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NASL Commissioner David Downs Says Sale of Minnesota Stars Could be Just Days Away

2012 October 29
by Brian Quarstad

Chances are good that the Minnesota Stars organization will live to see another season and better yet, the league-owned team will have new local owners, possibly by week’s end.

Several sources told IMS over the weekend that the North American Soccer League’s Board of Governors “did not take a vote” at the meetings held on Friday and Saturday before the Championship final leg game in Tampa Bay. The sources said the league did not take a vote because they were very optimistic of completing the sale of the Stars to a local investor who has been looking into the purchase of the team for at least 8 weeks.

This morning, NASL Commissioner David Downs confirmed that the league’s board of governors had held off on voting on the fate of the Stars and better yet says the outcome will most likely be positive and is only days away.

“We are close, really close,” Downs said Monday morning. “We believe we are very close to a solution but we are still waiting to see how this plays out. I don’t expect it to be more than a week and it could be in a few days. Quite frankly it has to be that soon because we have to make schedules and announce season tickets but we are feeling very positive about the outcome.”

Last week Downs had said the team was past the due diligence stage and was “negotiating terms and conditions.”

58 Responses
  1. October 29, 2012

    Outstanding! Hope all goes smoothly and they get the deal done.

  2. thesuperrookie permalink
    October 29, 2012



  3. Ric permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Christmas arriving early???

  4. Sarah permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Super exciting! Can’t wait for the details!

  5. October 29, 2012

    Personally, I really hope that the Stars get a new set of owners, and that they put their full support behind the team and the front office. All of us in Austin are wishing our former CEO, Djorn, and the rest of the FO and the team good luck in getting an ownership that will support them long term!!!

  6. bullsear permalink
    October 29, 2012

    In case our prospective owners are reading this, I’d like to offer in advance my undying support for any team you put on the field and my first born.

  7. Mac permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Good luck with securing ownership. Although the waffling about by the Vikings ownership can’t be any help in getting an owner, the fact that Minneapolis has the third highest # of Fortune 500 companies had me figuring that there should be somebody up there with the pockets to get this done.
    Again, Good Lick with this.

  8. JeffreyG permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Thanks for some news! I’ve been feverishly waiting for some word of the discussions the league had on Saturday. This was my hope, that they were close enough to a sale to table it. Good luck to the prospective owners on completing the deal!

  9. Bart permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Hope springs eternal!

  10. GregX permalink
    October 29, 2012

    I, for one, would like to welcome our potential new soccer overlords and would like to remind them that my credit card stands at the ready for my 2013 season ticket package.

  11. danwolf permalink
    October 29, 2012

    I got my fingers crossed i really want the stars to be back and to final have an owner.
    I also saw that the Austin Aztex have a new owner and are wanting to move up. I really hope it is the NASL. I think a Austin/San Antonio Rivalry would be fun.

  12. Jspech permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Great for the Stars! Any other news from the Board of Governors

  13. October 29, 2012

    Ditto many the above sentiments… fingers crossed in MPLS!

  14. John permalink
    October 29, 2012

    lets add vikings to the the hit list of big bucks owners that could of gotten something special but failed to pull the trigger

    this local investor just pulled a san antonio scorpion on spurs

    vikings might have mls rights but we all know that building an mls team from scratch is not easy unless they win a championship

    mls teams with local fan base are ones that had that grassroot organization

    what got me in the article was the revelation was the owner was neg. for 8 weeks
    maybe he has big plans for the stars
    lets go stars and nasl
    our fears of nasl and usl pro taking a step backward has been cleared and they all are moving forward

  15. Mac permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Any word/rumors about Indy, or anyone else?

  16. David permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Congratulations and good luck, if it all goes through. It’s too bad I’ll be leaving for CO come June, and won’t be able to take in much of the new team. Here’s to many years of success.

  17. Strikers Return permalink
    October 29, 2012

    I don’t want to count the chickens before they hatch…but I will say this is a positive development, not only for Stars fans, but for the entire league. The Stars belong in the NASL.

  18. Russell permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Too bad it can’t be fan owned like AFC Liverpool or FCUM or Green Bay Packers.

