We promised part IV of our series on MLS fans, but with so many business stories around American soccer today, we thought we would postpone part IV and touch on some of those stories. We will return to our fan series next week.
In Salt Lake City, the Tribune is reporting that the MLS all star weekend generated more than $3 million in tourist dollars for the local economy. Including non-tourist dollars (i.e. locals spending money), it is estimated that more than $9 million was spent in the community because of the MLS event. These are the types of figures that are important for MLS as it looks to build stadiums and add franchises. The ability to pour this type of money into a local economy, through the occupancy of hotels, purchase of merchandise and other commercial transactions is an important consideration for communities evaluating the possibility of spending money on MLS.
Elsewhere, the Seattle Times is reporting that Columbian forward Fredy Montero is now the property of MLS. The former Deportivo Cali striker had been on loan to Seattle, but he is now owned by MLS. Montero is just 21 and is in the picture for the Colombian National Team. MLS will now stand to benefit from both his play and the possibility of a future sale. Click here for more on this story.
One final note, American star Landon Donovan reportedly tested positive for Swine Flu. While not a “business bit” per se, it is definitely a reminder about the amount of travel inherent in the sport of soccer. Especially in MLS where players are repeatedly subject to commercial flights, the perils of travel are omnipresent.