May 17, 2006 CSL press conference (from Toronto Star web site)
CSL wants shot at new stadium
League eyes deal with Toronto FC
`We'd be happy to have discussions'
May 18, 2006. 01:00 AM
Canada's professional soccer league launched an ambitious rebranding campaign yesterday that it hopes will see some of its teams playing at Toronto FC's new soccer stadium at Exhibition Place.
The Canadian Soccer League — the new name for the former Canadian Professional Soccer League — says it has at least opened the door to Toronto's new flagship soccer venue with owner Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
"We've had some initial discussions with MLSE about a working relationship," CSL commissioner Cary Kaplan said.
"We obviously don't look at them as a competitor. We think Toronto FC and the (United Soccer League) Toronto Lynx are great for our league and we'd like to be in partnership with them."
The CSL hopes negotiations will lead to league games being played at the new stadium for some or all of the five Toronto-based teams in its 12-team league.
"We'd be happy to have discussions with (the CSL) or the Lynx ... about a rental agreement," said MLSE COO Tom Anselmi, who is also spearheading the development of the Toronto FC franchise.
"It may be a bit premature now (the stadium is 30 per cent complete), but for sure, we'd look forward to those discussions in the future."
Kaplan said "some kind of revenue sharing plan" would be at the base of any potential playing agreement with MLSE.
The newly branded league will also require big increases in attendance to make playing in the FC stadium worthwhile. Most CSL teams expect to draw at most 4,000 fans per game this season. The FC stadium's capacity is 20,000.
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