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LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
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AllTideUp Offline
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LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
From ESPN:

Quote:Los Angeles FC lead owner Larry Berg has predicted Major League Soccer will surpass Major League Baseball in popularity during the next 10 years and Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas added it will be of higher quality than the Premier League or La Liga by 2045.


Quote:"We definitely have the demographics in our favor, both in terms of youth and diversity, Berg said. "So I think we'll pass baseball and hockey and be the No. 3 sport in the U.S. behind football and basketball.


Quote:"I think we will be the league of choice. I think we're already a league of choice to a certain extent, whether we can be a top-five league or a top-three league will really come down at the end of the day to money, our ability to compete for players."

Bold prediction.

I could see MLS being on par with baseball in maybe 10 years, but that's only if the MLB really takes a dip. I suppose that's possible between now and then.

All in all, I do think MLS will be very popular within the next generation, but I don't see it surpassing any of the big 3 that quickly.
02-26-2020 03:31 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
MLS won't surpass MLB in either of the most important metrics -- attendance or TV value -- by 2030.

It's possible that MLS will pass NHL by that time. MLS already has better average attendance, but NHL has more revenue per team from attendance because they're charging significantly higher ticket prices.

Higher quality of play than Premier League or La Liga by 2045? NFW. The MLS salary structure puts a very low ceiling on the quality of players they can get, and the MLS owners won't permit, not even by 2045, the almost-unlimited spending that allows the richest teams in the Premier League and La Liga to buy the best squads. Maybe MLS will increase spending on players enough to catch up to Mexico's Liga MX, but they won't catch up to any of the top 5 or 10 leagues in the foreseeable future.
02-26-2020 05:42 PM
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vandiver49 Offline
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RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
(02-26-2020 05:42 PM)Wedge Wrote:  MLS won't surpass MLB in either of the most important metrics -- attendance or TV value -- by 2030.

It's possible that MLS will pass NHL by that time. MLS already has better average attendance, but NHL has more revenue per team from attendance because they're charging significantly higher ticket prices.

Higher quality of play than Premier League or La Liga by 2045? NFW. The MLS salary structure puts a very low ceiling on the quality of players they can get, and the MLS owners won't permit, not even by 2045, the almost-unlimited spending that allows the richest teams in the Premier League and La Liga to buy the best squads. Maybe MLS will increase spending on players enough to catch up to Mexico's Liga MX, but they won't catch up to any of the top 5 or 10 leagues in the foreseeable future.

I agree with the bolded. As you said, top talent is going to be attracted by dollars, which the MLS simply doesn't have. Part of me feels that much of the fandom around MLS is astroturf. I just don't get why the league needs to mimic its European cousins so much.
02-26-2020 09:20 PM
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AllTideUp Offline
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RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
I would agree that matching La Liga or the EPL anytime soon is basically impossible. I'm not sure it will ever happen actually. The money difference is too significant, and those cultures support soccer on a level that Americans don't comprehend.

If soccer ever becomes the most popular sport in the US then it's possible, but there's too great a history here of supporting other sports. I think soccer will be in the big 3 one day, but I highly doubt it will illicit the same passion it does in Europe.

I disagree, however, that MLS couldn't become a top 10 league in the foreseeable future. The money is the problem, but the biggest difference between the major European leagues and MLS is the media value. There's plenty of economic might in the US to create an attractive atmosphere for great players, but MLS needs a comprehensive media strategy.

There are some hints they're trending that way since they've told clubs to hold off on signing over their local market rights at the end of the current contract. I think what's coming is a more concerted effort to gain exposure and revenue rather than just taking whatever they can get to be on TV.

The big indicator to me is the consistent investment we're seeing from wealthy owners. I get that the current franchise model appears to be more of a pyramid scheme than anything, but I think you'd have a very hard time convincing billionaire after billionaire that this league was worth their money if they didn't genuinely believe in the long term value.

Just my opinion, but I think we'll see promotion and relegation at some point because it will be necessary in order to incorporate more markets. That seems like the only reasonable endgame for the ever-growing expansion movement. When all the cities of decent size have their own club and numerous large metro areas have multiple clubs then I think you'll see soccer have a similar cultural effect to college sports. If it's community based then you're going to garner more fans and they'll be willing to fork over a lot of cash in the long term because they'll feel a connection to the product.

It won't happen tomorrow because the risk of these owners losing money is too great, but they will find a way around that eventually. Pro/rel might look different in the US than it does in other places, but it will take some form.

We also have to consider the article is spot on when it says the quality of life is outstanding in the US. More to the point, there are other economic opportunities here that you won't find just anywhere. The US is not only the richest country on the planet, but it is the 3rd largest in population. This market has massive potential for the game of soccer and it's finally being tapped.

