MLS SAID TO HAVE THE NECESSARY CAPITAL TO START PLAY
MLS "has accomplished one of its goals -- the financing is
in place. However, organizers are so far behind in planning that
they have proposed postponing the start of the league until
1996," according to a report in this morning's BOSTON GLOBE. The
"required" $75M in capitalization has been confirmed by sources,
but MLS Chair Alan Rothenberg is yet to announce investors.
Rumored investors include Soccer USA Partners of New York, a
group led by the Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon, NFL Chiefs owner Lamar
Hunt and VA billionaire John Kluge. But both Hunt and Kluge are
"upset" their names have also been associated with the investment
before an official announcement. Patriots owner Robert Kraft,
also a reported investor, "would prefer" to plan for a '96 start.
MLS organizers have proposed a shortened schedule, in conjunction
with U.S. Cup '95 and '96 Olympics preparations (Frank Dell'Apa,
BOSTON GLOBE, 10/27). Rothenberg "conceded" yesterday that a
franchise in Long Island, NY, could be delayed for "the first
couple of years." The league is looking for a $2M investor to
rebuild Hofstra Stadium (Alex Yannis, N.Y. TIMES, 10/27).
Columnist Roscoe Nance suggests MLS should form a two division
league with the APSL, one consisting of the APSL's individually
owned teams and the other of the MLS's "single-entity teams."
Nnace notes the APSL presently has one thing which the MLS does
not -- "teams playing games" (USA TODAY, 10/27).