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Old 03-19-2013, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
5,763 posts, read 9,749,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
No it is not separate. The league champ is the playoff winner. The Supporters Shield winner is not considered the winner of the league. It's just a token trophy.

What I'm talking about is separating the competitions and marketing the league title as the league winner.

No one is watching these games on TV. The MLS Cup final got practically zero ratings.

I support LA Galaxy but even LAG can't get a TV audience.
Some fans consider Supporter's Shield more important while some consider MLS Cup. It is open for you to decide as a fan which you value more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
Look. This is why I hesitated getting into this conversation. I knew some MLS-snob would pull the "you're ignorant card."

I have studied the MLS single entity system. I know what i'm talking about. It is not needed. There are almost 100 soccer leagues on the planet. How many of them have single entity other than MLS? 1?
You've studied it? How so? If you have studied it, you would know that the MLS would have ceased to exist before 2002 without it. If you had studied it, you would know that the MLS does not have long-term sustainability without it.

Those other soccer leagues are not in the United States fighting an uphill battle against several other major professional sports leagues and college football and basketball.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
The league does decide what players a team can sign. Here is an example where MLS prevented Toronto FC from signing a player they wanted to sign:
Toronto FC’s hands tied by meddling MLS: Kelly | Toronto Star
You said that the MLS decides which players go where. That's not the case. This situation, the league rejected a contract for a specific player for a certain amount. It wasnt about him signing with a certain team but about that player signing a contract at a certain dollar figure and negatively impacting the market for players.

The NFL reviews and can disapprove of any contract a team signs with a player. Same with MLB, same with the NBA, and same with the NHL. I believe that FA reviews contracts in England as well.

MLS rejecting a player contract is not something that occurs often but it is not a case of the league deciding which player goes where. This had nothing to do with Toronto but this deal negatively impacting the value of certain players and changing the market which would increase the overall expenditures of the leagues as other players seek higher value deals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
The fact is that MLS has set up a system that goes against how the global game is played around the world. All of these things they do: single entity, no free agency, salary cap etc are not needed. Anyone with half a brain can do a compare and contrast analysis and see this. And soccer fans see this. And thats why American soccer fans have rejected MLS.
Against how the global game is played? MLS follows the laws of the game just like every other league does. Single entity, free agency, and the salary cap have nothing to do with how the game is played. This is the business side of the sport and MLS is in a different economic and sports business landscape than any other league. Soccer is not the first sport in this country, it is not the second, or the third. That creates challenges for MLS that other soccer leagues do not have.

Without single entity and the salary cap, MLS WOULD NOT exist. If you think otherwise, you have not spent one minute studying the history of the league or the single entity system. The single entity system has ensured the long term growth and financial stability of the league. That is absolute, indisputable fact.

American soccer fans have not rejected MLS. We sell out every game in Kansas City, have 16k season ticket holders and a STH waitlist for nearly every section. The same can be said for several other teams. All the soccer fans I know both in KC and other places are huge MLS fans. I sit next to a guy who grew up in Liverpool, had season tickets at Anfield, and he loves how MLS is setup. He has told me many times that he wishes the EPL would adopt this system so it would level the playing field and straighten the financial mess that many teams are facing.

If you follow the business side of the sport like I do, you would have read articles where people associated with MLS, La Liga, and Serie A have talked about the design of MLS and how they would like to implement certain elements of it within their leagues. The EPL is talking about a salary cap right now.

I am not sure why you care so much about free agency. It's not like free agency is a huge part of the international game. Cash transfers take place far more than free transfer do. Plus, MLS uses player transfers far more than any other league which adds an interesting dynamic that most leagues do not have.

Free agency doesnt exist in MLS because it would increase player valuations through the bidding process and if player valuations increased, it would damage the quality of play as the league and teams could not afford to build solid rosters. That would lead to more players heading overseas and eventually, it would lead to MLS heading in the wrong direction.

