Wednesday, March 12, 2008

MLS Expansion Map and Facts

It was actually kind of fun making the MLS roster maps, so I figured I'd continue with my merry map making. Although it looks kind of like a CDC disease outbreak map, it's actually a map of the most talked about potential MLS expansion cities and their proximity to current (and soon to be current) MLS teams.

Red Dots = Possible Expansion Cities
Grey Dots = Current MLS Cities

Click to Enlarge

Here are a few facts about the various expansion candidates.

I've listed the 'Metro' populations

St Louis
TV Market: 21
Population: 2,801,033
Nearest Team: KC Wizards, 250 miles, 4 hour drive

New York Second Team
TV Market: 1
Population: 18,818,536
Nearest Team: NYRB, 30 miles, 1 hour drive

TV Market: 9
Population: 5,138,233
Nearest Team: DC United, 638 miles, 10 hour drive

TV Market: 13
Population: 4,039,182
Nearest Team: LA Galaxy and Chivas USA, 380 miles, 7 hour drive

TV Market: 16
Population: 5,463,857
Nearest Team: DC United, 1,054 miles, 16 hour drive

TV Market: 23
Population: 2,337,565
Nearest Team: Seattle, 174 miles, 3 hour drive

San Diego
TV Market: 27
Population: 2,941,454
Nearest Team: LA Galaxy and Chivas USA, 112 miles, 2 hour drive

TV Market: 3 in Canada
Population: 2,249,725
Nearest Team: Seattle, 141 miles, 2 1/2 hour drive

TV Market: 2 in Canada
Population: 3,635,571
Nearest Team: Toronto FC, 348 miles, 6 hour drive

Las Vegas
TV Market: 43
Population: 1,777,539
Nearest Team: LA Galaxy and Chivas USA, 282 miles, 5 hour drive

TV Market: 11
Population: 5,410,014
Nearest Team: Columbus Crew, 200 miles, 2 1/2 hour drive

I realise Detroit hasn't really been in the mix, but with their history as a solid sports town with a large metro population and their driving proximity to Chicago, Toronto, and Columbus, I believe that, at least hypothetically, they should be a solid contender. In the end it all comes down to who has the money and the support though.

I seems that St Louis is very close to being next in line, which I believe is a good choice with the soccer traditions in that area and their proximity to Chicago and KC. Who do you think should be next in line? How many teams should the league expand to?


  1. Just found this through Facebook.

    Why Phoenix doesn't have a team or is never mentioned is bewildering. With its proximity to Mexico and a thriving sports community, MLS would be well supported there.

    I think a 20 team league would eventually be a good goal for MLS. I think they would be good to put a team in Vegas and Portland to help balance it out west, rather than put a bunch of teams in California.

  2. I think the biggest hurdle for Phoenix and Las Vegas (besides securing stadium sites and investors) is the summer weather. Both of those locations would likely have to use an indoor stadium that would cost more than an average SSS.

    Now that Seattle has a team, I think MLS needs to seriously consider Vancouver and/or Portland to round out the west coast.

  3. I think Miami should have a team. There are no other teams on the south east. With Miamis huge Latin population, i think a soccer team would be huge. The team owners have connections to FC Barcelona, which personally, would make me a fan right of the bat.

  4. I just don't see soccer succeeding in the southeast

    Vancouver, Portland, St. Louis, Montreal, possibly Ottawa (who is actually fielding a stadium bid) or phoenix (which should have a bid)

    4, 5 team divisions

  5. Atlanta is clearly the best choice for an expansion team

  6. Miami and Atlanta are to really good loctions for an MLS team. Georgia, Atlanta can easily build or use the falcons staduim for their home games. with Atlanta Having the COCACOlA WORLD HEAD Quaters being located right in the city, COCACOLA can be one of the sponsers for there team. For Miami, they can easily orgainize a team, beacause Miami has many soccer centers and could be a really big success to have a team Representing them. So over all I think it would be a great idea to expaind the MLS to this cities some time in the near future. There will be very very many fans I am guessing