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Author Topic: MLS: General News & Discussion  (Read 2374 times)

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Offline Columbo

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #120 on: January 29, 2018, 01:47:37 PM »
Miami (and David Beckham) awarded an MLS expansion team today:

https://www.si.com/soccer/2018/01/29/miami-mls-david-beckham-expansion-team

#SaveTheCrew -- https://savethecrew.com/

Offline AmrapinVA

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #121 on: January 29, 2018, 01:53:09 PM »
Is MLS sitting on the Cincy bid to see what happens with Columbus?

TBH, this league feels like it has too many teams now. I know attendance has been OK but how are they going to truly compete with the Euro Leagues when TV revenue is miniscule and would be divided among 30 teams.

I have a lot of soccer crazy friends from other countries and most don't even see the MLS even along the lines of AAA baseball. They don't watch it at all.

What's the end game here? Are they trying to compete with something like the Premier League?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 01:57:26 PM by AmrapinVA »

Offline ryanlammi

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #122 on: January 29, 2018, 02:08:30 PM »
The 2040 plan is probably to be competitive with the Premier League on an international level. But right now, they need to take it one season at a time.

I would personally like to see a total of 40 teams in MLS, with a clear divide of East/West. Perhaps have the winners from the east and west enter an inter-league championship tournament every 2 years. The US is huge, and to have only one league is pretty tough. Having an biannual championship tournament would keep the value of winning the East or West MLS season as the cap of the season and make it important. Currently, winning the East is seen like winning the AFC - it hardly matters if you don't win the MLS Cup (Super Bowl).

Most people recognize MLS as around the 10th best worldwide league. But it's so new, and still growing compared to the rest of the world.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 02:11:44 PM by ryanlammi »

Online jwulsin

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #123 on: January 29, 2018, 02:47:38 PM »
The MLS is still growing its fanbase, and having more cities with a local team will get more people excited about the sport/league. It's far away from hitting a "saturation" point, so I think for the foreseeable future, adding more teams will help add to the overall growth. The MLS should still by "choosy" and grow deliberately... but I'm not worried at this point about having too many teams.

Offline AmrapinVA

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #124 on: January 29, 2018, 03:04:49 PM »
Just did a Wiki search and saw that MLS is the 17th largest worldwide league by revenue per team at 34.6 million Euro. It's not even remotely close to the NHL, let alone the bigger North American leagues and the Premier. It's just above the 2nd tier Championship league in England. It had 22 teams when the stat was put up but if this average continues there are no 30 team leagues which have so little revenue per team.

Expansion will create more overall revenue but at some point these teams need to generate more money to have a shot at paying the bigger stars that are over in Europe. It's never going to be taken seriously internationally or get serious TV $$ until then.

Are we sure the end game is the Premier League? I would think it would make more sense to market it as an alternative in some way instead of praying that each team will generate 20 times the revenue they have now by 2040.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 03:16:29 PM by AmrapinVA »

Offline ryanlammi

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #125 on: January 29, 2018, 03:25:53 PM »
MLS has the 9th highest revenue per team out of all national soccer leagues. If the goal is to compete with other national soccer leagues across the world, it doesn't matter how much money Formula One, the NHL, or Japanese baseball brings in.

The current MLS TV deal is abysmally small. The league collects $90 Million per year for its contract with ESPN, Fox Sports, and Univision. That means each team (with 22) collects about $4 Million in revenue from the national tv deal.

The current contract ends in 2022. MLS is rapidly expanding so that it reaches its goal of 26 teams by 2020 (with two additional teams in the following years) and has a strong position to ask for higher revenues in a new TV contract. 26 teams would be 8 more than when they negotiated the deal in 2014 with 18 teams total. I expect the new deal to eclipse the deal that was negotiated in 2014 by quite a large sum.

Nothing happens overnight. MLS has to keep promoting themselves as a top tier league and pushing itself further up the ladder until it is competitive with other leagues.

The US is a country with 330 million people spread out over the three million square miles. We have almost half the population of Europe over 3/4 the area. You don't think we can support 40 teams over that area/population, when the European continent is split up into 24 leagues of 18-22 teams per league?

