MLS - Expansion, League design, ect..

Discussion in 'MLS: Expansion' started by Hoosier388, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Hoosier388

    Hoosier388 New Member

    Mar 21, 2016
    Chicago Fire
    With the current 22 teams, the 2 future teams in LA FC & Miami, & the some 12 bit cities does the league eventually expand to 32, 34, 36 teams or does the league stop at 30?

    01) Atlanta United FC
    02) Chicago Fire
    03) Colorado Rapids
    04) Columbus Crew SC
    05) D.C. United
    06) FC Dallas
    07) Houston Dynamo
    08) LA Galaxy
    09) Minnesota United FC
    10) Montreal Impact
    11) New England Revolution
    12) New York FC
    13) New York Red Bulls
    14) Orlando City SC
    15) Philadelphia Union
    16) Portland Timbers
    17) Real Salt Lake
    18) San Jose Earthquakes
    19) Seattle Sounders FC
    20) Sporting Kansas City
    21) Toronto FC
    22) Vancouver Whitecaps FC

    23) Los Angeles FC
    24) Miami

    CURRENT BIT CITIES / AREAS (12) - Who are the next to get in to the MLS
    Raleigh / Durham
    San Antonio
    San Diego
    St. Louis
    Tampa / St. Petersburg

    What does the league design look like if eventually all the bid cites are some day part of the MLS (Conference alignment / Divisions, Number of matches against the opposing conference / divisions, ect)?
    What about cities / metropolitan areas like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, New Orleans, or event Buffalo. Would you rather see one of these cities in the league instead of a current bit city?
    Would it be good for the MLS to add possibly a 4th Canadian city like Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Quebec
    What's your ideal League Design?
  2. Initial B

    Initial B Member

    Jan 29, 2014
    Ottawa Fury
    #2 Initial B, Aug 1, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
    We've been through this iteration a couple of times now, and I think MLS's goal is to cover all the key geographical and TV market areas with at least one team and group them in geographic divisions within driving distance for supporter groups. I don't think anybody believes that 28 teams is the end state, but thirty teams is just awkward unless they divide the league into East, Central, and West Conferences.

    Garber has stated that they don't want more than East and West conferences, so whatever league structure follows will be a 2 Conference, X division format. They will also have to keep the league at 34 games as there is too much fixture congestion with all the International Breaks, CCL/USOC/Voyageur Cup matches, and seasonal windows to add additional matches.

    For 28 teams, I see the league breaking each conference down into 2 Divisions (trying to keep existing rivalries intact), playing intra-division home-and-away matches, and alternate home and away matches with the other divisions for 33 games. The 34th game could be played with the team in their Conference's sister division that finished at the same rank in the standings the previous year, like they do with the NFL (ie. First place Atlantic plays extra game against First Place Northern, 2nd Atl plays 2nd Nor, etc.).

    Geographically, they would be broken down so a division is within 1 or 2 time zones and with North and South teams to help ease scheduling when playing at certain times of the year (Spring/Fall with lots of games in the south, Summer with lots of games in the North). So a setup could look like this:
    Western Conference
    Pacific Division:
    Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Jose, LAG, LAFC, Sacramento/San Diego/Phoenix
    Central Division:
    RSL, Colorado, Minnesota, SKC, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio/St Louis/Phoenix
    Eastern Conference
    Atlantic Division: Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, DCU, Philadelphia, NYRB, Tampa/Nashville/Charlotte/
    Northern Division:
    NYCFC, NER, Montreal, Toronto, Columbus, Chicago, Detroit/Cincinnati/Indianapolis/Nashville

    At 32 teams, they can add an additional team to each division, then split those divisions in half to four teams each, playing intra-division home-and-away matches, and alternate home and away matches with the other divisions for 34 games. I don't see them expanding past this point unless MLS introduces promotion and relegation, which I don't see the owner-operators ever approving.

    If I had to rank the expansion candidate cities MLS would prefer to be in (regardless of whether their bid is complete or not), they would be, in order of most likely to least likely:
    Pacific: Phoenix, San Diego, Sacramento
    Central: St Louis, Phoenix, San Antonio
    Atlantic: Charlotte, Nashville, Raleigh, Tampa
    Northern: Detroit, Nashville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis
  3. waltlantz

    waltlantz Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Assuming they stay at 28

    Phoenix, Sacramento, St. Louis and Detroit are next IMHO.

    Phx and Sac are established USL markets in growing cities with a high hispanic population.

    Stl and Det are midwestern heavyweights that plug holes in the media map.

    Beyond that? 32 should be good, nice and tidy conferences. Regional rivalries are strengthened and travel costs decrease.

    I have an inkling that 32 would be a good end game to aim for by 2026.

    The next teams youd get would be San Antonio, Tampa Bay, and then I guess one team in NC and Cincy.
  4. Initial B

    Initial B Member

    Jan 29, 2014
    Ottawa Fury
    The current iteration of Phoenix is new for this year while St Louis is pretty dead in the water at this point unless they find additional funding. Sacramento is just about guaranteed because MLS now has Cincinnati to act as the carrot for the rest of the bids. But that's all being debated in another thread.
  5. Red Card

    Red Card Member+

    Mar 3, 1999
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sac, Cin, Nash, Det to round out 28.
  6. Hoosier388

    Hoosier388 New Member

    Mar 21, 2016
    Chicago Fire
    Would like to see the league look something close to this down the road.
    Lets say eventually all the current expansion bid cities / metropolitan areas end up with an MLS team. That would put the league at 36 teams.
    What 2 or 4 cities would you eliminate and make the league a 32-34 team league?
    If there are 2 divisions in each conference what teams will be in each division?
    Will be interesting to see how all this expansion plays out over the next 5-10+ years

    Expansion Cities / Metropolitan areas
    01) Charlotte
    02) Cincinnati
    03) Detroit
    04) Indianapolis
    05) Nashville
    06) Phoenix
    07) Raleigh / Durham
    08) Sacramento
    09) St. Louis
    10) San Antonio
    11) San Diego
    12) Tampa / St. Petersburg

    Eastern Conference
    01) Atlanta United FC
    02) Chicago Fire
    03) Columbus Crew SC
    04) D.C. United
    05) Montreal Impact
    06) New England Revolution
    07) New York City FC
    08) New York Red Bulls
    09) Orlando City SC
    10) Philadelphia Union
    11) Toronto FC
    12) Miami - Expansion (year TBA possibly 2019)

    Atlantic Division Teams (Current teams + expansion teams)?

    Midwest Division Teams (Current teams + expansion teams)?
    Western Conference
    13) Colorado Rapids
    14) FC Dallas
    15) Houston Dynamo
    16) LA Galaxy
    17) Minnesota United FC
    18) Portland Timbers
    19) Real Salt Lake
    20) San Jose Earthquakes
    21) Seattle Sounders FC
    22) Sporting Kansas City
    23) Vancouver Whitecaps FC
    24) Los Angeles FC - Expansion (year 2018)

    Central Division Teams (Current teams + expansion teams)?

    Pacific Division Teams (Current teams + expansion teams)?
  7. Initial B

    Initial B Member

    Jan 29, 2014
    Ottawa Fury
    They could expand to 36 teams, breaking the league into 2 Conferences of 3 six-team divisions, but to fit a 34-game schedule, it would require each of the teams to not play one of the other divisions each year. Or two 18-team leagues that don't play each other. Regardless, you'll end up not maximizing revenue with fewer LA-NY matchups.

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