Now that Barcelona/Miami is out of the running for an MLS expansion team, we are left with more than just four bids seeking two spots available for expansion.
We are left with questions regarding expansion in general and whether the economic crisis will knock other potential investors out of action.
Barcelona officials pointed to the United States' sagging economy as a major reason why they decided to pull out.
According to this story, Bolivian investor Marcelo Claure, the point man for the Miami bid, the league is asking for $40 million to join, and getting the actual club up and running would cost an additional $60 million.
Are there those sorts of funds out there right now in the United States for professional soccer? It seems difficult to imagine that now, when employers lay off workers by the hundreds on a seemingly weekly basis, when school districts across the country are struggling, when some state governments are scrambling to pass a budget and raising taxes, that there would be $60 million available for soccer.
Stadiums are a must for new teams, and what city would be willing to invest the types of monies necessary for constructing a new stadium for an MLS team?
The expansion bids originally went out to seven teams but three have dropped out. Two of the remaining bids are Canadian, whose economy is not in the dire straits the American economy is. However, the crisis is not limited to the U.S.
Still, season ticket sales are strong in Seattle and the club is anxiously awaiting the start of their own franchise. And the existing teams are seemingly operating as per usual, in the red, trying to increase their own season-ticket base.
Maybe I'm being too pessimistic in thinking that the crisis will expand over to MLS and the expansion teams, but this failed Miami bid has me scratching my head and wondering just that.