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MLS announces plan to expand to 30
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TardisCaptain Online
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Post: #21
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(06-16-2019 08:18 PM)chargeradio Wrote:  
(05-25-2019 05:19 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-25-2019 03:38 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  Ideally, I'd have relegation as well, but that's a different matter.

The sport would be healthier in the long term with a 20-team first division and a 20-team second division with promotion and relegation. But it won't happen. Can't upset MLS' Ponzi scheme of shaking down billionaires for $150 million expansion fees and shaking down cities for $100 million for a "soccer specific stadium" by introducing the possibility of relegation.
MLS short-circuited promotion and relegation when their teams started fielding reserve squads in the USL.

Given the sheer size of this country, I actually think MLS having 32 to 40 teams would make promotion/relegation easier to manage, as you can substitute a western team for a western team, or an eastern team for an eastern team. The key is finding enough markets with suitable facilities that seat even modest numbers by MLS standards.

The things I see that have to happen for promotion and relegation to happen are as follows:
  • Return of current MLS owners' expansion fees, with appropriate interest
  • USL Championship enacting higher facility standards for its teams.
  • MLS reserve squads being eliminated, or at least re-tooled as U18/U20/U23 teams
  • Linear TV deal for the second division (even if that winds up being the current USL Championship)
Giving David Beckham his $25 Million (Miami) back will be the easy part - returning the $200 million back to Saint Louis or Sacramento will be what stings.

The reserve league will be a push compared to fielding a USL-Championship team playing in front of 200 fans/game; but at least then the Louisville City FCs and the Phoenix Risings of the world could join that league with you, and you're not schlepping a bunch of 19-20 year olds across the continent every other week. Of course if you pull the plug on minor league farm teams entirely, the emphasis is rightly on your academy program.

The linear TV deal for a second division isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility, if a case can be made for an outlet like TruTV or Fox Sports 2; this would even be a good landing spot for RSNs.

Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #1: Once you have their money, you never give it back.
06-17-2019 02:11 PM
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Post: #22
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
I will never understand why people think that pro/relegation will work in the United States. Europe is a completely different type of demographic. In terms of media markets, EPL will never lose London, Manchester, or Birmingham, Ligue 1 will never lose Paris, Serie A will never lose Rome, La Liga will never lose Barcelona or Madrid... and so on and so on. In the US, potentially losing major markets like NYC, Miami, LA, Seatle or Portland because of a bad season in exchange for Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, or Boise would be a terrible exchange. The US soccer fanbase isn't rabid enough to support this and would ultimately lose ground. Truthfully, going to 30 teams this fast is a horrible idea as well. The USSF needs to invest more money into the USL and NASL and establish the existing teams there and bring more talent influx onto those teams. Get those teams on local television and promote the living **** out of them. I wouldn't grow the MLS past 24 teams until teams in the USL and NASL are more established.
06-22-2019 12:39 AM
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chargeradio Offline
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Post: #23
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
The NASL has been left for dead; all of its teams that were still able to operate have left for the USL.

I agree that the second tier of American soccer needs more support before promotion and relegation becomes viable. I think USL Championship will get there, but they ultimately need to cut all of the MLS second teams. Even New York Red Bulls II, who has been one of the best teams in the league, draws virtually no one to their games. Swope Park averages less than 400 fans per game.

I used to think that USL would implement some type of promotion and relegation between Championship and League One, but they seem bent on awarding franchises due to market size. San Diego and Oakland are getting expansion teams for Championship (Chicago appears to be dead); Omaha and Des Moines are being added to League One.

