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    Those are certainly some interesting comparisons. What are the best metro comparisons for OKC? HERE is a list of NBA cities' media market size, and I'd think Memphis and maybe New Orleans provide the best comparisons. I would have included Salt Lake City, but they're pretty far above OKC. Other close cities include San Antonio and Milwaukee. Also, there are 5 NBA teams with only an NBA team of the four major sports leagues (which doesn't include MLS) and they all have gret fanbases, which I think is pretty cool: Portland, Orlando, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Utah. Which cities' pro sports situations, results, and potential provide the most insights for what's possible in OKC? It's obviously such a complex question once you factor in corporate sponsorships, college sports support, and infrastructure needed for pro teams.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Major League Soccer in OKC

    2014 Medium household incomes:

    Memphis $45,844
    New Orleans $46,784
    Oklahoma City $52,416
    Portland $60,248
    San Antonio $52,689
    Salt Lake City $62,642

    Salt Lake City & Portland are NBA members like OKC; both have MLS franchises:

    2015-16 NBA attendance average:

    Portland 19,367 - MLS attendance average: 21,144
    Salt Lake City 19,304 - MLS attendance average: 19,544
    San Antonio 18,449 - USL attendance average: 6,601
    Oklahoma City 18,203 - USL & NASL attendance average: 5,481 + 4,965 = 10,446
    New Orleans 16,793
    Memphis 16,697

    Greatest concern for obtaining an MLS franchise: There are a number of cities on the MLS' radar:

    21. Minneapolis (expansion 2018)

    On MLS radar for 3 more franchises (24 team league) before 2020 are Charlotte, Atlanta, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit and San Antonio.

    MLS is also interested in San Diego, Austin, Cincinnati & Las Vegas. All of these markets have MSA populations in the proximity of 2 million or more.

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