A friend of mine passed along this article, and while it’s written from an NBC perspective, it has vital information if you’re interested in the business end of MLS. Judging by how frequently I get into twitter arguments over the lower end MLS clubs, there is a great deal of interest in MLS’ vitality going forward. Furthermore, LA Galaxy fans seem particularly interested in expansion of the Designated Player rule and the extension of the MLS salary cap.
MLS has just passed the 16 year mark, which is exactly how many years the NASL lasted. The original ASL only lasted 12 years, which means with First Kick next year MLS will become America’s longest lasting first tier soccer league. MLS had it’s dark years, as it transformed “soccer for Americans” to “soccer for people who enjoy soccer”.
However, what’s led MLS to the point it is now is a combination of Lamar Hunt and Philip Anschutz’ money with a relatively low cost of operations. As the article says, it takes about $15.4 billion dollars in available revenue to run an MLS franchise. That’s bargain basement as compared to the other leagues, and much of that is due to MLS’s salary cap.
It’s no surprise that the league without a salary cap (MLB) requires twice as much income as any other league. MLS stadiums are also smaller, or are maintained by another entity,