MLS responds to report of league moving to European-like calendar in 2014

- October 14th, 2013

It didn’t take long for Major League Soccer to shoot down a Monday report saying the league is looking at implementing a European-based schedule as early as 2014 – something that drew immediate ire from wary fans.

If implemented now, or in the future, the MLS season would begin in late July or early August and end in late May or early June, according to the New York Daily News, who first reported the story.

The 10-month season would include a six- to eight-week winter break.

Citing a league source, the Daily News said MLS commissioner Don Garber has intensified his examination of implementing a new calendar.

Rampant online speculation fuelled a response from MLS headquarters Monday when Dan Courtemanche, the league’s executive vice president of communications, seemed to put the rumours to bed.

“‘Rumors’ is an appropriate way to classify it,” he responded via Twitter. “MLS has reviewed many possible schedule formats throughout the years.

“We hope to announce soon, but the timing will be very similar to the current season.”

The league currently runs from early March through early December — break-free — with this year’s final falling on Dec. 7, the latest date for an MLS Cup in the league’s 18-year history.

If the report is to be believed, it brings up massive concerns, most notably the possibility of cold-weather cities throughout the midwest and northeast hosting games in late February.

Then, there’s viewership and attendance concerns.

With both the NBA and NHL regular seasons finishing up in early April, Major League Soccer’s current setup sees it take advantage of a summer window when only Major League Baseball is in session, a huge tidbit for MLS cities that house each of the other major North American sports.

Soccer in this country isn’t ready to compete with the big boys — NCAA football and the NFL — and it seems the league’s front office realizes that, for now.

Categories: Sports

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1 comment

  1. george says:

    its a good idea to keep it at a different time as the european leagues for our players but maybe not as good as a business decision.
    i like that our mls players can go over and test the waters during the offseason in a loan. mls may not like that though

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