If anyone reading this follows the European game at all, then you’ll be well aware of the fact that midweek games are very much a part of the routine – especially in the lower leagues. That’s mainly due to the sheer volume of games that are played in the region and in any given country, as you just have to fit them all in somewhere.
When it comes to Major League Soccer the same principle applies, because as you can tell by this Forbes report, people are already talking about where the planned expansion is going to end. There are a series of different directions the league could take it in or options they could go with, but at the end of the day, we want to know how this is going to impact the popularity of the MLS as a whole.
Making the right moves
Of course, reports from sites like MLS Multiplex on the midweek games ensure that people are always going to talk about the league if they’re a big fan of it, but that isn’t really the point. One of the biggest issues that different sports and organisations have had is oversaturation, especially in recent years, which seems odd when you consider how high the demand is for streaming these days.
One of the ways in which we can monitor how midweek games will eventually impact things for the MLS is by comparing the league to other major American ‘brands’ within the same bracket. You’ve got the NHL, NBA and MLB which both, of course, play games throughout the course of the week, but the nature of their schedules mean that it’d be virtually impossible to stick to the weekend.
Then when you take one look at the NFL’s schedule, you soon notice that they rarely, aside from Monday & Thursday nights, stray away from their Sunday night schedules. Now we aren’t suggesting that the MLS needs to be like the NFL or anything even remotely close to that, but what we do want is a bit of clarity regarding how the demand of games will increase as we continue to expand upon the league.
Perhaps it won’t be that dramatic, but it’s not exactly difficult to figure out why attendances and viewing figures are generally lower for the MLS than at the weekends. Hell, they’re going to be going up against two sets of playoffs tonight, which doesn’t exactly seem or feel like something that should be happening all too regularly.
The direction that the MLS is going in, as a whole, feels really positive, but there are still so many issues that need to be discussed and ironed out. From a pure fan perspective the idea of more football (soccer) is always going to be welcomed with open arms, but there are risks to go alongside the reward.
We want nothing more than to see a profitable and flourishing league that continues to grow over the course of the next few decades, to the point where the big four does in fact become the big five. As we’ve already stated, though, there’s a long way to go.