MLS commissioner Don Garber announced today that the 18 year-old North American soccer league will play the remainder of its 2013 schedule in heavy snow.
"The U.S.-Costa Rica World Cup qualifier played in snow in Denver moved the needle on soccer like nothing we've ever seen before," said Garber. "We've worked for years to get that much buzz for our league. Ad campaigns, promotional giveaways, free tickets. Nothing really worked. Little did we know that all along we just needed to have crystalline water ice fall from the sky. People apparently love that."
Garber is hoping the league's teams in Montreal, Toronto, Denver, Salt Lake City and Vancouver can come through with natural snow. But with several teams in warmer climates, such as the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas, Garber has dispatched snow-making machines to all 20 MLS stadiums.
"My vow is that we will not drop the ball in a single game without at least six inches of snow on the field," said Garber. "I want every game to look like a classic snow-covered soccer Christmas, if there were such a thing."
While purchasing so many snow-making machines ran the league more than $100,000, Garber said it was far cheaper than recent marketing investments the league has made.
"I'll take $100,000 over multimillions for old, big-name players who aren't good enough to play in the top European leagues anymore," he said. "David Beckham and Thierry Henry aren't worth half a snow-making machine."