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Old April 9th, 2015, 11:39 PM   #3261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnwardsAndUpwards View Post
Interesting to see the attendance figures so far for the MLS. Very positive. A few quick questions:

Are Orlando going to be able to maintain large crowds? Is there any prospect of increasing the size of the planned stadium in the short term?

Is New York City FC a much bigger deal in New York than the Red Bulls? If so is it purely because of the location or is there something else at play?

Which teams are looking to expand their stadium currently?

What happens to the fees paid for expansion teams, where does the money go?


A few points on promotion/relegation
Cricket cannot be compared to any other team sport in the UK. Only the international team really matters. The counties only get decent crowds for finals or 20twenty slogging sessions, which are as much about having a few beers as the sport.
In Europe we are dealing with clubs of very different sizes in our leagues. You have to have promotion and relegation to make it work. If you don't have promotion you kill off the smaller clubs or make them 2nd class. Promotion and relegation ensures that the top division generally has the largest teams but gives small clubs something to aim for. Take Burnley this season and possibly, remarkably, Bournemouth next year. Burnley is a town of just 73,500 and only 25 miles from Manchester yet they can get crowds of over 20,000. This can only happen because promotion is possible.
The North American system is completely different because of the number of large cities. If we had developed a Europe-wide league from the outset we probably wouldn't have promotion and relegation. There would be far fewer clubs in the big cities. Probably only two in London for example. Demand and ticket prices would be ridiculously high. So the conference system works for North American continent-wide sport but promotion and relegation works in smaller countries.
i think its way to early to extrapolate from these numbers. We need to wait until we are in the middle of the season to truly see whats going on
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Old April 10th, 2015, 03:13 AM   #3262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnwardsAndUpwards View Post
A few points on promotion/relegation
Cricket cannot be compared to any other team sport in the UK. Only the international team really matters. The counties only get decent crowds for finals or 20twenty slogging sessions, which are as much about having a few beers as the sport.
In Europe we are dealing with clubs of very different sizes in our leagues. You have to have promotion and relegation to make it work. If you don't have promotion you kill off the smaller clubs or make them 2nd class. Promotion and relegation ensures that the top division generally has the largest teams but gives small clubs something to aim for. Take Burnley this season and possibly, remarkably, Bournemouth next year. Burnley is a town of just 73,500 and only 25 miles from Manchester yet they can get crowds of over 20,000. This can only happen because promotion is possible.
The North American system is completely different because of the number of large cities. If we had developed a Europe-wide league from the outset we probably wouldn't have promotion and relegation. There would be far fewer clubs in the big cities. Probably only two in London for example. Demand and ticket prices would be ridiculously high. So the conference system works for North American continent-wide sport but promotion and relegation works in smaller countries.
You know what makes the NFL, NHL, and NBA work here? Revenue sharing and salary caps. This way my team (Buffalo) in a small market can compete with the much much larger markets. This is one of the reasons why promotion and relegation is not necessary. MLB is different and would work much better if they had a similar system
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Old April 10th, 2015, 03:28 PM   #3263
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You know what makes the NFL, NHL, and NBA work here? Revenue sharing and salary caps. This way my team (Buffalo) in a small market can compete with the much much larger markets. This is one of the reasons why promotion and relegation is not necessary.
The other factor is that the US, being a larger country, has plenty of larger metropolitan centers than can sustain a team, market-wise. We've more than 20+ cities with more than a million people whereas most independent Euro nations have, what, 4-7 on average?

Plus we've grown up with only one team per city as opposed to each community fostering their own. Perhaps had the NY retained 3-4 baseball teams that might be comparable to the London or Manchester soccer scenes of today, but we somehow developed a mentality that metro areas get one team and one team only, with some rare exceptions.

Because of that we never really had the depth of teams to even bring Pro/Rel into discussion. It also made the concept of salary caps and revenue sharing easier to bear with only so many teams at the table.
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Old April 10th, 2015, 06:14 PM   #3264
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MLS attendance through 04.08.2015

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Old April 10th, 2015, 06:35 PM   #3265
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Finally a franchise has acknowledged/respected the culture that already exists in Canada/US and used 'SC' after their name instead of the pretentious 'FC' that just makes a clear situation, confusing. Toronto, Dallas, New York, etc. get with the program. Kudos to you Orlando.

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bd popeye, expansion fees are $70 million or so.
Correct, but his point stands. Sports leagues here are a closed club that owners have paid huge sums to gain entrance into. If our leagues allowed promotion/relegation owners would sue and ask for their money back. They'd win and it would effectively bankrupt every league that tried it.

