Chivas USA have confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that club owners are in active conversations with multiple communities in Los Angeles regarding a potential new home for the Goats, who currently share the Home Depot Center with the LA Galaxy.
“There are a lot of cities asking for us to move and we’re evaluating that, but it’s going to take some time and right now, we’re focusing on playing here this year,” co-owner Antonio Cué told MLSsoccer.com from the HDC. “We will study all the locations and when we are ready to make a move then we’ll let everyone know. We’re not ready now though because all of [the cities] seem to be pretty good.
“But we’re obviously talking to a lot of cities that are all within LA and there is nothing outside of LA County,” he added.
There you have it. The co-owner is bent on staying in LA county and won’t go the route of the Los Angeles Rams or the Los Angeles Angels. Then there’s the Los Angeles Blues that play at Cal State Fullerton. Never mind that Santa Ana is in the Los Angeles basin and defines Greater Los Angeles: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana. But you can’t blame the guy, he’s not originally from the LA area and his sporting organization, from the top down, is still struggling to find a sense of place and identity.
It should be noted that the LA-based Spanish language newspaper, La Opinión, also published a similar story about them wanting to keep the association with Los Angeles and not San Diego or apparently, anything outside of LA county.
“Nos vamos a quedar con su casa.” This translates to, “We’re going to take over their home field.” These were the words of Chivas USA co-owner Jorge Vergara regarding the LA Galaxy and their home field, the Home Depot Center in Carson, when Chivas unveiled its arrival in Los Angeles and Major League Soccer in 2004. Did he know of something looming on the horizon, like Farmers Field? Did he expect the Galaxy to eventually call Farmers Field home? Possibly. It is also possible that the Galaxy may move into Farmers Field, but still, everything is a hypothetical scenario. There is still no guarantee that Farmers Field will get built but if it does, it is very possible that the Galaxy may move in there given that the stadium developer, Anschutz Entertainment Group, owns the Galaxy.
Everything may be dependent on what decision is made in Los Angeles. It could very well be that any decision or announcement to move on behalf of Chivas USA is stalled due to what LA city council decides on Farmers Field. If the Downtown LA NFL stadium is not built then there is more incentive for Chivas USA to look to build a stadium somewhere in the LA region. The question that the owners of Chivas USA must be asking themselves is, “Do we want to continue leasing a stadium from AEG and the Galaxy?”
It is most certain that the Galaxy won’t fill Farmers Field if they move there but looking at things objectively, they can probably get their average attendance to around 35,000 or near (maybe above?) Seattle’s 36,000.
In the meantime rumors are flying about a deadline given to Santa Ana city council to make a decision concerning a move. The whole region may get an answer by summer’s end because Phil Anschutz, owner of the company proposing the NFL stadium in Downtown LA, also gave the Los Angeles city council until July 31st to make a decision on the NFL stadium.
It all seemingly boils down to this: Farmers Field gets built, the Galaxy moves in and Chivas plays its games at the HDC in Carson..
Farmers Field gets built, the Galaxy stays at the HDC, Chivas breaks its business ties with AEG, which is the company that owns the HDC and the Galaxy, and builds and finances its own stadium somewhere in the LA region. The club has certainly been testing the possibility of Santa Ana.
There are other potential scenarios but there has been enough speculation on a move to Santa Ana already, on both the pro and con sides. This has been the Sentinel’s final say on Chivas USA, until a new development comes up, if ever.