USL's Jake Edwards expects 10-12 teams to move down to League One by 2026:

https://www.si.com/soccer/2019/01/14/usl...relegation

This would be my guess on who moves down:
  1. Swope Park Rangers
  2. Colorado Springs Switchbacks
  3. LA Galaxy II
  4. Real Monarchs
  5. Loudon United
  6. Charleston Battery
  7. Atlanta United 2
  8. Nashville SC (becomes a second team to MLS side)
  9. Austin Bold (becomes a second team to MLS side)
  10. Saint Louis FC (becomes a second team to MLS side)

I expect Sacramento and Ottawa to disappear as USL sides as well. The MLS Sacramento Republic probably affiliate with a team like Fresno or East Bay. One of Phoenix, Indy, or Las Vegas should move up to MLS as well.

I don't think Tacoma (formerly Seattle Sounders 2) and Portland Timbers 2 move down because of the lack of teams in the Pacific Northwest.

That would knock Championship down to 26 teams if the 10 listed above plus Sacramento and Ottawa left. For expansion I think this will be the short list:
  1. East Bay/Oakland (confirmed for 2021)
  2. San Diego (confirmed, 2020 or 2021)
  3. Jacksonville
  4. Detroit
  5. Cleveland
  6. Milwaukee
  7. Baltimore
  8. New Orleans
  9. Riverside
  10. Virginia Beach/Norfolk
  11. Providence
  12. Buffalo
  13. Rochester (joining League One in 2020)
  14. Tucson (currently in League One)
06-22-2019 10:23 AM
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No Bull Offline
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Post: #24
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
Pyramid scheme. Why does the MLS need to expand this quickly
06-22-2019 10:24 PM
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ClairtonPanther Offline
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Post: #25
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
Even if all of the secondary markets became solid soccer markets, I'd be still against Pro-Rel. It's simply not logical with the US's geography. What bolstering secondary markets does is allow for more national televised games. Look at today, roughly 4PM on sports television; CBS: fishing, NBC: some movie, ABC: XGames, ESPN: cornhole, ESPN2: boxing matches from yesteryear, FS1 drag racing, NBCSN, ninja warrior... Talk about a gdamn bore. I would've much rather caught a soccer game than freaking cornhole or ninja warrior.

What I prefer to see from the US pyramid is something that's more akin to that of MLB. All of the MLS teams have affiliates in USL & NASL. Have your 2nd tier markets in the MSL, and have smaller markets in NASL. NASL would host teams in towns like Akron, Oh; Erie PA, yada yada, and USL would host teams in the markets you listed (Tucson's, Pittsburgh's, Cleveland's, Detroits and so on). That way, when players come up through a system, Columbus for example (they start in Akron, then go to Pittsburgh, then to Columbus), fans from those smaller tiers will grow attached to such players and root for them once they join the main roster in Columbus.
06-22-2019 10:35 PM
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Post: #26
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(06-22-2019 10:24 PM)No Bull Wrote:  Pyramid scheme. Why does the MLS need to expand this quickly

I'm not a fan of it, but I imagine that cable networks are pushing expansion to 30 for inventory. I tend to think MLS is about to get a payday from Fox & Disney.
06-22-2019 10:37 PM
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EPJr2 Offline
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Post: #27
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
I like 30 teams 3 conferences

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Atlanta United FC
DC United
Montreal Impact
New England Revolution
New York City FC
New York Red Bulls
Orlando City SC
Philadelphia Union
Toronto FC
Inter Miami

CENTRAL CONFERENCE
Chicago Fire
MN United FC
Saint Louis FC
Austin FC
Crew 96
FC Cincinnati
FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo
Nashville SC
Indy XI

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Sporting Kansas City
Colorado Rapids
LA Galaxy
LAFC
Portland Timbers
Real Salt Lake
San Jose Earthquakes
Seattle Sounders FC
Sac Republic FC
Vancouver Whitecaps
06-24-2019 01:06 PM
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Post: #28
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
What could be done is award the Conference Championships based of the regular season records.
Then award the Conference Champions first round byes and the conference champ that wins the supporters shield an easier path to MLS Cup finals away from the other two champs.
This would allow for 13 clubs total to make the playoffs.
See bracket example attached (not mine):
[Image: DuO5_qEWkAExsdu.jpg]
06-24-2019 01:09 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #29
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(06-22-2019 10:37 PM)ClairtonPanther Wrote:  
(06-22-2019 10:24 PM)No Bull Wrote:  Pyramid scheme. Why does the MLS need to expand this quickly

I'm not a fan of it, but I imagine that cable networks are pushing expansion to 30 for inventory. I tend to think MLS is about to get a payday from Fox & Disney.