I don't like that 1 organization can have a monopoly on an important part of our culture like a sport but this system isn't going anywhere. People may argue that rival leagues might crop up but the entrenched leagues are so powerful an upstart has zero chance of succeeding. We have to live with the monopoly. Besides, it does have some benefits that were touched on by 'eMKay'.
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Old April 10th, 2015, 07:04 PM   #3266
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The other factor is that the US, being a larger country, has plenty of larger metropolitan centers than can sustain a team, market-wise. We've more than 20+ cities with more than a million people whereas most independent Euro nations have, what, 4-7 on average?
Do you think 30-32 MLS franchises is realistic by 2030? My only beef with MLS is that it doesn't feel like a true national league in Canada due to just 3 teams. Soccer is a very popular sport in Canada but MLS is largely off the radar in vast swaths of this country. I realize that based on population one would only expect 2 Canadian teams vs. 18 in the US.

It's a valid point but MLS will never gain national relevance here if things stay as they are. Putting teams in Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa would accomplish that. All 3 are fast growing, extremely wealthy metros larger than Salt Lake City. Folks in these cities have lots of disposable income. People are screaming out for more teams here and the MLS would be successful in all 3 of the markets I suggested.

2030: 6 Canadian teams, 26 US teams?
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Old April 10th, 2015, 07:22 PM   #3267
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Do you think 30-32 MLS franchises is realistic by 2030? My only beef with MLS is that it doesn't feel like a true national league in Canada due to just 3 teams. Soccer is a very popular sport in Canada but MLS is largely off the radar in vast swaths of this country. I realize that based on population one would only expect 2 Canadian teams vs. 18 in the US.

It's a valid point but MLS will never gain national relevance here if things stay as they are. Putting teams in Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa would accomplish that. All 3 are fast growing, extremely wealthy metros larger than Salt Lake City. Folks in these cities have lots of disposable income. People are screaming out for more teams here and the MLS would be successful in all 3 of the markets I suggested.

2030: 6 Canadian teams, 26 US teams?
6 teams when you have less population than California?

Oh by the way, Columbus also has the 'SC' at the end.
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Old April 10th, 2015, 07:23 PM   #3268
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MLS attendance through 04.08.2015
Once again our cities beginning with "C" continue to lag behind! Let's hope they don't expand with franchises in Charlotte or Calgary!

Seriously, though, considering the impact of the winter elements on our northern cities I'm not complaining. We've still not seen anything below 10k and we know Chicago and Columbus traditionally break late. an Average over 20k remains quite possible.

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If our leagues allowed /promotion relegation owners would sue and ask for their money back. They'd win and it would effectively bankrupt every league that tried it.
I'm not sure they'd sue because in theory we don't see pro/rel without the owners of the leagues voting to go into such. But all the more reason we won't see that. Just like we won't see Congress voting to lower their benefits.

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Do you think 30-32 MLS franchises is realistic by 2030?
Not that soon, but I'll have to get back to you when the new TV contracts are negotiated in 2021 or so. 26 seems viable because we see Sacramento at the ready and maybe two others not far behind, but beyond that the crop becomes thin. St. Louis sounds a natural fit but we've yet to see an owner step up there. Ditto Phoenix.

I think everyone will pause after this and take stock of how the new franchises are working out and how the league's revenues are evolving. The best of the automatic soccer cities has now been picked over, I feel, so from here on out it's a new feeling out process.

Quote:
My only beef with MLS is that it doesn't feel like a true national league in Canada due to just 3 teams.

...

It's a valid point but...MLS will never gain relevance here nationally if things stay as they are. Putting teams in Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa would accomplish that and all 3 are fast growing, very wealthy metros larger than Salt Lake City.
An interesting issue because unlike MLB or the NBA, MLS has a sanctioning by Canadian Soccer as the designated top flight. But ultimately this is something Canada will have to work out first. If your aspirations are for more of a league then chances are it may need to pursue that outside of MLS. Reason being is MLS is going to ultimately make moves that strengthen its league as a commodity, and if that means 29 US teams and 3 Canadian ones then so be it. To be sure the Canadian candidates might prove the wiser option, but that's to be worked out over time.
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Old April 10th, 2015, 08:43 PM   #3269
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Quote:
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You know what makes the NFL, NHL, and NBA work here? Revenue sharing and salary caps. This way my team (Buffalo) in a small market can compete with the much much larger markets. This is one of the reasons why promotion and relegation is not necessary. MLB is different and would work much better if they had a similar system
OnwardsAndUpwards wasn't making an argument for pro/rel in American team sports, he was explaining why ditching it doesn't make sense in almost any of the European countries. It is indeed feasible to put caps at levels that a city like Buffalo can afford to reach and at the same time don't detract from the other teams' potential, while in Europe it is not possible to cap the spending for Manchester United to the level that Burnley can afford too - it would implode the league in an instant. The discrepancy in population size, talent pool and economic power a town like Burnley generates, in contrast to that of Manchester or London, isn't relatable in any way to that between Buffalo and, say, (insert major American sports cities here).

