Peter Wilt leaves Milwaukee MLS hopefuls

Former Chicago Fire general manager Peter Wilt, who had been spearheading the effort to land an MLS franchise in Milwaukee, has left his post. As chief executive officer of Milwaukee Professional Soccer LLC, Wilt negotiated a partnership with the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association but couldn't bring together the necessary financial and political components to facilitate a successful expansion bid.

"Despite having a broad base of support, 8,000 season-ticket equivalents and what I feel is the best pro team/amateur youth sports association partnership in history, we haven't been able to secure the necessary governmental support or the development rights for appropriate land in the desired time frame," said Wilt in a statement.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Wisconsin would be a successful Major League Soccer market and that Milwaukee and its citizens would benefit from a team and stadium as part of a major mixed-use development."

He began work on the project in 2005, researching potential downtown locations as well as suburban possibilities. But as expansion efforts in Seattle, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Jose and Seattle gained traction, Milwaukee lost ground and faded out of the chase.

Wilt will move on to assist the startup of a Chicago team in the new professional women's league slated to start play in 2009 and in an e-mail says he plans to attend MLS Cup this week in Washington, D.C.

"One door closing is a window opening!" he said in the e-mail.

 

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