NASL Commissioner Bullish On Future Despite Expansion Issues, Crowded Marketplace
In an "increasingly crowded market for soccer," NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson "has to try to highlight the good and gloss over the bad about his league, and sometimes, this means that he sounds more like a marketing executive than a commissioner," according to Jon Marthaler of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. His "lack of pessimism was especially evident on the expansion front, where a bit of gloom might have been expected." Though the league "added teams in Indy and Ottawa for 2014, and Jacksonville has hit the ground running and is on course for 2015, the presumptive franchises in Oklahoma City and Virginia have run into problems." The Oklahoma City ownership group "half-disappeared overnight, for one, and the latter was scheduled to begin play this season, but pulled out so late in the off-season that the league had to sheepishly change its already-announced schedule." The "big surprise was that the commissioner seemed positive about Oklahoma City," despite that fact that both the NASL and USL Pro "announced Oklahoma City franchises at virtually the same time." Peterson also "spoke about the league’s broadcast problems." The NASL announced a subscription service for '14, but "had to back off and offer the spring season for free, after transmission problems blacked out two games in one single week." Peterson: "We spent a lot of time in the offseason upgrading these broadcasts and broadcast teams and spending a lot of time working on these streams, so when it doesn’t work and nobody can explain why, you’ll find me frustrated" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/9).