Quality players will come if for no more reason than there are so many of them. It is the world's game and not everyone can play at one of the top clubs in Europe. That and as the game grows, more American players will take the game seriously and we'll have a stronger base to draw from domestically.
02-26-2020 11:36 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
(02-26-2020 11:36 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  We also have to consider the article is spot on when it says the quality of life is outstanding in the US. More to the point, there are other economic opportunities here that you won't find just anywhere. The US is not only the richest country on the planet, but it is the 3rd largest in population. This market has massive potential for the game of soccer and it's finally being tapped.

Quality players will come if for no more reason than there are so many of them. It is the world's game and not everyone can play at one of the top clubs in Europe. That and as the game grows, more American players will take the game seriously and we'll have a stronger base to draw from domestically.

They will come if they are paid. The biggest structural issue with MLS is that it’s set up to pay 3 or 4 players on each team well, and pay peanuts to the other 14 or 15 guys. It’s the quality level of those other 14 or 15 on each team that has to be greatly elevated to become a top 10 league. Right now most MLS teams are, in a baseball analogy, a AA team with 3 or 4 major leaguers.
02-27-2020 02:12 AM
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RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
(02-27-2020 02:12 AM)Wedge Wrote:  
(02-26-2020 11:36 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  We also have to consider the article is spot on when it says the quality of life is outstanding in the US. More to the point, there are other economic opportunities here that you won't find just anywhere. The US is not only the richest country on the planet, but it is the 3rd largest in population. This market has massive potential for the game of soccer and it's finally being tapped.

Quality players will come if for no more reason than there are so many of them. It is the world's game and not everyone can play at one of the top clubs in Europe. That and as the game grows, more American players will take the game seriously and we'll have a stronger base to draw from domestically.

They will come if they are paid. The biggest structural issue with MLS is that it’s set up to pay 3 or 4 players on each team well, and pay peanuts to the other 14 or 15 guys. It’s the quality level of those other 14 or 15 on each team that has to be greatly elevated to become a top 10 league. Right now most MLS teams are, in a baseball analogy, a AA team with 3 or 4 major leaguers.

I understand and it's a hurdle for the time being.

I just think it's a means to an end. Twenty years ago, not a soul cared about MLS. They had to do some creative things to keep the money flowing. If they can land a decent media deal in the next few years or even within the next 10 years, they'll alter the pay structure.

As it stands, they can't alter it now because the only ones who could afford to pay big salaries are the billionaire owners. They'd only be able to do it because they have the capital on hand, not necessarily because their club makes enough to justify it.

The next round of media deals are key. If the MLS can make a splash then their exposure and popularity will increase greatly. A better salary structure will follow.

I like the odds of a much bigger media deal next time because the sports bubble hasn't burst yet. They won't bring down money comparable to the big 3, but they don't have to right now. If for no other reason, I think the potential for a much bigger media payday is why we've seen such a rapid and almost haphazard approach to expansion. The MLS leaders know they need penetration across the country before network execs will even think about paying them competitively for a product broadcast across the nation.

There are some different things MLS can do as well. For example, being that MLS schedules heavily to avoid the NFL, there's no reason they shouldn't have a Monday night broadcast and probably 2 of them(1 East Coast and 1 West Coast) during the NFL offseason. Plenty of people will tune in for that just out of curiosity and the fact they're used to watching MNF much of the year. Forget Friday night games on a Spanish TV network...they're limiting themselves. If you want to sell Spanish simulcast rights then that's one thing, but you have to go where the eyeballs are and make it convenient for Americans to consume your product. The Spanish-only audience will never carry this league to great heights, not possible.

The key thing will be bundling those rights for a national audience. Right now, most MLS games are only broadcast in local markets although you can get them through ESPN+. That hurts the national exposure big time.
02-27-2020 01:59 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
If only they could get gamblers to start betting on MLS games, then their TV ratings would skyrocket. That worked well for the NFL and college football. 07-coffee3
02-27-2020 02:33 PM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
So how do you rank the top leagues and where does MLS currently stand?
02-27-2020 05:34 PM
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RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
(02-27-2020 05:34 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  So how do you rank the top leagues and where does MLS currently stand?

Depends who you ask. There are computer rankings (analogs to ELO, RPI, NET, etc.) and some people have ranked leagues based on the computer ranking of the teams in the league. Others mix those team-strength rankings with other things like attendance, facilities, etc.