Free Agency will come to MLS one day when the salary cap is at a higher level and there is more room for negotation on player salaries. You seem to forgot or ignore the age of MLS in comparison to other leagues, both interational soccer leagues and other US sports leagues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
And again with the bogus European teams are in financial ruin crap.Most European clubs and most Euro leagues don't have this problem. And with financial fair play you will see less of it. The clubs that do have financial problems have either brought it on by themselves (and they get punished for it by being relegated) or they have billionaire owners who don't care how much they spend. Then there is the case of Man United who are in debt only because their owner did a hostile takeover and then dumped all his debt on the club.

I'm not saying Europe does not have a problem in this regard. It's just not a legitimate argument for keeping MLS as a single entity league. There are dozens of leagues from J-League to Bundesliga to the Dutch league that do not have these financial problems.
European teams in poor financial ruin is not crap. It is true and you know how they got there? My irresponsible financial activities and lack of governance by the leading body.

Did you know Manchester City lost $156 million dollars last year despite having substantial revenue growth? Did you know a recent audit completed by an international sports business organization of professional soccer leagues found that the English Premiere League lack of financial viability is because it is lacking three main elements: 1) Sufficient revenue sharing among clubs, 2) some form of salary cap, and 3) an auditable limitation on club debt and the same audit claimed that the MLS has avoided financial ruin with its single entity system?

You know what is a legitimate argument for keeping MLS single entity? Men like Lamar Hunt, Robert Kraft, Philip Anschutz, Cliff Illig, Neal Patterson, Merritt Paulson, Clark Hunt, Dave Checketts, and Lewis Wolf who either helped start this league or currently keep it running while all losing a combined several hundred million, if not over a billion dollars. They are all billionaires and know far more about business than you or I. These are men that helped build billion dollar companies and made a fortune making smart business decisions. Dont you think that if it were wise to scrap the single entity system that they would have done so? It will happen someday but we arent there yet.

The J-League, Bundesliga, and Dutch league are not in the United States. They are in different economic systems. You cannot compare because they function in an entirely different marketplace. They may not have money problems but you know who else doesnt? MLS. You know why? Because of the single entity system.

Do you know why the single entity system was implemented? NASL. You know why NASL ceased to exist? Because it was ran like European leagues are ran. You know what happens when you try something without learning from the mistakes of others? You fail.

Since you have studied this single entity system and are so dead set on the league being able to survive without it, can you please explain to me your financial plan for MLS that involves getting out of it and each team functioning on their own? You keep saying it goes against the global game and other leagues dont use it but do you have any actual reasoning that it can happen other than you say it can? You cannot take leagues in completely different economic systems that compete against far less competitors and say that their system will work. That's not how business works. Have you ever written a business plan? It is a very long, detailed process even for a small business like a dry cleaners. You have to take every single detail into account and if say you were going to open the dry cleaners at one intersection and then you find out you cannot get that space and have to move, it changes your entire plan. Just think about applying those principles to a business worth hundreds of millions and it being in an entire different country than other businesses like yours. Do you think you can just apply the same business plan and expect it to work?

MLS is only 17 years old. For a 17 year old league, it is extremely healthy and has grown at a pace no one ever expected. Revenues are up, sponsorship is up, attendance is phenomenal, 17 soccer specific stadiums is simply amazing, the quality of play is up, and the 100 million dollar expansion price tag is incredible. There are some franchises struggling because of poor ownership and operational decisions and TV ratings struggle but those are the only real problems for a 17 year old league so that's pretty damn successful. So, why exactly does a league that is exceeding expectations and growing at a steady and healthy pace need to make such a drastic change. You know the saying, "if it isnt broke, dont fix it?".

