Santa Ana finds itself fighting a hypothetical scenario, one based on, what if talks with Chivas USA advance to further phases?
1. The potential for Chivas USA moving to Santa Ana is no secret. The L.A. Times reported on this back in 2008. This was announced, as I accurately wrote in a previous article, in a State of the City address. The fact that others were not informed, or did not inform themselves of the beginning of discussions that started in 2008 does not make this a secret.
2. This has to do with how people want to use space, in this case, Willowick and Eddie West Field. Having fields (note the emphasis on plural) means more people can use this space, not just a select few.
3. Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution shares a stadium with the Patriots of the NFL and the Seattle Sounders share a stadium with the Seahawks. So do the Redskins and D.C. United, although the soccer club is looking to build their own stadium. There are solutions for multi use.
4. Streets could become deadlocked if their is no traffic mitigation. There always is an EIR. This is something that cities with arenas or stadiums do during game days and it’s a no brainer. If the city truly thought that traffic could not be mitigated or that the idea of bringing a team here was an absolutely terrible one to begin with, talks would have died at the very beginning in 2008.
5. Many people will benefit from having a light rail going through Downtown Santa Ana to take people to the Civic Center in addition to the downtown and the stadium. Already voices have been heard in support of this (mine included) from residents, transit advocates and business people in the downtown. This is not about one person’s benefit, in this case the mayor, and to say so is tantamount to a personal and political attack and is nothing more than that.
6. The argument against not having any pro sports team in Santa Ana because of the celebrations on Bristol street that come along with it is a scare tactic. Whenever an LA region teams wins a championship, the entire region celebrates. This is nothing new to Bristol street and it happens when the Angels, Lakers or whatever LA team wins big. Chivas USA is no different. In fact, not having Chivas USA here won’t change how people celebrate victories on Bristol.
7. In continuing to play along with all of the hypothetical scenarios and solutions for Chivas USA, like having them play in San Diego, or (laughing) Farmers Field, the answer is a resounding no… they, nor the LA Galaxy will call the still-imaginary Farmers Field home. Farmers Field is a proposed 72,000 seat NFL stadium in Downtown LA. The Galaxy will not sell out Farmers Field, they are not Real Madrid or Barcelona as much as they’d like to think they are. They can’t fill a stadium like the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid or Camp Nou in Barcelona. They’re no Manchester United and they can’t even dream of filling a place like Old Trafford. They don’t even sell out the Home Depot Center. In fact, after ten homes games for the 2011 season, they have an average attendance of 23,165 per game. Heck, they’re not even the Seattle Sounders, that are averaging just over 36,000 per game. Farmers Field will however, house big soccer games like when Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester, Guadalajara and the Mexican national soccer team come to town.
8. Grupo Modelo, Chivas USA’s gargantuan international sponsor, has big $$$. ‘Nuff said.