I've been chewing on this one all day, but there is enough of something there to make it worth passing on. With a BIG caveat--this is capital R rumour stuff.
Earlier today a poster on the Voyageurs claimed that he or she had a conversation with someone in MLS that indicated to them that the Philadelphia franchise, which was scheduled to start in 2010, may be in peril. It was suggested that if Philly couldn't make the jump the league would defer the team to the 2011 expansion date and would award Philly's spot the the expansion candidate furthest along now.
That would be Montreal.
The issue in Philadelphia is financing. One of the backers is Jay Sugarman, chief executive of iStar Financial. That company has lost about 90 per cent of its value since January. Although iStar did lots of things, one of the things it did do was offer leveraged mortgages. If you have been following the news in the Great Republic over the past few months you will know that isn't the best industry to be in right now.
Philly is also backed by Christopher and Robert Buccini, who are also in the real estate business (although there is no indication that their holdings are in trouble).
The original stadium plan has been downgraded and there are conflicting reports about just how far along the construction is. Philly fans are suggesting that there is work going on but that an official groundbreaking is being delayed because of the Phillies' World Series run. Others are saying that nothing is happening and time is starting to become tight.
Vancouver is not in the running to take the spot, the rumour suggests, because of issues with its stadium plan.
Again, this is in no way verified. But, it is worth noting that It wouldn't be the first time that something was reported on the Vs board that ended up being accurate. It's pretty common, actually. But, there isn't anything even close to official out there yet...
It's just a rumour. Then again, so was today's big NHL news first reported in the Globe and Mail...
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