Major League Soccer Is Alive and Kicking in US Growing Fan Support, Star Players, and Positive Publicity Have Helped League Garner Steady Support

By Mark Sappenfield, Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 2, 1996 | Go to article overview

Major League Soccer Is Alive and Kicking in US Growing Fan Support, Star Players, and Positive Publicity Have Helped League Garner Steady Support


Mark Sappenfield, Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


It's raining, hard. It's a weeknight, and Major League Soccer's New York/New Jersey MetroStars are ready to play the last-place Colorado Rapids - a mediocre match-up on an awful night.

To add to this, ESPN2 is also broadcasting the game live, so fans can watch the game at home without getting wet or having to deal with New York traffic.

So as Soccer Magazine's Dan Herbst takes his seat in the press box, he agrees with his fellow reporters: The game will be lucky to draw 5,000 fans. More than 14,000 came. Four months later, Mr. Herbst puts the May 17 game in perspective. "It was the most remarkable crowd of the year," he says. "You sit there and you say maybe the time is right for this sport." Compared with the 50,000 fans that many football games routinely draw - even in bad weather - this number may seem rather modest. But for Major League Soccer (MLS), the new American soccer league finishing up its first year, it is a welcome achievement. "We thought the {season} attendances would be in the 10 to 12,000 range," says Mark Abbott, the director of financial affairs for MLS. "Right now we're averaging around 18,000. That's a pretty sizeable amount to exceed your original expectations by." For now, MLS is set on reaching achievable goals - increasing fan support, solidifying its financial situation, and signing quality players. And although they have run into a few problems, they are determined not to try to do too much too fast - and for good reason. So far, America is still not a "soccer country." Before the 1994 World Cup, the game had virtually no history here. Now, MLS is determined to steadily build support. Good publicity has helped. While the explosion of nationwide coverage during the opening of the season has died away, local fans and local media have continued to support their teams. "When something starts out, there's going to be an initial bang, and we got that," Mr. Abbott says. "What's impressed me is that it has sustained itself throughout the season - not at the same intensity - but good, basic, everyday coverage." Jonathan Kraft, the primary investor who runs the New England Revolution, says the Boston area was ready for soccer. "We've been pleasantly surprised by the kind of pent-up demand that exists for soccer {here}," he says. Chosen to host the first MLS championship on Oct. 20, the Revolution has succeeded in some areas that even more well-established Boston sports teams have not. "The crowds have been extremely heterogeneous," he adds. "If you go to a game for any other major league sport in this town, you'll find a predominantly white, male, adult crowd." The diversity of MLS's fan-base has helped buoy the league this year, but Abbot points to two other key ingredients. Average ticket prices have stayed firm at $13, he says, and the league is getting more money from sponsors than expected - including commitments for $50 million over the next four years. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Major League Soccer Is Alive and Kicking in US Growing Fan Support, Star Players, and Positive Publicity Have Helped League Garner Steady Support
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.