Evidence of another bidder in Jacksonville
During his press conference today, Robert Palmer, owner of Jacksonville Armada FC, suggested that a USL ownership group had been interested in playing in Jacksonville — one that was also attempting to secure Hodges Stadium as its stadium of choice.
Interesting tidbit from Palmer around the time of his purchase of team: "USL was actively trying to put another team in Jacksonville to play at Hodges. Learned this 24 hours before closing on the purchase of the team"
— Chris Kivlehan (@kivlehan) January 8, 2018
In researching this claim, Soc Takes has been provided with a letter dated July 11, 2017 addressed to Marshall Happer, COO of Jax Armada, and NASL interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal that corroborates part of this claim. The letter (below) clearly suggests that another “competing interest” wished to use Hodges Stadium to host “professional soccer matches for the 2018 season.”
While it does not categorically state the USL as the league of interest, “professional soccer” suggests it would be a team interested in MLS or the USL, with the latter being far more likely. Additionally, sources have confirmed that the USL was interested in placing a team in Jacksonville.
Soc Takes is not aware of the identity of the alternate Jacksonville USL group.
During a time when owners and leagues regularly make incendiary allegations, it is good to have documentation to back one of these.
To see a good summary of today’s press conference, see the following:
Jacksonville Armada announcement about to start – will live tweet it #nasl
— Bob Williams (@WilliamsBob75) January 8, 2018
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