I don't think so. The current TV contract bundles MLS together with the USMNT and USWNT broadcast rights, and the latter two provide most of the value. I think further expansion is all about collecting $150 million or more from each new franchise and using that money to cover any shortfalls in league operations.
06-24-2019 01:45 PM
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Love and Honor Offline
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Post: #30
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
I think promotion/relegation only works in the likes of Europe because soccer is the dominant sport over there by leaps and bounds. Football may be the biggest in the US, but our interest as a whole is split between that, baseball, basketball, hockey, and a host of other ones. If the US was as invested in soccer like the rest of the world then we could pull it off since you'd have a team in each borough of New York and at least two in the top twenty metro areas of the nation, but we are not.
06-24-2019 08:17 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #31
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(06-24-2019 08:17 PM)Love and Honor Wrote:  I think promotion/relegation only works in the likes of Europe because soccer is the dominant sport over there by leaps and bounds.

It's entrenched by history. It's over 100 years old in England, over 80 years old in Spain. The idea is so entrenched that it's also used for basketball teams in several countries.

Historically, football teams in most European countries belonged to the fans; the supporters owned shares in each team. Many teams are still owned this way, even in the top leagues.

In the U.S., for better or for worse, our pro sports teams and leagues have always exalted the privileges of individual team owners, far above the interests of fans and supporters. Given that organizing principle, pro/rel would be seen as a violation of the NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL/MLS team owner's "right" to perpetually have a place in the top league, even if his team is incompetently operated and finishes in last place in every season from now until the end of time.
06-24-2019 10:12 PM
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Post: #32
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(06-24-2019 08:17 PM)Love and Honor Wrote:  I think promotion/relegation only works in the likes of Europe because soccer is the dominant sport over there by leaps and bounds. Football may be the biggest in the US, but our interest as a whole is split between that, baseball, basketball, hockey, and a host of other ones. If the US was as invested in soccer like the rest of the world then we could pull it off since you'd have a team in each borough of New York and at least two in the top twenty metro areas of the nation, but we are not.

I think there's a lot of truth in that, but I think pro/rel could work as long as you're a little more sneaky about it. The traditional approach where you take 2 or 3 teams every season from a 20 or 18 team league? I agree that's a bad idea.

The advantages of moving squads up and down are that you could involve a large number of small to mid-sized markets that currently don't have any reason to follow pro soccer very closely.

I liken soccer to college sports in a variety of ways. It can become very popular if everyone has a local team they can cheer for. That's part of the reason college athletics are as big as they are. That's part of why soccer is so engrained in Europe and other places. It's a community centered event regardless of how big your community is.

Contrast that with the "minor league" approach of other sports where there's no real reason to care about a local team that isn't in the highest echelon and could never compete for a title worth having.

Personally, I'd take MLS to about 40 squads...20 in the East and 20 in the West.

I'd relegate the bottom 2 of each conference, but give them a 2nd chance in a playoff format. If they can beat the top 2 from the lower league in a head to head match then they can stay up.

How to mitigate the possibility of losing the largest markets? The problem with the MLS pay structure is that clubs in large cities can't really take advantage of revenue opportunities. If you allow free wheeling spending then the clubs in the biggest cities will buy the best squads and their chance of being relegated will be slim.
06-24-2019 10:20 PM
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ClairtonPanther Offline
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Post: #33
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(06-24-2019 01:45 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(06-22-2019 10:37 PM)ClairtonPanther Wrote:  
(06-22-2019 10:24 PM)No Bull Wrote:  Pyramid scheme. Why does the MLS need to expand this quickly

I'm not a fan of it, but I imagine that cable networks are pushing expansion to 30 for inventory. I tend to think MLS is about to get a payday from Fox & Disney.

