SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies

SOCCER IN '96, NOW MORE THAN EVER

     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).
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