Your whole stance about American soccer fans rejecting MLS is false. If they were rejecting it, we wouldnt have 16 soccer specific stadiums with 1 on the way, we wouldnt have a higher attendance average than the NHL, and NBA. If they were rejecting it, there wouldnt be a 100 million dollar price tag on the next expansion team
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
5,763 posts, read 9,749,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mos1992 View Post
It dosen't matter if you follow it or not, the people who don't follow it reject the idea of supporters group and its expansion to other sports.
Says who? I have taken several people to SKC games who arent soccer fans and had them sit in the Cauldron and they thought it was amazing and wished it would expand to other sports. I have had people also come and after the experience, soccer moved up to one of their favorite sports.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:35 PM
 
1,496 posts, read 1,501,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RjRobb2 View Post



You said that the MLS decides which players go where. That's not the case. This situation, the league rejected a contract for a specific player for a certain amount. It wasnt about him signing with a certain team but about that player signing a contract at a certain dollar figure and negatively impacting the market for players.

The NFL reviews and can disapprove of any contract a team signs with a player. Same with MLB, same with the NBA, and same with the NHL. I believe that FA reviews contracts in England as well.

MLS rejecting a player contract is not something that occurs often but it is not a case of the league deciding which player goes where. This had nothing to do with Toronto but this deal negatively impacting the value of certain players and changing the market which would increase the overall expenditures of the leagues as other players seek higher value deals.
if you want to write a novel be my guest. I'm not going to read it.

I'll just address this nonsense you've posted. This is where I stopped reading your BS.

Here are the facts: the MLS wouldn't let Toronto FC sign the player because MLS (not Toronto) didn't see the value. This doesn't happen anywhere else in American sports okay pal?

It's not about the league reviewing contracts. Stop lying.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
5,763 posts, read 9,749,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
if you want to write a novel be my guest. I'm not going to read it.

I'll just address this nonsense you've posted. This is where I stopped reading your BS.

Here are the facts: the MLS wouldn't let Toronto FC sign the player because MLS (not Toronto) didn't see the value. This doesn't happen anywhere else in American sports okay pal?

It's not about the league reviewing contracts. Stop lying.
Nonsense? It is all factual and correct. I'm sorry you're too lazy to read a post that would take you less than 3 minutes. If you are that unwilling to read about why the league needs the system then I doubt you ever studied the MLS structure at all. By calling it nonsense, you have shown you have no understanding of the MLS single entity structure, the reasons it exist, the business of the sport and all sports in the US and internationally, and the history of MLS.

You posted based on the hypothesis that MLS either does not need or should abandon the single-entity system and that it is pushing fans away from the sport.

You have no basis for that hypothesis other than A) other leagues dont do it and B) you think they should abandon it because it is pushing away fans. If you are going to post an idea so adamantly, you should be able to back it up instead of just calling someone who posted a thorough reasoning as to why your hypothesis is wrong nonsense when it clearly is not.

You didnt not supply a single fact as to how they can sustain without it or an example of it pushing away any fans. You made a post making a claim and have nothing to back it up, at all.

You called what I said about the Toronto situation nonsense when I essentially said they rejected it because they didnt see the value just as you did. So, you say it, it isnt nonsense. I say it and explain why they did it and it is nonsense? I never said it was ABOUT the league reviewing contracts but rather it is a process that is standard in American sports which is factual. You think that leagues would just allow players to sign deals with teams and not review them to ensure they fall in line with collective bargaining guidelines and no extra payments that would violate the salary are not included? You think they just let it go and trust them?

I was also correct in that MLS reviews the player contracts and so does the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA. Havent you read about the Elvis Dumbervil situation in Denver right now? They didnt get his contract into the league office for review in time so they are REJECTING his deal he made with the Broncos.

