Even with covid-19 vaccine the MLS won’t open its doors next season
According to the Major League Soccer commissioner, Don Garber, even when a vaccine is available, clubs should continue to play behind closed doors.
On Tuesday, Major League Soccer commissioner, Don Garber, addressed the media via Zoom to talk about the uncertainties for the next season amid the coronavirus pandemic. To start with, Garber said that due to the pandemic and the games being played behind closed doors, the MLS lost nearly $1 billion in revenue.
Not all bad news
Even with the $1 billion loss in revenue, Don Garber said that the 25th anniversary season was not entirely unsuccessful. The league was able to complete a bubbled tournament and the remainder of the 2020 season, with the final set to be played on 12 December between Seattle Sounders and Columbus Crew.
Also, there were two new teams that entered the league this season, Inter Miami and Nashville SC. And more importantly, the black players led a league-wide social justice movement, where players could protest peacefully before, during and after each game.
MLS is planning to start the 2021 season in mid-March to allow teams a full off-season break. Another key subject was if the vaccine is ready, could teams start allowing the fans back in the stadiums because a bulk of their revenue consists of ticket sales.
“The challenge is that nobody has that magic date,” Garber said. “We can’t wait for an understanding on the impact of the vaccine. We have to set a schedule prior to that. We’re also not going to know what reaction fans have to returning to the stadium. So just the idea that the vaccine is available does not give us an indication as to when fans will be returning to stadiums," Garber said.