Next year, Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, more commonly known as Inter Miami will join Major League Soccer (MLS) and become the 26th active franchise in North America. The arrival of the Florida based team is well flagged, even within European circles, as it is linked to the 2007 contract that David Beckham signed when agreeing to play for LA Galaxy. MLS is different to European leagues in regards to many aspects, and here is yet another example.
The goal of most sports franchise owners in North America is to maximise profit. While this is advantageous in European leagues, clubs are more often regarded as 'win maximers'. The reason North American sports can focus on profit (as well as winning) is helped by the behaviour of franchise owners, who often manage or directly influence the leagues they compete it. Acting as a monopsony, owners behave in a manner that reduces the power of other stakeholders. e.g. players.
One way this can occurs is through league expansion. Creating a new franchise is no easy task. As North American leagues generally don't facilitate promotion and relegation, successful entry to a league means 'permanent' status. Such entry is then only permitted with the payment of a sizable fee, and full agreement of the current league members.
For evidence of league expansions one need only look at US soccer. By 2022, the MLS should reach 28 franchises. Inter Miami will be joined by Nashville SC next year, Austin FC (2021) and St. Louis (2022). 28 is a good number and a far cry from the original 10-team MLS that started in 1996. However, as the image below shows, it hasn't been all plain sailing.
The most recent bankruptcy was Chivas USA, which left the MLS in 2014. Sale of the franchise to a group of businessmen, including Cardiff owner Vincent Tan, resulted in the emergence of Los Angeles FC in 2017.
This brings the number of major franchises in LA to 10! (NFL - Rams and Chargers; MLB Dodgers and Angels; NBA - Lakers and Clippers; NHL -Kings and Ducks; MLS - Galaxy). Only New York (11) has more.
One can only guess as to how much more the MLS will expand, but it would seem that 30 to 32 franchises may be the target. This would then put the sport in line with MLB, NBA or NFL. In fact, the current franchise map is starting to look very like the other major sports.
The decision to create a 3rd franchise in Texas is a little less obvious but a first for the MLS. No other state will have 3 MLS teams. In fact, the only example of major US sport with the three NHL franchises in the same city is that of New York - New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres.