MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott discussed a variety of matters with reporters on Tuesday in Portland ahead of Wednesday's All-Star Game, and of course one of the hot topics was the future of Chivas USA.
MLS president Mark Abbott confirming League looking to sell Chivas USA to LA group, who would play in Downtown stadium.— Max Bretos (@mbretosESPN) August 5, 2014
And TSN's Luke Wileman had a longer quote from Abbott on the situation:
We've been spending a lot of time talking to potential buyers. I am very optimistic we can find a wonderful ownership group. I don't have a specific timetable yet but it is an area of high focus for me. I anticipate in a reasonable period of time we will have a new buyer for that club. We have been looking at USC as a potential site for a stadium. Our focus is on a central LA location. We are not going to publicly negotiate the price but it will be more than was paid by Orlando.
Chivas USA is a hot topic at the moment, not only because of the disappointment in some quarters that there is no apparent announcement forthcoming this week about the club's new owners, but also because of the report from Steven Goff on Monday that the league was shopping the club for $60 million.
That, in turn, has raised speculation that there won't be a new owner to keep the team in LA, which in turn has led to increased speculation that USL PRO team Sacramento Republic FC, in the midst of a very successful first season, could look to buy Chivas USA and move the team up there to make the jump to MLS.
But Abbott's assertion that the league would sell the club for more than Orlando City SC's expansion fee, reported to be $70 million, would appear to contradict Goff's report. The issue, of course, is whether MLS will find a taker at that +$70 million price, and whether an owner would ultimately be willing to keep the team in LA and build a stadium in downtown LA.
Although the speculation this week does not look positive, MLS appears to continue to be publicly behind keeping the club in LA. There does appear to be cause for concern, but it doesn't necessarily look like the enterprise of blossoming into a thriving club in LA is doomed. Still, expect more turns in the road ahead, and we'll of course be there to cover the latest.
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