Major League Soccer targeting early March start for 2021 season

Major League Soccer is targeting an early March start to the 2021 season, despite the uncertainty brought on by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, President and Deputy Commissioner of MLS Mark Abbott told media on Friday. 

“Based on the crowded international calendar next year, we are targeting to start our season in early March as usual," Abbott said. "The restrictions on our ability to have fans in our stadiums this year contributed to very significant financial losses. Like all leagues, we are concerned about those restrictions continuing for a second year and are continually evaluating how to manage through the impact of the pandemic in 2021.”

The beginning of March has become the traditional start date for the MLS season. The 2020 season began on Feb. 29 before being suspended two weeks in due to COVID-19.

After resuming at the MLS is Back Tournament in July, the truncated regular season continued in home markets with severely limited or no fans in attendance before concluding with Decision Day presented by AT&T on Nov. 8. The Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, which begin on Nov. 20, will conclude with MLS Cup on Dec. 12.