The next ten years - MLS 3.0

Discussion in 'MLS: Commissioner - You be The Don' started by deejay, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. deejay

    deejay Member+

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    I agree with Allez RSL that the first decade was about stabilizing. I also agree that we need a significant upgrade in TV revenues. That's where I think is our greatest challenge this next decade. We have a significant soccer presence in our airwaves but only a fraction of it is dedicated to MLS. That right now, is our biggest limitation. The only way we can do that is to improve the on field experience. So here is my proposal for the next ten years.

    Proposed actions:

    1. Fans love home-grown players. So let's Build big academies. Ten years ago, owners were required to invest in stadiums with costs upwards of 100 million dollars. Now, we need to require that each team have a large well built academy housing 100 to 300 young players. Lots of money involved but the long term effects on quality will be great. We need that many young players per academy because most won't be promoted to the first team. For instance, La Masia has 300 students. I believe that the major reason why our academies don't produce more than 1 or 2 useful players per year is because they are too small. Players that don't make it can be directed to a nice college scholarship.
    2. Immigrant fans love their countrymen - Develop players from all the Americas. Since the academies can house so many players we can reach out to young, third world talent. They'll prefer going to the US because of the benefits of a college scholarship, a leg up in US residency, and - hopefully - our world class academies.
    3. Fans love their stars. Kill the salary cap or raise it significantly higher. Keep the entry level rookie salaries low but forget about the salary cap. We need a large influx of high talent stars until we develop our own and then we need competitive salaries to keep our stars at home.
    4. Fans need to see full stadiums - keep improving stadiums. Just because we're focused on better players doesn't mean we can drop the ball on stadiums. We need to see constant improvement in our stadiums. Upgrades should mostly focus on quality over size.
    5. Fans love consistency - don't mess with the schedule. One of the nice things about a single entity is that it can make all clubs toe the line. Sure, when international call ups happen some teams will be hurt more than others but who really cares? No teams get relegated anyway, call ups show the quality of the league, it's a chance for the youngsters to shine. I see no real drawback.
    6. Fans and players need to be grown - We need to cultivate a larger minor league base. I'm not sure what's the best way to do this but MLS teams need a vibrant minor league system to give their young players valuable experience. A secondary effect is that this can develop the soccer fan-base in smaller markets until these are ready to become part of MLS.

    Targeted results:

    1. Win the CONCACHAMPIONS routinely. This is a must. We need to be the best in our region. We cannot fail at this. As a matter of fact we need to be the best in our region and do it with a team that has two or three young US-born Mexicans.
    2. The regions NT's needs to depend on us. This is already happening. We need to be the place were the best Costa Ricans, Hondurans, Jamaicans, Colombians and etc play. Why? Because we need to make the Gold Cup and the World Cup a show case of MLS talent. The side effect is also that the US will become the dominant power broker in the region.
    3. We become a big league on the world and national level. We can sell TV rights at a level competing with the 4 big soccer leagues and hopefully competing with NHL and NBA. We can also sell to most of the Americas.


  2. Allez RSL

    Allez RSL Member+

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    This is the only thing that will make a difference to the TV audience -- and many of your other actions/outcomes. I don't know how much salaries would have to change, but...a lot.

    This is the reason why I'm not super excited about moving the league to the next level. Unless the league can land a TV contract that sends 10s of millions of dollars to each team, my team can't compete monetarily with the big markets. And I like my teams to compete.

    I'm with Green Mushroom above. The league can survive as it is for a long time. I'm in no hurry to change it.
  3. deejay

    deejay Member+

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    Fair enough. I understand that the weakness in my plan is that I insist on a sizable immediate investment ahead of any proof of improved income. The people that actually have to spend the money are probably wanting to move in the same direction but at a slower pace then I recommend.
    However, I have a few reasons why we shouldn't wait. One, it's been very hard to make inroads into the Mexican American population because of the huge mindshare that Liga MX has. We shouldn't allow the EPL to gain a similar foothold. Once you're hooked to a team it's hard to let it go. Two, at some point more European teams will find out that there are a lot of fine young, underpaid 24 year olds who can really provide a nice cost to benefit ratio. I believe that rookie contracts will always be low ball affairs and I think that's OK. Salary caps, though, really limit how much you can offer a young, talented player when renewing their contract. Three, our academies are really too small currently. We really need to upgrade them. I'm not convinced that the leaders of MLS understand how important they are. Hopefully, they've been looking at what Mexican teams have done.
  4. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

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    I think it's likely to do just that. It was interesting in both the NBC announcement of the new EPL deal and the English reporting of it that both mentioned the caché the EPL enjoys on college campuses.


