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SBD/March 10, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Strong & Growing: Survey Shows MLS Popularity Equal To MLB Among Teens
Published March 10, 2014
DRAWING A YELLOW CARD: In N.Y., Das & Bell reported MLS and the Professional Soccer Referees Association "remain far apart on financial and workplace issues." The negotiations have become "increasingly testy in recent months, as the union filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board accusing" the Professional Referee Organization of "bad-faith negotiating and of threatening its members." Several news reports put the sides $1M apart "on the issue of salaries and game fees for officials," but PSRA VP & Lead Negotiator Steve Taylor "put the figure at $440,000" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/8). In DC, Steven Goff noted a call by replacement ref Andres Pfefferkorn during the Crew-DC United match "did not sit well with United's players, who swarmed the replacement official." DC United coach Ben Olsen said, "You hope you are not on the wrong end of a call from a naive or inexperience ref. Unfortunately, the reality is I think we were on the wrong end of that" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/9). Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan said MLS has “finally hit the real big time! They’re locking out the referees” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 3/9).
ATTENDANCE ROUNDUP: The Sounders on Saturday set an "opening-day record" with a crowd of 39,340 (K.C. STAR, 3/9). The Whitecaps announced "a capacity crowd" of 21,000 (AP, 3/8). DC United had an opening day crowd of 13,840 (WASHINGTON POST, 3/9). The Timbers opened their season "in front of a sellout crowd of 20,674" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/9). Official attendance for FC Dallas' opener "was 18,011, about 2,500 below capacity, but many sections of the stadium remained largely empty throughout the game" (DALLASNEWS.com, 3/9). The Galaxy drew a "sold-out crowd of 25,364" (L.A. TIMES, 3/9). The Dynamo reported a "BBVA Compass Stadium-record sellout crowd of 22,320" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/9). Chivas USA hosted the league's only game yesterday and saw a "league-low" of 8,320 at StubHub Center, dropping MLS' "opening-weekend average to a healthy 21,130" (TWITTER.com, 3/9).