Are you satisfied with the MLS League structure?

I would've preferred it if they had the same calendar as the rest of the leagues in the world, but oh well v.v

1 Answer

  • 8 years ago
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    MLS doesn't have the classic structure as other leagues (promotion/relegation, calendar, playoff system, etc) but it's worked for 15 years since its formation. If you believe MLS is a viable business where you will eventually make money on your investment, put yourself in the owner's shoes.

    Do you want to compete with baseball in the summer, or do you want to compete with American football, basketball and hockey? Do you believe casual fans will watch a match in the dead of wintertime where temperatures can be below freezing in many cities?

    Whether you agree with the strategy or not, MLS believes building a soccer-specific stadium is a huge key to future success. Something about enhancing the fan experience, controlling your schedule, keeping concession/parking money, etc... A promotion/relegation system wouldn't work because there's little incentive to build a stadium in the USA if you have a chance to be relegated... And how would a new club justify a huge franchise fee ($30 million+) if they get relegated?

    Though I'm not a huge fan of the salary cap/allocation structure, it builds parity in the league. The NY Red Bulls were horrible a few years ago, but now they're better (well... they should be a lot better than their record says). I think MLS needs parity more than a 2-3 mega clubs like most European leagues have.

    Other than building stadiums and raising TV ratings, I think the biggest area of improvement is international competitions like the CONCACAF Champions League. Everyone can compare MLS' progress against the Mexican league. MLS is gaining traction but it seems the clubs are exhausted playing MLS, US Open Cup, and Champions League matches. I know MLS has given more allocation money to clubs competing in CL matches but they still need more help. They just don't have enough depth... Eventually most MLS clubs will concentrate on the MLS Cup playoffs, and put less emphasis on CL matches because the MLS Cup playoffs have more exposure.

    I do think the new TV contract with NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) will help the league as long as they can keep ESPN too. NBC's network can reach many more viewers because it's part of a standard cable package versus Fox Soccer which usually require a sports package bundle.

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