SBJ/20090316/SBJ In-Depth

From his introduction to a ribbon cutting: MLS highlights under Don Garber

August 1999

MLS names Don Garber as its new commissioner, replacing Doug Logan. Garber had been NFL senior vice president and managing director of NFL International.

Adolfo Valencia of the MetroStars
celebrates after scoring a goal
during a 2001 match.

November 1999

ESPN2 and ABC will combine to televise 28 MLS games over 19 consecutive Saturdays in 2000.

November 2001

AEG assumes operating rights to the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, becoming the investor-operator of five MLS teams.

January 2002

The league acquires the English-language rights to the 2002 and 2006 men’s FIFA World Cups, and the 2003 Women’s World Cup.

The Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion cease operations.

March 2002

Soccer United Marketing is formed as a subsidiary to manage sales, service and broadcast production for MLS and its English-language World Cup properties.

April 2003

Four-year deal with Fox Sports International includes at least 25 nationally televised regular-season games and at least eight playoff games per season on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports en Español, extending the league’s broadcasts to Latin America and the Middle East.

Signs three-year agreement with HDNet to broadcast live HDTV coverage.

Chivas USA fans cheer on the team
during a May 2005 match against
Real Salt Lake.

July 2004

League awards its 12th franchise to Dave Checketts and Salt Lake City for a $10 million expansion fee.

August 2004

Expansion Chivas USA announces plans to share the Los Angeles Galaxy’s Home Depot Center.

November 2004

Adidas signs a 10-year deal, estimated at $150 million, to become the league’s official athletic sponsor and licensed-product supplier.

The league signs its first collective-bargaining agreement with players.

October 2005

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is awarded an expansion franchise in Toronto to begin play in 2007.

December 2005

AEG relocates the San Jose Earthquakes to Houston.

July 2006

A five-year, $11 million programming deal with Fox Soccer Channel includes rights to select MLS, international friendly and U.S. men’s and women’s national team matches.

August 2006

Reaches eight-year multimedia rights agreement, for a reported $7 million to $8 million annually, with the ESPN family of networks.

September 2006

Signs eight-year, nearly $80 million, broadcast deal with Univision.

November 2006

Real Salt Lake becomes the first MLS team to sell a jersey sponsorship.

January 2007

MLS and Mexico’s Primera Division create SuperLiga, a tournament among four clubs from each of the leagues.

David Beckham announces plans to join the Los Angeles Galaxy.

July 2007

The league announces the return of the San Jose Earthquakes, beginning play as an expansion team in 2008.

Real Salt Lake takes the wraps off the
seventh soccer-specific stadium
for MLS teams.

November 2007

Introduces expansion club Seattle Sounders FC to begin play in 2009.

February 2008

Awards an expansion franchise to Philadelphia to begin play in 2010.

July 2008

Announces plans to add two teams by 2011, which would bring the league total to 18 teams.

October 2008

The $115 million Rio Tinto Stadium, home of Real Salt Lake, opens as the seventh soccer-specific stadium for MLS teams.

— Compiled by Brandon McClung

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