I don't have an opinion on the nitty-gritty of the computer rankings, but I think, for our purposes, the consensus is:

-- European top 5 leagues
(big gap)
-- Liga MX
(significant gap but not as big as the first gap)
-- MLS

Here's two rankings, including the top leagues and the best leagues in our hemisphere (Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina) for comparison.

https://www.kickalgor.com/football-leagu...r-2019-20/

#1 Premier League
#2 La Liga
#3 Serie A
#4 Bundesliga
#5 Ligue 1
#11 Liga MX
#12 Brasileirão
#14 Argentina Superliga
#17 MLS

https://www.globalfootballrankings.com/ (this one appears to be a ranking based on how teams have been ranked by a computer rating for the last 6-12 months)

#1 Premier League
#2 La Liga
#3 Bundesliga
#4 Serie A
#5 Ligue 1
#6 Brasileirão
#10 Liga MX
#16 Argentina Superliga
#20 MLS
02-27-2020 07:21 PM
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Post: #10
RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
(02-27-2020 07:21 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(02-27-2020 05:34 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  So how do you rank the top leagues and where does MLS currently stand?

Depends who you ask. There are computer rankings (analogs to ELO, RPI, NET, etc.) and some people have ranked leagues based on the computer ranking of the teams in the league. Others mix those team-strength rankings with other things like attendance, facilities, etc.

I don't have an opinion on the nitty-gritty of the computer rankings, but I think, for our purposes, the consensus is:

-- European top 5 leagues
(big gap)
-- Liga MX
(significant gap but not as big as the first gap)
-- MLS

Here's two rankings, including the top leagues and the best leagues in our hemisphere (Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina) for comparison.

https://www.kickalgor.com/football-leagu...r-2019-20/

#1 Premier League
#2 La Liga
#3 Serie A
#4 Bundesliga
#5 Ligue 1
#11 Liga MX
#12 Brasileirão
#14 Argentina Superliga
#17 MLS

https://www.globalfootballrankings.com/ (this one appears to be a ranking based on how teams have been ranked by a computer rating for the last 6-12 months)

#1 Premier League
#2 La Liga
#3 Bundesliga
#4 Serie A
#5 Ligue 1
#6 Brasileirão
#10 Liga MX
#16 Argentina Superliga
#20 MLS

Interesting rankings.

I would agree with the top 4, but I think what's interesting about Ligue 1 in 5th place is that I would say it's a distant 5th place.

You've got one world class club in PSG. After that you've got a handful of clubs that will occasionally make themselves heard in European competition, but never at the same time.

I imagine France has a lot more money to dedicate to their local clubs as opposed to most other European nations, but that league woefully underperforms in my opinion. I would suggest several other countries in Europe have leagues that are just as good on average. The only difference is PSG.
02-27-2020 09:45 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #11
RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
(02-27-2020 09:45 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  
(02-27-2020 07:21 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(02-27-2020 05:34 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  So how do you rank the top leagues and where does MLS currently stand?

Depends who you ask. There are computer rankings (analogs to ELO, RPI, NET, etc.) and some people have ranked leagues based on the computer ranking of the teams in the league. Others mix those team-strength rankings with other things like attendance, facilities, etc.

I don't have an opinion on the nitty-gritty of the computer rankings, but I think, for our purposes, the consensus is:

-- European top 5 leagues
(big gap)
-- Liga MX
(significant gap but not as big as the first gap)
-- MLS

Here's two rankings, including the top leagues and the best leagues in our hemisphere (Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina) for comparison.

https://www.kickalgor.com/football-leagu...r-2019-20/

#1 Premier League
#2 La Liga
#3 Serie A
#4 Bundesliga
#5 Ligue 1
#11 Liga MX
#12 Brasileirão
#14 Argentina Superliga
#17 MLS

https://www.globalfootballrankings.com/ (this one appears to be a ranking based on how teams have been ranked by a computer rating for the last 6-12 months)

#1 Premier League
#2 La Liga
#3 Bundesliga
#4 Serie A
#5 Ligue 1
#6 Brasileirão
#10 Liga MX
#16 Argentina Superliga
#20 MLS

Interesting rankings.

I would agree with the top 4, but I think what's interesting about Ligue 1 in 5th place is that I would say it's a distant 5th place.

You've got one world class club in PSG. After that you've got a handful of clubs that will occasionally make themselves heard in European competition, but never at the same time.

I imagine France has a lot more money to dedicate to their local clubs as opposed to most other European nations, but that league woefully underperforms in my opinion. I would suggest several other countries in Europe have leagues that are just as good on average. The only difference is PSG.

Agreed, Ligue 1 would be quite a bit lower than 5th if PSG were not there, similar to what ACC football would be without Clemson. 05-stirthepot
02-27-2020 10:03 PM
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vandiver49 Offline
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RE: LAFC owner says MLS will be more popular than MLB in 10 years
One thing that has surprised me is the support MLS has gotten in the South. The league was always going to work in PDX and SEA. But I don't think anyone could have guess soccer posting SEC stadium numbers in places like ATL and ORL.
03-03-2020 03:09 AM
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