• Jerseys plus TV equals $$$
    Ever since Red Bull took over the train wreck formerly known as the MetroStars, full-blown jersey sponsorship league-wide was only a matter of time. Contingent upon the deal being approved by the board of governors was permission for "Red Bull" to be prominently displayed on the front of the jersey, as is common throughout the world, and for MLS teams to cut their own sponsorship deals. Sponsor names have adorned MLS team jerseys since the league began play in 1996 but in every case besides Red Bull those were national sponsorships, not team deals. MLS may have ...
  • Make BeLieve Soccer
    The league is being called to task once again for its attendance figures and this time, the evidence is unquestioned. San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Mark Zeigler's story appears in Wednesday's edition of the newspaper. Confirmed by sources and backed by an MLS internal document, it tells a tale of grossly inflated crowd figures. The league uses "tickets distributed" as its official attendance figures and for years has used this as a camouflage for announced figures far in excess of the number of people in the stadium. "Tickets distributed" includes tickets sold as well as those simply ...
  • 'Hidden revenues' a key to MLS growth
    Any business leader or entrepreneur knows the dangers of "hidden costs," those troublesome expenses, sometimes unforeseen, that can doom the most promising startup. MLS fans, perhaps perplexed at why operator-investors are sinking their money into facilities and not players, are mostly unaware of what might be called the "hidden revenues" that come with running your own place.   By now, the MLS mantra of controlling dates and vacuuming up ancillary revenues such as parking, concessions, merchandising, etc., in addition to renting the facility for concerts and the like are chapter and verse. Yet other forms of income flow ...
  • Bornstein and Chivas USA come through again
    One play doesn't make a team, or a season, or a player's reputation. Yet by pulling a ball back and, perhaps inadvertently, setting up the only goal of CD Chivas USA's 1-0 win over FC Dallas Wednesday night at Pizza Hut Park, rookie Jonathan Bornstein in many ways encapsulated what he, and his team, is about in 2006.The league's worst team last year with just four wins in 32 games knocked off the Western Conference leader, 1-0, to keep it tied for third and squarely in the playoff chase. Bornstein's slick play also cemented his likely selection as Rookie of ...
  • Ramping It Up
    Can it be? Have MLS regular-season games truly taken on an aura of urgency and intensity? No question. Last week's Real Salt Lake-Colorado tussle, despite being played on football markings, had scraps and scrapes long before Rapids players taunted opposing fans so vividly RSL supreme Dave Checketts complained to the league office and issued an admonishing statement. Oh, boo hoo. Checketts even played the youth card, citing certain behavior as bad examples to the youngsters in attendance, even while his latest stadium plan includes a provision that many parents believe will rake money away from school districts, a ...