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SBD/13/Leagues Governing Bodies
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER '95 START MAY BE IN DOUBT
Published October 13, 1994
MLS organizers will meet with prospective investors this Monday "to determine whether the league will begin as scheduled in April, and if so, with how many teams." Among the possible backers scheduled to attend are three NFL owners (Lamar Hunt, Robert Kraft and Alex Spanos); representatives of VA businessman John Kluge -- Forbes' 3rd richest person in America; members of a partnership involving basketball star Hakeem Olajuwon; and the head of a firm that serves as the USSF's sole marketing agent. FIFA General Secretary Joseph Blatter: "I'm sure they will start in April." Asked about a delay until '96: "It would be a disappointment. ... Naturally there is going to be a negative image of their organizational abilities. But it would not be the end of our effort to help." Even if all goes well on Monday with the potential investors, MLS will begin with only 10 teams, instead of 12 as planned. MLS is offering shares of the league in $5M units. MLS officials have said they need an initial investment of about $75M to get started (Goff & Berkowitz, WASHINGTON POST, 10/13). POST-WORLD CUP NEWS: World Cup officials in Dallas announced that the international soccer tournament generated $144M in direct spending for the Dallas area and an overall economic impact of $301M (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/12).