MLS Commissioner bashes CFL


Get out the pitchforks. The Ottawa talk starts at 30:25.

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Just read this article in today’s Citizen, the coach of the Ottawa fury bashes the CFL, he states is is the smallest, most unsuccesful sports league in the world!! There is a big campaign in Ottawa to kill CFL football, this guy gets lots of space in the paper to bash the CFL:

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This is very sad, very sad. Puny people who don't understand their own country, history and tradition and have to use trash talk to make their point, disgusting, low life, low class people with not an ounce of respect towards their country in their brains.

The CFL, the bad guy? WTF? I love it, love going to the games and watching the games, it's Canada's league, really, is this a joke what these people are saying? They may as well join those Fox network joke people who trashed our troops and Canada's military, honestly. And it's in Ottawa, our nation's capital!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy shiite, that's scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not that the MLS is looking for my money but I will never, ever pay a cent to go to an MLS game or merchandise or anything, they have completely lost me, well, thank god this outfit has never had me in the first place.

Ya, He is clueless, Ottawa Granted a conditional franchise because no other cities were bidding?

Is he even aware that no other cities have stadiums?

Probably not, he cares about getting $$ into his dieing league, it's to soon to say, but after 1 week of MLS attendance is down in most places

Maybe I'm just living in a dream world, but I expected that media outlets would have to do a little fact checking before printing letters like that.

It surprises me from the Citizen, since I thought they tended to have a more professional stance than the Sun.

Yes CRF. I was just saying the MLS calls themselves Major League Soccer. It isn't major league and never will be, they are false advertising. Using the term "major" should have nothing to do with geography. They should have called themselves something like America's Soccer League, that I can buy but not "major".

The CFL never made that mistake fortunately so this dissconnect isn't there despite the fact that even with the CFL, there are people out there who say it shouldn't exist as a pro league and no one should be able to make money playing in it, only the National Football League deserves, if you will, to exist. Some people think that. They are confused by the CFL but I'm sure they will be doubly confused with the term Major League Soccer.


Bah, don't pay any mind to the Ottawa Fury coach. Aside from his rudeness, which speaks pretty clearly to his bias and character, what would you expect him to say? Besides, it's in the letters or opinion section.

Here's a couple of positive articles by more qualified observers:

No Field of Dreams

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By Robert McLeman, Citizen Special
March 25, 2009 8:32 AM

[i]City council is now facing two unsolicited proposals to build a new stadium suitable for professional soccer and/or football.

Both proposals come from groups involved with ownership of hockey teams in the city. The group associated with the Ottawa 67s, who play out of the arena at Lansdowne Park, not surprisingly, want to see a new football stadium next door. The competing group, associated with the Senators, wants to build a stadium next to Scotiabank Place. Again, no surprise. For the taxpayers being asked to foot most of the bill, which location makes the most sense to put a new stadium?

Three key factors make a sports stadium a success: accessibility, surrounding amenities, and the nature of the sporting event that anchors the venue. The on-field or on-ice success of the team that plays inside the venue is of less importance.

Let's start with accessibility. When Montreal and Toronto replaced their aging NHL rinks in recent years, they built them downtown. The other Original Six teams -- Boston, Chicago, Detroit and New York -- all play downtown. Vancouver's arena is downtown, Edmonton and Calgary play in rinks right on the edge of the city centre.

The same story goes for baseball. Iconic Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are urban ballparks. When Yankee Stadium and Tiger Field were replaced, the ballparks stayed downtown. Minor league ballparks from Toledo to Winnipeg are all downtown.

For sports such as hockey, basketball and baseball, with long seasons and many week-night games, having the stadium or arena downtown is essential.

You want fans to be able to go straight from work to the game and get home on public transportation. Or, if they are coming from home with the kids, you want them to be able to get to the game and back quickly.

You don't want your fans sitting in traffic on the Queensway. That's a big reason why seats for midweek Sens games are hard to sell, and why the baseball stadium sits empty.

The amenities that surround a sports facility are also critical. Anyone who has been to a game in Boston or Montreal knows that much of the thrill comes from going out for dinner and drinks before or after the game, and from the boisterous atmosphere on the sidewalks near the stadium. Major League Soccer's Toronto FC franchise is wildly successful. The team plays in a new downtown stadium, and there is a long waiting list for tickets. When you go to see Toronto FC, the game itself is almost incidental to the experience. After all, a soccer match is completed in less than two hours, and the team has yet to reach the playoffs. Its success with fans is built on recreating the European soccer experience, which necessitates a downtown setting.

