Is the MLS one of the big leagues of the future?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by psveindhoven, May 21, 2007.

  1. vyertago

    vyertago Member

    Jun 8, 2006
    I think most people just might find baseball boring. I know that people enjoy to go to the ballpark and watch a game, but watching baseball on TV is right up there with golf in my opinion. Unless you want techniques on how to scratch your crotch most americans would just rather watch a quarterback get sacked. And is NASCAR fans being xenophobic really that surprising?
     
  2. flippin269

    flippin269 Member+

    Aug 3, 2003
    Houston
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I disagree. I think right now is the hard part for MLS; trying to become the fourth most popular league in America. Once it got to that plateau, getting mainstream sports revenue and coverage will just keep growing.

    Another thing I predict is that as MLS keeps growing, European soccer will gain tv time in mainstream American sports programs, Mexican soccer ratings will keep increasing, and EPL will probably start to market their league to go along with MLS's breakthrough.

    I don't know if MLS itself will ever surpass the NBA, NFL, or MLB in American revenue, but I do think that because of MLS and the European leagues that are investing in America, soccer as a whole will be making NBA, NFL, and MLB type-money in America
     
  3. psveindhoven

    psveindhoven New Member

    May 17, 2006
    According to http://www.footballstadiums.vze.com the MLS already seems pretty big. I think US should aim on the Mexicans/Latinos/Europeans/Asians instead of Americans, because they're already soccer fans. Just let them like MLS ;)
     
  4. Tdotsoccer

    Tdotsoccer Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    NHL I can believe, but NBA... nope
     
  5. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Croatia
    The best you can hope for is to become like the Mexican league. That is to have enough money to keep most of your own players at home and attract some very good South American players.

    The best players will always want to play for Europe’s biggest clubs and in the champions league. There’s no getting around that.
     
  6. leg_breaker

    leg_breaker Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Asians don't give a shit about their domestic leagues.

    If MLS wants to catch up, they need to dump the revenue sharing and spending limits. The big leagues are respected even though most of the teams are shit, because they have a handful of huge clubs in them. Forced parity/mediocrity will always keep MLS small time.
     
  7. lawrenceterp

    lawrenceterp Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2006
    Virginia
    Do you know how big the NHL is in the US? It's moderately popular. It's the 4th largest team sport in our country. Not really that big of a deal. They have a salary cap (forced parity) because that is how Americans like it. And guess what.....if MLS just catches up to the NHL they'll have 30 teams each with a 50 million dollar payroll. Do you understand what that means? We'd have 30 of the top 60 teams in the world all in one league (and a league that forces parity as well....). People do not understand the enormous potential here. If MLS ever caught on at just the NBA level, we'd have the best league in the world. And it wouldn't be close unless everyone in Europe united into one league.
     
  8. Beech

    Beech Member

    Jul 26, 2001
    Kansas City
    Club:
    Kansas City Wizards
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would think this is somewhat a biased audience by posting this question in this forum. Kinda like posting the question, will DC be the biggest club in MLS in the DC forum; or will Philadelphia get a team (?) in the Philly forum.


    I would love to see MLS be one of the big leagues but I believe it to be unlikely. I see MLS always being somewhat of a feeder league regardless of it's potential market. The market in the states is so saturated in existing traditions of several others sports that will not allow themselves to self destruct creating a vaccum for something else to get in on that scale. These sports will continue to secure all the prime time slots for everything they can in TV, Print, and Radio thus leaving fans as being a product of their environment because that's all they're told to follow and see. Anything good we develop as a player will be bought by the existing establishment for wages higher than we can match. We are the Dutch.
     
  9. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    Northern VA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's probably worth pointing out that "boring" baseball's TV ratings are considerable better than the "exciting" NBA.

    Nothing touches the NFL, of course.
     
  10. BobyOne

    BobyOne Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Although biased, this is also the most knowledgeable audience to answer this question. Do you think someone who lives in Europe can understand what it will take for soccer to succeed in the US?
     
  11. BobyOne

    BobyOne Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Read what he said above. If you don't believe it, Forbes puts out a list of sport team revenues for professional team sports, including European soccer. Google "Forbes team values".
     
  12. mcontento

    mcontento Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    More the budgets than the enforced parity, look at the NFL and NBA, salary caps, drafts, essentially the same formula of forced parity yet they are both hugely popular.
     
  13. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Croatia

    MLS teams are nowhere near a 50 mil $ payroll and even a that doesn’t get you anywhere significant.
    You still wouldn’t have any of the worlds best 100 or so players, unless they were American.
     
  14. Benin Dahomey

    Benin Dahomey New Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    Greenock, Scotland
    mls doesn't have an equivalent to the champions league, and that will always hurt mls. the best players in the world want to play in the champions league, there is no way round that. (i have suggested before that mls should look to enter its best clubs in uefa competitions rather than concacaf or south american tournaments, but i got shot down in flames for it. :D )

    the problem is that when the english, spanish and italian leagues are full of the best players in the world, then any remaining players who also fit into the category 'best players in the world' are going to look to germany or france before mls, simply because of the champions league. until these second tier european leagues have matched the big three, mls will not attract the high quality players. (and even then the high quality players will probably look to third tier european leagues like holland, portugal, scotland, etc.)
     
  15. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Fortunately, that's not going to happen.
     
