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SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies
SOCCER IN '96, NOW MORE THAN EVER
Published November 9, 1994
Major League Soccer has scheduled a news conference for November 16 in New York to announce that its start will be delayed until 1996 (USA TODAY, 11/9). "Since identifying seven league cities in June, there have been postponed announcements, missed deadlines and, mostly, silence" from MLS founder Alan Rothenberg. Some reasons for not starting in '95: MLS has failed to meet its original goal of raising $100M from investors; only 10 cities -- not 12 -- will be in place for Year One; only two of the named franchises met the season-ticket goal. The new franchises expected to be named are Chicago, Kansas City and Tampa. The Original Seven: New York, Boston, New Jersey Meadowlands, San Jose, Los Angeles, Columbus and Washington, DC. "The biggest problem MLS has to contend with is its apparent failure to begin the league when it said it would." At least one sponsor "is having trouble with the delay." Reebok VP/Global Marketing Peter Moore: "It's been very frustrating because we had come to an agreement based on the '95 season and were poised to go, and then ... it became difficult to get information." Among all the start-up problems, "raising money remains the most acute" (Cart & Jones, L.A. TIMES, 11/9).