<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-P36XLWQ" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

MLS forecasting another ‘US$1bn’ loss in 2021

North American soccer league suffered similar hit last year.

11 February 2021 Ed Dixon

Getty Images

  • Commissioner Don Garber says MLS “must think about new ways” to approach business
  • New season confirmed to start on 17th April

Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer (MLS), has warned that the North American men’s soccer league is expected to lose “pretty close” to US$1 billion in 2021.

Garber had already admitted in December that the impact of Covid-19 on the league was greater than expected, confirming MLS and its teams had suffered a revenue hit close to US$1 billion compared to 2019.

Now, with the bulk of fans still unable to attend games, the pandemic will continue to have a huge effect on the league’s income for at least another season.

“We are forecasted to lose pretty close to US$1 billion, if not US$1 billion, that we have been talking about,” Garber told reporters. “When you don’t have fans for the majority of your season, it’s just pure math.

“So that being said, our owners have been very, very focused over a long period of time to build a league. But their resources are not unlimited. We’ve got to drive revenue. We’ve got to think about new ways to approach our business.”

Garber also discussed MLS’s new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which was ratified by the league and the MLS Players Association (MLSPA) on 8th February and will run until 2027.

Initially, the proposal included the 2021 season kicking off on 3rd April, but it will now start on 17th April. The full regular season schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.

Garber also discussed the continued travel restrictions between the US and Canada, and the impact they will have on MLS’s three Canadian teams. Last season, the Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps had to be based out of the US.

“Right now, our focus is trying to get an understanding as to when our [Canadian] teams can play in their home markets,” Garber said. “And in the event that they’re not able to, as our season is in front of us, having them have homes in the United States, where they’ll be able to do sort of like they did at the end of last year, to be able to play their own matches.”

Garber added that a decision on where Canadian clubs will be able to play for the upcoming campaign is “really close”.

1 / 2news articles read

Enjoying SportsPro content? Create your account and get enhanced access to all the latest stories.


Already have an account?