MLS, CONCACAF botch doubleheader option

Once again, MLS executives prove they are not in tune with their product.  The Gold Cup provided the perfect opportunity for MLS to expand their fan base.  Collaboration with CONCACAF representatives could have brought doubleheaders featuring one MLS game and one Gold Cup game from the first game through to the final (This year’s format does provide doubleheaders, two Gold Cup games/one stadium, except for the final).  

A collaboration among organizations would have allowed for more stadiums to get an opportunity to host the Gold Cup, which in turn, allows more people overall to see live soccer action.  By spreading the wealth, Soccer gets more promotion and more exposure.

What this would have accomplished is good for both CONCACAF and for MLS.  By having an MLS game take place for fans who might not be familiar with the MLS product, there is a possibility of enhancing the significance of the CONCACAF Champions League.  Fans of different heritage would get the chance to see teams which may play in the Champions League.   

MLS would  have benefited by getting their product to their easiest fans to win over, soccer fans.  A game between Guadeloupe and Nicaragua in Reliant Stadium on the 9th of July with an MLS game as part of the attraction is a marketing wet dream for the Houston Dynamo.  

The biggest dilemma for the organizers of these events would have been which game becomes the headliner.  This is a problem you want to have.  Some may argue the MLS game may have more broad appeal than the Gold Cup game or visa versa.  Regardless, there are still two games to be played and to be enjoyed for fans. 

There’s also the possibility of marketing to the sports fan and getting them more heavily involved.  With 2 games to see, there’s a stronger likelihood they’ll see a great game and be pulled in more to soccer as an entertainment option.  (International doubleheaders tend to attract a specific audience already familiar with Soccer). 

Scheduling MLS games could have been made easier by getting all the teams involved during this 3 week period of 25 matches.  They could have scheduled just 25 MLS matches during this time. 

Among the 25 matches to be slotted to accompany Gold Cup matches, another brand could also fill the void.  With sufficient planning and anticipation from U.S. Soccer and CONCACAF, some U.S. Open Cup matches could have been included. 

It’s dissappointing this is not transpiring because it would have made for great theater and discussion for soccer fans.  It also seems that this idea would have garnered more national attention from ESPN.

14 Responses to MLS, CONCACAF botch doubleheader option

  1. Max in Miami says:

    What a pile of rubbish.

    CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer, as the Chairman of this event, would never in a million years participate in any such deal as you suggest. CONCACAF holds this event as a money maker. They would never in a million years agree to cut anyone else in on the profits.

    For their part, MLS is a league with, among other things, season ticket holders. Are they supposed to toss CONCACAF a portion of the already-deposited money from those sales as part of this 50/50 split?

    Additionally, MLS is a private concern, a business entity. CONCACAF operates as a multinational nonprofit not subject to the same kind of taxation and regulation. A hybrid MLS/Gold Cup event is simply unworkable on that basis alone.

    It’s OK for you to say that you wish it was possible for the two events to presn “doubleheaders”. It’s a fine idea.

    But to blather on about how MLS are a bunch of dopes for not doing it is simply ridiculous.

    You really need to make an effort of some kind to obtain a couple of actual facts before sitting down and pounding out this kind of silliness off the top of your head.

  2. todd says:

    aren’t all of the Gold Cup games already doubleheaders? did this guy want there to be twice as many venues? I’m sadly with Max on this one.

  3. Jeff says:

    Gold Cup games are already doubleheaders. Wouldn’t work.

  4. Joey Zaza says:

    Man, what a joke this article is for so many reasons.

  5. Fan says:

    If they did this and got more fans than a typical MLS game, Kartik would just come on here whining about how it artificially inflates attendance and pins the blame for global warming on Don Garber because the doubleheaders put too many cars on the road.

    You guys should just switch to straight satire. Then we might at least laugh at your drivel.

  6. Berlin says:

    Isn’t the Gold Cup a SUM property just like MLS? How is this so far fetched. As a fan, I would like nothing better than to see a Gold Cup game as well as a league match. What I find really surprising is the unequivocal negative reaction to this piece. How is this not a great idea? Not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is? This is America, make it happen!

  7. ERic says:

    They tried this for years. Look over history and see how many double-headers there have been. Did they ever increase a team’s attendance afterward? I haven’t heard anything to suggest they have.

  8. Chris says:

    It’s true, a bunch of the Gold Cup games are already doubleheaders. But scheduling them as doubleheaders with MLS games is a great idea. The reasons given are all sound, but it boils down to getting more soccer fans to be MLS fans, too.

    The international matches are the clear headliners. Think of the MLS games as similar to a warmup band at a concert. Even that much exposure makes a big difference to the openers, to win some fans of their own.

  9. Peter C says:

    The Gold Cup is not a property of SUM. CONCACAF has hired SUM.

    “Soccer United Marketing manages marketing, public relations and operations for the Gold Cup tournament.”

    An ongoing discussion on SUM and soccer in the US.

  10. soccer goals says:

    We should compete in South America to test our level of play against the best in SA.

  11. Mitch Howard says:

    I have updated this post to include a paragraph involving the potential role of U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Open Cup.

  12. Frank says:

    The Crew tried to sell tickets to its game in combination with yesterday’s Gold Cup doubleheader. I guess it would have been possible.

  13. Liverpool Football Club says:

    You are an absolute idiot

  14. Mitch Howard says:

    I have re-worked this article due to some original misguided commentary leading the readers to think there were not doubleheaders being played at the Gold Cup. This article addresses how more stadiums could have been involved and doubleheaders could have included MLS or US Open play.

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