I don't think so. The current TV contract bundles MLS together with the USMNT and USWNT broadcast rights, and the latter two provide most of the value. I think further expansion is all about collecting $150 million or more from each new franchise and using that money to cover any shortfalls in league operations.

I'm aiming more for the next TV contract. I do remember late last year or even this time last year, the MLS telling it's teams to no longer have local team television deals post 2022. Thinking it may have to do with the formation of a MLS Network akin to other leagues networks, but other sports leagues allow for local TV deals on-top of the main deals. Hard to say.

(06-24-2019 10:12 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(06-24-2019 08:17 PM)Love and Honor Wrote:  I think promotion/relegation only works in the likes of Europe because soccer is the dominant sport over there by leaps and bounds.

It's entrenched by history. It's over 100 years old in England, over 80 years old in Spain. The idea is so entrenched that it's also used for basketball teams in several countries.

Historically, football teams in most European countries belonged to the fans; the supporters owned shares in each team. Many teams are still owned this way, even in the top leagues.

In the U.S., for better or for worse, our pro sports teams and leagues have always exalted the privileges of individual team owners, far above the interests of fans and supporters. Given that organizing principle, pro/rel would be seen as a violation of the NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL/MLS team owner's "right" to perpetually have a place in the top league, even if his team is incompetently operated and finishes in last place in every season from now until the end of time.

Have to agree with this post. Geography and history certainly played it's role. Most away games were no more than a 4 train ride. Historically, I think the only sport that pro-rel would've worked in the US was baseball.

I think the biggest flaw in European pro-rel is that there's not much parity in it's leagues. They resemble college football in that regard. Right now, Bama is dominating the SEC, Clemson is dominating the ACC and it's really not close. It seems like a lot of these teams overseas are operating in the red, which could hurt them when the current paradigm changes, which will be soon.

(06-24-2019 10:20 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  
(06-24-2019 08:17 PM)Love and Honor Wrote:  I think promotion/relegation only works in the likes of Europe because soccer is the dominant sport over there by leaps and bounds. Football may be the biggest in the US, but our interest as a whole is split between that, baseball, basketball, hockey, and a host of other ones. If the US was as invested in soccer like the rest of the world then we could pull it off since you'd have a team in each borough of New York and at least two in the top twenty metro areas of the nation, but we are not.

I think there's a lot of truth in that, but I think pro/rel could work as long as you're a little more sneaky about it. The traditional approach where you take 2 or 3 teams every season from a 20 or 18 team league? I agree that's a bad idea.

The advantages of moving squads up and down are that you could involve a large number of small to mid-sized markets that currently don't have any reason to follow pro soccer very closely.

I liken soccer to college sports in a variety of ways. It can become very popular if everyone has a local team they can cheer for. That's part of the reason college athletics are as big as they are. That's part of why soccer is so engrained in Europe and other places. It's a community centered event regardless of how big your community is.

Contrast that with the "minor league" approach of other sports where there's no real reason to care about a local team that isn't in the highest echelon and could never compete for a title worth having.

Personally, I'd take MLS to about 40 squads...20 in the East and 20 in the West.

I'd relegate the bottom 2 of each conference, but give them a 2nd chance in a playoff format. If they can beat the top 2 from the lower league in a head to head match then they can stay up.

How to mitigate the possibility of losing the largest markets? The problem with the MLS pay structure is that clubs in large cities can't really take advantage of revenue opportunities. If you allow free wheeling spending then the clubs in the biggest cities will buy the best squads and their chance of being relegated will be slim.

