has conducted a very comprehensive and worth-reading interview with Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber.
Garber addresses questions about reasons for optimism about MLS (the league's expansion and the building of soccer-friendly stadiums, both of which include Portland
) and reasons for concern (declining attendance
league-wide this year — a drop experienced by other pro sports leagues — and the approach of labor negotiations with the players).
Asked about the league's short-term future, Garber tells the magazine
, "I think it is impossible to tell."
Some factoids of note from the piece:
—Since the last collective bargaining agreement with players in 2004, MLS has received more than $200 million in expansion money and about $17 million from TV deals each season.
—About one-third of the fans attending MLS games are Hispanic.
_While Chicago, Colorado and Dallas built stadiums in the suburbs in part to tap the youth soccer market, downtown stadiums like the one planned for Portland are proving successful in Toronto and Seattle. "Our fan base is kind of changing," Garber tells the magazine.