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Red Bull Notwithstanding, MLS Financials Are Looking Up

If indeed New York Red Bull lost $14 million last season, how does that compare to other MLS teams? Generally speaking, says Steve Davis of ESPN Soccernet, when you start examining MLS financials, "it's all as foggy as a Westminster morning," because, as with many companies owned by multi-layered organizations, it's tough to see just where the money goes in and out.

The New England Revolution is owned by the Kraft family, for example, while three other MLS clubs are owned by Philip Anschutz's AEG. The Rapids are owned by the massive Kroenke Sports Enterprise, where a certain amount of the company's staff crosses over.

So it's a tough thing to gauge, really. We know the L.A. Galaxy, AEG's Beckham hit aside, is profitable, but Davis says Chivas USA can't be far behind, while Columbus is another club with small losses. It really is all about stadium ownership, which is why the league's mandate that clubs must build their own stadiums is a good one-although reaping the benefit takes a long time. Just look at the Red Bull, which has to shell out $100K in rent each time its team plays at Giants Stadium. Other big pluses for the league: new TV deals with ESPN, Fox Soccer, HDNet and Univision, plus any local TV deals arranged by clubs, and of course, Beckham.

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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