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2010 MLS Cup to be played at neutral site

After first toying with the idea of having the highest remaining seed play host to the MLS Cup Final, Major League Soccer has decided to hold off on such a change and will keep the 2010 MLS Cup Final at a neutral site.

The league has yet to announce where the 2010 MLS Cup will be played, but the New York Red Bulls' new stadium in Harrison, New Jersey has to be considered a leading candidate. Philadelphia is also opening a new stadium, but may not have the seating capacity necessary to host the final.

What do you think of this news? Hoping MLS eventually gives the higher seed home-field in the MLS Cup, or are you happy with the neutral-site format?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I am honestly done watching the MLS until they actually get promo/releg. in the league. It is not exciting to see your team win the supporters shield and then get knocked out of the playoffs. That is not the main reason though they main reason is MLS is a crap league, and the only way it will ever get better is to let the clubs own the players not the league. No player worth a crap will ever come to this league knowing this. So we will never get to the level of the EPL or even the FMF

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  2. Playoffs are best way to do it. Way more exciting and….

    It is great that Columbus had great regular season, but they lost to Salt Lake 3 out of 4 times they played them.

    They are best team ? How ?

    Salt Lake had the most wins in 2009 ( including the playoffs ) they are worthy.

    Plus their easier schedule wasn’t fair to teams in the West who lost by 2 points ( my Sounders for example ).

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  3. Realistically there is no way we can model ourselves to look like England, a far trip there is the equivalent of DC to NY. Even with a deal its still a pain in the ass to just get from say DC to NE on a week notice. You are not going to see that much of an increase in fans who go with their team in the same manner as an English team.

    I favor the neutral site idea, i think its a nice chance for the fans to visit a different stadium and a different city. Plus the thought of going to places like Colorado, Salt Lake, Chicago, Kansas City and Columbus in November doesn’t sound appealing 😉

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  4. If it’s a one-off game like the FA Cup or Super Bowl, neutral site (although sometimes, by happenstance, it’s a home game like in 1997, 2002). I believe MLS wants to pack the punch into one game and not have a home-and-away format (like NHL, MLB playoffs).

    And as for the other comments, I think American fans don’t really accept the ‘regular season champion’ concept. Just ask the Patriots fans who saw their perfect team lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl. We in this country conflate a cup competition with the championship, so that it’s all or nothing–thus some years rather average teams are ‘champions.’

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  5. It sounds like those that want a neutral site based on last years game in Seattle largely didn’t attend the game and were merely impressed with the attendance they saw on TV. Im a Sounders fan and attended the game and for me, the atmosphere was lame. Only a small portion of the crowd was really cheering at any point – the galaxy and rsl sections – while the rest of the stadium watched passively or socialized throughout. The 22000 season ticket holders got this ticket with their package and so they had little reason not to go. But I would probably not go if Seattle was a neutral site and the Sounders weren’t in the final and I had to buy that ticket.

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  6. I like a neutral site because: 1) Shows MLS can pack a venue w/ only MLS teams playing and w/o the home team playing, and 2) Most closely resembles a WC Final (obviously, except when the host is in the final).

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  7. I was going to post, this only makes sense if they have it in Seattle every year, but you bring up a good point.

    Did you see where Seattle played Houston in the playoffs ?

    Can you imagine the most important game of the year played there ?

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  8. Well that is not correct, the playoff contenders are chosen from the regular season.

    Plus the regular season champ is a joke, unbalanced schedules with one team winning by two points…how is that fair ?

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  9. They will stay with the neutral sites for MLS games until every team has a SSS. MLS would also like to showcase the current SSSs at every opportunity.

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  10. why don’t they do home-n-home for the conference finals and MLS CUP…i mean imagine home much revenue would actually get to the teams that got to those games…and isn’t that the name of the game.

    Plus, the sheer fact that you can attend a high profile game on your home turf.

