LOS ANGELES CA - JULY 29: Could Chivas USA move to the LA Coliseum (hopefully minus the dirt) in 2013? (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
This morning, Drew Epperley over at WVHooligan.com reported that Chivas USA is seriously considering leaving the Home Depot Center after the 2012 season and finding an existing stadium in the interim before a (presumably new) soccer-specific stadium is built by the club. Epperley's article derives from a report on mediotiempo.com (Spanish) from yesterday. As Chivas' Director of Marketing Rodrigo Morales explained in the Mediotiempo story, Chivas need to leave the Home Depot Center sooner or later, as they look ridiculous staying as the tenants in the stadium of their archrival year after year. This has been a critique leveled at the club since its founding, one that even committed Chivas fans often agree with.
The interesting detail is not about a new stadium, with no news coming out on that front for many months, but that Chivas may go to the LA Coliseum for the 2013 season, and potentially beyond. Epperley makes an excellent point that the Coliseum is potentially a bad public relations move, as the cavernous stadium will likely be pretty empty for matches (barring an additional 80,000+ season ticket holders by the 2013 season), a move that will put it in not-so-illustrious company with D.C. United (currently playing at RFK Stadium) and the New England Revolution (playing at Foxboro Stadium). Another complaint, along the lines of those frequently heard at RFK, is that the Coliseum likely does not have facilities as good as the Home Depot Center, although let's all hope there's no rodent problem.As the mediotiempo article notes, the good thing about the Coliseum is the location. While the LA area is so spread out that a stadium anywhere is bound to be far for at least a portion of the fanbase, a downtown LA location, even on a temporary basis, is something I personally would welcome, if only for selfish reasons. I do think Carson is fairly far afield of Los Angeles-proper, and the argument that downtown LA is more proximate to a large Latino population is somewhat compelling (although the Latino population is spread out all over Southern California). The Coliseum may compel potential fans to take in a game, regardless of race, and that is the point of moving, after all.
Supposing Chivas do move to the Coliseum, the question turns to when and where will their own stadium be built? Again, the Coliseum could be a good signal of intent, that they are trying to move out of the shadow of the Galaxy, but if it turns into an indefinite move, the criticism of the ownership, by fans and neutral observers alike, will continue to weigh the club down. Building a stadium takes time, between buying the land, getting the necessary permits and financing, and actually physically building it. The timetable for Chivas moving into their own stadium is years away, it's just a matter of how many years. Regardless of what happens, we'll keep an eye on developments and pass them along.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!