Odds of MLS Franchise in Tulsa

GoldenCaneKC

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Jul 3, 2006
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Drank coffee too late the in day yesterday afternoon, so I was awake and tossing and turning from like 3:30-6:00am. Anyway, one of the random things racing through my mind was whether or not Tulsa is in the running for any MLS expansion franchises in the next decade or two?

If we realistically are, what are the top things that need to happen to make it a reality?

If we’re not, is that just a done deal and I can forget about it or are there some realistic things we could do to move ourselves into that conversation?
 

TU_BLA

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Drank coffee too late the in day yesterday afternoon, so I was awake and tossing and turning from like 3:30-6:00am. Anyway, one of the random things racing through my mind was whether or not Tulsa is in the running for any MLS expansion franchises in the next decade or two?

If we realistically are, what are the top things that need to happen to make it a reality?

If we’re not, is that just a done deal and I can forget about it or are there some realistic things we could do to move ourselves into that conversation?
The only way Tulsa gets an "MLS" franchise is if the US professional soccer structure changes and you start to see Pro/Rel with MLS, USL Championship, USL League 1 and USL League 2 (and perhaps some other 3rd division leagues). Right now there are 3-4 3rd division leagues including USL L1 so that would need to be cleaned up because how do you promote teams who are under different league structures, different rule structures, and different salary structures? We don't have a cohesive clear structure like England does. Plus, right now, there is no way in hell MLS owners ever approve a pro/rel system that doesn't have a system for them to recoup their franchise fee costs. They're not going to let a team like FC Tulsa compete in MLS and get a share of their ad and media revenue without having paid the dues to be a part of MLS.

That said, if MLS ever went to like a 48 team system, 24 eastern conference and 24 western conference sides, it's possible. A Tulsa franchise, which could be FC Tulsa, would need the estimated $200M expansion franchise fee, a 25k seat stadium...in this case it would likely need to be stand alone and soccer specific because there isn't a stadium in Tulsa that could handle it. Skelly could be used short term until a stadium was finished, but it really doesn't have the capabilities to host soccer on that level as the pitch would be too small. I've railed on NYCFC playing at Yankee Stadium and a field that was 55 yards wide at the most which is 15 yards narrower than most world class pitches. But NYCFC is getting a soccer specific stadium in Queens across from Citi Field at the old World Expo site. Tulsa probably could not build the stadium in downtown Tulsa as space there is now at a premium. Some serious razing of abandoned structures would need to be done but doing it right would be difficult and super expensive. Now you're looking probably closer to the Jenks Riverwalk area, maybe adjacent to the new outlet mall. And that will likely eliminate some fans since it won't be in the hip downtown scene. I know the Craft's have a ton of $$$ but they would need additional investors/co-owners. QT possibly. Nordam. Not sure who else in Tulsa would be up for said venture.
 
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TulsaRulzOSUdrools

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Drank coffee too late the in day yesterday afternoon, so I was awake and tossing and turning from like 3:30-6:00am. Anyway, one of the random things racing through my mind was whether or not Tulsa is in the running for any MLS expansion franchises in the next decade or two?

If we realistically are, what are the top things that need to happen to make it a reality?

If we’re not, is that just a done deal and I can forget about it or are there some realistic things we could do to move ourselves into that conversation?
Our support just is not there right now. We don't draw enough fans. FC Cincinnati got great fan support. Beyond that, It takes HUGE money now to get a team. the buy in right now is 300-400 Million and that is before you have a stadium, name or team. Stadiums are running 200-300 Million. That is money only billionaires or a consortium of big, big investors could pull off.
 
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HuffyCane

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The only way Tulsa or any other mid size city gets an MLS franchise is if an NFL franchise is located there.

Ask Austin, locating there took about $100 million extra and threats of litigation as I understand it.
 
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TU_BLA

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The only way Tulsa or any other mid size city gets an MLS franchise is if an NFL franchise is located there.

Ask Austin, locating there took about $100 million extra and threats of litigation as I understand it.
I'd suspect St. Louis and Columbus are good models to look at...or even Sacramento. St. Louis is a good comparison but may be in the top 5 in terms of being a soccer hotbed in the country. In that case, the soccer tradition of St. Louis sort of made it a no brainer to bring an MLS franchise there.

Tulsa is more of a developing soccer town despite the Roughnecks of the 80s being here for a bit. But Tulsa is also way too fickle of a sports town to risk putting a franchise here. You could probably sell out the first couple of seasons but the second the team is mediocre or worse, you're looking at a 40% attendance drop.
 

TU 1978

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The only way Tulsa or any other mid size city gets an MLS franchise is if an NFL franchise is located there.

Ask Austin, locating there took about $100 million extra and threats of litigation as I understand it.
And they have a very nice stadium. It has also boosted the development in that part of Austin as well, not that the Domain area needed that.
 

drboobay

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Never say never. I suspect we would need to hit an explosive population growth trend. You never know. These things happen sometimes.

I just hope okc doesn't get one. Would make me puke.