    Mexico does it and show should we.

    but NE should never be in the playoffs if they continue to get only 5k in attendance

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  11. Depends if they want to make more money. As a VA resident, I can’t afford to head to LA for the final if it was held there. And I think the vast majority of DC fans are in the same boat. Same if LA were in the final and it was held at RFK. If it were held at one of the teams’ home stadium, they would expect to sell more tickets than a neutral venue because let’s be honest, most stadiums are not going to sell as well if the team isn’t playing there.

    I think it should go to the higher ranked team during the regular season. It would make the rankings matter more during the season.

    To be honest, I think MLS should start working on partnerships with an airline and hotel chain. Sir Alex Ferguson once said US soccer wouldn’t work properly because away fans wouldn’t be able to travel with their team.

    If MLS managed to package away tickets with discounted airline tickets and hotel rooms, traveling fans would have an easier time seeing their team play. In that case a neutral venue wouldn’t be such a hindrance to fans. Traveling away with fellow fans helps build loyalty and would better atmospheres for matches.

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  12. As a Sounders fan who attended this year’s MLS Cup, I have to disagree with your assessment of the game. It wasn’t that cold—I didn’t even put on a jacket until the second half. Second, perhaps you were in an unrepresentative section, but the fans I was around (and I moved around a bit) were neither indifferent nor “infatuated” with Beckham. (None of this is to suggest I support the neutral site Cup.)

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  13. Not just the city, but the league. Bud Selig has stated that MLB prefers the All-Star-winner-has-homefield-in-the-World-Series format because it immediately cuts the number of possible home fields in half. The leagues have to plan things out such as hotels, transport, etc., and having a set site beforehand lets them plan ahead (and in some cases can likely get them a better price compared to showing up a week beforehand trying to get everything in order).

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  14. No question that the championship game should be moved away from the neutral-site format. On the other hand, I understand why MLS might continue the format as a bit of sweetener for new stadiums and/or new teams…for a few more years. NY, Vancouver, Portland, Houston, maybe DC (or Baltimore), and finally San Jose…and whatever other cities are added. However, by 2018, the league has got to move away from this format and get partisan crowds excited about the game.

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  15. Agree. As we look to increase to realistically increase the meaning of the regular season (as promotion/relegation remain a pipe dream), this seems like the best option. Add in the atmosphere from a home side hosting the final–it will be a great advertisement for the league.

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  16. Red Bull Arena must hold the Cup this season. Brand new stadium, I don’t see why not. My only concern on a neutral site is when will it be decided?

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  17. Philly can still be an option if they use the Linc. I think that the Union owners will regret their decision to not have more capacity.

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  18. Well when the Galaxy and DC played there it looked pretty full and when the Revs and LA played in 02 I believe it was the best attended final and still is I think!

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  19. I prefer to keep the neutral site for the final. If MLS wants to play in stadiums of finalists, then make it a two leg final – home and away…

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  20. Higher seed would make the end of the season more meaningful. Unless of course they bounce up the Supporter Shield and give it more meaning.

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  21. Ives,
    (this is related to Stuart Holden)

    Rumor is that Owen Coyle (Burnley manager) is heading to fill the Bolton vacancy. Does this in effect possibly change Holden’s thoughts or motives heading to a club that may be experiencing a change of management? Or could it help the possible move to Burnley, in that Holden has a fair shake at getting into the XI with a new manager coming in, one who will probably reorganize a team with a dreadful away record.

    I know it’s all speculation, but I think Holden is an important part of the USMNT, and this is an important step in his career.

    Anyone who has any insight into this unique circumstance, please discuss 🙂

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  22. I was under the impression that the league told Toronto they would host the all star game and the final within X number of years.

    Do you know if this is the case?

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  23. Exactly. The neutral site allows tickets to be sold months in advance, promotional events to be done, making the whole thing a spectacle. If it’s good enough for the Super Bowl, it’s certainly good enough for MLS Cup. As a FCD fan, I would be embarrassed if we ever made a final and had to host it with a week to sell the place out. But when they held it two years in a row, with a whole season to sell it, the stadium was packed and it was an awesome experience.

