Soccer has never been more popular in North America. Soccer-specific stadiums, low salary caps (2.1 million), merchandising, tv rights deals with ESPN, ABC and overseas broadcasters, and advertising rights for stadiums and jerseys have finally enabled several teams in the league to break even or become profitable.
 
With an aggressive expansion campaign similar to the NHL in the late 60s/early 70s and late 90s, Major League Soccer will have 19 teams by 2012...with no plans on stopping. Once MLS establishes a larger footprint in the United States with expansion into key cities like Detroit, Atlanta, St. Louis, Phoenix, 2nd New York team, and Minneapolis with the possibility of a few others, the likelihood of a large national TV contract increases substantially. 
 
Expansion fees have reached in excess of $40 million so the owners in MLS obviously believe in the future and profitability of the league.
 
Given the NHL's inability to increase revenues substantially in the many of the leagues newer markets do you see a day where the MLS as a collective will surpass the NHL in terms of overall revenue and become the fourth most popular sport in the U.S.
 

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