The Problem With Travel

One of the big business stories of the last couple of days (carried by the world of Twitter), is the travel tribulations of RSL as the team makes its way from Salt Lake City to Toronto for its Tuesday night CCL match against TFC.  A myriad of delays, angry airline employees and missed connections left half of RSL’s roster stranded in Atlanta while the rest flew off to Toronto.  After additional delays, the remaining roster made its way North of the Border in drips and drabs. As a result, the team missed practice and its equipment and uniforms had yet to make the trip.

RSL’s travel problems should rekindle the ongoing debate about travel conditions in Major League Soccer.  Most professional sports teams fly their players by charter, ensuring comfortable conditions and efficient travel.  Teams criss-crossing the country and heading to Central American log serious hours in the air would welcome the relaxation afformed by private air travel.  In fairly recent history, MLS afforded teams the option of reserving limited flights on chartered aircraft.  However, as this RSL experience shows, those opportunities are limited and not all teams are willing to front the cost for these flights.

This represents an interesting cost analysis for the league and individual teams.  Various Twitter reports suggested that MLS teams pay more than $60k to charter a flight for their roster.  Over the course of a year, travel is a significant expense and teams handle their options differently.  Some leave earlier than others for long trips, bring larger rosters across the country and make use of the private airplane options.  As rosters expand, teams are added and the games add up, MLS will need to re-evaluate how they manage travel over the years to come.  The RSL situation should bring that into focus.

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3 Responses

  1. Good points about MLS needing to rethink travel, but…

    …this was a CCL match and MLS had no say over transportation. The RSL FO simply chose not to book a charter.

  2. Remarkable post and will look forward to your future update.

  3. Thanks for the sane view. Me and my brother were preparing to do some analysis about that. We got a great book on that matter from our local library and most books are not as informatory as your site. I am very glad to see such information which I was searching for a long time. 🙂

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