Interim city manager Paul Walters issued a statement today that seeks to resolve some of the speculation of the city’s efforts to woo Chivas USA to Santa Ana.
The statement is: “The City of Santa Ana has had very preliminary and informal discussions with Chivas USA, a Major League Soccer team currently playing at the Home Depot Center in Carson, regarding a potential relocation to a new soccer venue. At present, the City has not engaged in any formal discussions or negotiations with Chivas, USA for these purposes. In the event, the City were to pursue formal negotiations with any major league sports team to relocate to our community, we would ensure that all residents, neighborhood associations and other stakeholders would be properly notified and would have an opportunity to participate in the process.”
This statement solidifies contradictory statements from Mayor Pulido and Councilman Sal Tinajero; Pulido’s decription of the city’s talk have been one of an ongoing basis while Tinajero offered a specific plan of wooing Chivas “B” team and then the “A” team after refurbishing Eddie West stadium with an additional 5,000 seats and building a new stadium at Willowick.
Chivas doesn’t have a “B” team; they have a U-18 and a U-16 team which play talented players of that age group and Santa Ana was their home for a single season. Chivas USA U-18 club played thye Santa Ana Winds in a exhibiton at Eddie West earlier this season. While Santa Ana is a soccer town, higher levels of soccer organization struggle to succeed as this post in the Santa Ana Senitinel suggests.
Since Councilman Tinajero was so detailed in his explanation of what would happen, perhaps he can offer readers details on how the city will finance the relocation of Chivas USA. I tried to pose a question on Tinajero’s Blog, but it appears to be offline. I then sought to email Councilwoman Martinez, but her blog is offline as well.