June 30, 2020

MLS and MLS4TheLou Push Forward Amongst Pandemic

The outbreak of COVID-19 has been an unprecedented, worldwide event that has affected every aspect of our lives, including sports. Like everyone else, Major League Soccer was not immune from the outbreak. The league barely kicked off their 25th season before sports came screeching to a halt across the globe.

MLS is Back

It has been a little over three months since MLS suspended operations, but the league is ready to get back on the field in Florida. From July 8th to August 11th, the “MLS is Back” tournament will be played in Orlando with all 26 clubs participating. The tournament will feature a World Cup format with a group stage followed by knockout rounds. After the tournament is completed, the league is hopeful it will be able to play out the rest of the season and crown an MLS Cup champion before the end of the year.

Tax Benefits of Playing in Florida

From a tax perspective, players will be playing in a no income tax state during the tournament. This could provide players with large state income tax savings compared to their normal home states that they are accustomed to. For example, MLS star Carlos Vela, plays for LAFC and pays one of the highest state income tax rates in the country for the club’s home games in California. Although players had to take reduced salaries in the updated Collective Bargaining Agreement to get MLS back on to the field, playing in Florida offers some mitigation of financial loss by not paying any state income tax for the games played there.

Updates on MLS4TheLou

On the St. Louis home front, the MLS4TheLou ownership group continues to push forward to be ready for the club’s inaugural season in 2022. The ownership group continues to progress on their 22,500-seat state-of-the-art soccer specific stadium in Downtown West, as part of their vision for the first soccer district of its kind in the US. The district will also feature a training facility and team headquarters across Market Street. Since stadium construction is still in an early phase, construction has continued because social distancing practices can still be safely maintained.

The ownership group was expected to announce the team’s name, crest, and identity in the Spring, but the potential announcement has been pushed back indefinitely due to the ongoing pandemic. The branding unveil is still expected to occur before the end of 2020. The group has other priorities to take care of including appointing front office executives and building out the roster for kickoff in a few years.

The Anders Sports, Arts & Entertainment Group will continue to monitor the ongoing developments for both the return of MLS and the MLS4TheLou ownership group’s continuous expansion team progress.

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