Monday, August 31, 2015

Union schedule coming next week?

That's what the Union's media relations staff told me.

Union schedule coming next week?

0 comments

We know that the Union's first game of the 2011 season will be March 19 at Houston.

We know that the club's first home game will be a week later, on March 26, against Vancouver.

But we don't know when the other fixtures in the 34-game schedule will be announced.

It was exactly one year ago today that MLS released its fixture list for the 2010 season. At the time, there were two reasons for there being so many delays: a labor dispute between MLS and its players union, and uncertainty over when PPL Park would open.

More coverage
 
Follow the Union: Download FREE Philly Sports Now app!
 
More soccer coverage from The Goalkeeper
 
USA 2015 Women's World Cup Champs Gear & Collectibles
 
2015 Philadelphia Union schedule
 
Major League Soccer national TV schedule

This year, the reasons are not so clear. The only concrete reason I can think of is that the Vancouver Whitecaps haven't figured out when they will start playing in B.C. Place, their main stadium. The former former Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony venue is being converted from an indoor dome to an outdoor facility.

Until the construction is done, the Whitecaps (and B.C. Lions of the CFL) will be playing at Empire Field, a specially-built temporary facility.

There is a less concrete reason for the delay, and it's one that has soccer fans across North America just a bit miffed. Major League Soccer is reportedly trying to re-negotiate its television contract with Fox Soccer Channel in order to get a bigger right fee.

There have been rumors swirling in recent months that the league may be leaving FSC forVersus, but I've never seen hard proof that a deal might actually be done with the Philadelphia-based cable network.

If that's what's causing the hangup, I would like to think that it wouldn't trouble MLS too much to at least release dates for games and not times. Fans want to plan their summer weekends, especially when road trips are involved, and the clubs need time to sell ticket packages.

This morning, I wondered aloud on Twitter about when the schedule would be published. Somewhat to my surprise, Judah Levine of the Union's media relations staff responded that the club is "now hearing next week" for a release date.

I asked a spokesperson at MLS headquarters for a statement, and was not given any comment.

As I said a moment ago, getting the schedule out there it is not just in the fans' interest. It is in the clubs' interest too.

Last year, the schedule was released on February 3 for a First Kick on March 25. This year, the first game of the season is March 15. So there's even less of a turnaround.

Here's hoping all the necessary deals get done as soon as possible. I understand why there have been so many delays, but the process really has taken too long.

Philly.com
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
Lauren Green Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter