NEW YORK – MLS commissioner Don Garber hears the repeated calls for his league to move its schedule in line with the rest of the world. He just isn’t ready to heed them yet.
The prospect of moving to a so-called winter schedule remains a topic for debate in executive circles around the league. It is a complex transition poised to alter how the league functions and where it generates the revenue required to bolster its bottom line. The corresponding financial considerations play a large role in the process as MLS plots its future and wonders whether it can increase its standing by altering its calendar.
“As a league, we have in the past looked – and we will continue to look – at a potential calendar shift,” Garber said during his State of the League speech on Tuesday. “We went through a fairly comprehensive process this year to see whether we could manage a schedule change.”
Garber subsequently sketched out the working concept as it stands now. The season would start in mid-to-late February and run through the end of May before taking a break in June in accordance with the end of the European season. The second portion of the schedule would start in mid-to-late July and run through mid-December.