MLS chief not a fan of franchise relocation
24 Jul 2012
Major League Soccer (MLS) commissioner Don Garber has stated that relocation of teams that are under-performing off the pitch isn’t “remotely in consideration”.
The likes of Columbus Crew and Chivas USA have struggled in the attendance stakes of late and North America’s major leagues have a history of franchise relocation. However, Garber told Goal.com: “No, listen this is a good year for MLS and the last couple of years as well. You’re not in any sports league that’s going to have 100% success in every market. That’s how professional sports have operated and will continue to operate both here and abroad.”
He continued: “We are going to continue to support those teams that have had challenges and then feel good about sharing the practices of teams that have being doing well in certain markets. So at the end of the day, relocation isn’t even remotely in consideration.”
Meanwhile, Garber maintains MLS is “very focused” on adding a second New York franchise to the league. The previous owners of the iconic New York Cosmos franchise had been keen on securing an expansion slot, but it was announced this month that the team will join the North American Soccer League (NASL) – a Division 2 league – in its 2013 season. Garber added: “We believe that having a second team here will allow the Red Bulls to really capitalise on some of the success that they’ve had in this market. Having a rival here that we think will allow our league and our sport to capture the interest of soccer in this massive market. There’s 13 million people here. There’s no shortage of interest and a second team would really capitalise on that.”