Last updated on November 8th, 2023 at 10:41 am
The MLS Cup is the conclusion of the MLS Cup Playoffs to determine a winner for that season. The MLS league is a combination of teams in the United States and Canada, and the league is broken down into the Eastern and Western Conference. As of 2023, there are 29 teams, and there will be 30 in the league with San Diego joining the list.
Here is the complete breakdown of the MLS Cup.
How Do the MLS Cup Playoffs Work?
Before 2023, there were Seven Eastern and Western conference teams that made the playoffs in Major League Soccer each season. Each match is a single-elimination style, which means you are out of the playoffs once you lose. In 2023, they (MLS) allowed 18 teams to make the playoffs, which has been met with critisim.
How Popular is the MLS Cup?
The MLS has had a slow and sometimes challenging history with popularity and viewership. Back in 1996, there were only ten teams, and the sport didn’t capture as much mainstream media attention as the NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL. However, the MLS continues to grow the sport, which has allowed it to expand to more cities since 1993.
The 2021 MLS Cup (Audi 2021 Cup) had an average of 1.14 million people watching it on ABC. The peak during that game came out at 1.6 million. The 2020 MLS cup had an average of 1.07 million people watch that game, up 30% in 2019.
How Does the MLS Cup Compare to Other Popular U.S. Sports?
MLS has to compete against the MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL for recognition. Here are the T.V. ratings for each sport’s most recent championship games compared to the MLS Cup 1.14 million average view rating.
- MLB 2021 World Series Game 6: 13.9 million
- NBA 2021 Finals Game 6: 12.5 million
- NHL 2021 Stanley Cup Finals Game 5: 3.51 million
- NFL 2021 Super Bowl: 99 million
What MLS Team Has the Most Cups?
The Los Angeles Galaxy holds the record with five MLS Cups. In second place in D.C. United with four and third place is between a handful of teams with two cup wins.
How is the MLS Cup Host Team Determined?
The team with the most number of regular-season points hosts the MLS cup. Points breakdown by wins, losses, and ties during the regular season. Soccer clubs receive three points for a win, no points for a loss, and one point for a draw.
When Does the MLS Cup Playoffs Take Place?
Early in 1996, the MLS cup would conclude with a winner in October. However, the expansion of more teams has come with more rounds of wild card games, which means that the postseason takes longer to conclude. Today, the MLS cup ends in December.
What Stadium Gets to Host the MLS Cup Final?
From 1996 to 2011, the MLS Cup Final would play the game at a neutral site, the same as the NFL Super Bowl game. In 1996, the first MLS cup occurred at Foxborough Stadium, the old home to the New England Revolution team. That game was between D.C. United and L.A. Galaxy, which had D.C. win that game.
Since 2012, the stadium that hosts the game is whatever team remains with the best standing point record for the regular season.
Conclusion: What is the MLS Cup
In summary, the MLS Cup is an annual event that occurs each season. Each year, a select number of teams between the Eastern and Western Conference enter a postseason tournament with a single game elimination. Finally, the team that wins the season’s final game receives the MLS cup and is the winner.
Greg Kristan, owner of The Stadium Reviews, LLC and TM Blast, LLC, brings his extensive experience visiting over half of the MLB ballparks, along with numerous MLS, NHL, NBA, and NFL venues, to provide in-depth coverage on the bag policy, food options, and parking. He has also been interviewed about his experiences on several sports podcasts.