MLS Cup 2009: Final Notes

Some quick hits on MLS Cup before we officially move to the off season.

MLS Cup overnight ratings are out.  Overnights are tricky, because the final rating can change, but according to the presented figures, the broadcast reached 30% more viewers than the 2008 final on ABC.

The coverage of the match was outstanding in Salt Lake City and we think that the result was ultimately the best one for MLS.  They got their marquee game involving Beckham, but in the end, there was an underdog story and a city (SLC) that was inundated with soccer.  The newspaper coverage was great and the championship bodes well for sponsorships and ticket sales for the coming year.  Had Los Angeles won, it is likely that the victory would have been hardly a blip on the city’s radar.  Instead, RSL got wall to wall coverage, a parade and really captured the city.

Finally, one of the bigger stories to emerge from the weekend was the repeated indication that the MLS Cup will move away from a neutral site and to the home of the higher seed.  Many MLS fans support the move, but we think otherwise.  MLS Cup provides a big event that can accomodate plans months in advance.  The retail summit, supporter’s summit and all other sorts of League events can be scheduled months in advance.  Holders of MLS GSLs can plan their trips and MLS creates a destination event like the Super Bowl.  We think the change is misguided.