The Major League Soccer off season got going in earnest on Monday, with player trades, reports of re-signings and the release of the names on the re-entry list. However, before we jump with both feet into the hot stove of soccer, we wanted to offer some final business items related to MLS Cup 2012. One of the first stories worth mentioning involves the somewhat disappointing television ratings that emerged from the Cup Final. Multiple reports indicate that the game drew only a .7 rating, likely a small decline from last year. While its true that the game was up against the SEC Championship game, given the Beckham storyline, the Donovan storyline and other factors, the game should have done much better. Rather than matching up against an array of NFL games, college football was the big television opponent, but the MLS Cup Final got beat by golf.
In other Cup Final news, the game drew a record Home Depot Center crowd in excess of 30k. The big crowd, which was loud throughout most of the game and looked great on television provide some support for the league’s decision to move the game to the home of the highest remaining seed. While I continue to oppose that change for a number of business reasons, there is no question that the atmosphere was improved because of the change.
Finally, the MLS Cup Final was covered in person by over 400 media from all over the world. Whatever the lack of attention the game received from a number of mainstream sports outlets, there is no question that the game has become a big deal. One need only read the coverage in the Guardian to really enjoy how the game has grown.
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