Possible Financial Backers for A Baltimore Based MLS Team
There have been many names dropped as possible owners for a Baltimore MLS expansion team but only a few are so situated to be realistic financial backers.
Louis Angelos is the owner of the Baltimore Bohemians and the son of Orioles owner Peter Angelos. Louis Angelos brought The Baltimore Bohemians into the USL Premier Developement League in 2012 which is Marylands highest level soccer team. The USL PDL is considered the 4th level of the US soccer pyramid and the highest level of non professional soccer in America. Seeing that the Angelos family already owns one Baltimore sports team would indicate they might be interested in owning a MLS soccer team. Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps, Portland Timbers, Orlando City FC and others have started at lower divisions but not this far down. Also many of the MLS expansion teams who started at a lower division usually are loud about how they would like to join the MLS but the Baltimore Boh's have made no such statements. It is possible the the Angelos family is getting their feet wet in a sport which they would like to get into but if this is the case, they shouldn't wait too long or the chance will pass. Don Garber has stated they would like to expand to 28 teams which may seem small on a US level but as far as FIFA is concerned 28 is large and FIFA would have trouble accepting anything larger say officals. This means Louis Angelos needs to convince his father it is a good investment and make their move soon.
As the richest man in Maryland your name naturally comes up when the city needs someone with deep pockets to pony up the money to bring an MLS team to Baltimore. Now this is not the only reason we bring up his name. It has been seen time and again in the MLS that having an NFL owner makes finding success a whole lot easier. First of all you take your current stadium and find a new way to produce revenue. Second you already have a front office built for selling season tickets, advertising, and an entire marketing team who is experienced in pro sports marketing. All without spending a dime. We have seen it work in New England, Seattle, and now in Atlanta. It is also important to note that Seattle is one of Major League Soccer's most successful team. Although it seems to be a perfect match, that is as far as this story goes because there has been little to no chatter from the Bisciotti or Ravens camp on the subject.
As the owner of Baltimore originated Under Armour, Kevin Plank has had questions around him potentially bringing professional soccer to Baltimore. Kevin Plank's real estate firm has a large Port Covington project in the works which has a soccer specific stadium in its plans. Although the current plans are for a stadium size just under 10,000 seats it seems that the number is fluid. Although that size stadium would work for an NASL or USL team the MLS expansion committee would consider that too small to support an MLS size team. Although again nothing has been stated from Under Armour or Kevin Plank linking them to Baltimore Soccer, it is still early to rule them out. This seems like the most probable scenario so far simply because there are real plans to build a soccer specific stadium. This is still early days but just a thought.