  5. Jossed

    Jossed Member

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    Noam Chomsky also enjoys a cache on college campuses. Then usually forgotten about once you leave. He is not part of mainstream politics. Just like the EPL will never be part of American mainstream sports. It is not ours. The EPL will not be putting clubs in Houston, New York, or Los Angeles. It is something we watch through a window and will never be part of our own culture.

    Part of the U.S. appeal of the EPL is the fact that it is distinctly non-American and foreign. But not too foreign compared to the other Euro leagues. It is different than our own sports. Despite the bad rap Americans get, we do generally like to grasp onto other cultures. Especially when going through that college phase.

    But once Americans like something, they'll demand a version of it. Or at least demand to be part of it. We are great assimilators. And that is ultimately what MLS will become if soccer achieves the level of popularity folks here think it will. Our answer to the top leagues in Europe. Our soccer version of the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. But it will take a long time for it to happen. And not quick enough for some people.

    Until then, I will enjoy watching a young league grow before my eyes.
    Potowmack and Bariaga repped this.
  6. Goforthekill

    Goforthekill Member

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    My plan:
    -Expand to 24 teams by the end of decade, put teams in the southeast and more teams in the midwest.
    -build SSS for all teams (except Seattle), especially NE, Chivas, and DC
    -find a solution to the low attendance and succes in NE, Chivas, and Columbus, new stadium and rebrand for chivas at the very least, move NE to Boston and rebrand ideally, renovate Crew stadium and try and build a winner in columbus, if that doesn't work, relocate them to Detroit.
    -expand the salary cap to allow more freedom
    -expand the DP rule, 4 DP slots with not fee on the 3rd or 4th spots, made trade-able, but higher cap hit
    -Develop a minor league system using teams from the USL/NASL and merging them with the MLS reserve league
    -Get rid of the last multi-owners, hunt sports and AEG, AEG can sell their 50% share in the Dynamo and Hunt sports should sell either dallas or columbus.
    -Current season is fine, if they do switch have playoffs in march and early april (before the NHL playoffs), or late june and july (after the NBA playoffs)
    -Sign a TV deal with one group, preferably NBC sports. Nationally televised games at the same time each week on thursday or friday nights and saturday or sunday afternoons, with
    some exceptions.
    -Americanize the game, add overtime to regular season games.
    -look at other sponsorship opportunities, media timeouts when set plays are awarded (clock stops), title sponsor, etc.
  7. Allez RSL

    Allez RSL Member+

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    NO.
  8. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    Even more - give Chicharito more exposure and Liga MX fans will become the ManU fans.

    BTW, I posted this on the Business&Media forums - when Hugo Sanchez won his Pichichis with Real Madrid, Real was on Mexican TV every weekend (I was trying to get an OTA signal in LA from a super strong Tijuana station, which came in well on warm, clear days .. during the Santa Anas, it came in almost perfectly).

    Today, Seattle. Tomorrow the world (presuming there is world outside of Seattle)

  9. Cosmo_Kid

    Cosmo_Kid Member

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    my plan:

    -at 20 teams get rid of conferences and go to a single table
    -Separate the MLS Cup from the League Champion. Regular season winner is league winner. MLS Cup is end of season tournament. Fans will decide which trophy is more important.
    - change the MLS Cup to group play with two groups of four teams.
    - get rid of salary cap.
    -get rid of MLS draft
    -get rid of single entity
    -allow free agency
    - begin to develop a plan for promotion/relegation. I've seen several very well thought out plans for this. One way to go is MLS2. Another way is to just simply open up the pyramid to promotion. This would create the incentive for the lower division teams to catch up.
    - move to august to march calendar.
    - ban confetti and streamers
  10. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Member

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    They already have that league. It is called the Premier League. Its based in England but most of its games are already on American TV. I hear it is somewhat popular.