The FIFA Under-20 World Cup gave Ottawa sports fans a taste for big-league soccer played in a downtown stadium. If you were there, you need no further explanation. If you weren't, suffice it to say that Lansdowne Park was packed to the rafters, and restaurants and pubs within walking distance were throbbing. That atmosphere could never have been created in a Kanata parking lot.

The nature of the sporting event is a third crucial factor. The only professional sports league in North America that consistently fill stadiums outside the urban centre is the National Football League. NFL teams draw fans from large regional markets and play only eight regular season home games a year, mostly on Sunday afternoons. Fans will drive hundreds of kilometres to attend a game, and the smallest NFL stadium holds more than double the people Frank Clair stadium does. So the location of an NFL stadium is dictated by the availability of lots of cheap land and access to regional highways.

Canadian Football League games are typically scheduled on week nights. It therefore makes sense they be played in the urban centre, as they are in Hamilton, Montreal and Toronto. Montreal Alouettes games, played in McGill University's happily cramped stadium, generate an atmosphere comparable to a Toronto FC soccer match. It's no surprise that the CFL's Argos would dearly love to get out of the soulless Skydome, notwithstanding its downtown location, and into the nearby soccer stadium.

Which brings me to my point about success.

Of all the teams mentioned in this article, only four have won championships this millennium: the Detroit Red Wings, the Boston Red Sox, the Montreal Alouettes and the New York Yankees.

Fans understand championships are rare. If the stadium is easy to get to, fun to be at, and provides a half-way decent spectacle, the fans will come back, even if the home team loses.

My biggest concern about both stadium proposals before council is their need for sweet land deals and for taxpayers to underwrite most of the costs and take most of the long-term risks. In the big picture, it really doesn't much matter if Ottawa does without a CFL or MLS team. But if city councillors really think we need a new stadium, please be wary of voices saying, "If you build it, they will come," especially if they call from Kanata.

Robert McLeman is assistant professor of geography at the University of Ottawa and would love to see the CFL and MLS in Ottawa, but not at any price.

In the movie Field of Dreams, an invisible speaker tells Kevin Costner to build a baseball stadium in a corn field. The voice is right when it says, "If you build it, they will come" -- so long as you build your stadium in the urban core, and not a corn field. The City of Ottawa found this out the hard way the last two times it built a professional sports stadium. Will we strike out a third time?

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen [/i]

MLS chief won't promise Ottawa will get team

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Wed, March 25, 2009

[i]Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber says Ottawa remains a "very, very, very viable candidate," but stopped short of guaranteeing a MLS franchise to Eugene Melnyk's group if it secures a stadium deal with the city.

"We have never made a contingent commitment to a city, nor has any other league, the NHL or any other of the major sports leagues," Garber said yesterday.

However, the CFL has granted a conditional franchise to the Lansdowne Live group, which has a competing proposal for an outdoor stadum project before city council to renovate Frank Clair Stadium.

"In the absence of a definitive franchise, it makes it awkward for the city," said Jeff Hunt, one of the proponents behind the Lansdowne Live proposal. "What would they do, award a 'conditional' building and hope for an MLS franchise at some undetermined point down the road, if ever?"

Garber believes the CFL granted Ottawa a conditional franchise because no other cities were bidding.

"If there were other cities bidding, they might not have been able to do that because it would just turn the whole process upside down," he said.

Vancouver and Portland were granted MLS franchises last week for the 2011 season. Vancouver, which is selling season tickets at a record MLS pace, was considered a shoo-in. Portland was bolstered by a multi-million plan approved by its city council to upgrade PGE Park for the MLS team and build a new stadium for its Triple-A baseball team.

The Portland bid, unlike Melnyk's Kanata stadium proposal, also guaranteed no financial risk to the City of Portland.

Even if Ottawa council had decided last month to choose Melnyk's proposal to build a stadium in Kanata, it may not have been enough to win an 2011 expansion team, Garber said.

"They would have been a very, very compelling candidate, and they remain ... a compelling candidate, but I can't look backward on that."

Garber expects further expansion in 2012.

