Soccer Business Bits: The Morning After

mlsAnother week of MLS games are behind us with nationally televised games from DC (Saturday night) and New England (Sunday).  There was no ESPN game this week (and there will only be one ESPN game over the next month; the national TV schedule is here).  Attendance was a bit of mixed bag, with strong numbers in Toronto and LA and fair numbers in DC.  Chicago, Colorado and New England were fairly disappointing.  Comparative attendance numbers are here.

On the broadcast front, Kevin Calabro has been temporarily replaced on the Sounders’ games by Glenn Davis.  The move is not punitive; Calabro apparently has obligations for ESPN basketball coverage.  In New England, the Feldman/Lalas pairing persists, but interestingly Revs games are simulcast on Radio.  Thus, listeners to WEEI radio get the TV feed. Soccer on the radio is tough.  Soccer on the radio via a TV feed is brutal.

In WPS action, Boston drew and impressive crowd of over 8k to Harvard Stadium, while DC drew 5k for their match against St. Louis.  The League has continued to meet and exceed its attendance targets over the first couple weeks.  Check out our interview with WPS Director Communications Robert Penner for more on MLS attendance goals and marketing efforts.  National advertisers like Corona and Puma were evident,

On an unrelated noted, we didn’t comment on the dust-up over “Tim Hanley-gate”. Briefly, Hanley posted some pointed criticism of DC United as part of his game analysis for  Problems arose when it was discovered that Hanley is a Houston Dynamo employee.  Commentators quickly responded on both sides of the issue; the propriety of a team employee taking a paid position that involves criticizing other other teams merits discussion.  We won’t revisit the issue here, but check out 3rd Degree for a great discussion of the issue and links to some of the more interesting commentary. houston-dynamo