Change needed to MLS Reg Season Schedule

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by JamieBmore, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. JamieBmore

    JamieBmore Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Isnt it kind of ridiculous, that during the playoffs, it is virtually impossible to see an MLS game on tv anywhere? I understand why...in the US, football is king and soccer cannot compete with it head to head. Therefore, ESPN and local cable sports channels carry football all day Saturday and Sunday. Understanding that, why not just start the season first week in March, and end it Mid-August, and have the playoffs come the last 2 weeks in August and the title game on Labor Day weekend.

    I know there will be some cold weather games in March, but what professional sports would MLS really be competing with then? Hell, baseball isnt even around at that point. Not to mention you wouldnt have to see MLS teams play on fields lined for football (San Jose, KC, NY/NJ,) in September and October. I know mid week games arent that popular, but if you schedule 3 games every 2 weeks in the summer, I think it would make more sense. You could play just as many games in about a months less time and not have to compete with football. Does anybody agree or disagree with me?
     
  2. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    8 of 11 MLS playoffs games are on national TV this year, and the rest were available on the Shootout package. That's better than ever before.
     
  3. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Yeah, what he said. And the others were available via pay per view. I know because I watched them.
     
  4. ojsgillt

    ojsgillt Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Lee's Summit MO
    You are telling me you want the most important games played in the hottest part of the season?
     
  5. JamieBmore

    JamieBmore Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Thanks guys, I did not know that. I live in Baltimore and follow DC United and I couldnt get the first game on tv when DC lost at home 2-0. I just couldnt believe of all the games not to televise, why did they choose their first playoff game in 4 years?? If MLS thinks the shootout package is going to make the league grow, it will for the serious soccer fan. But for casual soccer fans like me, we arent going to get that package. Most Americans are going to watch the NFL rather then MLS. Ratings will not go anywhere if the MLS games run opposite NFL games. Just wont happen. For me during the summer, the main sport I follow is soccer, but once fall comes around, its back to football and soccer goes on the back burner. I would guess a lot of sports fans are like myself.

    On weekends in October and November, all you hear about on ESPN is what happened in college and pro football. At the end of August, what would they be competing with? Preseason football? (yawn) US Open tennis? (yawn) MLB? Please. Maybe I am in the minority, but I just think that MLS has a much better chance of succeeding if it showcases the most exciting part of the season during a time when it can get the media exposure it deserves.
     
  6. JamieBmore

    JamieBmore Member

    Apr 26, 2001

    sure. why not? Play the games at night if there is a game in Dallas or LA. It cant be any worse then playing the title game in a freezing cold rainstorm that has happened a few times. I really dont think weather should be a factor, unless you are talking about games in January.
     
  7. Matteo

    Matteo New Member

    Jul 21, 1999
    do you actually think that significantly shortening the season would be good for american soccer?

    why don't you just dish out the $49 for the shootout?
     
  8. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    All those get better ratings than MLS. The US Open had ratings three times that of the MLS games that endup on ABC - and their ratings were down 50 percent from recent years. At that time of year, add in the beginning of college football.

    No matter where you put it, it will get lost.

    Not to be a dick, but nothing deserves media coverage until it earns it. MLS is a long ways away from getting the coverage that some soccer fans think is a birthright.
     
  9. Frank Cunha

    Frank Cunha New Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    UNION TOWNSHIP, NJ
    the long season means more revenue to spread around, instead of 2 months of team practices, players don't get release until the middle of December.
     
  10. 352gialloblu

    352gialloblu New Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    England
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I agree that they could start earlier, and aim to finish up before Hockey and NBA start, at least. Isn't there about a week or so between the world series and the start of NHL and NBA? There would still be gridiron football, but that's all. MLS playoffs are buried under pages of NBA and NHL scores and standings right now, and it sucks.

    I don't really count Fox Sports World as "nationally televised" since it's a premium channel on most services. I'd love to have MLS shootout or whatever, but I can't even get a cable hookup where I am, and couldn't afford it anyway, so without Yahoo I would see nothing...
     
  11. JamieBmore

    JamieBmore Member

    Apr 26, 2001


    All of those are great points. You are right, there will always be a sport competing with MLS. I just think it has a much better chance going up against tennis and baseball then it does against football. Lets face it, tennis and baseball are slowly dying in this country. Football is growing in popularity. Tennis and baseball fans are exactly the type of fans MLS should target. Greed is killing baseball and oversized, overpowered racquets and robotic players are killing tennis. MLS should see declining fan interest in those sports as an opportunity and scoop up fans like that. Nobody sees my point?


    By the way, I never said shorten the season. They could play just as many games in 6 months as they do in 7.....just schedule more weekday games when school is out in the summer.
     
  12. Frank Cunha

    Frank Cunha New Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    UNION TOWNSHIP, NJ
    go to 7 months and then play 5 months of Indoor, or Ping Pong Soccer, no thanks, my opinion we still short by a month.
    I rather see the MLS go from March to December, a 10 month season like everybody else in the World.
     
  13. JamieBmore

    JamieBmore Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Just because the rest of the world does it, why do we have to? The NFL season is 6 months long. It works fine for them. They have offseason workouts and minicamps. Who says MLS can't do something like that too?
     
