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