On Thursday afternoon, Commissioner Don Garber conducted a wide ranging conference call with more than 80 media members from around the world about the State of the League. MLS smartly scheduled this call the week before the lead-up to the MLS Cup Final so that the primary focus next week will be the game. Garber hit on a number of business topics during the call and we thought it makes sense to list some of the key items here.
1. Garber stated that television ratings are up double digits on all of the league’s broadcast partners.
2. He confirmed that an unbalanced 34 game schedule will be played in 2012.
3. DC United has the most expensive lease in the history of the league with substandard facilities. He indicated that the situation is unworkable and that new lease negotiations for RFK are underway. He further indicated that moving United was certainly a possibility.
4. Says the league is proud of MLSSoccer.com and that a French version should emerge next year.
5. The Houston stadium is ahead of schedule while Montreal is behind schedule.
6. Schedule will be released early this year (perhaps December) and perhaps dates for future seasons will be released as well.
7. TFC is investing $20 million in a youth facility.
8. Orlando possibly in the running for an expansion franchise.
9. Galaxy looking to add seats for the Final. Game sold out.