MLS to Detroit? WTF? (Part 2 of ?)

Last week we were all blindsided by the news that, apparently, someone in Detroit believed the arrival of a Major League Soccer franchise in that city was imminent, and had purchased the Pontiac Silverdome as a venue for said team. The buyer, who at first was known only as an “unnamed Canadian” (Joey Saputo?) was later revealed to be Andreas Apostolopoulos who is, in fact, not the new general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, but the owner of Toronto-based Triple Properties Inc.

Now, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Apostolopoulos is “not just thinking soccer, but football or baseball or whatever.” This comment followed a comment where he, seriously, said: “I like sports and I like being involved with sports, so I hope to bring sporting events people will like.”

Seriously? Is this a multimillionaire who just bought an 80,000-seat stadium or a 14-year-old debating which high school team he should try out for?

Now, don’t get me wrong — I found the idea of someone buying the Silverdome to host an MLS team (in a city that had not previously, in any way, been linked to MLS) pretty ridiculous, and actually made me wonder whether the buyer had confused Major League Soccer with the freakin’ real estate company of the same acronym. So using the stadium for other sports and events is a supremely reasonable plan, because there probably won’t be any kicky-ball in that place for a good number of years, if ever.

But it’s just the guy’s complete insouciance to the whole thing that shocks me. “My son saw they were advertising it and called me while I was in Greece… I wanted to get back to find out more, so I made my trip shorter.” Oh yeah, I was just chilling in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and then I was like, sure, whatever, I’ll go drop 600 large on a defunct stadium. They can play soccer or cricket or lawn darts there. Whatevs. Pass the beluga caviar, would ya?

Doesn’t really seem like the sort of guy that would be well-received in contemporary Detroit, huh?

Then again, if he is the sort of person that pays little care to the outward flow of cash, maybe he’d make the perfect MLS owner.

“Hey Andreas, good to finally speak to you. It’s commissioner Don Garber here. Look, we’re trying to narrow down our choices for the 20th MLS team. Now, St. Louis and Miami have been waiting for a while to get their shot, so any offer you throw my way will really have to knock my socks off.”

“M’yes, m’yes, who was this again? Are you with the Taiwanese condo guys? I told you, eighty storeys isn’t ostentatious enough.”

“No no, it’s Don Garber. Major League Soccer. I’ve told St. Louis and Miami that the expansion fee is $50 million. (drawn-out, hopeful pause) Is that… something… you might… match?”

“What did you say? $80 million? Sure, sure, a million per storey more, that sounds reasonable. I’ll have the transfer sent today.”

“(girlish squeal) Uh, er, ahem… MLS is very glad to have Detroit on board Mr. Antho… Apo… Argo… uh, Moneybags!”

And that, kids, is the story of how Major League Soccer got its 20th team.

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3 Responses to “MLS to Detroit? WTF? (Part 2 of ?)”

  1. as someone who looks out there window and sees detroit…..

    they are gonna need luck… they dont even sell out wings games anymore

  2. He’s bought to flip. The story ends there, IMO.

  3. Pontiac Silverdome ownership announced Tuesday they would be bringing two of the most successful soccer teams of all-time to the Silverdome in August to play an exhibition match.

    Powerhouse A.C. Milan will take on current champions of Greek professional soccer Panathinaikos F.C. on August 6th at the Pontiac Silverdome. Tickets go on sale 6/14 at 10p and start at $29.95, and range up to $150 for front row seating.

    Silverdome Senior Soccer Advisor Roger Faulkner stated that it is the Silverdome’s goal to bring events like this to the Silverdome on a regular basis. Faulkner also stated the Silverdome is commited to “finishing what we started in ’94” when World Cup matches were at the Silverdome. Faulkner said that like the ’94 World Cup matches at the Silverdome, these events will be played on natural grass. Faulkner said that international coverage is in place and they are working on local media deals to televise the event but didn’t have details at this time.

    The match will feature 10 players on Panathinaikos F.C. currently on the 2010 World Cup team and 7 from A.C. Milan.

    Steve Apostolopoulos, Head of Sports for Triple Sports and Entertainment stated that the event will draw local and international attention. Apostolopoulos said that Triple Sports will reach out to many local youth soccer leagues in the area to provide discounted tickets and they’re going to stick to their word of making Silverdome events affordable for the entire family. It is Silverdome ownership’s hope that matches like this will be the norm at the refurbished Silverdome and that there is also hope of one day an MLS or USL team will one day call the Pontiac Silverdome home.

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