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How much of a success is Major League Soccer?


How much of a success is Major League Soccer?   The crowds continue to grow, but the league continues to lose money.  Incidentally, the statistics on attendances given here are presumably to some extent affected by stadium size.

Soccer is still some way behind the four major US sports (American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey) and holding a franchise is certainly not a license to print money.   Indeed, soccer economics guru Stefan Szymanski has described it as a 'pyramid scheme', kept afloat by the fees paid for new franchises.

However, with 20 teams in the league, there is presumably an upper limit to how far it can grow.  A second division would mean the horrors of promotion and relegation which terrify sports franchise holders in the US (including those who invest in Europe) and are seen in some way as un-American, perhaps because Americans don't do failure.

This particular article was stimulated by a plan to bring a soccer franchise to Detroit which does seem quite a courageous thing to do given the city's problems.