Soccer Business Bits: RSL Sale, Playoff Promotions & More

rslJust days before the RSL’s big conference final match-up against Chicago, the big story around MLS is the pending sale of a 49% interest in RSL to local businessman Dell Loy Hansen.  While not finalized, Hansen has been traveling with the team and attended multiple games. A real estate developer/owner, Hansen has stated that he intends to brand his various properties with RSL colors and gear and use his residential space to house RSL players (great idea).

The entry of new blood into MLS is always a good idea.  In RSL’s case, this brings a local owner into the picture who adds money to the ownership group and a definite rooting interest.  Moreover, this is an especially attractive deal because it may include an ownership interest in Rio Tinto.  Perhaps most interestingly, the actual purchase price will provide insight into the valuation of MLS franchises at a time when expansion franchises are entering the League at a rapid clip.

The Conference Finals are just around the corner, and we thought we would take a quick look at promotional efforts by both the Fire and Galaxy in advance of the games.  Given the great attendance both in Chicago and Los Angeles for the earlier playoff games, significant promotional efforts are largely unnecessary, and a great sign for the League.  Seemingly the sole promotion in Los Angeles is a Family Four pack of 4 tickets, dogs and drinks for $66.  In Chicago, there are no apparent promotions.   Both teams are expecting sell-outs for the finals, and the lack of promotional events shows that the crowds are expected without additional efforts to convice them to come.

For a nice summary of MLS playoff attendance over the last few years, click here.