Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Well, that sucks ....
I've been trying to write something for the last few days about the soap opera going on in San Jose. But with the news last night coming out of the Bay Area, it looks like the fate of the Earthquakes is sealed.

For a long time I've felt like both parties were merely trying to save face on this arrangement. Although small, the Quakes supporters are loud and the Mercury News was covering the situation pretty closely. The Mayor couldn't just let the team walk and AEG wanted to look as though they were making the best effort to sell the team.

But no one wants a team in Spartan Stadium. Spartan Shops, or SJSU, or whomever, wasn't interested in working with the Quakes to get them a deal that would allow them to survive.

I personally believe the deal to move them team to Houston was hammered out long ago and the parties involved in San Jose (AEG, SVSE, San José and MLS) have been trying to make it appear as though they were doing everything possible to put this together. Who knows, maybe there were even honest negotiations going on.

But as we've seen in every other MLS city, stadiums don't happen in two weeks. Ask D.C. Ask MetroStars. Ask Chicago. Hell, even ask Salt Lake. It takes long-term negotiations from a committed owner, not a group of people trying to offload a franchise at the earliest possible convenience.

I don't blame AEG. They did what they could ... as The Don said, "this isn't a charity." AEG didn't want to own a team and there should be no reason we make them. At least there will still be 12 teams, with Kansas City staying at least one more year, and hopefully soccer will be back in northern California sooner rather than later.


Blogger D said...

Wow. Very interesting points, and well put. It is a shame that San Jose, whose fans really are more numerous and supportive than KC, will lose its team. But $5 tix KC is around another year. There Ain't No Justice.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Mike H said...

An interesting article on who is to blame.

"And lastly, the fans shouldn't blame the whole thing on Spartan Shops, the San Jose State entity that operates Spartan Stadium. The Earthquakes have always griped about the lease there, with good cause. The terms were awful. But a reliable source tells me that five months ago, Spartan Shops sent letters to both AEG and MLS that proposed a more favorable lease arrangement for 2006, a deal that gave the Earthquakes a higher percentage of parking and concessions.

The correspondence also invited dialogue and negotiations, if the proposed terms were not acceptable. But no one from AEG has ever responded to the letter. And a telephone call placed to the AEG offices in Los Angeles drew no response, on this or any other issue involving the Quakes."

I agree with you on this being a business, but if this allegation is true, then AEG did not look at all possible offers on the table. Just an interesting piece of the puzzle.

12:52 PM  

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