MLS History: State of the League Address
2005 (Unable to find a transcript. Here's the audio.)
I'm also unable to find the first three on the internet.
So what is the State of the League address? Just what it sounds like. Picture the State of the Union, except for soccer. It's held every year by the commissioner right before the all star game, on the day before. It's mostly for the media who may not pay attention to soccer all year round. Today in Chicago/Bridgeview, Don Garber will go over the past year's accomplishments, and talk about a few things he hopes to accomplish in the future.
Stan Collins from Bigsoccer had a great post last year on what it's all about:
At any rate, what we're seeing in those addresses is not shocking revelations, because he's not mainly talking to us, but the media, for the purpose of emphasizing (an admittedly spinned version of) events that mark the league's progress. Basically, don't expect much more than hints about what we might do next, and a whole lot of talk about what we've just done. (In fact, IIRC, it seems more likely that we'll let any bombshell announcements get out in the media first so that Garber can then exult over them in the SotL.) For what it is, it basically works. I've seen a lot of this stuff repeated in the media, generating a more successful conception of this league.
Selected past quotes
(all except first from Garber)
1999: Not as impressive as it sounded
"We are in our fourth season, and I daresay we are miles - light years - ahead of where the other major professional sports leagues of this country were at that stage.
2001: There's only one rule...
It's been a year since we met in Columbus and conducted our annual All-Star Press Conference. I stated then and prior to the start of our 6th season that Major League Soccer had one universal goal in 2001: To make progress in all areas of our business.
2001: Pay attention, Bigsoccer faithful
I've stated many times, that when we talk about progress our focus is on steady and sustainable growth. There are no "lightning-in-a-bottle" solutions that will suddenly pack our stadiums, explode television ratings, or guarantee a U.S. victory in the World Cup.
Old Expansion possibilities
Just in case you aren't tired of laughing about this