MLS' Don Garber Talks Boosting Big-Market Clubs, Fire Move
This Sunday marks MLS Commissioner Don Garber's 20th anniversary at the helm of the league, which was a "sputtering 12-team operation" when he replaced Doug Logan in '99, according to Doug McIntyre of YAHOO SPORTS. MLS has "ballooned to 27 clubs during Garber's tenure, including the three expansion teams set to kick off" in '21. Three more teams are "scheduled to arrive soon after that." Some teams in larger markets have struggled at times, and Garber said each market has its "own unique situation, from stadium challenges to branding issues to other things that put those clubs under pressure." He said, "We're focused on working with each of them to try to improve their business metrics. In every one of those markets I believe in the ownership group. It's not unique to us to have challenging teams in our league. We're going to hunker down and make sure we address each of those individually." Garber also said he is "thrilled that the Fire have reached an agreement with the city of Bridgeview to move." He said while a stadium in the suburbs was the "right thing" in '06, it "really isn't right for the MLS team in Chicago today." Meanwhile, Garber said NYCFC is "focused on a specific project" with their stadium search. Garber: "There's really not much detail I can add but I'm encouraged that will lead to a different situation" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/30).