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Where oh where will our goats play?

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Home Depot Center just isn't cutting it anymore.  But where to now for the Red and White? (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Home Depot Center just isn't cutting it anymore. But where to now for the Red and White? (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
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But we're obviously talking to a lot of cities that are all within LA and there is nothing outside of LA County.”

Last week, fellow Goat Parade contributor Alicia Ratterree, posted her thoughts on Antonio Cue's comments regarding a location for a new stadium.  Here today I present some of my speculative thoughts on where the team could head to.  For the record, there is nothing official about these places.  They are simply a wishlist and in no particular order.

Drake Stadium

Located on the campus of UCLA, the facility currently seats about 10,000 with 99% of the seating on the Westside of the stadium.   Surrounded by a running track, it makes for awkward sightlines the further down you sit.  However, it’s been good enough for UCLA’s Soccer programs over the years, churning out US National team players for both the Men’s and Women’s programs.  With a few upgrades such as restrooms and an Eastern grandstand, the capacity could be increased to MLS standards between 15,000 and 20,000.

Lastly (and no disrespect to any Toro’s out there) but at the end of the day, where would you, the adventurous and outgoing Soccer fan rather go?  A stadium surrounded by a cookie cutter neighborhood with warehouses off to the side in Carson?  Or a stadium located on the grounds of one of the nation’s most famous academic institutions, surrounded by bars, restaurants, and many other things to do before and after the match? 

Now if only they could do something about the whole 405 thing, as well as the aforementioned track.

Pomona Fairplex

No need to worry lovers of the county fair.  Have you seen the size of the parking lots there?  You could fit an NFL sized stadium there.  Sure, it’s a little off the beaten path so to speak, but the possibilities are endless.  And while many would say the team would be too far from Los Angeles to begin with, there would still be a whole new demo to go after known as the Inland Empire.  The 14th largest metropolitan area in United States according to the 2000 census.  Sure, there is a Racetrack and Raceway in the way.  It’s nothing a demolition crew can’t handle.  And if for some reason the Racetrack nor Raceway are expendable, then the parking lot on the eastern portion of the Fairplex can do the trick.

With the 10, 210, and 57 all meeting in and around the area, getting there shouldn’t be a problem for those traveling from other parts of Southern California.  And lastly, there is a Metrolink station less than two miles away.  For those choosing not to drive to “Corona Stadium at the Fairplex”, the Goats FO can either arrange for shuttle services to and from the North Pomona station, or fans can strap on their best walking shoes and hit the pavement.  A little cardio before and after the match shouldn’t hurt.

Exposition Park

Now this one has popped up before.  Earlier this year there was a proposal put in place by the LA City Council.  The long rumored story here was that Sports Arena was to be torn down, use up the space on where it sits, and build a new stadium there that could be shared with USC’s Women’s Soccer program.  While some would argue that the area is “the hood”, many more can point to the gentrification going on in the area.  With that happening, a little bit more each and every day, and with more housing units being built, why not put in a new Soccer facility there?  Not only that, but Metro’s new Expo line will provide easier access to the area from faraway places like Pasadena, Culver City, East LA, Long Beach, etc…  to bring people to the area.  With the Coliseum already in place next door, the Goats would have a facility in place, just in case they arranged any high profile exhibition matches. 

Weingart Stadium

Located on the campus of East Los Angeles Community College, Weingart Stadium is no stranger to high level sports.  During the heyday of the NASL (North American Soccer League) the stadium hosted the Los Angeles Aztecs.  It was also the site of several events during the 1984 Olympics.  With a capacity of over 20,000 (7,000 less than the HDC), it is already MLS attendance ready.  Sure it has field turf and somewhat visible football lines (cough-cough “Seattle” cough-cough).  But an MLS budget (spearheaded by our loaded owners in Antonio Cue and Jorge Vergara) should be able to cover the cost of putting in real grass and even building a state of the art press box with a few suites.  Maybe replacing the benches with actual seats would be a nice upgrade to look into.  But one thing at a time.

The Metro Gold Line does service the area courtesy of the Atlantic Station.  But much like the Fairplex, a shuttle may be needed to reach it should fans not want to make the walk.  Unlike the Fairplex, the walk is only about a mile should one be interested in getting some exercise.  To put things in perspective, the Home Depot Center is nearly 3 miles from the nearest train station. 

And those were some of a few locations the Goats can look into. PLenty more to speculate over in the weeks and months to come.