Variations of Detroit City Soccer Club have been registered as domain names by the backers of a proposed MLS Detroit expansion club, according to a report.
Crain’s Detroit Business has uncovered a series of website domain names registered by Palace Sports & Entertainment whose owner, Tom Gores, has joined forces with Dan Gilbert in an effort to land an MLS expansion franchise. According to the report, over a dozen domain names based off of the moniker Detroit City Soccer Club were registered on September 28. Among those included are detcitysc.com, detcitysoccerclub.com, detcitysoccerclub.org, detcitysc.net, and several others.
A spokesman for Palace Sports & Entertainment confirmed that the company had obtained the domain names, but noted that no final decisions have been made on the team’s name and that the group is still in the early phases of the expansion effort. As Crain’s notes, the Detroit City Soccer Club name resembles Detroit City FC, the name of the city’s well-supported Premier Development League franchise:
The Detroit City Soccer Club name is strikingly similar to Detroit City Football Club, the popular semi-pro soccer team that plays to 5,000 fans a game at Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck. The owners of Detroit City FC are seeking to become a professional club and have acknowledged they’ve talked to the Gores-Gilbert effort about possible investment or purchase. The semi-pro club needs significant outside investment to play in a pro league, and for the billionaire duo Gores-Gilbert, buying or taking a share of Detroit City FC theoretically gives them a turn-key entry into the local soccer ecosystem.
A message was left for Detroit City FC co-owner Todd Kropp, who acts as spokesman for the ownership group.
In its story on the domain names, The Detroit News gathered reaction from one of DCFC’s owners:
“The fact that it’s so close to our name makes me think it’s just sort of the kind of thing you do when you start a business and you’re checking all the boxes,” Alex Wright, Detroit City co-owner, told The News on Thursday night.
“Not even starting a business, because it’s not a business. From the outside in, it looks like just starting an Organization, 101, I’d like to think that’s all there is.
“But it doesn’t help that it’s just sort of hanging out there without an explanation.”
Wright, one of five owners of DCFC, said his organization has had no contact with Gilbert, Gores or their representatives about the future of soccer in Detroit.
What both Crain’s and The Detroit News point out–and what is important to consider in this process–is that the expansion proposal in Detroit has some ways to go. While that could be said of just about any competing MLS expansion bid, Gilbert and Gores are still faced with the task of securing their preferred stadium site in downtown Detroit. The group has been in negotiations with Wayne County, which has discussed resuming the construction of an unfinished jail at the site, about securing the land as part of a larger agreement.
Detroit was one of 12 markets to be represented in expansion bids that were submitted in January. As has been noted in our MLS expansion odds, the backing of Gilbert and Gores could make the Detroit bid intriguing for MLS, though the stadium is a major factor needs to be addressed.
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