TV report: El Paso won’t get MLS team without downtown stadium, also won’t get MLS team regardless

A report from KVIA-TV notes that if El Paso wants an MLS franchise, it will need to build a downtown stadium, given league commissioner Don Garber’s remarks last week about plans for an expansion team in Miam — wait, what? El Paso?

The City of El Paso had several Quality of Life Bond project meetings prior to putting projects on the ballot in November 2012 and several El Pasoans said they wanted a major league soccer stadium, estimated to cost between $100 million and $120 million. The soccer stadium project was not put on the ballot.

Okay, so “several” people in El Paso would like to get an MLS team, but there is no actual plan for a stadium. Also, El Paso is not going to get an MLS team. It’s not, right?

In March, Garber was asked about the possibily of expanding to several cities, including Austin and San Antonio.

“It’s premature for both markets. …. Expanding in Texas is something that is likely to happen,” Garber said. “Where that happens, when that happens is still to be seen.”

El Paso is not going to get an MLS team. But you know what they say: As goes Albuquerque, so goes El Paso.


25 comments on “TV report: El Paso won’t get MLS team without downtown stadium, also won’t get MLS team regardless

  1. No way MLS will put team in El Paso before Austin or SanAntonio. If they consider it they locate the stadium where City Hall currently sits. Oh too late.

  2. El Paso is bigger than OKC at least. If MLS gets a free stadium And if a good owner is present I could see El Paso getting a team.

  3. El Paso-Las Cruces metro population: 1,045,180
    Oklahoma City metro: 1,252,987

    I’d also wager that Oklahoma City’s population is much wealthier.

  4. And in terms of TV households, OKC is more than double the size of El Paso:

    http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/us/en/docs/solutions/measurement/television/2013-2014-DMA-Ranks.pdf

    Texas city limits are ridiculous.

  5. @walter – your mixing numbers, the newest El Paso CSA, with an outdated OKC MSA.

    OKC MSA 1,296,565
    OKC CSA 1,322,429

    El Paso MSA 831,036
    El Paso CSA 1,045,180

    Also, the main reason OKC has any major league team is as much to do with having the ownership group of several billionaires from the founders of Fortune 500 pubic companies and massive private companies as it is the arena and statistics to show enough money to support a team. There are are a couple cities I could have seen the Sonics relocate to before OKC had that group not been present.

  6. Actually, an honest question. Numbers quoted here notwithstanding, the urban agglomeration around El Paso is roughly as large as that around Denver, so long as one doesn’t forget that there is an international border with a large city immediately on the other side. In other words, if there is evidence that an El Paso team could draw from Ciudad Juarez, its hardly ridiculous from a market size point of view. And a league with a team called Chivas USA and that obviously wants the allegiance of US Mexicanos and Latinos shouldn’t laugh that off. So the question is, has anyone done any market research along these lines? And relatedly: does any percentage of the Padres fan base come from Tijuana? (Obviously, a different case because San Diego is not only the richer side of the border but also the more populous.) Is there anything useful to say about the Tigers or Bills on the Canadian border? Believe me I’m not making the case for an El Paso downtown stadium, just wondering out loud in the context of a discussion thread that seems uninterested in the real size and scope of the El Paso area.

  7. El Paso is drawing well in the Pacific Coast League, for whatever that’s worth:

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=l_att&lid=112&sid=l112

    Major caveats in both directions: Baseball is not futbol, and it’s only the second year of the baseball team, so honeymoon effect applies.

  8. Whenever I hear the name El Paso, this runs through my head:

    http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/robbins-marty/el-paso-11889.html

  9. Maybe they should have asked Garber about expansion to the lunar surface instead. He wouldn’t have ruled that out either.

    Good luck to the folks in El Paso, but I don’t see an MLS team coming their way in the next three decades whether they build a stadium or not.

    It’s a good question Kenny, and I don’t believe any real research has been done on cross border fan attendance (at least as far as the US/Mexico is concerned). As I understand it Mexican fans are far more likely to follow teams in their own (better) leagues than neighbouring MLS clubs, but they are not alone in that I assume. After all, southern US cities with resident minor league baseball clubs don’t follow Mexican league baseball do they?

  10. First John B. suggests that Hartford build a UFO landing site, now an MLS team on the moon… I’m sensing a suspicious trend here.

  11. El Paso would be a great place for MLS though. They got the population and hispanic culture to make it happen.

  12. Neil: That sports on earth thing you are involved with has me thinking big…

  13. Yes, John is just envisioning all the “suites” he could rent between people’s living rooms and a soccer field on the moon. As long as people in suites are already happy to watch the game on their smartphones or TV screens in the suite….. hey, look, the suite I just bought has a sofa just like the one in my living room and all my favorite snacks are in the cupboards.

  14. There are soccer fans in Juarez, but apparently not enough to keep a Mexican league team afloat:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2012/01/29/fans_say_adios_to_soccer_team_in_mexico.html

  15. Above all, it was a period of incredible violence in the city that did in the Indios. Not a lack of fan support.

  16. So maybe an MLS team on the less-violent side of the border would do better?

    I’m still having a really hard time seeing this, but I’m certainly willing to hear arguments in favor.

  17. I enjoy thinking about David Beckham reluctantly having to set up shop there.

  18. Comparing city population sizes is fairly useless in the sports business. Individual spending power and corporate strength are what team owners are looking for, not “passion” from some group of fans, unless they are passionate fans ready to spend a lot on premium seating.

    Oklahoma City’s relative wealth is decisive in any comparison with El Paso, which is a poor city with very few major companies. Even for a relatively small number of games like MLS, an El Paso team would not generate revenue, which is why no one will seriously talk about it.

  19. Although the more recent sports business model includes a combo of government subsidies and operating subsidies , very common in the NHL and recently the Miami Heat.

  20. What the Hell are all y’all even talking about. “IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, IT WILL NEVER BE CONSIDERED OR TALKED ABOUT”! Ummm.. ITS HAPPENING, ITS BEING TALKED ABOUT AND EL PASO HAS A STADIUM PLAN IN PLACE, YOU REALLY UNDERESTIMATE MOUNTAIN STAR GROUP AND EL PASO THOSE OF YOU SAYING IT IS NOT A REAL POSSIBILITY. I KNOW FOR A FACT IT IS AND KNOW THE PARTIES INVOLVED TRYING TO BRING IT HERE AND IT HAS A DAMN GOOD CHANCE! Can’t wait to see your smug faces when it does!!!

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