It's a no-brainer that once MLS clubs began building, playing in and ultimately owning their own stadiums, the league evolved from a curiosity into a full-blooded sports entity.
With stadium control, clubs are better able to forge an identity, establish a brand, and, duh, the money. The revenues from stadium control (and all that that entails) could lead to some serious coin. MLS is unlike the NFL where teams share stadium and television revenues. In that world a team like the New York Jets can suffer the indignity of playing in Giants Stadium because they are still getting the same cash payout as their landlords as far as the league is concerned. So back in February when Alicia wrote a post about Chivas USA leaving the HDC looking for a stadium of their own, it seemed about time.
There's been considerable speculation about the destination for Chivas' permanent home, but much of what I've been hearing has been about Santa Ana. In his post titled "Why Chivas USA and Major League Soccer Need to Move to Santa Ana", Omar Ávalos Gallegos of the Santa Ana Sentinel made a strong case. I encourage you to give the article a read. He offered nine good reasons why the move made sense, not even mentioning that Santa Ana recently hosted an Open Cup match and is the hometown of 2012 Sueno winner Armando Flores.
Not all Santa Ana residents agreed, however. A group of outraged citizens created Santa Ana Save Our Stadium (Santa Ana SOS) and railed against the move. Their chief concerns were projected increases in traffic and noise and that with Chivas USA occupying the Santa Ana Stadium high school and college teams that currently use the facility would be dislocated.
The noise and the traffic are not the issues. It should be pointed out that the Santa Ana Stadium is less than five miles from the John Wayne Airport. Instead it appears a lethal cocktail of lack of transparency, poor communication from the Mayor's office and an unbending school boards have crippled, if not outright killed the prospects of Chivas USA making the move to Santa Ana.
Perhaps the death knell came earlier this month, when Mayor Miguel Pulido called the negotiations with Chivas USA officially dead. According to Adam Elmahrek of The Voice of OC, Chivas denied that they had committed to any type of negotiation, and as result have weakened the Mayor's already shaken credibility.
There will likely be more twists in the road, and they could still include Santa Ana. But at the moment, it seems like Santa Ana is out as Chivas USA's permanent home.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!