SBD/17/Leagues Governing Bodies

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER MAKES IT OFFICIAL, SEE YA' IN '96

     MLS Chair Alan Rothenberg made several announcements
yesterday concerning the development of the league -- including
new franchise cities and a list of investors.  The charter
investors -- VA billionaire John Kluge and Metromedia Exec VP
Stuart Subotnick, the Hunt family (owners of the Chiefs), API
Soccer, headed by Kevin Payne, and LA Soccer Partners, headed by
L.A. investor Marc Rapaport -- will form the financial and
operational base for the new league that will commence play in
April 1996.  MLS will have a minimum of 10, with possibly as many
as 12 teams.  Additionally, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: "I
fully support MLS and look forward to their playing in Foxboro
Stadium.  In 1995, I will meet with MLS officials and examine the
opportunity to become one of the investors and team operators"
(MLS).  Two cities were added to the franchise list, Tampa and
Chicago.  Other cities already awarded franchises:  Washington,
L.A., San Jose, Columbus, Foxboro/Boston, Northern NJ and Long
Island.  The Long Island franchise will not begin until '97
(WASHINGTON POST, 11/17).  Other candidates for franchises
include:  Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City,
Miami, San Diego, Tulsa and at least one Canadian city (Mult.,
11/17).   WHAT NEXT?  Rothenberg says that in the next 18 months,
MLS will be "busy promoting itself, taking cues from the
expansion teams in other American sports" (David Waldstein, N.Y.
POST, 11/17).  In Hartford, Jerry Trecker implies that MLS
merchandise may precede the actual playing of games (HARTFORD
COURANT, 11/17).  Exhibitions between national teams and pro
clubs will be staged in MLS-designated stadiums in '95 (Frank
Dell'Apa, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/17).  One big change from MLS's
original strategy is that the investors will in fact run their
own teams.  Originally, MLS planned on running the league on a
single-entity basis, but "when investors became reluctant to
accept such a venture," Rothenberg shifted (Alex Yannis, N.Y.
TIMES, 11/17).
     OTHER SOCCER NEWS:  The MLS is being challenged by the
American Professional Soccer League, which is moving to occupy
major markets and sign up top U.S. players before MLS gets
started.  A press conference today in Atlanta will introduce the
franchise's new name, logo and ad campaign (Doug Cress, ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 11/17).
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