Will the MLS Become More Popular Than MLB By 2030?

That’s the goal.  

It is the year 2030 and Miami is playing Los Angeles in a Major League Soccer contest and the game will draw more interest than a Miami-Los Angeles Major League Baseball matchup. It seems farfetched that the MLS will be more popular than Major League Baseball in 10 years but Los Angeles FC owner Larry Berg is convinced that will happen. However, not to rain on Berg’s parade, Major League Soccer still does not have a robust economic plan if the league’s commissioner is to be believed. Don Garber isn’t even sure what his owners want to do but Garber seems to think the MLS might be better off just being a development league. “Most teams are operating at a loss,” he said. “I need to convince our owners to make investments in the future of the league that will force them to operate at a loss. This is a labor of love. They are willing to run their businesses at a loss. They ultimately want to make a profit.” In 2019, Garber said the league had to change its business model. “We all need to get used to the fact that in the world of global soccer, players get sold. We have been buying for so long and as we’ve gone through the analysis, it’s hard to justify that investment and the investment that we have to make in player development. We’ve got to have something that turns this model around, or else it’s going to be unsustainable.”

Major League Soccer does have better age demographics than Major League Baseball which skews old. According to Nielsen Research in 2019, 47 percent of American adults surveyed claim they have interest in soccer. Soccer scores well according to Nielsen in the 16 to 24-year-old demographic and with adults between 25 and 34. But there is the question about the league’s direction.