  16. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The 14th biggest soccer club in the world is worth LESS than a quarter billion dollars, at a moment in time when the dollar is very weak. (If you're curious, Spurs, $243M.)
    http://www.infoniac.com/offbeat-news/forbes-list-of-25-most-valuable-soccer-teams.html

    That's as of April 1, 2007, so it takes into account the new English TV deal.

    http://espn.go.com/sportsbusiness/s/forbes.html

    That makes them as valuable as the Boston Bruins. I'm not gonna count all the teams worth more than the Bruins; the list isn't numbered, and it's damn long. Anyway, I will say that the NHL is our #4 league and the Bruins are the #6 team in the NHL on that list.

    Wow, even *I* am surprised by the numbers. It suggests that if MLS was as lucrative as the NHL, it's #6 team would be as valuable as the #6 team in England!!!

    West Ham are the last English team listed, the 9th most valuable team in England, at $143M. That would put them between the Washington Capitals and the St. Louis Blues.
     
  17. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

    Jun 7, 2000
    Baltimore
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Gibraltar
    The reason why the 10th biggest Euro club is on level with the Bruins is because the wealth is more spread out in Europe. It's spread out amongst literally hundreds of clubs.

    So while the US may come out ahead in a top 20 survey, it's probably a lot closer if you look at the overall combined value of all the franchises on each continent.
     
  18. rios

    rios Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Club:
    Villarreal CF
    there are 290 million Americans, that's almost UK+Italy+Germany+Spain+France. and pro soccer in those countries isn't without competitions. Formula one, for example, draws a huge crowd and its season lasts 10 months .

    for soccer to really gain domestic supports though, the national side has to be doing better. The 1980 olympic hockey gold gained so much popularity for the sport that NHL expanded by 9 teams in 10 years.

    regarding international markets. just look at NBA. EPL constantly talk about how much the Chinese market meant for them, yet NBA is far more popular than EPL in China, If MLS is to become as popular as NBA domestically, there's no reason for it not to get the same or stronger international supports.
     
  19. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    MLS has a good shot in being the biggest league in the world ... if we're talking about the number of teams.

    The US and Canada can probably support 22-24 teams, once the game becomes more accepted.

    But total revenues?

    No way.

    It won't be able to compete on the global market with the Premiership.

    No one else will either.
     
  20. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Croatia
    I think the overall value comparisons between US and European clubs are misleading.
    An American club will be much more valuable than a European club with the same revenue because the European club will have to spend all of it. The American club will be protected by the salary cap and the owner can pocket everything that’s above that. An American club with a 100 mil $ revenue can be more profitable and therefore have a higher value than a European club with a 200 mil $ revenue . But the European club will have a higher wage bill and better players, if they’re in the same sport.

    That’s why you have to compare revenues to see how difficult it would be to compete for players with European clubs
     
  21. PJohnson

    PJohnson Member+

    DC United
    Dec 16, 2004
    South Dakota
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    MLS has a chance to be one of the big leagues in the world. The wealth and cultural diversity available in the United States make it possible.

    The question is this. If MLS could afford to pay competitive wages, would top players come here to play? I think the answer is YES. Many top players would choose to play in the United States. Certainly enough to make MLS one of the top leagues in the world.

    In the near term, MLS should aspire to be the best league in our hemisphere. Which means we need to be able to compete with the Mexican League for some of the best South American talent. And we need to continue to develop better American players.

    I would love to see what DC UNITED could do with a player payroll of $18 million per year. Which is about what Chivas de Guadalajara spends each year. I would wager that Kevin Payne could fashion a side capable of winning the Copa Libertadores every year.
     
  22. BobyOne

    BobyOne Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We've had this discussion before:
    https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11322081&postcount=20

    From this post, here are the 4 major US sports ranked alongside European leagues in average revenue per team:

    1. NFL (avg. 190 mil per team) x32 teams = 6.08 bil./year
    2. MLB (avg. 158 mil per team) x 30 teams = 4.740 bil./year
    3. EPL (average $130 mil per team) x 20 teams = 2.6 bil./year
    4. NBA (avg. 108 mil per team) x 30 teams = 3.24 bil./year
    5. Serie A (average $90 mil per team) x 20 teams = 1.8 bil./year
    6. Bundesliga (average $89 mil per team) x 18 teams = 1.6 bil./year
    7. NHL (avg. $72 mil per team) x 30 teams = 2.160 bil./year
    8. La Liga (average $70 mil per team) x 20 teams = 1.4 bil./year
    9. Ligue 1 (average $50 mil per team) x 30 teams = 1 bil/year
    10. Championship (average $25.5 mil per team) = 24 teams = .612 bil./year
    11. Serie B: (average $15.6 mil per team) x 22 teams = .343 bil./year

    US Total = 16.22 bil./year
    Europe Total = 9.355 bil./year

    Now, the list doesn't include multitude of smaller leagues below the level of English Championship and Serie B. However, to make up the almost 7 billion dollar gap in yearly revenues, Europe would need 280 teams with average revenue of the English Championship ! Or, if you prefer, 14 other countries would need a 20-team top division whose teams average $25 mil./year revenue. There is no way that the Scandinavian leagues and the Eastern European leagues average anywhere near those kind of revenues.

    And people wonder why Chelsea and Barcelona want to "crack the US market"...
     
  23. BobyOne

    BobyOne Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Check my post above.
     
  24. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What you're saying is true in a hypothetical sense. But the reality of the cap leagues is that the players' unions and the owners create a partnership. The players get paid, the owners get a guaranteed profit. But if that profit gets too big as a percentage of revenues, guess what? The players strike, and they get paid.
     
  25. TX Bill

    TX Bill Member+

    Apr 3, 2006
    Sugar Land TX
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I was a bit shocked to see La Liga below the NHL. Interesting info.
     

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