Offline AmrapinVA

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #126 on: January 29, 2018, 03:45:56 PM »
MLS has the 9th highest revenue per team out of all national soccer leagues. If the goal is to compete with other national soccer leagues across the world, it doesn't matter how much money Formula One, the NHL, or Japanese baseball brings in.

The current MLS TV deal is abysmally small. The league collects $90 Million per year for its contract with ESPN, Fox Sports, and Univision. That means each team (with 22) collects about $4 Million in revenue from the national tv deal.

The current contract ends in 2022. MLS is rapidly expanding so that it reaches its goal of 26 teams by 2020 (with two additional teams in the following years) and has a strong position to ask for higher revenues in a new TV contract. 26 teams would be 8 more than when they negotiated the deal in 2014 with 18 teams total. I expect the new deal to eclipse the deal that was negotiated in 2014 by quite a large sum.

Nothing happens overnight. MLS has to keep promoting themselves as a top tier league and pushing itself further up the ladder until it is competitive with other leagues.

The US is a country with 330 million people spread out over the three million square miles. We have almost half the population of Europe over 3/4 the area. You don't think we can support 40 teams over that area/population, when the European continent is split up into 24 leagues of 18-22 teams per league?

I think this is very optimistic. TV ratings have been mostly flat since the last contract and they are tiny. NBCSN is getting higher ratings for the Premier League regularly on weekend mornings. You have to deliver eyeballs to advertisers to get that larger sum of cash. I agree the new deal will be larger but not large enough to boost revenue per team if it keeps expanding.

Also, the NBA is a problem for MLS. It's more popular in the US, it is the "premier league" of basketball, it's growing just as fast but not expanding and is eating away at the US TV revenue that the MLS could get.

I'm not against the MLS, I just don't get why they think they need to be the #1 league if that's the plan. I don't think it'll work.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 03:53:41 PM by AmrapinVA »

Online YABO713

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #127 on: January 29, 2018, 03:50:01 PM »
MLS will never be a top-tier league until their schedule changes. You cannot recruit the world's best talent to a summer league. I know you don't want to compete with NFL, but MLS has to go fall to spring or it will continue to stagnate talent-wise.

Offline AmrapinVA

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #128 on: January 29, 2018, 03:54:56 PM »
MLS will never be a top-tier league until their schedule changes. You cannot recruit the world's best talent to a summer league. I know you don't want to compete with NFL, but MLS has to go fall to spring or it will continue to stagnate talent-wise.

The other logistical issue is weather. North American winters are quite harsh compared to Europe. There would be a lot of cancelled games due to snow/cold unless northern teams played indoors.

Offline ryanlammi

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #129 on: January 29, 2018, 04:02:38 PM »
I disagree about the winter/summer league. If the money is there, the international talent will follow.

I don't even think it's a matter of competing against the NFL. The NFL season all but ends on January 1. Some of the coldest cities often have domes (Detroit, Minnesota). While a couple of outliers (New England, Buffalo, Green Bay) will be playing outside, they only have (at most) 1 or 2 games each season that will be cold enough to turn fans away because the season ends when the country starts getting bitingly cold (late December through February).

MLS would have to take a ~2 month break to allow places like Minnesota, Chicago, and New England to thaw out. The United States gets a lot colder than Western Europe during the winter.

If the MLS teams are willing (and able) to pay top dollar for top talent, I think they can get the biggest stars to come to MLS within 20 years. It has to be a slow build, though. Every few years the salary caps will be raised and better players will continue to play. If US Soccer can figure out what its doing, American players will continue to get better and will likely prefer to play in their home country.

Online YABO713

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #130 on: January 31, 2018, 12:40:45 PM »
I disagree about the winter/summer league. If the money is there, the international talent will follow.

I don't even think it's a matter of competing against the NFL. The NFL season all but ends on January 1. Some of the coldest cities often have domes (Detroit, Minnesota). While a couple of outliers (New England, Buffalo, Green Bay) will be playing outside, they only have (at most) 1 or 2 games each season that will be cold enough to turn fans away because the season ends when the country starts getting bitingly cold (late December through February).

MLS would have to take a ~2 month break to allow places like Minnesota, Chicago, and New England to thaw out. The United States gets a lot colder than Western Europe during the winter.

