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MLS announces plan to expand to 30
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AllTideUp Offline
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MLS announces plan to expand to 30
*At least 30 to be precise.

USA Today reports

In addition, thoughts are that St. Louis and Sacramento have the inside track on the next two spots.
04-18-2019 07:36 PM
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MLS announces plan to expand to 30
Fold please.


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04-18-2019 09:00 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
Quote:Garber lauded the bids of Sacramento and St. Louis but also stressed that both ownership group still had work to do. Garber said that Sacramento needed to finalize their corporate sponsorship as well as some elements of the stadium plan. St. Louis needs to finalize its stadium plan as well, but Garber's expectation is that both cities will get their respective bids over the line.

"I've got confidence in both markets," said Garber. "We wouldn't be here today without the confidence of our ownership group to try to put all the elements in place to give them the opportunity to finalize the deal."
Quote:Garber added that MLS will "take our time" on team 30, though it remains in discussions with the likes of Phoenix, Las Vegas, Detroit and Charlotte.

The recent pattern (other than just finding ownership groups with enough money for ever-escalating expansion fees) seems to be targeting cities that are not oversaturated with pro sports franchises. Obviously that includes Sacramento and St. Louis, but also Cincinnati, Austin, and "saving" Columbus. And it suggests that for franchise #30, if all other things are equal, Las Vegas and Charlotte have an edge over Phoenix and Detroit.
04-18-2019 09:43 PM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
Phoenix is a logical place. Ownership in place, stadium plans in place, untapped market, big Hispanic population

Vegas would be a horrid choice.
04-19-2019 12:21 PM
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AllTideUp Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(04-19-2019 12:21 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  Phoenix is a logical place. Ownership in place, stadium plans in place, untapped market, big Hispanic population

Vegas would be a horrid choice.

I don't know that Vegas would be horrid, but I do agree that Phoenix is a good choice.

It's true they have spent time tapping into markets without a full slate of pro franchises, but that doesn't fit the description for every recent expansion.

Atlanta, Minnesota, Miami, 2nd team in Los Angeles, 2nd team in New York...all of these have plenty of local competition.
04-19-2019 01:06 PM
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
The St. Louis ownership group is financially rock solid with the Taylor family and Kavanaugh. Phoenix makes the most sense for #30.

Western Conference
Northwest
Colorado
Portland
Salt Lake
Seattle
Vancouver

Pacific
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Phoenix
San Jose
Sacramento

Southwest
Austin
Dallas
Houston
Kansas City
St. Louis

Eastern Conference
North
Chicago
Cincinnati
Columbus
Minnesota
Toronto

Atlantic
Montreal
New England
New York
New York
Philadelphia

Southeast
Atlanta
DC
Miami
Nashville
Orlando
04-19-2019 01:08 PM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(04-19-2019 01:06 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  
(04-19-2019 12:21 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  Phoenix is a logical place. Ownership in place, stadium plans in place, untapped market, big Hispanic population

Vegas would be a horrid choice.

I don't know that Vegas would be horrid, but I do agree that Phoenix is a good choice.

It's true they have spent time tapping into markets without a full slate of pro franchises, but that doesn't fit the description for every recent expansion.

Atlanta, Minnesota, Miami, 2nd team in Los Angeles, 2nd team in New York...all of these have plenty of local competition.

Vegas will have two pro franchises in place soon. VGK do well because of location and early success led it to be a "it thing" to do, plus since it is cold in the arena people can dress up and make a night of it.

Can't really do that for soccer - need hard-core fans there for the game, not the scene. That is not Vegas.
04-19-2019 01:10 PM
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AllTideUp Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(04-19-2019 01:10 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  
(04-19-2019 01:06 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  
(04-19-2019 12:21 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  Phoenix is a logical place. Ownership in place, stadium plans in place, untapped market, big Hispanic population

Vegas would be a horrid choice.

I don't know that Vegas would be horrid, but I do agree that Phoenix is a good choice.

It's true they have spent time tapping into markets without a full slate of pro franchises, but that doesn't fit the description for every recent expansion.

Atlanta, Minnesota, Miami, 2nd team in Los Angeles, 2nd team in New York...all of these have plenty of local competition.

Vegas will have two pro franchises in place soon. VGK do well because of location and early success led it to be a "it thing" to do, plus since it is cold in the arena people can dress up and make a night of it.

Can't really do that for soccer - need hard-core fans there for the game, not the scene. That is not Vegas.

I'm not sure I would pick Vegas either, but I imagine a squad would play in the Raiders' stadium because of the temperature. An opportunity to get out of the heat and do something fun that doesn't involve gambling. I wouldn't be shocked if it worked.

That and they would fill up a season not otherwise occupied with any sport because there's no chance Vegas would get an MLB franchise.