[Tried to Google Buffalo's population only to find out on Wikipedia that there are 22 cities named Buffalo in the US. I suspect it's a decent size and the metro area has a population well into seven figures.]
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Old April 10th, 2015, 11:43 PM   #3270
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[Tried to Google Buffalo's population only to find out on Wikipedia that there are 22 cities named Buffalo in the US. I suspect it's a decent size and the metro area has a population well into seven figures.]
eMKay means Buffalo NY.

Metro statistics for the Buffalo NY

Population in 2013: 258,959

Metro statstics;

Area
• Total 1,567 sq mi (4,060 km2)
Population (2010)
• Total 1,135,509
• Rank 50th in the U.S.
• Density 718/sq mi (277/km2)

If you add Niagara Falls Ontario Canada ..that would be about 395,000 persons.
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Old April 11th, 2015, 11:01 PM   #3271
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I certainly would not suggest that the American system should change. It works in North America. It is also deeply culturally ingrained. Another difference between Europe and North America, at least in "traditional American sports", is the college system. This is a cherished institution and a finishing school for players. In Europe clubs train players from very young ages. The youth program at Barcelona has become mythical. I'm not sure how it work for soccer in America.

The American system wouldn't work in Europe and the European system wouldn't work in America. Could you imagine having only 20 teams in a hypothetical NFL top division? Huge and important teams would miss out each year. That sport is so physically demanding that you would probably need to have much smaller divisions than that. It would also screw up the draft, why should the best young players be picked by lower division teams?

In any case difference is good and interesting.

Perhaps you could use AFC instead of SC or FC? Association Football Club. Good enough for Sunderland. As these franchises have never been clubs then perhaps they shouldn't bother with a meaningless suffix in any case? English teams mostly originated as members clubs. Many had a rule that no one person could own more than 10% of the shares when they first became limited liability companies. Spanish and German teams are still members clubs. Some exceptions is Germany where the team was formed by a company for its employees to play in. Soccer in the USA is developing in its own way, this is a good thing. Influence from outside is good but should it extend to copying parts of team names? No.
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Old April 11th, 2015, 11:40 PM   #3272
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I applaud you sir..The greatest post on pro/rel and sports culture differences ever posted in this thread.

OUTSTANDING.
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Old April 16th, 2015, 04:54 PM   #3273
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MLS attendance for 2015 update..

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Old Yesterday, 11:54 PM   #3274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunnerJacket View Post
Not that soon, but I'll have to get back to you when the new TV contracts are negotiated in 2021 or so. 26 seems viable because we see Sacramento at the ready and maybe two others not far behind, but beyond that the crop becomes thin. St. Louis sounds a natural fit but we've yet to see an owner step up there. Ditto Phoenix.
32-36 franchises seems like the absolute limit to which sports leagues here are willing to go. You're probably right about the timeline but with this number in mind there aren't too many 'spots' left for cities in Canada/US that hope to eventually land in MLS.

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I think everyone will pause after this and take stock of how the new franchises are working out and how the league's revenues are evolving. The best of the automatic soccer cities has now been picked over, I feel, so from here on out it's a new feeling out process.

An interesting issue because unlike MLB or the NBA, MLS has a sanctioning by Canadian Soccer as the designated top flight. But ultimately this is something Canada will have to work out first. If your aspirations are for more of a league then chances are it may need to pursue that outside of MLS. Reason being is MLS is going to ultimately make moves that strengthen its league as a commodity, and if that means 29 US teams and 3 Canadian ones then so be it. To be sure the Canadian candidates might prove the wiser option, but that's to be worked out over time.
Canadian Soccer is stuck in the middle. It has both feet in MLS but uncertainty if that league will ever become national in scope in this country. From the US vantage point, there's Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver but for us it's merely a starting point. If that's all Canada will ever be allotted it will become a big problem. A country with double the population of the Netherlands and just 3 teams. 6 teams isn't great either but something I think Canadian Soccer could live with long term.

I do think both Calgary and Edmonton (one of our strongest soccer cities) will get there before the league effectively becomes closed. Ottawa might just miss the boat. Edmonton and Ottawa will have an opportunity to raise their profile this summer at the Women's WC as host cities. Canadian franchises have been a boon to MLS thus far so they may be open to further expansion in Canada.
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