Major League Soccer reportedly reaches agreement to play at ESPN Wide World of Sports

Jun 03, 2020 in "ESPN Wide World of Sports"

Posted: Wednesday June 3, 2020 12:36pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

According to the Washington Post, Major League Soccer has reached an agreement to play in a tournament at Walt Disney World's ESPN Wide World of Sports this summer.

Reportedly, 26 teams will meet at Walt Disney World in late June to begin the tournament, with a final taking place in August. Details of the event have not yet been officially scheduled or released.

As with the NBA deal currently under discussion, MLS players will stay in a Disney resort hotel to maintain the "bubble" and spectators will not be allowed at the games.

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MisterPenguinAug 17, 2020

Now that they've left the bubble...

21stampsAug 13, 2020

We don’t have that problem in Cincinnati. Our new stadium isn’t even completed and already majority sold out. It’s a good and bad thing.. I didn’t choose my season tickets for next year fast enough, and then got stuck with seat options that I didn’t want. I’m hoping to just buy individual games from season ticket holders who either can’t make a game, or bought extra tickets to make a profit, as long as it’s a reasonable one. 🤣 It’s going to be something amazing 🔸🔹

_calebAug 13, 2020

As with the Disney parks, they only make money if fans turn out. Guess we’ll find out soon enough!

21stampsAug 12, 2020

I loved it, but looking forward for the games to go back to the team stadiums. Their local areas benefit from the revenue of match days.

21stampsAug 12, 2020

Oddly enough, the games (or at least most) weren’t on ESPN+ I think that hurt too. The timing was perfect with the Champions League... my only complaint is the odd schedules and channels, especially the night time games, though I understand some of the game times.. overall I loved it!

DCBakerAug 12, 2020

_calebAug 12, 2020

Go TIMBERS! I loved the MLSisBack Tournament and really appreciated the bubble tournament approach. I’m glad Disney was able to host the event, and I hope there are more partnerships in the future!

DCBakerAug 12, 2020

_calebAug 09, 2020

There are lots of reasons for the steady viewership (rather than the hoped-for boost). I think one of them was having some games on ESPN, others on FS1, and others on TUDN and/or Twitter. It was hard to find the games. Also, the morning game times weren’t the best. Why not keep tinkering with the bubble format rather than abandoning it for what we know is a more risky approach? A full season, played in rounds, with each round in a bubble (anywhere that can host, increasing regional ad revenues). Host them all on one network, but with commentators from each market calling the game.

gerararAug 09, 2020

The tournament as a whole was not really successful. The amount of viewers remained the same as normal MLS games pre-Covid. It didn’t boost the league’s viewership or ratings as it was first imagined and pitched when MLS would be the first major American Sports League to resume. The bubble format IS successful, and the proof is with the NBA and MLS tourney. If there’s strict protocols and precautions in place, it can be done. It’s just a shame that it didn’t generate the viewers and $ the league was expecting and too costly in the end. Us fans love the format of this tourney and hope it would become an annual thing — with location tbd of course.

_calebAug 09, 2020

Yeah, I didn’t mean to paint the bubble tournament approach as an ideal scenario. It’s surely been difficult for the players and their families. I’d be interested to see how costs compared between bubble and local markets. I know these teams’ primary revenue stream is ticket sales, but surely there is a lesson to learn from MLB.

Ben_since_1971Aug 09, 2020

I am sure they would love to, but it would cost money they just don’t have. A lot cheaper to have players staying in their own homes. Also add in the additional time away from family for the duration of a regular season as is being talked about. At least with NBA and NHL, you want to stay as long as possible. With MLS, what incentive do teams at the bottom of the table have to compete when they know they are playing out the string in the bubble? At least in local markets those players can go home.

_calebAug 09, 2020

It’s a shame, really. MLS proved that the bubble tournament format can work really well. Why not stick with this approach? They could adapt and adjust a bit—maybe have regional commentators calling the “home” games, a better approach to virtual fans, and move the bubble to a different location? It just seems strange that they’d go the route of MLB—we see how that’s working out so far.

MisterPenguinAug 09, 2020