MLS, Players Association Agree to New CBA

    • MLS avoided its first-ever work stoppage, agreeing to an amended CBA.
    • In a win for owners, the current CBA was extended through 2027.

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MLS avoided its first work stoppage ever after agreeing to an amended collective bargaining agreement with its players association. 

The league originally set plans to sign a revised CBA in December, but concerns regarding player salary and agreement length pushed things back. Reaching an agreement and avoiding a lockout ahead of the 2021 season was paramount.

Without billion-dollar television deals, MLS relies heavily on revenue generated from the game-day experience. ESPN, Fox Sports and Univision pay around $90 million combined for MLS rights annually.

  • Under the new CBA, players will receive a smaller portion of national TV revenue when the league cuts a new deal in 2023, but gain somewhat friendlier free agent conditions starting in the 2026 season. They will also not take salary cuts in 2021.
  • Players agreed to extend the CBA by two years, through 2027. 

MLS training camps are set to begin in late February, with the regular season kicking off in April, but the dates could still be pushed back.