Off the back of MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott's comments on the future of Chivas USA on Tuesday, words that were promising if not guaranteeing the club's future in Los Angeles, comes a very significant fact concerning where the team will be playing beyond this season.
In Greg Lalas' wrap of Abbott's comments on a variety of topics around the league on MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday, comes a key note highlighted in the section about Chivas USA:
Note: Abbott confirmed that the team would continue to play at StubHub Center while waiting for its own stadium to be completed.
Although there are several problems with Chivas USA at the moment, and the hope is that the club will pull itself out of the muck it's been stuck in through a series of important changes (new owner, first and foremost, but also a new brand for the club, better investment in the team on and off the field), one of the most significant issues is the thorny subject of Chivas USA's current "home."
Yes, I'm so tired of seeing Chivas USA play in the LA Galaxy's home stadium that I've taken to calling it CUSA's "home," because let's face it, being continual tenants to the Galaxy is not exactly plunking down deep roots in the area. Don't get me wrong, the StubHub Center is a nice facility and is a great place to visit, but it's not Chivas USA's.
The current stadium situation is like if Chivas USA checked into a motel "to regroup" and didn't move out for 10 years, all while claiming to be looking for the "perfect home."
In the end, it's clear Jorge Vergara never seriously tried to build a stadium for this team, and in a way, we should thank our lucky stars for that, since we're no longer dealing with him, and he surely would have stuck around if he had managed to build a stadium.
And I realize building a stadium in Los Angeles is tricky, tricky business, not something that can be done with the snap of a finger or with a fan base's collective wishes. It takes lots of money, political capital, and time to actually make it happen.
But for goodness sake, playing in the Galaxy's stadium is a millstone around Chivas USA's neck. Fans (those who have stuck around, at least) absolutely loathe lining the Galaxy's pockets by buying a ticket, paying for parking, and buying concessions.
Regardless of the ownership situation, the league should seriously consider moving the team to another LA-area stadium next year, if only to lift that psychic weight. Yes, the facilities elsewhere will almost definitely be more spartan than the Galaxy's stadium, but so what? San Jose has little Buck Shaw Stadium -- why can't Chivas find a temporary home like that?
Bottom line: It's depressing to go to Chivas USA games at the Galaxy's stadium, year after year. I'm not an outlier in this viewpoint. Some of those feelings come from the team's quality, no doubt, but Chivas USA fans are sick of playing second fiddle at "home." Please, MLS, consider making a break and setting LA2 up in a different LA-area venue, and right away!
What do you think? Leave a comment below!