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SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies
MLS SAID TO HAVE THE NECESSARY CAPITAL TO START PLAY
Published October 27, 1994
MLS "has accomplished one of its goals -- the financing is in place. However, organizers are so far behind in planning that they have proposed postponing the start of the league until 1996," according to a report in this morning's BOSTON GLOBE. The "required" $75M in capitalization has been confirmed by sources, but MLS Chair Alan Rothenberg is yet to announce investors. Rumored investors include Soccer USA Partners of New York, a group led by the Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon, NFL Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt and VA billionaire John Kluge. But both Hunt and Kluge are "upset" their names have also been associated with the investment before an official announcement. Patriots owner Robert Kraft, also a reported investor, "would prefer" to plan for a '96 start. MLS organizers have proposed a shortened schedule, in conjunction with U.S. Cup '95 and '96 Olympics preparations (Frank Dell'Apa, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/27). Rothenberg "conceded" yesterday that a franchise in Long Island, NY, could be delayed for "the first couple of years." The league is looking for a $2M investor to rebuild Hofstra Stadium (Alex Yannis, N.Y. TIMES, 10/27). Columnist Roscoe Nance suggests MLS should form a two division league with the APSL, one consisting of the APSL's individually owned teams and the other of the MLS's "single-entity teams." Nnace notes the APSL presently has one thing which the MLS does not -- "teams playing games" (USA TODAY, 10/27).