Just picked this article up from USSoccerPlayers.com from the pitchinvasion.net twitter feed, and it's an interesting read. The opening line certainly corroborates what I've been sensing in my recent foray into the cultural side of North America's professional league:
"In August, Major League Soccer ticket sales dipped over 4% overall and dropped double digits up to 34% for six franchises while nationwide sales for international matches skyrocketed. That should be enough of an indication that MLS needs to rethink what marketing to adults means."
The author, L.E. Eisenmenger, recommends among other things that MLS make league operations and transfer deals more transparent, signalling to supporters exactly how the league intends to make the on-field product more palatable for seasoned fans, or "adults" as she puts it.
For fans to commit to MLS, Eisenmenger argues the league must "convin[e] people that they’re putting money into the product by spending on talent." I absolutely agree, but following what Eisenmenger suggests gets you right square in the face with those godawful but oh-so important issues like the soft cap and second designated player allotments. And that requires financial risk on the part of franchise investors, and then we get into MLS' and North American soccer's inherent conservatism and ---
will the circle be unbroken?