You can’t really blame MLS for wanting to improve their business prospects
Still, even though placing a second team in New York makes business sense for the league, it doesn’t make it the right thing to do. $300 million is a lot of money. That isn’t even equal to the total amount of expansion fees the league has received and they are asking for quite a bit of money now. When the league needs improvements in so many areas, it seems foolish to place a second-team in New York when they don’t even support the Red Bulls,Brett Keisel Youth Jersey.
MLS actually has some proof to back up their claims that another MLS derby might work. As much as the Chivas experiment has been a failure in mulitiple aspects,Robert Francois Jersey, the one aspect it has delivered 100% is the SuperClasico. It’s not and never will be Real Madrid-Barcelona, but it does get the attention of ESPN and all of Los Angeles every time it’s played. The ESPN big is especially important because it gets the attention of those outside MLS circles, in particular sponsors.Youth Development: The MLS has talked for a long time about the need to develop their youth. Every club has a youth team and there are now dedicated spots on MLS rosters for homegrown players. It’s not enough. Only a couple of the MLS academies are full-time and players are still being pushed toward college soccer. The MLS Reserve League is in serious need of improvement and would be a much better investment than a $300 million dollar stadium. Whether the league were to more fully fund U-23 teams or they were even to purchase the USL, the cost would reasonable compared to that stadium. D.C. United Stadium: The news that New York is going to get a second world-class stadium can’t go down well with D.C. United fans. They have waited a long time to get a stadium of there own but are still playing in RFK. It’s not about the money in this case, but it’s about the time and energy put into getting a stadium completed. District politics are tricky, but isn’t that more of a reason to double down on efforts rather than give up? Putting the effort into D.C. would revitalized a franchise that has seemed to plummet at the gate in recent years. D.C. was once the crown jewel of MLS and if the league had decided to put as much energy into finding a stadium in D.C., it could have remained that way. Player Retention: The announcement that Marco Pappa has signed a pre-contract with Heerenveen is just another in a long list of young exciting players that have turned down offers to stay in MLS and head overseas. Why do they do it? Club culture and money. MLS can’t even come close to paying what some of these teams pay. Further, the quality of play is limited by the salary cap. Make no mistake, the salary cap is absolutely necessary for MLS to survive, but if the league can spend $300 million for a new stadium, you’d think they could spare more money for an increase in its limit? Don Garber has repeatedly said that he wants MLS to be the best league in the world,Fletcher Cox Eagles Jersey. Well, it’s not going to happen until the league steps up and begins to create rules that allow players like Pappa to stay in the league. Think about this, that $300 million is equal to roughly five years worth of salary per team at the current salary cap. Related articles Can Canada Qualify for the World Cup? Celebrating the Skill of Paralympic Soccer A Suggestion for the Portland Timbers: Buy American
So what else could MLS be doing with that money? (To be fair,Chris Cooley Youth Jersey, most of the $300 million would come from loans which the league wouldn’t have otherwise.) Here are some projects that league could have chosen to focus on instead:
You can’t really blame MLS for wanting to improve their business prospects, but at that same time they would be wise to remember that it is really the product on the field that will drive the sport going forward. Rather than spending $300 million and something that could be a big bust, maybe those resources should be allocated elsewhere.
The argument for putting a second team in New York is simple: New York is the biggest market in this country and any team that is put there will draw more in television and sponsorship money than a team in San Antonio or Orlando. Additionally, the fact that it would be a derby would draw more interest in the city every time the two teams play each other,Wes Welker Jersey. It’s the same reason that every other major sport has at least two teams in the city.
As much as my fellow MLS fans and I would like to think that Don Garber and the rest of the MLS crew is working solely to fuel our passion for the sport and the league, the reality is that his goal is to make money. MLS is a business and not a charity,Green Packers Jersey. The league needs to make money to survive. That is why they feel they have to spend $300 million dollars to finance a stadium for a second (currently non-existent) team in New York.