Some of these cities have viable plans -- and powerful support -- for franchises - The Province

Marc Weber

A quick look at the cities Vancouver is up against for one of two MLS expansion spots:

Atlanta
Ownership: NFL Falcons owner Arthur Blank
Stadium: Would have to be built. Several possible sites have been suggested south of Atlanta.
Noteworthy: A top-10 TV market in the U.S.

Miami
Ownership: Spanish giant FC Barcelona is partnering with Miami resident and FC Bolivar (Missouri) owner Marcelo Claure.
Stadium: Most likely at Florida International University.
Noteworthy: Miami had an MLS team, the Fusion, from 1998-2001.

Montreal
Ownership: Saputo family, who own the
USL-1 Impact, and George Gillett, the NHL Canadiens owner who also co-owns Liverpool FC.
Stadium: 13,000-seat Saputo Stadium would be expanded to 20,000.
Noteworthy: Second-largest TV market in Canada and a natural rival for Toronto.

Ottawa
Ownership: NHL Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.
Stadium: Plans for a $100-million facility near Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ont.
Noteworthy: Could be competing for city cash with a group seeking to rebuild Frank Clair Stadium for conditional return of a CFL franchise.

Portland
Ownership: Paulson family, who own USL-1 Timbers and Triple-A baseball Beavers.
Stadium: Looking to borrow $75-million from city to upgrade 19,500-seat PGE Park, and to build a new home for the vacating Beavers.
Noteworthy: Strong soccer history and a natural rival for Seattle.

St. Louis

Ownership: Lawyer Jeff Cooper leads bid group St. Louis Soccer United, but some reports suggest that a big-money owner is still needed.
Stadium: Funding in place for an 18,500-seat outdoor stadium in the suburb of Collinsville.
Noteworthy: Pet project of MLS commissioner Don Garber. mweber@theprovince.com

© The Vancouver Province 2008