Fact is, you posted the nonsense, I called you out on it with a good explanation as to why it is nonsense and you have no rebuttal because you were talking nonsense because you dont understand why things are the way they are and why they need to remain that way. Without single entity, you have no soccer league to enjoy. Period.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:53 PM
 
1,496 posts, read 1,501,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RjRobb2 View Post
Without single entity, you have no soccer league to enjoy. Period.
someone better tell the 50 other soccer leagues around the globe that if they don't implement single entity they won't have a league for very long.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
someone better tell the 50 other soccer leagues around the globe that if they don't implement single entity they won't have a league for very long.
Are you talking about the 50 other soccer leagues that have been around for decades? Are you talking about the 50 other leagues that are the most popular sport in their respective countries? Are you talking about the 50 other leagues in which they do not have as much competition for the sport entertainment dollar of consumers? Are you talking about the 50 other leagues that also have their own operational, functional, and structural methods that make them each different from the other?

Businesses all across the world vary in the way they operate, the way they are structured, the business strategies they use, and the financial strategies. The owners and/or operators find the structure and plan that gives them the most likely chance of surviving and being successful based on their market, competition, financial budget, and other factors.

Thinking that MLS can change their structure because other leagues do it is naive to put it as kindly as possible. MLS has a unique design because they are in unique situation compared to every other league in the world. No other league in the world has as much competition and as much as a uphill battle as MLS, that's just the reality of soccer in the US.

Do you think every retail store in the world should change their structure to be like Wal-Mart or Home Depot? They are wildly successful so it would work for everyone, right?

You have yet to provide one single idea, suggestion, or anything as to not only why MLS should ditch single-entity but as to how they can do it and sustain their current level of growth.

I do not understand how you can suggest that MLS change their entire structure when it was setup and sustained by men that have hundreds of millions of dollars invested in it and obviously have more business sense than you do. It's like a baker trying to tell a surgeon how to operate on someone.

Can you provide any ideas as to what kind of structure MLS should have and how they can maintain their current level of growth with that structure? Suggesting that a business that is exceeding expectations and sustaining excellent growth change their entire structure without any clue as to how it should be done is just preposterous. I really just want to read one good idea from you about this other than you think they should and that is how other leagues do it because those arent good reasons.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Tejas
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No matter what he or anyone says youll brush it off because you know better. There is no point.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianH View Post
No matter what he or anyone says youll brush it off because you know better. There is no point.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2

Yeah, I know. I just really want to know if he has any ideas or he is just talking out of his arse.

MLS will ditch single entity at some point and they started small steps toward doing so in the last Collective Bargaining Agreement and when they negotiate another CBA, they will probably take more steps. BUt, it is a process that will likely take years. Just switching over means disaster.

MLS is not the only single entity sports league in the world and a lot of new sports leagues are using the same process.

The NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL actually use single entity elements in their leagues for the purposes of merchandise trademarks and sales and some other areas.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:04 PM
 
1,496 posts, read 1,501,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RjRobb2 View Post
Can you provide any ideas as to what kind of structure MLS should have and how they can maintain their current level of growth with that structure? Suggesting that a business that is exceeding expectations and sustaining excellent growth change their entire structure without any clue as to how it should be done is just preposterous. I really just want to read one good idea from you about this other than you think they should and that is how other leagues do it because those arent good reasons.
MLS should be independent clubs under an association just like every other soccer league on the planet. Many of which, contrary to your false statement, have been around about the same time as MLS (Japan, South Korea, and China for instance.) And no, other American sports leagues do not have single entity. Sharing merchandising deals does not equal single entity.

Having a centrally planned league where MLS LLC owns all the teams may have been necessary in the beginning. But sooner or later MLS has to take off the training wheels. The single entity structure turns off too many potential fans and it is not needed.

Your claim is that without single entity MLS wold fold. I don't know why you believe this. All we have to do is look at history and see that it isn't true. The reason MLS has single entity is to control wages and to control the image of the league. MLS doesn't want its teams competing over players. MLS doesn't want teams (see Toronto FC example) spending good money on players that won't raise the stature of the league. It's not about quality, it's about image.

This is how you prevent MLS from folding:

-remove single entity structure. Allow clubs to be clubs. League has no ownership stake in individual clubs.
- institute the financial fair play model that would prevent clubs from spending more than revenues. This alone would prevent the league from folding.