At 30, I would definitely look at Phoenix. Sacramento and St. Louis look like 28 and 29. Personally, I think they'll go beyond 30 though.
04-19-2019 01:38 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(04-19-2019 01:10 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  need hard-core fans there for the game, not the scene. That is not Vegas.

That's what many people said about the NHL in Vegas before they put a team in there, and many people were wrong about that. I would have been skeptical about NHL in Las Vegas, too.

(04-19-2019 01:38 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  I'm not sure I would pick Vegas either, but I imagine a squad would play in the Raiders' stadium because of the temperature. An opportunity to get out of the heat and do something fun that doesn't involve gambling. I wouldn't be shocked if it worked.

MGM would like an MLS team playing in the Raiders stadium because that stadium is right across the freeway from one of their properties (Mandalay Bay) and easy walking distance to a few others (closest are Luxor and Excalibur). MGM is already benefiting from an NHL team playing in an arena that shares a parking garage with one of their properties (New York New York) and is a 2-minute walk from at least two others. But is MGM willing to put up any money to help get an MLS team in Vegas?

MLS plays about 80% of its regular season between May 15 and September 30, so both Las Vegas and Phoenix would have to address the issue of whether they're going to play indoors in an NFL stadium, or play outdoors when it's 110° outside, or ask MLS to let them start every home game after 7:30 pm.

If it's a decision between them, it will come down to who can put the expansion fee money on the table soonest and/or who can most efficiently shake down local politicians for public money for a "soccer specific stadium". But the way MLS is handing out expansion franchises, seems more likely that both will get one sooner or later.
04-19-2019 02:22 PM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(04-19-2019 02:22 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(04-19-2019 01:10 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  need hard-core fans there for the game, not the scene. That is not Vegas.

That's what many people said about the NHL in Vegas before they put a team in there, and many people were wrong about that. I would have been skeptical about NHL in Las Vegas, too.

(04-19-2019 01:38 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  I'm not sure I would pick Vegas either, but I imagine a squad would play in the Raiders' stadium because of the temperature. An opportunity to get out of the heat and do something fun that doesn't involve gambling. I wouldn't be shocked if it worked.

MGM would like an MLS team playing in the Raiders stadium because that stadium is right across the freeway from one of their properties (Mandalay Bay) and easy walking distance to a few others (closest are Luxor and Excalibur). MGM is already benefiting from an NHL team playing in an arena that shares a parking garage with one of their properties (New York New York) and is a 2-minute walk from at least two others. But is MGM willing to put up any money to help get an MLS team in Vegas?

MLS plays about 80% of its regular season between May 15 and September 30, so both Las Vegas and Phoenix would have to address the issue of whether they're going to play indoors in an NFL stadium, or play outdoors when it's 110° outside, or ask MLS to let them start every home game after 7:30 pm.

If it's a decision between them, it will come down to who can put the expansion fee money on the table soonest and/or who can most efficiently shake down local politicians for public money for a "soccer specific stadium". But the way MLS is handing out expansion franchises, seems more likely that both will get one sooner or later.

Phoenix already has the stadium site picked out - the same area as the temporary stadium the Rising play in - corner of two Freeways on Indian Reservation Land, with the Reservation (and it's casinos, one of which is on the other side of the Freeway from the site) kicking in money. has the ownership group with requisite billionaire investor.
04-19-2019 03:58 PM
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(04-19-2019 02:22 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(04-19-2019 01:10 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  need hard-core fans there for the game, not the scene. That is not Vegas.

That's what many people said about the NHL in Vegas before they put a team in there, and many people were wrong about that. I would have been skeptical about NHL in Las Vegas, too.

(04-19-2019 01:38 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  I'm not sure I would pick Vegas either, but I imagine a squad would play in the Raiders' stadium because of the temperature. An opportunity to get out of the heat and do something fun that doesn't involve gambling. I wouldn't be shocked if it worked.

MGM would like an MLS team playing in the Raiders stadium because that stadium is right across the freeway from one of their properties (Mandalay Bay) and easy walking distance to a few others (closest are Luxor and Excalibur). MGM is already benefiting from an NHL team playing in an arena that shares a parking garage with one of their properties (New York New York) and is a 2-minute walk from at least two others. But is MGM willing to put up any money to help get an MLS team in Vegas?

MLS plays about 80% of its regular season between May 15 and September 30, so both Las Vegas and Phoenix would have to address the issue of whether they're going to play indoors in an NFL stadium, or play outdoors when it's 110° outside, or ask MLS to let them start every home game after 7:30 pm.

If it's a decision between them, it will come down to who can put the expansion fee money on the table soonest and/or who can most efficiently shake down local politicians for public money for a "soccer specific stadium". But the way MLS is handing out expansion franchises, seems more likely that both will get one sooner or later.