I don't know about MLS being a 40 team juggernaut. A lot of the secondary markets aren't ready. Pittsburgh would almost have to be a viable option for MLS at that stage, but the Hounds only average 3-4K a game. Local HS's draw larger crowds. Would Toronto want to play Pittsburgh twice a year and miss out on games against Seattle/Portland?

I do think it's time for the MLS to triple the salary cap and allow teams to spend more money. The pay structure in the MLS is really stupid and needs changed asap.
06-25-2019 08:03 AM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #34
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(06-25-2019 08:03 AM)ClairtonPanther Wrote:  I think the biggest flaw in European pro-rel is that there's not much parity in it's leagues. They resemble college football in that regard. Right now, Bama is dominating the SEC, Clemson is dominating the ACC and it's really not close. It seems like a lot of these teams overseas are operating in the red, which could hurt them when the current paradigm changes, which will be soon.

Even many of the best teams in Europe lose money because of the cost of acquiring the best players, and the cost of building stadiums when needed.

OTOH, there are U.S. pro sports teams in similar situations. The SF Giants have a large debt load, and large annual loan payments, due to borrowing all the money to build their ballpark in the 1990s. The LA Chargers are borrowing the entire $650 million relocation fee the NFL is charging them, and probably also borrowing their share of costs for the new LA stadium. Seems likely the Raiders also have a huge debt load. Any major U.S. pro sports franchise that recently sold for a billion or more is probably carrying a debt load to finance the purchase, except for the Clippers whose owner is worth several times what he paid for the Clippers.

The biggest "expense" effect of pro/rel is that middle class teams spend a lot to ensure that they are never in danger of relegation. They're not trying to spend as much as Barcelona or Bayern Munich, they just want a clear advantage over the struggling teams in their league.
06-25-2019 02:22 PM
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Post: #35
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
Given that Charlotte seems to be the current front runner for team #30, this looks like what we'll end up with in a few years:

Western Conference
Northwest - Sacramento, San Jose, Vancouver, Portland, Seattle
Southwest - LA Galaxy, Los Angeles FC, Dallas, Houston, Austin
Central - Salt Lake, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas City, Saint Louis

Eastern Conference
Northeast - Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toronto, Montreal
Southeast - Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando
Atlantic - DC United, Philadelphia, NY Red Bulls, New York City FC, New England

With a 34 game schedule, everyone plays home and away in their division (8 games), everyone else once (25 games), and one extra game against someone in their own conference, with one exception - Saint Louis and Chicago would play each other, as it is not mathematically possible for an odd number of teams to play an odd number of games against each other. This might push the schedule to 36 games, as then everyone can have one extra East-West matchup (which preserves the return game between Chicago and Saint Louis), plus one extra game against each of the other two divisions in their own conference (which helps the California teams).
07-28-2019 12:27 PM
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Post: #36
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
There will not be an announcement for the next expansion teams at the MLS All Star Game (as was hoped). After the moving parts have been settled the announcement will be made.

This article also states that there are enough strong bids that expansion to 32 teams may be likely.

https://soccerstadiumdigest.com/2019/07/...ion-clubs/

If the league hits 32 teams, I hope that they stop. USL seems to be filling in nicely for the cities that do not end up in the MLS.
(This post was last modified: 07-31-2019 03:15 PM by TardisCaptain.)
07-31-2019 03:14 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #37
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
Garber said that if Sacramento and St. Louis are added, they would start play in MLS in 2022. That means MLS could wait as long as another year to make it official (or to pick another city or ownership group, if needed).
08-01-2019 12:58 PM
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30

08-14-2019 08:41 PM
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Post: #39
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
It’s official. Saint Louis has a team. Name TBD.
08-20-2019 12:00 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #40
RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(08-20-2019 12:00 PM)lew240z Wrote:  It’s official. Saint Louis has a team. Name TBD.

Hopefully it won't be anything like "FC St. Louis" or "Real St. Louis" or "St. Louis United", etc., etc.
08-20-2019 12:05 PM
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