    Not that the current playoff schedule is ideal in terms of what it is up against, but weather wise March and April can be almost as bad as November and December in the NE. Also there is the slight problem of having June/July playoffs against a world cup every four years.

    I don't like overtime. At all. I'll even admit that I think I am the only person who wants tie games in baseball and one of three who think the ideal solution to the football overtime debate is to bring back ties. I will admit that when the league insisted on having shootouts, I did like the attacking shot better than a straight penalty kick and at least they had the decency to admit that a shootout win wasn't the same as a real win. Therefore, my opinion might be biased. But I'll ask anyway, what will overtime really accomplish?

    I would be more willing to move to a rugby style clock where the ref clearly says when the clock is stopped but play doesn't simply stop dead when the clock reaches 45:00 and 90:00. But adding timeouts is a disaster in more ways than one. Problem number one: players in MLS will become used to having frequent breaks in the action and will lose stamina when playing by international...real rules. Imagine how much worse the national team will get when they can't run around for 90 minutes.
  11. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

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    Garber's already wanting that.

    nothing new

    [qutoe]-find a solution to the low attendance and succes in NE, Chivas, and Columbus, new stadium and rebrand for chivas at the very least, move NE to Boston and rebrand ideally, renovate Crew stadium and try and build a winner in columbus, if that doesn't work, relocate them to Detroit.[/quote]

    yeah, everyone wants better attendance, why rebrand chivas ? they actually appear to have gotten on the right rack with the new front office sweep. Move NE ? Oy vay, rebrand them, really ? CLB is a winner if you look at your MLS history .... DETROIT ? WTF ?

    That's already being done on par with the growth of the league

    The DP rule is ever changing, expanding, being addressed.

    That would involve all 3 leagues wanting to work together ... just saying

    That's being done actually, hell AEG is up for sale, period. Of course there does have to be a buyer ... you do realize this, yes ?

    Current season is fine .... you said it yourself.

    Putting all of your eggs in one basket is dumb, period. More outlets = more eyes on. Of course, if the MLS could make these things happen with the times and days and all that they'd probably have it already, no ? The league doesn't make these decisions ... the outlets do.

    Oh holy shit ...

    this will absolutely shit the bed for any "insert country here" snob that would possibly give the league a chance. Also, there are hundreds of ways to advertise during the game without waiting for a stoppage in play or disrupting it with the advertisement.


    Why ? American sports aren't structured this way.

    Already do this. Fans have already spoken. Once again, see: American Sports Structure.

    Fans recognize the MLS Cup winner above the SS winner.

    Why ? Also, where are you going to find the time for this ?

    American Sports Structure ...

    The cap will eventually rise to the point where it isn't the issue.

    That's dumb. This is the main avenue for players for the league. Why not just say "cut the nuts off of the league" ?

    Why ?

    It's being worked

    LOL

    LOL

    Ok, now you're just being ridiculous.
  12. Goforthekill

    Goforthekill Member

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    yeah, everyone wants better attendance, why rebrand chivas ? they actually appear to have gotten on the right rack with the new front office sweep. Move NE ? Oy vay, rebrand them, really ? CLB is a winner if you look at your MLS history .... DETROIT ? WTF ?



    That's already being done on par with the growth of the league



    The DP rule is ever changing, expanding, being addressed.



    That would involve all 3 leagues wanting to work together ... just saying



    That's being done actually, hell AEG is up for sale, period. Of course there does have to be a buyer ... you do realize this, yes ?



    Current season is fine .... you said it yourself.



    Putting all of your eggs in one basket is dumb, period. More outlets = more eyes on. Of course, if the MLS could make these things happen with the times and days and all that they'd probably have it already, no ? The league doesn't make these decisions ... the outlets do.



    Oh holy shit ...



    this will absolutely shit the bed for any "insert country here" snob that would possibly give the league a chance. Also, there are hundreds of ways to advertise during the game without waiting for a stoppage in play or disrupting it with the advertisement.




    Why ? American sports aren't structured this way.



    Already do this. Fans have already spoken. Once again, see: American Sports Structure.

    Fans recognize the MLS Cup winner above the SS winner.