I think that's workable.

Later games, I think, would be preferable for MLS because of the time zone difference. Indoors or outdoors, if the broadcast partners can count on Vegas playing a late game every weekend that should fit in just fine. Similar to how the PAC 12 has become reliable content after the other prime games have been played back East.

If I were MLS though, I would favor the Raiders' stadium. It's worked well in Atlanta and Seattle. The soccer specific stadiums are fine, but if you've got a top notch football stadium that's set up for soccer fans then it's a great experience. I've been to MLS matches in both Atlanta and Houston. The Houston experience wasn't bad, but far inferior to Mercedes-Benz in Atlanta. I'm referring more to the facility itself, not the atmosphere.

I would think the Raiders and other local partners would like it too. If you've got more dedicated dates on the calendar then the facility is more profitable. Less weight on the Raiders to make it work if nothing else.
04-19-2019 04:13 PM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(04-19-2019 04:13 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  
(04-19-2019 02:22 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(04-19-2019 01:10 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  need hard-core fans there for the game, not the scene. That is not Vegas.

That's what many people said about the NHL in Vegas before they put a team in there, and many people were wrong about that. I would have been skeptical about NHL in Las Vegas, too.

(04-19-2019 01:38 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  I'm not sure I would pick Vegas either, but I imagine a squad would play in the Raiders' stadium because of the temperature. An opportunity to get out of the heat and do something fun that doesn't involve gambling. I wouldn't be shocked if it worked.

MGM would like an MLS team playing in the Raiders stadium because that stadium is right across the freeway from one of their properties (Mandalay Bay) and easy walking distance to a few others (closest are Luxor and Excalibur). MGM is already benefiting from an NHL team playing in an arena that shares a parking garage with one of their properties (New York New York) and is a 2-minute walk from at least two others. But is MGM willing to put up any money to help get an MLS team in Vegas?

MLS plays about 80% of its regular season between May 15 and September 30, so both Las Vegas and Phoenix would have to address the issue of whether they're going to play indoors in an NFL stadium, or play outdoors when it's 110° outside, or ask MLS to let them start every home game after 7:30 pm.

If it's a decision between them, it will come down to who can put the expansion fee money on the table soonest and/or who can most efficiently shake down local politicians for public money for a "soccer specific stadium". But the way MLS is handing out expansion franchises, seems more likely that both will get one sooner or later.

I think that's workable.

Later games, I think, would be preferable for MLS because of the time zone difference. Indoors or outdoors, if the broadcast partners can count on Vegas playing a late game every weekend that should fit in just fine. Similar to how the PAC 12 has become reliable content after the other prime games have been played back East.

If I were MLS though, I would favor the Raiders' stadium. It's worked well in Atlanta and Seattle. The soccer specific stadiums are fine, but if you've got a top notch football stadium that's set up for soccer fans then it's a great experience. I've been to MLS matches in both Atlanta and Houston. The Houston experience wasn't bad, but far inferior to Mercedes-Benz in Atlanta. I'm referring more to the facility itself, not the atmosphere.

I would think the Raiders and other local partners would like it too. If you've got more dedicated dates on the calendar then the facility is more profitable. Less weight on the Raiders to make it work if nothing else.

Both Phoenix and Vegas football stadiums, while indoors, use natural grass (on a tray, rolled in and out of the stadium. This allows shows, etc to be held and not affect the grass. Not sure how well it would hold up with that much use.

Both Houston and Atlanta play on turf, so no issue with playing more games on it
04-19-2019 04:27 PM
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
04-23-2019 05:32 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(04-23-2019 05:32 PM)TardisCaptain Wrote:  Interesting write up.

https://soccerstadiumdigest.com/2019/04/...9-edition/

Quote:Ron Burkle’s decision to invest in MLS, Sacramento Republic FC and a new downtown stadium instantly catapulted that city’s bid to the lead.

It's the top MLS criterion: He's a billionaire, he will write big checks, and his checks won't bounce.
04-23-2019 06:39 PM
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(04-19-2019 12:21 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  Phoenix is a logical place. Ownership in place, stadium plans in place, untapped market, big Hispanic population

Vegas would be a horrid choice.

I like Indy.
Already partnering with NFL like Seattle.
Also has a SSS in the works.
Indoor Midwest Squad with the ability to eventually move outdoors ala MTL.
05-24-2019 07:59 PM
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chargeradio Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
I believe by the time Indy would take the field as a first-division side in MLS, their stadium will be completed.

I think a burning question that has to be answered is the divisional structure. There are clearly some that will work better with other with certain teams.

