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View Full Version : MLS soccer team in Toronto (Canada) for 2007 season!



bana2166
03-21-06, 03:21 PM
The construction of soccer-specific stadiums is a major strategic priority for MLS. Four MLS teams in FC Dallas, the Los Angeles Galaxy, Chivas USA, and the Columbus Crew are presently play in soccer specific stadiums.

These stadiums provide an intimate and exciting environment for fans to experience the game. At least four more facilities will open in the next two years for the following teams: Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, MLS Toronto (begins play in 2007), and Red Bull New York.

http://www.bigapplesoccer.com/article.php?article_id=5697


Second Part of Artilce

Peddie passionate about soccer team in Toronto
By GEORGE GROSS, TORONTO SUN

Richard Peddie often is referred to as the meddling, millionaire president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd.

But Peddie, who has a record of top executive positions in various branches of the industry, marches to his own drummer. He has immaculate business ethics that translate into money-making balance sheets for owners.

Even now he has a two-year plan before he retires -- which includes the company's participation in soccer.

Peddie is enthusiastic about the future of the MLSEL team in Major League Soccer, an organization owned by wealthy American businessmen, including Lamar Hunt of Dallas and billionaire Philip Anschutz of Denver. They, between them, own eight of the franchises.

That doesn't bother Peddie. Neither is he concerned by the fact that the league, not the individual clubs, owns all the players and assigns them to the various teams.

Peddie's background of half a dozen executive posts gives him the assurance that he can do anything, including meddling into the affairs of the Leafs and Raptors. As he says: "I'm the CEO, I should know what's going on."

A stickler when it comes to research, Peddie knows that many local teams -- with the exception of Steve Stavro's Toronto City of the 1960s -- have failed in the promotion of soccer. But as a calculating businessman, Peddie figured out that the new MLSEL team, yet to be named, has a good chance to succeed.

"We present our board every October with a plan for the future," he said. "Two years ago, we presented two ideas for the board's consideration. One was the building of Maple Leaf Square with the intent of selling all the condos.

"The second idea was to become involved in professional soccer. We had several meetings with MLS commissioner (Don) Garber and Ontario Soccer Association president (Guy) Bradbury. We also analyzed the situation and took into consideration the influx of various nationalities to Toronto in recent years.

"We have a few things going for us. First of all, we have all the resources we need. We've already paid $10 million for the franchise. Secondly, we will have a stadium at the CNE that will seat 20,000. We will also host the world under-20 championship which will focus sports fans' interest on soccer, and so, of course will the interest reach fever pitch with the 2006 World Cup in Germany."

These temporary events may help focus fan interest on soccer, but only for a short period. In order to succeed, the Toronto team must field quality first-division soccer players from Europe, Britain or South America. Moreover, the team must be a winner to keep the fans interested.

"We researched the soccer situation thoroughly," Peddie said.

"We knew the stadium was of paramount importance. We were open-minded about going to York University, or Downsview. However, the general consensus was that the CNE grounds were the best location."

GROSSLY ABBREVIATED

Thousands of words have been written about the passing of our colleague Jim (Shaky) Hunt. Needless to say, they were all well-deserved. Jim was a unique, provocative, attacking and often solicitous journalist, loved by most. He always was in a good mood, jovial and laughing, often reminding us of the good old days of journalism when the likes of Ted Reeve, Milt Dunnell, Trent Frayne, Scott Young, Jim Coleman, Jim Taylor, Jim Kearney, Red Fisher and a handful of others used to write poetic sports columns. I hired him for the Toronto Sun a couple of decades ago and loved to listen to his recollections from the world of sports. I used to say that he was the best story-teller since Hans Christian Anderson. I'll miss him greatly. Rest in peace Shaky.

MLSEL hopes to sign a top-level sports executive for the soccer team, similar to the Raptors' Bryan Colangelo.

MLSEL plans to invite soccer teams from overseas -- think Arsenal, Inter Milan, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich -- for exhibition matches against the MLSEL team and against each other.

"In two years, I'll be around 60 and might decide to take it easy," Peddie said. By then, who knows, the Maple Leafs and the new soccer team might be cup contenders.