IS MLS GETTING BURNED BY DALLAS MARKET? ATTENDANCE LAGGING
MLS attendance dropped 8.5% for its first six games,
"primarily because of a sharp falloff" for the L.A. Galaxy,
according to a TAMPA TRIBUNE report. MLS is averaging
19,452, down from 21,272 for its first six games last
season. MLS Commissioner Doug Logan: "We're very, very
pleased with the condition we're in" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/25).
But Logan did express concern with the 11,103 who attended
the Burn's home-opener in Dallas: "We're not pleased with
the results in Dallas. Last week we spent four times the
amount of money in media (advertising) than we did the year
before" (Peter Brewington, USA TODAY, 3/25). In Dallas,
Steve Davis writes the league "remains handcuffed to mammoth
football stadiums" and "changes have been slow-going."
While the Burn called the Cotton Bowl a short-term solution,
there are few alternatives. Davis writes that SMU will
construct a 32,000-seat facility that would "be a prototype
for MLS," but SMU's AD Jim Copeland said a partnership isn't
"feasible" since the school prohibits non-collegiate events
attended by more than 16,000 (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/25).
AH, CAIRO, JEWEL OF THE NILE! MLS's DC United will make
the first appearance by an MLS team in Africa when it plays
Egypt's Al-Ahly club in Cairo on May 5 (AP, 3/25).