I’ve always said there’s little chance of seeing a single table league with promotion and relegation in MLS. Now we have proof it won’t happen from Lamar Hunt.
“[With 18 teams] we would be a small league compared to the NFL, National Hockey League, NBA,’ said Hunt. ‘I think probably we need to grow to over a period of time somewhere near 30 to 32. Maybe the 18 is perfect for England or Germany or Spain, but I don’t think it is really the real world as far as what needs to happen in this country because you will leave out, who would you leave out? Atlanta, Seattle, Houston — you know with only 18 you are not going to be represented in a lot of markets.”
Of course, he either doesn’t understand the concept of promotion and relegation…or there’s just no way he’s going to allow one of his teams to not be at the top level. It’s his money so he gets to make up the rules. Of course, using the promotion/relegation format/system (or whatever) will give the sport representation in more cities than just the 32 (or whatever) in the league…but that’s a whole other story.
Bottom line, in 20 years when the league expands beyond 20 teams, you’ll still have conferences. But the up side is that you probably won’t have to travel as far for road games as teams probably won’t be playing many matches on the other coast.