Soccer Business Bits: Return to Los Angeles

Some quick business hitters from around the league.  We’ll start with the announcement that the 2011 MLS Cup will be held at the Home Depot Center for the first time since 2008.  Los Angeles is a favored location for the championship game because of the allure of the City, the importance of the AEG owned venue and the typically sizable crowds that turn out.  The game will be televised at 9:00 ET, putting it in prime time on the East Coast and not too late for those in attendance to get home on a Sunday night.  LA is also easy to get to from everywhere in the country.

Because of the amount of events that surround the Final (especially for sponsors), and the various opportunities for fans, media, team officials and even the Commissioner, we remain convinced that a neutral site venue is ideal for the league. While many fans pine for a match hosted by the highest ranked team, we continue to support the concept a weekend event for the game.  It allows fans and others involved in the league to plan a weekend long excursion well in advance and makes the game a destination.

Elsewhere, the annual Sports Business Award nominees are out for 2011.  The awards cover 15 categories and include a number of soccer nominees.  Red Bull Arena has been nominated as the facility of the year and MLS as professional sports league of the year. The fourth annual event will be held on May 18.

Finally, we recommend this article on the Salt Lake Tribune about the national broadcast choices made by MLS.  In sum, Scott Pierce missed the boat by not putting RSL on national tv more often.  Given the brand of soccer that RSL plays, it is hard to argue the point.  While its true RSL cannot match the star power of New York and Los Angeles, educated soccer fans unfamilar with MLS would be impressed watching the team play.