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Overview of Major League Soccer (MLS)

            S) is a professional soccer league organization that operates under a single-entity structure in which teams and player contracts are centrally owned by the league. It consists of 20 franchises, 13 of them playing in homes of their own. Each team has an investor-operator that is a shareholder in the league. In order to control costs, M.L.S shares all revenue and controls player's position in each team. M.L.S all started when the United States Soccer Federation promised to generate a Division I professional soccer league in exchange for the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) awarding the right to host the 1944 World Cup in the United States (Dure, 2010). The decision was granted by FIFA and the history of MLS started after the World Cup was played in the United States. .
             According to Sandomir ( 2015), on March 15, 1995, M.L.S announced its first television rights deal with ESPN and ABC Sports. This deal gave M.L.S no rights fees but it did split advertising revenue between the league and networks. At the start,it was only a 10 team organization with zero soccer-specific stadiums. In order to manage all the teams, they were split up into Eastern and Western Conferences. Eastern teams were Columbus Crew, DC United, New England Revolution, NY/NJ Metrostars, and Tampa Bay Mutiny. Western teams were Colorado Rapids, Dallas Burn, Kansas City Wizards, LA Galaxy, and San Jose Clash. The first expansion of the league came in 1998, rising from ten teams to twelve (Dure, 2010). The two new teams were the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion. In order for Miami Fusion to join M.L.S, the owner of the team, Ken Horowitz, paid a $20 million expansion fee. .
             After the league's first season, M.L.S suffered from a downturn in attendance. The league's decline in attendance could not go unseen because eight of the ten teams played in large American football stadiums. All the people in these stadiums would get angry at the fact that the teams did not show up.

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