You talk about MLS having good growth(it actually doesn't. The old NASL got better attendance and TV numbers). But countries with leagues that are around the same age as MLS have much better growth.

The LA Galaxy is MLS's marque team. When the LA Galaxy had their home games broadcasted on Fox Sports West, they never got a rating higher than 16,000 households. That is shockingly low. That's more people in the actual stadium than watching on TV.

from the LA Times:
Although the Galaxy has been the league's marquee franchise since signing Beckham before the 2007 season, it has not been a ratings winner for FSW, never drawing more than 16,000 homes, a .28 rating. In the last few years, ratings have dropping as low as .11%.
Galaxy to switch TV broadcasts to Time Warner Cable - Los Angeles Times

So i'm not buying this MLS is growing stuff. MLS is huge in Portland and Seattle but take those teams out of the equation and the league is not getting American soccer fans to watch it. There is not one reason to explain this. But a lot of it has to do with MLS sticking its tongue out to the rest of the soccer world and doing it their own way. Well there own way isn't working.

Please tell me why single entity is necessary. Tell me how with Financial Fair Play rules your nightmare scenario of the league folding would happen.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
5,763 posts, read 9,749,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
MLS should be independent clubs under an association just like every other soccer league on the planet. Many of which, contrary to your false statement, have been around about the same time as MLS (Japan, South Korea, and China for instance.) And no, other American sports leagues do not have single entity. Sharing merchandising deals does not equal single entity.
Some are around the same age, that is correct but not many. However, they do not have the level of competition that MLS has. MLS has to compete against the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, college football, college basketball, golf, tennis, NASCAR, WNBA, and several other leagues. There is not another country in the world that have the range of sports options that we have. There is significantly more competition for the sports entertainment dollar in the US than in any other country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
Having a centrally planned league where MLS LLC owns all the teams may have been necessary in the beginning. But sooner or later MLS has to take off the training wheels. The single entity structure turns off too many potential fans and it is not needed.
Sooner or later they will but it is not time yet. The league itself is not yet profitable and neither are a majority of the teams.

I have never once heard someone say they do not watch MLS because of single entity. Not one. Most do not even know they have single entity. Single entity is not even noticable by most people unless they follow the league closely and potential fans obviously do not follow closely so I do not see how this cant be anyones excuse not to watch the league. The single entity is not really visible on the exterior nor does it really impact the fan experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
Your claim is that without single entity MLS wold fold. I don't know why you believe this. All we have to do is look at history and see that it isn't true. The reason MLS has single entity is to control wages and to control the image of the league. MLS doesn't want its teams competing over players. MLS doesn't want teams (see Toronto FC example) spending good money on players that won't raise the stature of the league. It's not about quality, it's about image.
I do know the league history, very well. It has absolutely nothing to do with image. Single entity does very little to control the image of the league. Each team has the ability to create their own image and they have very different images themselves.

The league controls wages because they pay the wages. The only out-of-pocket wage expenses the teams have is DP wages over the league maximum salary. Controlling wages is about maintaining financial stability and viability of the league as a whole and also about being able to keep quality players by not overpaying players and inflating salaries, it's a very basic economic principle.

If you allow a team such as Toronto FC to overpay a player, agents and players take notice of that and will ask for higher wages. You see this in the NFL all the time with a QB getting paid and the next starting QB up for a new contract uses that as an example for what they want. If the league has to start paying players more money than they are worth, they will not be able to fit enough quality players within the salary cap and the overall quality of rosters will decrease. On top of that, you will see more players head to other leagues and the teams will be filled with a few quality players and many inadequate players in order to fill the roster within the salary cap constraints. In the end, you have less quality on the rosters. If you raise the cap in attempt to fit the same players within each roster, you decrease the financial stability of the league as a whole. You see how it works? Allowing one players to be overpaid like Toronto wanted can be a domino effect on the league and be disastrous. It isnt about image, it is about sustainability of the league and financial stability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
This is how you prevent MLS from folding:

-remove single entity structure. Allow clubs to be clubs. League has no ownership stake in individual clubs.
- institute the financial fair play model that would prevent clubs from spending more than revenues. This alone would prevent the league from folding.
Have you ever written a business plan? Have you ever ran a business? Have you ever been responsible for financials of a business? You cannot suddenly throw huge expenses into the lap of a business without horrible consequences. Even the strongest MLS franchises would struggle with being thrown into independent operation.

