Sunday, January 11, 2009

1/11/09: Michigan Bucks Owner Looking To Launch A Detriot Top Tier Affiliate of the Crew

Crain's Detriot Business Website came through with the following little nugget about our affiliates the Michigan Bucks and their co-owner Dan Duggan(exerpt below). Apparently the Bucks co-owner Duggan plans to meet with investors over the next 90 days to move forward with a $7 million dollar plan to launch a Detriot top tier affiliate of the Crew. That likely means the Bucks will be attempting to make the jump from the PDL to USL-1 or USL-2, most likely USL-2, possibly as a replacement to another Crew affilate the Cleveland City Stars, who made the jump to USL-1 for next year. The article is sort of sketchy on the detail of whether it's a brand new team or whether it's a brand new team playing under the Bucks colors at a higher level, but I'm speculating that the Bucks are moving up as it wouldn't make sense to have a PDL and USL-1/USL-2 team in the same city.

Crain's Detriot Business Article:
Dan Duggan, who co-owns the Michigan Bucks soccer team in Pontiac, is meeting with investors over the next 90 days as part of a $7 million plan to launch a top-tier Detroit affiliate of the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.

That translates into a $2 million investment to start the team, which could be moved from Europe, and to build a $5 million 5,000-seat outdoor stadium.

“I'm willing to do that because it's not about making money,” said Duggan, who is president of sales for Health-Mor Inc. in suburban Cleveland.

The Bucks, who play at Pontiac's 1,600-seat Ultimate Soccer Arenas and are an unpaid mix of college and professional players, have a $150,000 annual budget, Duggan said. The team is a lower minor league affiliate of the Crew.

The Bucks draw nearly a full house for their games, Duggan said, but the season ended just before the financial crisis erupted in August. He doesn't yet know how the economy will affect the team.

“We're going to find out real soon,” he said. He paid $25,000 for the team in 1995 and moved it to Detroit from Saginaw five years ago, and added that he's willing to take continued losses on it because he enjoys ownership.

“If we can almost break even with the Bucks, I'm a happy guy,” he said.

My thoughts: Duggan appears to be a dedicated and passionate owner. With the Cleveland City Stars making the jump to USL-1 and being responsible for Moffat, it seems more good things are to come now from the Michigan Bucks and Duggan. A 5,000 seat stadium and shipping in an entire team from Europe for $2 million sounds beyond pretty promising.

Although I'm not sure exactly how the Bucks would ship a whole team in from Europe for $2 million? It could be a bankrupt stituation with a team(sort of like Gretna). Anyways, kudos to Duggan and the rest of the Bucks ownership and faithful if they get it done.

The future of development for the Crew looks bright with the City Stars moving to USL-1, the Bucks possibly moving to USL-1 or USL-2, and the continued success(not matched by other MLS youth programs in tournaments and U-18 players) of the Crew Juniors. Seems apparent a good foundation is developing for the Crew and their hierarchy.


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