SUMmer of Soccer Events


SUMmer of Soccer Continues

The ‘Summer of Soccer’ which began on June 20, rolls on. As of now, over 1,455,000 have attended SuperLiga, the Gold Cup, the World Football Challenge and a variety of club and international friendlies.

Since my last post on the SUMmer of Soccer, an International Friendly doubleheader was played and a few more friendlies were scheduled …

Summer of Soccer
Opponents Venue Date Event Att
 RSL v
 Chivas de Guadalajara
 Rio Tinto Stadium
 Sandy, UT
 Wed, Oct 07 Friendly  
 FCD v New England
 Mexico v Colombia
 Cotton Bowl
 Dallas, TX
 Wed, Sep 30 MLS
 Chivas USA v
 Chivas de Guadalajara
 Rose Bowl
 Wed, Sep 23 Friendly  
 Club America v
 Chivas de Guadalajara
 Arrowhead Stadium
 Wed, Sep 16 Friendly  
 San Jose v CD Aguila(SLV)  Buck Shaw Stadium
 San Jose, CA
 Tue, Sep 08 Friendly  
 Colombia v Venezuela
 Ecuador v Jamaica
 Giants Stadium
 E Rutherford, NJ
 Wed, Aug 12  Int’l
       total  23,523 
       average  23,523 

Summer of Soccer Attendances as of Aug 12
Event Dates Games Att Avg per Date
 International Friendlies 3 4 105,262  35,087 
 Club Friendlies 10 12 430,302  43,030 
 World Football Challenge 6 6 336,813  56,136 
 Gold Cup 13 25 468,688  36,053 
 SuperLiga 12 15 114,163  9,514 
  44 62 1,455,228  33,073 

SUM, MLS Coffers Filling Up Before CBA Negotiations Get Serious

More ch-ching for Soccer United Marketing(SUM). This was the first year of the 3 year agreement between Barcelona and SUM. They’ll return next summer, especially given the report that they took home over $8.5 million for their little USA preseason excursion. SUM would be hard pressed to have a bigger treasure chest increase than the one they are collecting during the ‘Summer of Soccer’. In one form or another SUM earned revenue from the events listed below.

SUMmer of Soccer Events
Event Dates Games Att Avg per Date
 International Friendlies(Mexico) 2 2 88,878  44,439 
 Club Friendlies 8 10 413,918  51,740 
 Gold Cup 13 25 468,688  36,053 
 SuperLiga 12 15 114,163  9,514 
  35 52 1,085,647  31,018 
Club Friendlies include matches with
Chivas de Guadalajara, Barcelona or an MLS team

Add to that 150 million on the books in expansion fees since 2007, the savings from the elimination of the reserve league(where is that money?), and you have the ingredients for interesting Collective Bargaining Agreement discussions.

Note: Don Garber has already stated that the SuperLiga will be back in 2010, a World Cup year. It’s a sure indication that live attendance and wide distribution of English language coverage in the US are irrelevant. It demonstrates where the real money comes from; sponsorships and Spanish language TV. SuperLiga in August or September next year?

Where Am I Going With All This SUMmer of Soccer Stuff?

I’ve been struggling with this piece off the ground for several months now. All of the SUMmer of Soccer posts have been leading up to offering some observations on issues and obstacles that stand in the way of MLS becoming a better league.

With the summer coming to a close, the coffers are bulging. At least the ones at Soccer United Marketing, and by virtue of profit sharing, the corporations that own MLS franchises.
The first event that will effect the direction of MLS is the Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA). Ideally, a deal will be worked out by the time MLS Cup ’09(Nov 22) rolls around.

In my next post, I will discuss what I believe to be the main element that could hold MLS back from achieving significant gains in the quality of its product.

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