  19. October 29, 2012

    Russell, so you have a fan worth $20 million which USSF requires to own a team? Also, that means that there needs to be stock shares etc, etc, etc…. A very complicated set up that often seems cooler than it really is. After going through what we have gone through here in Minnesota, we would love a single owner with believe in the sport and passion but above all else, good business sense. Take a look at San Antonio. I don’t think you have anyone down there wishing they were fan owned. With a SSS on the way next spring, they are quite happy with Gordon Hartman as owner.

  20. Mark permalink
    October 29, 2012

    I’m with GregX. Let’s keep this thing going.

  21. October 29, 2012

    If I were the new owners of the Minnesota Stars FC, I would invest in adding more seats to their current soccer stadium so in the future they’ll be ready for the MLS.

  22. Soccer Boy permalink
    October 29, 2012

    The soap opera continues…or should we call it the Aaron Davidson spin machine. That guy should consider a career in politics, and have David Downs as his VP candidate. #TakeBackTheCup

  23. Fotbalist permalink
    October 29, 2012

    This is GREAT news. Praying it all works out and we get to see an amazing announcement in a week or 2.
    The return of the Austin Aztex would be another GREAT piece of news. Let’s keep it coming. Not only has the cold weather arrived a little early in MN this year, but it seems Christmas is coming early also. Go Stars FC!

  24. Darren L permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Terrific news for the Stars, Minnesota and the NASL! Let’s hope the deal closes expeditiously.

  25. Darren L permalink
    October 29, 2012

    …and the Wilfs are not the buyers but eventually field an MLS team, I look forward to supporting the Stars as they kick Wilf’s ass in the open cup. I won’t abandon this team. GO STARS!

  26. danwolf permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Looks like Loudon County is a done deal.

  27. speedcake permalink
    October 29, 2012

    great news! really hope this works out

  28. October 29, 2012

    Fans THINK they want to own a team, but they actually just want to do the sexy things like design the badge and fire the coach and decide who plays right back. The fan ownership model is ludicrous because fans don’t have the stomach for the inevitable losses and the pains of actually, you know, RUNNING a business.

    Players play, coaches coach, owners own, writers write, and fans drink beer. That’s basically the equation.

  29. Bart permalink
    October 29, 2012

    You know, I am curious, they are calling this a “sale”. The correct term should be a “give-away”. There is no way anyone will be doing anything other than assuming the liabilities of the Stars. They are not going to pay for the privilege.

  30. Stephen permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Such good news!

  31. AndrewG permalink
    October 29, 2012

    Good news. Also nice to hear about Austin, they are gonna have to change the team name from Aztex to something else. I don’t like seeing teams named after native peoples.

  32. October 30, 2012

    What’s with all the talk about Austin. They have a new owner but are saying they will remain PDL. Perhaps someone knows something I don’t which is most likely, but I sure haven’t seen one confirmation of that. Show me something else beside a bunch of jabber on BS and I will give it some credence.

  33. Etch permalink
    October 30, 2012

    Andrew: I believe AZTEX is an acronym for Austin Texas or Texans not a specific Native American Tribe.

    About the Stars new owner: I guess this means I should quit buing Power Ball Tickets in hopes of buying the team.

  34. Mike permalink
    October 30, 2012

    I was getting ready to toss in a “holy postulating Batman!” tongue-in cheek regarding the Austin comments too, dang it! Oh well, he who hesitates….

    Good ole double talk Downs, his press releases are always a hoot. I’m with Soccer Boy on this one. Having a local ownership group for the team would obviously be a very positive thing, but talk to me if and when a deal is finalized, not when you’re “still waiting to see how this plays out”. I guess since Downs is bailing anyway, he isn’t worried about being the one fans will come after with flaming pitchforks if it all falls apart. Seems like a very timely announcement; the league didn’t know this “solution” was close before last week when the contracting vote was scheduled? Doesn’t US Soccer have to rubber stamp these deals? To quote Baby Herman from the classic film Roger Rabbit – “the whole thing stinks like yesterdays diapers”.