You cannot suddenly ditch the single entity model. It is something that has to be done over several years, probably a decade or more. What you are suggesting is suddenly dumping the responsibility of player salaries onto teams that have not planned for it in their budgets and business plans. Do you know what happens to a business when you suddenly dump over 2 million dollars in new expenses onto their plates when they have not planned for it? You have disastrous consequences and it could lead to some teams folding as they attempt to deal with the new expenses while they are still not posting a profit. How can you logically think that throwing new expenses onto a business that is not posting a profit will not lead to problems? You say, "I know you are still losing money but I am going to throw over 2 million dollars of new bills onto your plate but you'll be okay. It needs to happen because I dont like the way you do things." You think that will work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
You talk about MLS having good growth(it actually doesn't. The old NASL got better attendance and TV numbers). But countries with leagues that are around the same age as MLS have much better growth.

The LA Galaxy is MLS's marque team. When the LA Galaxy had their home games broadcasted on Fox Sports West, they never got a rating higher than 16,000 households. That is shockingly low. That's more people in the actual stadium than watching on TV.
There are several thing wrong with these statements. First, MLS is experiencing incredible growth for a league that is 18 years of age. Many leagues including the NFL would have killed for it when they were that young. If you think TV ratings and attendance are the only indicators, then your entire viewpoint is flawed to begin with.

Second, NASL was a fad and fads arent healthy for the long term sustainablity of a business because most arent managed well, NASL certainly wasnt or it would be here today and MLS would not. It's success was over-inflated due to the NY Cosmos success which also was a fad as it became a cool thing for people in NY to do.

Third, NASL did not have better attendance the MLS. The most NASL ever averaged in a season was 14440 in 1980. The only years MLS averaged less than that was 1998, 1999, and 2000 when the league was on the verge of collapsing and teams drastically cut marketing revenues. NASL did have better TV numbers but again, it was a short fad due to the older, international stars coming to the league. It was not something they sustained long term and that is what MLS is trying to do and doing successfully.

Healthy growth for a business is slow, strong, and steady, not a sudden increase due to a passing fad. Lot of companies make a product that suddenly gets popular and sees a huge growth real fast but more often than not, that fad passes over a few months or at best, a few years and the growth disappears and the company collapses. That is what happened with NASL. You point out that NASL had better growth but where is NASL today? MLS is here and NASL is not. MLS is 2 seasons away from outlasting NASL and is growing in its 18th season while NASL was seeing a huge drop and loss of popularity in its 18th season and folded two years later. On top of that, how many soccer specific stadiums did NASL teams have? 0

MLS has grown at a pace in the last decade that is unheard of in the business. They are seeing huge growth in attendance, team values, sponsorship deals, TV dollars, media coverage, international interest, investors, and most of all - revenue. Most entrepreneurs would kill to see the level of healthy growth that MLS has experienced over the last 10 years.

I've never compared MLS growth to other soccer leagues of the same age but it's really not comparable. They are in entire different markets with far less competition. China has a significantly higher population and multi-billionaires who are willing to irresponsibly throw money into their teams. However, I have read about some teams struggling financially over there. Tim Cahill choose to come to NY over his home country because he said he actually wanted a guaranteed pay day as some teams there are struggling to pay their players. On top of that, MLS is the seventh highest attended soccer league in the world, even higher than China.

