Global Business of Soccer Recap


Here’s a look at some of the top stories from last week in the global soccer industry…


Rending of proposed Orlando City SC stadium released by Woods Bagot.

Orlando City SC Fans get Opportunity to Help Design New Stadium (Business of Soccer)

As a devout soccer fan, your club’s home grounds can feel like a second home. A home stadium is much more than just a pitch with a few white chalk lines and some chairs around it. It can sometimes be more important than even the players in certain instances. Players often come and go, and their longevity at any one club is often unpredictable. But the grounds are always constant – at least, as long as they hold up and continue to meet modern standards, etc. Some of the world’s biggest clubs’ home grounds are just as famous as the team itself: Anfield, Old Trafford, Camp Nou, Bernabeu, Ellen Road, St. James Park, and the list goes on. If you told fans that call these soccer coliseums home that they could have had a chance at helping design the stadium when it was built, what do you think they would say? Orlando City SC is about to find out.

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Atlanta-MLS-2017Atlanta Sports Market Prime for MLS Expansion (Business of Soccer)

Major League Soccer (MLS) made their fourth expansion announcement in the past year on Wednesday when they awarded the city of Atlanta an MLS franchise. Atlanta Falcons owner and co-founder of The Home Depot, Arthur Blank, will become the third owner in MLS to own both an MLS franchise and an NFL franchise. Blank reportedly will pay a franchise fee between $70 million and $100 million for the newest MLS franchise.

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Topps 2014 CardsTopps Breaks the Mold with Release of 2014 MLS Trading Cards (Business of Soccer)

Topps, the creator of the classic Major League Baseball trading cards, released their 2014 (Major League Soccer) MLS trading card set at the end of March to coincide with the opening weeks of the 2014 season. The set contains a total of 200 cards, split between the league’s 19 teams. Any fan that closely follows MLS will be impressed with the detail that Topps has put into its newest product.

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UEFA LogoUEFA Says Soccer Must Work to Prevent ‘Financial Insanity’ (Bloomberg)

European soccer’s ruling body said its plans to curb overspending by clubs are already having a positive impact, although more needs to be done to protect the sport from “financial insanity.” UEFA has said it will probably announce sanctions at the beginning of May against clubs found to have breached its Financial Fair Play spending guidelines. The rules prohibit clubs in the Champions League and Europa League racking up an accumulated loss of more than 45 million euros ($62 million) over the previous two seasons. Penalties could range from fines to exclusion from competitions.

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20130305_minnesota-united_33Vikings, Twins Owners Increasing Efforts To Land Expansion MLS Club (Sports Business Daily)

MLS later today is expected to officially announce Atlanta as the home for an expansion team , and Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley yesterday said that the team and its ownership are “working to secure” an expansion franchise to play in the new Vikings stadium.

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BOS_FIFACandidate: FIFA Must Close Inequality Gap (Soccer America)

FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne believes soccer’s world governing body should do more to tackle inequality in the game. Champagne, a former FIFA executive who could face current president, Sepp Blatter, as well as UEFA president Michel Platini in the May 2015 election, believes that a lack of a level playing field is damaging the sport.

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MiamiBeckhamShipping alliance opposes Beckham’s Miami arena plan (Reuters)

An alliance of shipping interests and a billionaire car dealer launched a newspaper ad on Monday protesting retired English soccer star David Beckham’s plans for a soccer arena at the port of Miami, saying it threatens the city’s plans to capitalize on the expansion of the Panama Canal.

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fifaworldcuptrophyBrazil struggles with its World Cup preparations (Yahoo!)

Although expectations are high for Brazil’s football team at the World Cup, it’s already clear the country didn’t do a very good job preparing for the tournament. With only two months before the opener, there are serious concerns about the country’s readiness. Doubts remain about whether stadiums will be finished in time, and it’s highly unlikely all promised infrastructure work will be completed.

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ESPNESPN Expecting Higher Ad Sales For ’14 FIFA World Cup Compared To ’10 Edition (Sports Business Daily)

ESPN President of Global Customer Marketing & Sales Ed Erhardt said that the net “is seeing significantly higher ad sales” for the ’14 FIFA World Cup in Brazil compared to South Africa in ’10, according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. Erhardt added, “Demand is strong.

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Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber speaks on ESPN at halftime during the All-Star Game. Photo courtesy of Major League Soccer.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber Undergoes Prostate Cancer Treatment (Bloomberg)

Don Garber said he’ll continue as Major League Soccer commissioner while receiving treatment in two New York hospitals for prostate cancer. Garber, 56, is expected by his doctors to make a full recovery after tests showed that the disease hasn’t spread, MLS said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Garber will have surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital after being treated at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital, MLS said.

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GulatiGulati Pushes Back On Report Indicating ’16 Copa America In U.S. Is Done Deal (Sports Business Daily)

U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati on Friday morning addressed a report indicating the U.S. will host the ’16 Copa America soccer tournament, writing on his Twitter feed, “CopaAmerica 2016 in U.S.? Interesting idea but nothing agreed to by @ussoccer yet” (, 4/11 )….

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Honda-Indy-Eleven-640x361-640x360Indy Eleven settles for draw before sellout crowd (Soccer America)

Expansion Indy Eleven drew a sellout crowd of 11,048 for its first game at Carroll Stadium, but it had to settle for a 1-1 tie with the Carolina RailHawks. Mike Ambersley, an Indiana University product, tallied the first Indy goal in club history in the 43rd minute, but Zack Schilawski evened the score for the RailHawks seven minutes after the break.

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Reporting on the business side of the world's game.