    Why ? Also, where are you going to find the time for this ?



    American Sports Structure ...

    The cap will eventually rise to the point where it isn't the issue.



    That's dumb. This is the main avenue for players for the league. Why not just say "cut the nuts off of the league" ?



    Why ?



    It's being worked



    LOL



    LOL



    Ok, now you're just being ridiculous.[/quote]

    First you laugh at me wanting to americanize the game by adding overtime, then you laugh at the other guy for wanting to de-americanize the game by making it single table. you are also being rediculous, banning steamers is rational, they get on the field, get stuck in the goal, get stuck on players boots, fly around the field, etc.
    As for the advertising, it's not ideal but it's a way to make more money, every other sport in america has too many media breaks but that's what it is, all for the money. also gives time for bathroom breaks, just sayin...
    AEG is up for sale but whomever buys them will still own 1.5 MLS teams.
    Columbus has been successful, but not great, they won MLS cup in 2008 but they don't have stars so not big attractions, and they havent been a great team.
    What is wrong with detroit? it's a big market and a logical place for the crew to move if they need to.
  13. Goforthekill

    Goforthekill Member

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    True, but these days it's all about the money.
  14. Goforthekill

    Goforthekill Member

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    you can laugh all you want but a lot of the people i know whom aren't soccer fans don't like the fact that there can be ties, they laugh at it. Americans, in general think it's ridiculous to have ties. The point of a game is to decide a winner.
  15. Allez RSL

    Allez RSL Member+

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    That's ridiculous. Why does every game need a winner? If you can't manage to score more goals than your opponent in 90 minutes, why should you get another 30 minutes to do so, when other teams managed without the extra time? A tie is a valid result for a regular season game, and anyone who says differently just hasn't thought about it long enough.

    Besides, if MLS regresses to the point that they think they need to revert back to requiring a winner for every game, in a sad attempt to lure in the knucklehead non-soccer fans who can't abide the existence of tie games, there won't be a 3.0 for us to watch.

    And finally, do your friends who aren't soccer fans laugh at the NFL, too?
    Achowat repped this.
  16. Cosmo_Kid

    Cosmo_Kid Member

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    i know these people too. They aren't soccer fans. If you got rid of ties they still wouldn't be soccer fans. They just use the tie excuse to denigrate the sport.

    Getting rid of the tie would alienate current soccer fans far more than it would bring in new fans.

    If you really think the point of every soccer match is to decide a winner then you really haven't been watching the sport very long.
  17. Cosmo_Kid

    Cosmo_Kid Member

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    Well, my MLS 3.0 plan is actually a hybrid of the traditional soccer league with an American post-season tournament.
  18. jond

    jond Member+

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    Those aren't the fans MLS needs. They aren't soccer fans to begin with. The fans MLS needs to recruit are the Eurosnobs and Mexisnobs, and those two groups of fans don't give two shits whether a game ends in a tie or not.
  19. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    They must have hated that NFL game last week...
  20. Cosmo_Kid

    Cosmo_Kid Member

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    what are the characteristics of eurosnobs and mexisnobs?
  21. CoconutMonkey

    CoconutMonkey Member

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    So what you're saying is there are things about soccer that your friends who don't like soccer don't like?
  22. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    Quite a few NFL fans did...
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  23. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    I think Chivas USA should rebrand to ManU USA and keep rebranding - some suggestions may include but not be limited to ManCity USA, Chelsea USA, Real ... oops, already taken ... Barcelona USA, CSKA USA LA and so on - until winning the MLS Cup.
    Allez RSL repped this.
  24. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Member

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    My good friend Michael Vick has a real problem with ties in football, but that's not saying much.

    You could say that. I could also say that it is the EPL with the league cup limited to only a few teams and played in June.

    I have no problem making the Supporters Shield more meaningful than it currently is. The American sports fan does not want first past the post.

    Bayern-Manchester de Barcelona? Baymanbar for short
  25. Cosmo_Kid

    Cosmo_Kid Member

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    The American soccer fan is the same fan that tunes in to the EPL and other Euro leagues. I don't think the facts back up your assertion. Your argument would be more persuasive if the MLS playoffs got half way decent TV ratings. They don't, because no one is watching. Not even American soccer fans.

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