  14. Frank Cunha

    Frank Cunha New Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    UNION TOWNSHIP, NJ
    we have to do it, because our players have to be ready for World competion, I don't care about other sports
     
  15. JamieBmore

    JamieBmore Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    First of all, most National team players keep themselves in good shape year round other then a few obvious exceptions (Mathis).

    Second of all, if the 6 months schedule helps MLS monetarily and with its fan support, I think that is the most important factor here. If anything, the layoff could help world competitions b/c the players would be better rested and they would have more time to train together as a National team.
     
  16. Frank Cunha

    Frank Cunha New Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    UNION TOWNSHIP, NJ
    if the MLS could survive with 6 months they would go for it, I don't think will happen
    good luck
     
  17. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I thought it was on Fox Sports World. Aren't DC's games on CN8 or something? They may have had conflicts that night. And, the amount of money it takes to get a game on TV is not an insignificant amount for the teams involved.

    That's true. But (and this is not an insult) if you're a casual fan, why are you worrying about it?

    I don't think MLS has the resources yet to ensure that all the casual fans and then the might-be fans have unfettered access to the games. Hardcores get first dibs. Sorry about that.

    Except for the hardcores, yeah. But those who are going to follow football or baseball or whatever have most likely decided they don't like soccer anyway.

    MLS is playing this deep this year for a couple of reasons, one of which they have said publicly, and one of which they haven't, but which I have heard and which makes sense:

    1. It's apparently easier to organize soccer-playing groups for outings at MLS games once those teams reorganize in the fall than it is when they disperse in the summer, as they do in many areas around the country; and
    2. The only available time-buy slot on ABC for MLS Cup was November 23, and they had to work backwards.

    The NASL got their season over with usually by early August and the playoffs within a month after that. That was originally born out of necessity, with the vast number of European loan players who couldn't come over until about April or May and had to go back in August or September.

    I didn't think playing this deep into the fall was a good idea, but it's hard to argue with the attendance results they got. The fact the league can get lost a bit this time of year may have either been underestimated or was anticipated and it was decided that was the cost of doing business.
     
  18. FanSquared

    FanSquared New Member

    Nov 11, 2003
    Galaxy-Earthquakes

    It would have been nice to see the Gal/Earqk match on Sat. A real classic!
     
  19. samiano

    samiano New Member

    Nov 11, 2003
    Ozone Park, NY
    I would like to see the MLS eventually go to a FIFA schedule with the season running from August through May. To adjust to the weather, you would need to play most August-October games in northern cities like NY, Boston, DC, Columbus and most November-February games in warmer climates like LA, San Jose, and Dallas. With this schedule, the playoffs would not be taking a backseat to football in terms of TV coverage and stadium availability. Plus, it would leave the summers open for the national team to compete without having to worry about taking players away from MLS in midseason, which always downgraded the MLS product. You could also schedule the US Open Cup during the summer months so that it can remain a separate entity from MLS and not have to be in competition with it.
     
  20. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Spoken like someone who's never been to Dallas in January or February.
     
  21. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There are certain positives to such a scenario, obviously. But there are obvious drawbacks, and they are not as easily solved as simply reducing the number of games in cold weather climates during the winter months. At some point, you can't ask the Fire not to play at home between Thanksgiving and Easter, when the weather just sucks here.
     
  22. Frank Cunha

    Frank Cunha New Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    UNION TOWNSHIP, NJ
    How about the European teams like Benfica the have to travel to Norway to play for the Uefa Cup at begin of December.
     
  23. JamieBmore

    JamieBmore Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Attendance will suck if they schedule soccer all winter. March and late February is even pushing it a little. No way would MLS ever have a schedule that went all winter long. It just gets too cold. LA and San Jose are the only places that dont get snow and all the games cant be scheduled there.
     
  24. ignatz

    ignatz New Member

    Jun 3, 2001
    Washington, DC
    I'm not impressed with the competition-with-other-sports argument, simply because if soccer is unable to compete head to head with them, it won't survive. I for one am a convert to soccer -- I never played it. It wasn't even around when I was a kid. I got hooked in '94. Very gradually I gave up watching the NFL, then gave up my season tickets to the Redskins, and bought season tickets to DC United. I'm not the Lone Ranger in this regard. IMHO, soccer will only succeed when enough people would prefer to watch it rather than gridball or whatever. That number is relatively small, I admit, but growing.

    I'd like to see the season extended into the fall and back into the spring so some kind of break can be taken during the middle of the summer to adjust as much as possible to the international schedule. As it is, MLS teams lost national team players for nearly two months this past season.

    As a start, each MLS team has two by-weeks. Right now they are scattered throughout the season, with no detectable rhyme nor reason. I'd like to see them all togther sometime in July/August when WC qualifying or whatever is going on. This would give some partial relief to clubs with national team players, which is most of them. Then, perhaps, the season could be gradually extended at each end and the break extended as well.

    Once MLS has more SSS this should be easier to do. We probably can never get on the European schedule, and I'm not sure I would want to go that far, but the present situation is very bad -- and will be very bad next season when WC qualifying is in full bloom.
     
  25. diablodelsol

    diablodelsol Member+

    Jan 10, 2001
    North Ridgeville, OH
    Well, you could have gotten up from the keyboard or the couch, gotten in your car, and driven the 45 miles to DC and watched the game live.

    You could also forgo your next 10 happy meals and pay for the shootout package for next year so you can watch the game from the comfort of your own home.
     

Share This Page