Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
If you don't think there's room for growth, I think you're mistaken. People have been saying the same thing as you just did since the 80s and there are distinct signs that you are in fact, mistaken. MLS attendance is up. There are more MLS stadiums that have been and are currently being built in the past few years than MLB, NBA, or NFL. If I'm not mistaken, it's one of the few major sports leagues that's expanding into new cities, while still increasing attendance and profitability. Average attendance is better in several cities than the MLB/NBA teams in the same cities. The 2010 world cup was watched by 64% more Americans than the last one. I'm not saying it's going to replace football or baseball or basketball. But pretending like it's the NHL or the WNBA is also a mistake.
I think we're kind of making the same point, but I'm taking a glass half empty approach (in this case) and yours is half full. They had their chance when the NHL took a shit and went on strike and Beckham came over, but it just didn't happen. Yes, there is definitely room for growth, and the smart and well thought out expansion of the MLS is a positive sign. But it has to grow because it's by far the youngest league in the US. (Yeah, it's better than a failing league, but we're not holding the sport to those standards, are we?) The NBA/MLB/NFL have essentially reached their saturation point, but that's because they've been around for decades. MLS is only, what, 15 years old? So, while growth is obviously a good thing, I can't say that growth in and of itself is an indicator that the sport will be adopted wholesale by this country the way you're alluding to. Another thing...the NBA/MLB/NFL are BILLION dollar leagues. The MLS is lucky to break even. In fact, I don't think there are any teams, except maybe the Galaxy that really make money (don't know about the sounders as they're pretty new, but seem to be doing ok attendance wise). I'm not pulling that out of thin air either, I've audited AEG owned teams. Shit...look at the league minimum salaries! NHL is $450K, NFL is $325K, MLB is $380K, NBA is $473K.....MLS is $40K
...I made far more than that out of college. When soccer players, on average, are getting paid like the big dogs (I'll even include hockey), then maybe we can consider it to be a major sport in the US. When you say that I pretend like MLS is the NHL, I'm not. I'm saying MLS isn't even as popular as the NHL, and it won't be.