"We believe Ottawa would be a great market, we believe (the Melnyk group's) site represents an opportunity for Ottawa to have a facility that would provide value for the citizens of Ottawa without taking valuable land downtown that is relatively constrained."

City council is scheduled to make a decision on the competing stadium and league proposals on April 22.


I would like to b able to post an intelligent, well thought out response to this meathead Stephen Spence. But instead, as this is an emotional issue for me, I'll give my gut reaction, and realize that I should do better. But since his whining little rant in the Citizen is moronic, I'll respond in a way he might understand. Spence: Suck it up, Princess. You ARE an idiot. Consider yourself given the finger.

True enough dmont about that Fury coach.

Why does Garber keep on talking about our league like he knows everything? Why doesn't he shut up and talk about his own league. Cohon isn't going around talking about soccer and "Major" League Soccer. Man that infuriates me. And he doesn't even live in our country or have Canadian citizenship. If I ever see this man in person...

And he won't guarantee Ottawa gets a team even if Ottawa turns down Lansdown Live and votes for Melnyk's proposal. I figured as such.

Even if Ottawa council had decided last month to choose Melnyk's proposal to build a stadium in Kanata, it may not have been enough to win an 2011 expansion team, Garber said.

Read VERY closely, Ottawa city council...

By the way, isn't that a far cry from being "almost inconceivable" that we would not get one?

That would be enough to make me vote no if I was on the fence, that’s for sure, vote no to Melnyk’s proposal that is and yes to Lansdowne Live even if I was edging towards the soccer thing.

[quote]Just read this article in today's Citizen, the coach of the Ottawa fury bashes the CFL, he states is is the smallest, most unsuccesful sports league in the world!! There is a big campaign in Ottawa to kill CFL football, this guy gets lots of space in the paper to bash the CFL:

All I can say about this coach is "What an As@#$%e!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Cfl the smallest and most unsucessful league in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey idiot, how many so-called professional soccer leagues have come and gone in Canada and the US!!!!!!!! the M(inor)LS are going to be just the next in a loooooooooong list of soccer leagues that will end up in the defunct league graveyard, while the CFL will keep going and going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If this guy ever experienced a real tackle like in gridiron, he'd probably go crying to his mama afterwards that those gridiron guys are way to mean and rough. :lol:

Don´t sweat it Earl, just remember it is only an OP/ED article that is based on conjecture; not a front page headline.

True enough NJ, well said. :thup:

According to Steven Spence, coach of the Ottawa Fury, he wrote: ... story.html
           "The sad truth is that the CFL is begging for Ottawa to re-enter its stale league while cities in the United States 
            and Canada are lining up for a chance to pay $30 to 40 million to join the MLS."

Hmmm, let me see,

Atlanta bailed out, Miami bailed out, Montreal bailed out, St. Louis did not get enough financial backing/support, Portland was an 11th hour decision..........

Coupled with the fact that the U.S. and the rest of the world is mired in a recession -- tell me who else besides Melnyk is "lining up" to throw $30 to $40 million with absolutely no gaurantees of gaining MLS membership?

And correct me Mr Spence if I am wrong, the CFL did not come "begging" to Mr Hunt and Co. or anyone else; the CFL granted a conditional franchise to Mr Hunt´s group pending stadium approval.

Gee coach, I think you got hit too hard in the head by a soccer ball. :cowboy:

If the MLS Commissioneer is willing to bash another league well it really shows where there league is going, Ive never hear of the NHL bashing another hockey league, or profesional sports franchise. The NFL has never bashed the CFL, for the MLS a league just about as popular as the WNBA for television ratings he sure speaks high.

When a Commissioner of any sports acts like that it makes his sport look small time, if the MLS is doing that well a Commissioner wouldn't rip on another league to promote its own.

What makes it more ironic is that prior to being commissioner of MLS, Garber was commissioner of NFL Europe.

This Spence guy sounds like a real winner. Makes himself look so foolish, why do people say these things to the media? They are lining up at the $40 mill door, lining up to say NO THANK YOU as you mention the cities NJ.

Garber's favourite song is "the answer is blowin in the wind" I'd say.

Write back!!! Write letters to the Citizen yourselves, to show the rest of Ottawa how far off base this guy is. That's the best way to get the word out. If there are 50 letters supporting the CFL for every one letter from some idiot like that, people will see the way it really is.

I get a huge laugh out of him calling the CFL small and unsuccessful. What league does he play in again?