  35. ERic permalink
    October 30, 2012

    What Matthew said (post #5).

  36. ERic permalink
    October 30, 2012

    For the record (and sorry to distract with more Austin talk), “Aztex” was a market-tested name, and definitely was tied to the word ‘Aztecs’, just made ‘cooler’ by Texifying it. And I put the ‘cooler’ in quotes because I’ve always hated the name. But, well, it’s my team. What amI gonna do?

  37. danwolf permalink
    October 30, 2012

    All i heard is the owner is wanting to move up. Whether its NASL or USL-Pro is anyone’s guess. Of course it could just be talk.

  38. October 30, 2012

    Dan, what does “All i heard” mean? Did you hear it personally? Did someone tell you that? Did you read it somewhere and if so where? By the way if anyone asks, I want to move up to a beautiful mansion on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. If anyone asks you can say you heard me say I wanted to move up? However, that doesn’t mean that I have the means to do so. 😉

  39. Mike permalink
    October 30, 2012

    He probably read some BS over on BS

  40. Strikers Return permalink
    October 30, 2012

    @Mike – Your reference to Roger Rabbit as a “classic film” has immediately made anything else you might ever say on this site meaningless…..

    @BQ – I’m too busy at work (even if I wasn’t I’d probably be too lazy to go look it up LOL), but I think danwolf might be correct. With the rebirth of the Aztex in the PDL I’m pretty sure their initial press releases stated something to the effect that their long term goal was to bring professional soccer back to Austin. I don’t think they’ve ever said anything more formal than that though, and I haven’t followed them closely enough to know if they might have.

  41. October 30, 2012

    SR, please read the link. I’m not talking about what they might want to do in the future. Everyone is suddenly buzzing because they have a new owner who said, next year they will be playing PDL. I’m very happy they have a new owner but that doesn’t suddenly mean they are jumping into a USL PRO or a NASL team. Come on people. Read the press release I linked to. BS BS is right.

  42. danwolf permalink
    October 30, 2012

    It was from an Aztex fan on BS. So like i said it could just be all talk. I would love for it to be true but more then likely all talk.

  43. Strikers Return permalink
    October 30, 2012

    @BQ – I did read the article. I wasn’t trying to say that this meant they were definitely getting a pro team, just that they had at one point officially said they wanted to bring pro soccer to Austin in the future. Obviously the world is full of intentions that don’t get fulfilled, but I hope for Aztex fans that had their team ripped away, that someday it does come to pass for them.

  44. Strikers Return permalink
    October 30, 2012

    Apologies to everyone for contributing to the tangent this thread seems to have taken. Let’s hope that news about a new owner for the Stars comes quick!

  45. Edward permalink
    October 31, 2012

    I think people are jumping the gun on the Austin thing because of the potential of a San Antonio-Austin derby, much in the same way some folk dream of adding Orlando to the NASL Florida derby. I recall the Aztex owner saying his long-term goal was to bring the team back to pro status, but I also recall him saying that he felt the the first version of the Aztex went pro too soon. So I’m not surprised that he’s not taking the team pro now.

    As far as the Minnesota owner thing goes, I’m hoping this comes into fruition. I trades scarves with a Thunder fan a few years back when a few of them came out to Seattle for a USL match, so I have a bit of a soft spot for the the Thunder’s successor.

  46. Samuel permalink
    October 31, 2012

    “For the record (and sorry to distract with more Austin talk), “Aztex” was a market-tested name, and definitely was tied to the word ‘Aztecs’, just made ‘cooler’ by Texifying it. ”

    So, in other words, it’s definitely racist.

  47. danwolf permalink
    October 31, 2012

    @ Edward
    Yea are absolutely correct. South Central Texas was close to this rivalry when the Scorpions were announced but then Phil Rawlins sneaked the team out over night.

    So any news on the Stars Deal. I hope everything goes good.

  48. October 31, 2012

    If there was you know I wouldn’t sit on it. As soon as something can be reported I will do so.

  49. danwolf permalink
    October 31, 2012

    I think your going over board on calling things racist. They said that calling Houston 1836 was racist, yet you don’t hear anything about Philadelphia 76ers isn’t racist. I can understand the big deal about the redskins, It is racist. But if it is not a slander against anyone then i don’t see it as racist.

