Those of us who were appalled and annoyed at a Grahame L. Jones Beckhamrospective which boiled down to "Jesus, I hate my job" will appreciate Beau Dure's rather more helpful view of the topic.
This jumped out at me in particular:
Okay, well, that really ought to put the brakes on some of the speculation as to Beckham going into team ownership anytime soon - oops, maybe not:
Three sentences that will probably have the rumor and speculation impact on American soccer that Operation Barbarossa had on the 1941 Soviet championships.
The only thing I can add is the same concerns about what happens after the bubble bursts...well, I suppose in this case, it's the balloon slowly deflating. I think we'll see a gentle slope downward in Beckhattendances in road games from here on in - which, if you think about it, is massive progress, compared to how quickly the novelty wore off of players like Luis Hernandez, Lothar Matthaeus and Hong Myung-Bo. We certainly haven't seen the cliff-face declines we say from, say, 1996 to 1997.
Galaxy attendances have been pretty much level, and pretty much where they were, overall, before Beckham arrived. This doesn't take into account the ticket price increases. We know that the Galaxy are, barring Free Antimatter Night, going to average 20,000 fans a year no matter how bad they are. The issue is, how much they can charge those 20,000 fans. So far, there doesn't seem to be a limit to our gullibility, which is sure good news for Anschutz Entertainment Group. But at least on a public relations level, there should be some reason to continue to charge BC prices in the AD era.
The most obvious way would be to sign another Designated Player with something resembling Dave's celebrity, which is both difficult to negotiate and liable to diminishing returns.
Yeah, maybe the second man on the moon turns out to be Buzz Aldrin, a sweet role-model in his own right. Who was the third man on the moon? Pele was worth it for the Cosmos*, Cruyff and Best weren't for the Aztecs. Look, I'm as big a nostalgic romantic retronerd as the next guy, but go back and look at the attendances and trophies if you don't believe me. It's an inexact science to begin with - for example, it was not expected that Mauricio Cienfuegos would have a bigger impact than both Jorge Campos and Andrew Shue put together.
Speaking of the Cosmos, here's some light reading for our old pal Giorgio Chinaglia. (.pdf, if that makes your computer explode)
*This is a topic that fascinates me and bores the membranes out of others, but it's astonishing to recall that in the 1970's, replica jersey sales were a marketing and revenue non-factor. What replicas did exist were glorified T-shirts. It's as if it didn't occur to McDonald's to sell French fries or Coca-Cola along with the hamburgers. Mass-marketed Pele replicas wouldn't have kept the NASL afloat any longer than it did - the late 70's and early 80's owners were too incompetent for that absent the Internet, multiple cable sports channels, and team-controlled stadiums, so the extra money probably would have gone where the regular money went. But it was such a huge part of making the Beckham deal profitable for all concerned (except the thousands who spent just under $100 for a Climacool Herbalife ad with Beckham's name on it, or vice versa), that it's astonishing to recall how much money sports teams used to leave on the table.