Hat tip to Andrew Galvin at the OC Register for this story about the ongoing Chivas saga. Last week, the City of Santa Ana put out a press release announcing it was formally entering into a six month negotiating windows to lure Chivas USA of MSL to Santa Ana. I noted at the time, that the city’s press release lacked a quote from Chivas officials but in reading the quote from Mayor Miguel Pulido, it had to be legitimate, right? Nope. Turns out Chivas has no idea its begin formal negotiations with Santa Ana.
From Galvin’s story:
While talks until now have been informal, Chivas USA has indicated a desire to enter more formal negotiations with a view to building a stadium and practice fields on the site of Willowick Golf Course in northwest Santa Ana, Pulido said. Hence the six-month agreement.
But when I asked Chivas USA’s general manager, Jose Domene, about entering formal negotiations with Santa Ana, he said, “I haven’t heard of this.”
“We have been in talks with the city of Santa Ana, as well as four other cities,” Domene said. “We haven’t signed with any of them or committed to any exclusivity or any type of negotiation.”
Domene said Santa Ana, with its many amateur soccer leagues and the Mexican roots of much of its population, offers the kind of demographics that Chivas USA, (a sister team to Mexico’s Club Deportivo Guadalajara, popularly known as Chivas), is seeking. However, “this is the first I’ve heard of any negotiation period,” he said.
So what’s going on here?
Santa Ana is one of four cities in play. Councilman Vince Sarmiento is already on record that negotiations with Santa Ana may be used for Chivas to sweeten a deal elsewhere. The city’s financial troubles have a $30 million hole and, as we reported before, the cost to build a new soccer-only MLS quality stadium is abut $300 million. We had pegged the total cost to bring Chivas USA to Santa Ana at between $500 million and $750,000. Even floating a bond measure isn;t going to generate the sort of revenue that Chivas will need to relocate, especially since some members of the Chivas USA family have expressed a desire to stay in Los Angeles County.
Sounds to me like someone at City Hall is drinking too much Chivas.