What’s the best indicator of the health of the league? For non-fans, the Beckham signing earlier this month was a huge deal. But, there are actually many reasons to be optimistic about the state of Major League Soccer and its future.
While the recent signing of Beckham represents the highest-profile announcement to date from the 11-year-old Major League Soccer (MLS), several other recent and important developments will also impact positively on MLS and the future of US football.
MLS headquarters has done a lot to strengthen the foundation of the league by, first, bringing in new owners, and getting stadiums built for teams. Diversifying the ownership stakes help spread risk but more importantly makes teams, like Colorado and DC United, the primary focus for the owner-operator. Stadiums help to cut costs and bring in more game-day revenue compared to leasing big stadiums, and that can only help the financial situation. With the announcement of television rights and a tournament against Mexican league teams, the league is now taking the next step to increasing its exposure and solidifying its place in the North American soccer landscape.
For MLS die hards, these developments are re-assuring, considering its only been a few years since the league had to fold its two Florida teams. Hat tip: Sports Law Blog (Potential for good comments over there)