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Stadium news

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And the crowd! goes! wild! in Soccerboardland, as MLS lets fly with....a drawing. And also (as you've probably heard by now) the announcement that groundbreaking at Harrison is slated for September 19th. Finally.


Live it, learn it, sing it."

Such first reactions are somewhat understandable. Metro fans have been wandering the desert, so to speak, for almost ten years now. They've sighted oases that turned out to be mirages, and been aggravated. They've endured mustachioed Italian-American Moses promising them he'd dig a well just beyond the next dune, and grown more desperate. They've been made part of the single longest, most played-out joke in American professional soccer, and just about given up hope. So when a date, a real, honest-to-god, break-out-the-ceremonial-silver-shovels groundbreaking date is put out there, you can't be surprised when a bunch of fans run to snatch the silver and blue can, guzzle it, and smack their lips in ecstasy. It could be champagne they're drinking, or it could be warm horse piss and battery acid - it doesn't really matter when you're that thirsty.

They're all gonna call it champagne anyway.

On the good side, it's a nice enough looking place. Better than the current crop of MLS concert-specific facilities? Perhaps, but that's not for me to say - out of the four, I've only been to Columbus, which is what it is. LA looks like a fine place, I guess - from the vantage point of my couch, it's the best venue we've got going in this country. I admit, I like Dallas's eternally-unfinished-construction-site look, what with the bare concrete walls along the playing field, the smell of fresh sawdust and epoxy everywhere you turn (but enough about the Pizza Hut stands). It's certainly unique, sort of a exurban Texas take on Wrigley's ivied bricks, and I hope they keep it that way. As for Chicago, well, if nothing else you can see how cagey AEG was in hiring John Guppy; obeying a corporate mandate to keep the Firehouse in mint condition as long as possible, he's deploying a set of battle-tested strategies (ask a Metro fan) to keep the seats unused, the concourses unscuffed, the whole place immaculate and virginal forever.

That IS what's going on in Chicago, correct?

Anyway, here's to those putting their blind faith in artists' conceptions, carefully selected images and such; best be careful around real estate prospectuses and, I say. For me, the best thing to remember here is that the long Meadowlands nightmare is nearing its end, and that there'll be a stadium for our team - or some team - in Harrison where it belongs. And that it'll be there long after the soda hucksters have gone away.

Meanwhile, let's just hope that season ticket holders get priority seating for the real main event at Harrison in '08 (or '09, or '10 - soon enough, at any rate): NY/NJ/X Games. AEG+RB+ESPN+the NYC metro area = you're crazy if you think this isn't happening sometime in the next few years.

That was the HDC last weekend. Can't wait to see how it plays next game.

Oh, and as for tonight's match. Do you really think Barcelona is going to be content to leave without beating the holy hell out of someone? Me neither. Prediction: Dunno bout you, but I'd take Barca -2 goals. Have the feeling it's going to be one of those nights.

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