MLS does have a TV ratings problem but being that that is there only glaring problem, I would say that is pretty damn good. The league is still expected to get a large payday in their next TV deal next year. The quality of broadcast are improving and NBC has been a great partner so far, better than FSC which had poor broadcast which hurt ratings. NBC also does a better job promoting the games. I see TV ratings growing over the next several years.

To say that the MLS is not experiencing good growth is false. I suggest going to the Sports Business Journal website and signing up for a free trial membership and reading some articles of MLS growth just to see how impressive it is and how people in the sports business are singing it's praises and talking about how impressive it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldous9 View Post
So i'm not buying this MLS is growing stuff. MLS is huge in Portland and Seattle but take those teams out of the equation and the league is not getting American soccer fans to watch it. There is not one reason to explain this. But a lot of it has to do with MLS sticking its tongue out to the rest of the soccer world and doing it their own way. Well there own way isn't working.

Please tell me why single entity is necessary. Tell me how with Financial Fair Play rules your nightmare scenario of the league folding would happen.
You can not buy it all you want but it is a fact. MLS is growing at a strong and steady rate which is how you want business to grow. If you are simply measuring MLS by TV ratings alone then you arent getting an accurate gauge. Do you think businesses only look at one mode of measurement to gauge the success of their business? Revenues are far more important than TV ratings and revenues are growing significantly.

There are far more successful clubs than Portland and Seattle. Franchises that arent successful dont build 200 million dollar stadiums. My home team sells out every single game, has 16k season ticket holders along with a waiting list for every section of the stadium for season tickets. They sell SRO tickets on gameday and there is usually a line wrapped around the stadium waiting to get the limited SRO tickets when the ticket window opens. In 2006, we only had 450 season ticket holders and now we have 16k. How is that for growth?

You think people arent watching MLS games because of single entity? You think it isnt working? The league is not only alive but they have a higher attendance average than the NBA and NHL. Fortune 500 companies are shelling out millions of dollar in sponsorship deals. Can you please explain the thought process behind someone not watching MLS games because of single entity? Do they think, "the league operates as one mechanism, I shouldnt watch those games even though the single entity does not impact the game on the field, I am not going to watch it!" I really dont understand that thought process.

Another thing to note, the expansion fee for the next franchise in MLS is 100 million dollars. That is the fee due to anyone who wants to add a franchise to MLS in the coming years. That doesnt include their capital investment, operational cash, and other expenditures. That is just the check they have to write to MLS to join the league. In 2006, this fee was 40 million dollars. The franchise fee has increased 250% over a 7 year period. You think that the MLS isnt growing? 250% increase in expansion franchise value in 7 years? That is unheard of. There are currently at least 3 groups exploring doing it. That doesnt happen without impressive growth.

Do you really think that all these savvy business men would be investing more money building stadiums, preparing to pay a 100 million dollar expansion, and more if the business werent growing? My employer just paid 2.5 million dollars to have their name and logo put on the SKC jersey. It is an investment company and the people that run it manage over 100 billion of other people's money. They dont spend money loosely. They did so because of the growth of the team and league. I was in meetings where the option was being discussed. MLS growth was a huge contributor in the decision. But, I am sure they were given false numbers since NASL had more growth right? I mean NASL is kicking MLS' ass, right? Since they havent been out of business for over 30 years or anything.

Fact is, the MLS is growing strongly and steadily and doing so in a poor economy. Did you know that MLS was the only team that did not see a decrease in both regular ticket and season ticket sales during the recession? They actually say an increase in season ticket sales during the recession while the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB saw a decrease in season ticket holders in that period. That's definitely a sign that MLS isnt growing, right?

If you simply look at TV ratings and ignore everything else, I can see where you would get that but that is not how you gauge success. Everything else points towards growth. Do you have any other reasons for thinking the MLS isnt growing? You cant point out a single problem area and ignore everything else and think that proves your point.

I do credit you for actually putting together some kind of response though. I appreciate an actual discussion, however wrong your points may be.
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