If the MLS teams are willing (and able) to pay top dollar for top talent, I think they can get the biggest stars to come to MLS within 20 years. It has to be a slow build, though. Every few years the salary caps will be raised and better players will continue to play. If US Soccer can figure out what its doing, American players will continue to get better and will likely prefer to play in their home country.

So, MLS teams are going to pay top dollar for talent and miss their players every other summer for more than a month for Euro's/Gold Cup/Copa America + World Cup..... Would you pay a player max dollars if you knew they'd miss at least a month every other year due to injury?

Offline Columbo

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #131 on: May 17, 2018, 11:40:12 AM »
There probably hasn't been a bigger supporter of MLS here on UrbanOhio than me - which shouldn't be surprising given that I'm the most prolific poster from Columbus and that Columbus has had an MLS team since the league was founded in 1996.  But then the current team ownership - led by California trust fund scion J. Anthony Precourt - announced their intention to move the team to Austin in 2019.  And then we learned that this was being done with the assistance (and one could argue encouragement) of MLS leadership, despite commissioner Don Garber's backpedaling and silence on it lately.  Unsurprising, my enthusiasm in MLS has waned.

Going into 2017, things were looking very positive for MLS.   They had a dozen cities vying for expansion teams.  Plus, it had its newest expansion team, Atlanta, breaking attendance records set during the league's inaugural 1996 season.  However, exiting 2017, most if not all of that positive momentum had been squandered.  With the league planning to move one of its oldest and most historic teams, it is telling other fan bases that it really doesn't matter how much you support your team - it could still get moved without warning.  It basically told its fans that MLS wasn't any different from the other American sports leagues - and that supporting your local MLS team wasn't anything like the fans of Man City/Man U supporting their clubs.

This Crew-to-Austin proposal has sent shock waves throughout MLS fandom.  Not only did it start the #SaveTheCrew movement, but it also derailed what was once a very promising expansion process for the league.  The last of four new expansion teams was supposed to be announced before the 2018 season began.  But that looks to be on-hold for an indefinite time.  San Antonio, which was participating in the expansion process, is now suing MLS because the league is allowing nearby Austin to add a team outside this expansion process, while encouraging San Antonio to jump through the hoops of the process at the same time.  Columbus is suing Precourt/MLS to keep their team under the existing State of Ohio Modell Law and is pressing for discovery of team and MLS finances.  Meanwhile, Austin seems rather lukewarm about getting a MLS team.  And the actions of the Precourt team and Garber's MLS team have only contributed to the whole mess.

Like I said, my enthusiasm in MLS has waned.  And I have to wonder if the enthusiasm of other MLS fans isn't also waning.  I came across this twitter post about the TV viewership of last Sunday's Seattle at Portland match: https://twitter.com/FutbolIntellect/status/996414613368463361



Keep in mind that the Seattle/Portland matchup is probably the best MLS has to offer. (I always enjoy it and tuned into the 2nd-half on Sunday.)  But apparently not many others did.  It received half the viewership on ESPN as did the bowling tournament that aired prior it!

And for those who will say "Americans just don't watch soccer on TV", there's this twitter post in the comments: https://twitter.com/koTenSixtySix/status/996434398651138048


An EPL match airing at 10AM on a non-sports channel (MSNBC) - which was airing it because nine other EPL games were also being broadcast at the same time on other NBC-owned stations - outdrew the MLS match airing at 4PM later on Sunday!  Adding up all ten EPL games shown for the 'Championship Sunday' broadcast, the EPL got roughly 5X the viewership of the Seattle/Portland game!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 11:44:01 AM by Columbo »
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Online jmecklenborg

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #132 on: May 17, 2018, 11:53:26 AM »
Why is the Crew owner so set on moving the team to Austin, specifically?  Why not a bigger city that doesn't have an MLS team (i.e. Detroit)?

Online surfohio

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Re: MLS: General News & Discussion
« Reply #133 on: May 17, 2018, 12:08:57 PM »
Why is the Crew owner so set on moving the team to Austin, specifically?  Why not a bigger city that doesn't have an MLS team (i.e. Detroit)?

Detroit specifically is already vying for a team with Dan Gilbert and other heavyweights involved.

Austin is the sexy, still-single, young new era market that is looking for a prom date. Precourt just has virtually no connection with Columbus.

I think the fact that you cannot have top-level teams in both Austin AND San Antonio shows a real problem with U.S. soccer.