For example, with Phoenix, San Diego, or Las Vegas as team 30:

Northwest - Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake, Colorado
Pacific - LA Galaxy, LAFC, San Jose, Sacramento, Team 30
Southwest - Dallas, Houston, Austin, Kansas City, Saint Louis
Southeast - Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, DC
Atlantic - Montreal, New England, NY Red Bulls, NYCFC, Philadelphia
Central - Minnesota, Chicago, Toronto, Cincinnati, Columbus

If you want four divisions instead of six, take Salt Lake and Colorado from the Northwest and put them in the Southwest, then merge the remainder of the Northwest with the Pacific. Toronto and DC would probably move to the Atlantic, then Southeast and Central would merge.

Now try this with Indianapolis or Detroit instead of Phoenix, San Diego, or Las Vegas:

Pacific - Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Jose, Sacramento
Southwest - LA Galaxy, LAFC, Dallas, Houston, Austin
Northwest - Kansas City, Saint Louis, Colorado, Salt Lake, Minnesota
Southeast - Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, DC
Atlantic - Montreal, New England, NY Red Bulls, NYCFC, Philadelphia
Central - Chicago, Toronto, Cincinnati, Columbus, Team 30

For four divisions you chop the two LA-area teams out of the Southwest, and place them in the Pacific before merging the Southwest and Northwest. DC United and Toronto join the Atlantic, with the Southeast and Central merging.

If you wind up with Charlotte, Raleigh, or Tampa for team 30:

Pacific - Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Jose, Sacramento
Southwest - LA Galaxy, LAFC, Dallas, Houston, Austin
Northwest - Kansas City, Saint Louis, Colorado, Salt Lake, Minnesota
Southeast - Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Team 30
Atlantic - New England, NY Red Bulls, NYCFC, Philadelphia, DC
Central - Chicago, Toronto, Cincinnati, Columbus, Montreal

Kind of odd putting Montreal and Chicago in the same division, but they at least get Toronto back. For four divisions, you again move both LAs to the Pacific and merge the Southwest and Northwest. Move Toronto and Montreal to the Atlantic, then merge the Central and Southeast.

With 5 or 6 divisions, the schedule can stay at 34 games. With only four divisions, you'll need 36 games - the divisions with 8 teams play 14 in the division (7 x 2) and 22 outside the division (22 x 1), while the divisions with 7 teams play 12 in the division (6 x 2), 24 outside the division (22 teams once, then 1 team twice); the extra games between the 7-team divisions could be arranged to have matchups like Toronto/Vancouver, LA/New York, etc.

I personally think this four-division scenario is the most likely:

Pacific - Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, LA Galaxy, LAFC, San Jose, Sacramento, PHX/SD/LV
West - Dallas, Houston, Austin, Kansas City, Saint Louis, Salt Lake, Colorado, Minnesota
East - Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus
Atlantic - Montreal, New England, NY Red Bulls, NYCFC, Philadelphia, DC, Toronto

Of course if there are no conferences, just four divisions, both Pacific and West could have eight teams each. The East and Atlantic could be the two seven-team divisions, which makes the travel for the extra cross-division game easier, i.e., New England/Atlanta instead of New England/Portland.
05-25-2019 01:24 PM
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
If I was going to realign MLS then I would start with this premise...40 clubs divided into 2 leagues.

You pretty much have to do it East and West, but here's the reason I would construct it that way:

Each league would have 20 squads and they would play a double round-robin like most major leagues around the world. At that point, a shield would have a little more meaning as each league would have a true table and a true regular season champion.

For the playoffs, I would take the top 6 from each and do a single elimination tournament(top 2 get a 1st round bye) with the conference champion of each league meeting for MLS Cup.

Ideally, I'd have relegation as well, but that's a different matter.
05-25-2019 03:38 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(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.
05-25-2019 05:19 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
This looks like another one of those schemes where consultants soak up millions in consulting fees for a proposed stadium or arena that never gets built, but here's an announcement about a proposal for an indoor SSS in Las Vegas that presumably would be coupled with an application for an MLS franchise.

http://www.espn.com/soccer/major-league-...or-stadium

Quote:Las Vegas' bid to acquire an MLS expansion team is heating up, with the Baupost Group and its chief executive, Seth Klarman, emerging as one of the driving forces behind a deal that could result in the building of a 25,000-seat indoor stadium located in downtown.
Quote:The Las Vegas city council is expected to vote next Wednesday on whether to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) with Renaissance that would create a 180-day window to hold talks on constructing the stadium as well as hotels and apartments. This period will also determine who would own the stadium.
Quote:Baupost, whose involvement was confirmed by city documents obtained by ESPN FC, has agreed to purchase the Las Vegas Lights, contingent upon Renaissance and the city entering into an MDA. According to a source with knowledge of the deal, Baupost could submit an application to MLS for an expansion franchise soon after next week's vote.
05-31-2019 06:12 PM
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RE: MLS announces plan to expand to 30
(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.
06-16-2019 08:18 PM
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