Reading this article is interesting. While it does point to the successes of the MLS, and I agree they are having success, it points out the dangers as well:
[i]“The problem for MLS lies with the nature of the American sports fan,? said Mark Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd., a Chicago-based firm that specializes in sports economics. “American fans want to see the very best in that sport.
“They get that in all the major sports, even if it takes players from other countries being brought over to play here. That is not the case in soccer and may never be. Having such widespread television access to other soccer leagues where the standard is higher makes it hard for MLS to really kick on.?
In the meantime, MLS fights its battles like any other sporting enterprise in a difficult economy. While small markets such as Columbus, Toronto and Seattle are flourishing, explosive growth in the bigger cities is hard to come by. Imaginative marketing campaigns have become the norm this season as competition for the public’s dwindling entertainment dollars heats up.
So MLS continues to push and prod and nudge the public towards greater consciousness of what it is all about. While greater acceptance may be within sight, the ultimate goal remains elusive. Will it take five or 10 or 15 years to get MLS established at the point it craves? Will it happen at all?
“That is the billion dollar question,? Ganis said. “Things are getting better all the time, but are the improvements significant enough to propel that big leap needed to bridge the gap? I think in 10 years the U.S. will have a better league, but not the best. And ultimately, that is what the people want.?[/i]
That is what is unique about the CFL playing for the Grey Cup, it was never mean't to have to be "major" ie. the best in the first place, the Grey Cup is there to establish the Canadian champion of Canadian football. Which is why we continue to keep the Canadian mandated content and why it still works this way and should continue to work this way for decades to come as we continue to harp to people what the Grey Cup is all about who don't understand it. I also think this is why a lot of people are very jealous that football in this country has such a historic Cup like this and has been able to develop a league like the Grey Cup that doesn't really need to be exactly like the most premier pro league, the NFL, to have people get it and what it's about. Another reason the MLS is looking to Canada as they might be trying to spring-board from the CFL mindset here while at the same time being jealous and wanting or preferring it to go down the drain.
I've said it once and said it again, like this article mentions, the MLS might eventually have to be much more major than what it is now to last or else the public, especially American public that sees "major" as the best or highest league, won't buy in.