  50. Mac permalink
    October 31, 2012

    Ask a cross section of people from the group in question. Do they feel it’s bigoted? As I understand it (and please do correct me if I’m wrong),Florida State University has had discussions with representatives of the Seminole nation at various times over the decades. The Seminole nation, collectively, have said that the way in which FSU pro trays Seminoles has been with respect and most members of the nation appreciate the acknowledgement.
    Every situation is different, and should be judged on its own merits.

    Me, I’m just waiting on final word on the Stars FC deal.

  51. yankiboy permalink
    October 31, 2012

    Wow. Accusations of racism in a thread about the Stars finally seeing some light at the end of the ownership tunnel.

    More entertaining (but unintentionally so) than a month full of my typos (which come to think of it, are also quite unintentional)…

    But hey, these are just the musings of a clown who supports a team in this league affectionately named after inhabitants of the island(s) that it calls home…

    Anyways, “How bout them Stars!?!?!” 🙂

  52. jspech permalink
    October 31, 2012

    Okay so what happened to the 2nd team NASL was to introduce?

  53. November 1, 2012

    Peter Wilt told me on Tuesday, that the Indianapolis team that he represents was still not ready to commit as they are still studying the feasibility of things.

  54. Mike permalink
    November 1, 2012

    Based on what he posted, I think he was referring to some other fantasy team being introduced for next season. You know, one of those possibilities that the soon to be exiting commish alluded to in his ‘wink wink’ pressers.

    You mean Indy isn’t a done deal yet? Why, I’m aghast! Dragging their feet with a feasibility study when they’re supposed to join the the league in 2014? How dare they!

  55. Bart permalink
    November 1, 2012

    2014 for NASL will be a milestone year…. Either the BS walks and talks or it goes up in smoke. A lot is riding on their ability to actually have these teams play a game..

    Good for them if they do, and shame on them if they don’t.

  56. Chris Nelson permalink
    November 1, 2012

    Don’t know anything about Austin, TX other than people want it to be kept “weird,” but as a diehard RailHawks supporter I just want to say that the news of Minnesota finding an owner is great news. Oh, and to Mr. Quarstad and Mr. Long, thank you for your outstanding coverage of the NASL. As far as expansion, won’t Ottawa be joining the league in 2014?

  57. November 1, 2012

    Ahhhh, and Gerry Whittmann. Yes, Ottawa will be joining in 2014 as is in the article about Loudoun County. But they are referring to another franchise that the NASL made sound as if may join for 2014 and still may, which would be Indianapolis.

  58. yankiboy permalink
    November 1, 2012

    @Mr. Chris Nelson: Thank you very much for the very kind words, Sir. Thanks for following the league and supporting your local NASL club, the Carolina Railhawks. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each of my five trips down to Cary to attend Railawks-Islanders matches. The hospitality shown by The Railhawks organization and supporters is second to none and it is at the top if my favorite places on the east coast to watch a soccer match.

    On a sidenote, two things immediately come to my mind when I see “Mr. Long”:

    1) I’m going to have to fork out more dough than I have in my wallet and bank account at that particular moment (e.g., “Mr. Long you have failed to file tax returns for several years so we will be garnishing your wages and placing a lean on your jalopy” and “Mr. Long, we’re sorry to tell you that you need another catalytic converter, and unfortunately the warranty on one replacement that we installed on your jalopy, ergh, umh vehichle 2 years ago just expired…”

    2) “Mr. Long, while we acknowledge that you do make certain contributions on IMS Soccer News, we regret that we simply cannot give you the special, reduced “press” parking rate. Those are reserved for credentialed journalists such as Mr. Brian Quarstad and Mr. Gerry Wittman–members of the US soccer press that actually submit written articles on a regular basis.”

    “Yanki” is more than adequate for a shout out and showin’ Ole Yanki-Yank some love, Playah. It works just as well and has a more “homie” ring to it than “Mr.” It also doesn’t make me default to trying to do mathematical equations with unhappy endings in my brain. 🙂


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