Monday, July 6, 2009

Save the Wave

The biggest thing I noticed about the Milwaukee Wave soccer franchise when I worked there last winter was that this just wasn't a team, this was essentially a family. The sales people seemed to know every season ticket holder by name, season ticket holders from the inaugural season 25 years ago were still in attendance, and players could often be seen chatting to fans before, after, and even during games. But if the Wave is to ever play another soccer game at U.S. Cellular Field, or anywhere for that matter, than the theme of 'family' is going to have to be stronger than ever.

By the end of the month, we'll likely know if the Milwaukee Wave will be gearing up for their 26th season, or if they'll be one of the money soccer teams in America that just couldn't make it. At a press conference on Monday, the Wave announced that they are probably going to need a new owner by July 15th if they are going to be able to keep this thing afloat. All of this is a result of their league, the XSL, folding just one week ago, although the Wave have already found a new league that would be interested in them. It's finding an owner that's going to be the tricky part.

Wave coach Keith Tozer (who endorsed a certain soccer book that you can buy by clicking the image on the top right of this blog) was on hand when current owner Charlie Krause says that he'd likely accept a bid somewhere under but close to the $500,000 range. I'm still not sure why Krause is selling the team in the first place, but that's a fair price for a professional sports franchise. Maybe Potawatomi Casino could step up and buy the team, they certainly have about that much money just from my escapades there a couple of nights ago.

Gut feeling about whether the Wave are able to find a new owner? I really don't know, I could see it going either way. Something tells me they'll find a temporary solution of sorts to play for at least another year, but I'm not sure if you're going to convince anyone to front half a million dollars in a week's time, no matter how attractive the purchase may be.

In the meantime, you can check out highlights from the press conference on the Sports Bubbler's video page. Also, you can go to the Wave's team website and pledge money in the Save the Wave campaign. If Milwaukee wants the Wave to play next season, it will definitely happen. The only question is, just how strong are the family ties between the club and their fans? We'll find out soon enough.


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