I have come up with what is surely my craziest theory of all time.
Fact #1: Some have wondered why Major League Soccer has not yet awarded a franchise to Minnesota, or made a decision between the Minnesota United and Minnesota Vikings ownership groups. After all, the Vikings have a deal to play in a new stadium in place, and while United has not announced such a deal, MLS has recently announced franchises without them – specifically to both NYC FC and Miami.
Fact #2: For 40 years, the NFL Player’s Association has been filing lawsuits against the NFL in Minneapolis federal court. The Rozelle Rule – football’s version of the reserve clause – ended there, and free agency for NFL players began there. In 2011, during the league’s latest round of labor strife, once again the players trooped to Minneapolis to sue the league. Minnesota, and in particular Judge David S. Doty (a familiar name to sports-law followers) are seen as labor-friendly courts.
So, here’s my theory: MLS is waiting to award Minneapolis a franchise because to do so would eventually give the players standing to sue the league in Minnesota court.
Crazy? Yes! Wrong? It’s virtually certain to be! Legally ignorant? Of course!
I have enjoyed this interlude.