Number three in a long line of soccer stadiums opens today (numbers 1, 2). The foundation for success is being set. MLS cannot become truly major league until it is profitable. Only then will the finances allow for more marketing, a higher salary cap, and the acquisition of better players, which all leads to a better quality of play and results in more fans. It will also become easier to get new investors (I think a few guys can see the writing on the wall and are getting in early, like Checketts). And it all starts with the stadiums.
I consider the story of MLS to be in three parts. We are in the second phase now, which is becoming profitable. The first was survival, and the third will be the rise of the league when profitability happens. Last year, I posted my (detailed) thoughts on this on Bigsoccer (link).
But all we need to think about today is how great of a day this is for all American soccer fans. It's one thing to have a stadium announced like earlier this week, but when you finally see a game being played there, you realize how big of a deal it is.
1) Columbus Crew Stadium (May 15, 1999)
2) Home Depot Center (June 7, 2003)
3) Pizza Hut Park (August 6, 2005)
4) Bridgeview (2006)
5) Commerce City (2007)
6) Harrison (2007)