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With a 5,500 average game crowd, the Whitecaps still can't break even ...

Whitecaps owner fed up, puts team on the block

David Stadnyk is frustrated by the mounting costs associated with running the team and paints a bleak future for A-League soccer in the Vancouver area.

(posted May. 10, 8:17PM EDT)
VANCOUVER -- Frustrated over losing close to $2 million over the last two seasons, Vancouver Whitecaps owner David Stadnyk says the A-League soccer team is up for sale.

Stadnyk, who also owns Vancouver Breakers of the W-League, said the future of both teams are in jeopardy.

“It's not looking good,” Stadnyk told The Team 1040 radio Friday.

“If the community doesn't want to support the team, I think the team is in jeopardy and I think we may not have the Whitecaps here for long and the Breakers for that matter.”

Stadnyk said he's willing to sell all of the team, or take on a partner, but isn't prepared to keep suffering loses.

“If there is someone out there that wants to come in and participate with me, or for that matter take over the team and purchase it, that is on the table,” he said.

“I want nothing more than to see soccer grow and prosper in the community but dollars do become a limited resource at some point. Having spent some $2 million the last couple of three years, I've done my part.”

The Whitecaps opened the A-League season with a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Thunder last week before a crowd of 5,816 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby. By Friday, the team had sold just 39 tickets for Sunday's double-header which featured the Breakers against Albuquerque and the Whitecaps playing El Paso.

“We need at least 500 more season tickets and we need to average at least 500 more people walking up to games,” Stadnyk said.

Stadnyk bought the team, then called the 86ers, from B.C. Lions owner David Braley in August 2000.

Last year the team advanced to the A-League semifinals but Stadnyk said he lost almost $800,000, despite averaging 5,542 fans a game, the second-largest average attendance in franchise history.

During the off-season Whitecaps fired manager Bob Lenarduzzi, there was a 20-per-cent cut in the player budget and head coach Dale Mitchell left to join Canada's under-20 team.

The A-League has also been reduced to 18 teams from 21.
 

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Just a few comments before I give up. Stadnyk include the amount he paid for the club into his losses. He also includes the amount he pays to run the Breakers womens team into his losses.

Oh hell I could go on but what would be the point..
 

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The point is that soccer teams in Canada have to have either philanthropist owners or TV broadcast contracts in order to survive.

Many English Second Division teams are finding this out the hard way, too.

People don't bother going to soccer games because they can see [better] soccer on TV.

Just like the problems of symphony orchestras; they're all going broke because people can stay home and listen to CD's of the greatest orchestras in the world, while sitting in their underwear and drinking margaritas. (Or is that just me?)
 

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Actually that is NOT the point in Vancouvers case. Vancouver draws 5000-7100 per game in a 7100 seat stadium. Fans in Vancouver do go to games.

Here is a quote about Vancouver fans from a former A-League coach done for a-league.com as part of a season preview.


PROS: The Vancouver Whitecaps' fans. Easily the most sophisticated and knowledgeable soccer fans in North America. How many other fans really applaud and show respect when the opposition demonstrates quality soccer? The Southsiders should be paid by the Whitecap's ownership to show up to home matches. What comes out of their collective mouth is sometime just pure genius. Can anyone remember "Popov" and "taco" being repeated by the Southsiders at a frenzied pace? These fans create an atmosphere that is the closest things we have to a Europe, or other true soccer fanatic countries, and are responsible for making Swangard one of the "magical" places to play soccer. If you're afraid to play at Swangard because of the Southsiders you are in the wrong business! If more of our players would play under these conditions more often, professional soccer would be better off.

Another interesting quote:

"CONS: Are the Whitecaps in financial troubles? Does the current ownership have a real and serious understanding of what it takes to be in professional soccer? Was it the past management or the current ownership that is responsible for all the off-season commotion?"

I think the answer to that question is that current ownership can't tell what they are doing with their heads up their you know what.
 

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no, I never had a problem with Bob personally! I think the problems started from the ownership! the team was never runned very well from a business point of view! which is exactly why we can have 5000 ppl come to the game, have a succesfull team, and still have to be sold!
 

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The Vancouver Province
Monday, August 12, 2002
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The ownership search for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Breakers is narrowing.

Sources close to the situation say Jack Gill is among the interested parties. Gill is chairman of Galaxy Sports, a company that distributes Umbro soccer gear in Canada.

He was at the Breaker-hosted W-League championship on the weekend and talked at length with David Askinas, the executive director and chief operating officer of the United Soccer Leagues, the group that took over ownership of the Whitecaps and Breakers when David Stadnyk gave up the teams earlier this year.

One source said, "I can't see Jack Gill not being involved." Gill couldn't be reached for comment Sunday.
 
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