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  24. I like the assumption that RBNY stadium is going to be “neutral” – as in “the league doesn’t believe the Red Bulls will make the final, so we’ll use their stadium” 🙂

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  25. I laugh. Seattle is full of Beckham fans now. I like the MLS Cup at a neutral site because that city has a seasons worth of time to sufficiently promo the the match. Imagine if the game was in Columbus last year? Both LA and RSL would be playing to a half empty stadium.

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  26. I vote for the neutral site. The only one I have been to was the first one hosted at Pizza Hut park. It was well attended and the weather was chilly but not bad.Today if you set up a game a week in advance with FC Dallas as the home team I am not sure you would get 15000 people. When FC Dallas hosted that game it was a sell out or close to it. I believe that is because at neutral sites the two qualifying teams get a chance at tickets but it gives others who want to plan a trip to do so even if their teams are not playing in it.

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  27. I love having it at a neutral site every year. A one off event should be in a special location just like the Super Bowl. Sure MLS is no where near the NFL, but the Super Bowl is mostly corporate anyway. MLS fans can travel…kudos to RSL fans last year. Seattle was a great host City and showed that a neutral site can be great in the right situation.

    MLS will prob select NJ with offices in NYC it will probably make it cheaper for them.

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  28. Red Bull Arena has filed thawing technology, it has the ability to maintain it’s field in tough conditios in great shape, just look at the webcam right now! There’s still a bit of snow or a light layer of ice on the pitch and the grass is still green as it can be!

    Red Bull Arena would be an amazing site! I’m a bit upset that the Philly stadium is only 18,500 capacity, but it could be a potential great venue for the final if they get an extra 4K seats in there somehow? With the waterfront on the back drop it’s going to be amazing!

    I think eventually they should go to a final where the highest seeding get the home fixture, imagine if Real Salt Lake played the Galaxy at HDC? While they were 1 of only 3 teams to beat them at home, the Salt Lake crew was horrible on the road! But for now lets keep using the latest and greatest MLS stadiums around!

    I think the Salt Lake City and Colorado stadiums, Rio Tinto Stadium & Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, should be used eventually. After that maybe Toronto or NY again?

    By then KC will have their own place maybe DC or Houston will be on their way to get their own stadium too, so for now I say keep the neutral site!

    Just don’t go holding it at RFK or Crew Stadium, unless for some reason they think Columbus will sell out the game? New England has always had amazing draws but seems like they should stay away for now till the new stadiums get their crack at hosting the event

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  29. I thought the weather for the game was nice.. if you thought that was bad, you don’t want to go to anywere that weatherman said

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  30. Stay with the neutral site, the MLS Cup should be played as a tournament outside of the MLS Season and not as a playoff to win the MLS Season. Two different competitions; MLS Season champion, and MLS Cup champion.

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  31. Personally, having recently gone to Seattle for the MLS Cup, I think it should be at the top seed. Two problems with a neutral site like Seattle. If your going to have it at a neutral site make sure its warm, I froze my ass off in Seattle, and it made it less pleasant. Second, the Seattle fans were indifferent except for their infatuation with Beckham. At least go where the teams fans are, and just block off a good portion of the stadium for the visiting team.

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  32. i really think they went about this backwards.. should have started at home sites and once the mls got more popular go to a neutral site. Right now i still think a home site would be better for the tv coverage. As someone who went to the mls cup in seattle everyone in my section didn’t care about the game much.. we just decided we would boo certain people and cheer others..

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  33. i personally want to do away with the neutral site format. Give the season more meaning so that a first seed doesnt just earn a supporters shield but a greater chance of winning the MLS Cup

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  34. I think the game should be hosted by the top seed. Still, I think they’ve drawn fairly well at the last few finals so the neutral location doesn’t seem to be much of a drawback.

    But, if Red Bull Arena can host, why not Toyota Park? My understanding is that it was a climate issue.

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