Gothamite

North American Pro Soccer 2017

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DG_Now    4,009
31 minutes ago, DiePerske said:

I'd love to see an open roof air conditioned stadium in MLS

 

They wanted that in Qatar too, but realized that even with slave labor it was an impossibility.

 

I was surprised to read that the construction cost of U of Phoenix Stadium was only $540 in today's dollars. I would have assumed twice that amount.

 

I have no idea how well Phoenix FC is financed, but you'd need some kind of domed solution in order to comfortably play soccer in the desert. If you halved the University of Phoenix stadium cost, you're at $250 to get you 30,000 seats and a roll-out grass carpet. That plus the cost of MLS admission, and you need $400 million just to play, and that's before any player costs.

 

Who has that kind of money to invest in expansion soccer in a hit-or-miss market?

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HedleyLamarr    1,387
4 hours ago, DiePerske said:

I'd love to see an open roof air conditioned stadium in MLS

That's the game plan for Atlanta, I believe.  Roof open, but A/C still keeping things at 72 or thereabout.

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Red Wolf    861
1 hour ago, HedleyLamarr said:

That's the game plan for Atlanta, I believe.  Roof open, but A/C still keeping things at 72 or thereabout.

Isn't that thing going to still practically be a dome even with the roof open? I remember going to AT&T Stadium, and even with the roof open it felt an awful lot like being indoors. If Phoenix has the money to build something like that, then good on them. 

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raysox    1,213

This year, I've seen myself turned off soccer more and more just from how militaristic lower level soccer fans are on twitter. I have a bunch of friends in the 4th tier, but like, dang their outlook on how things should work is skewed.

 

I saw someone propose the top level of US Soccer be 16 regional leagues last week. 

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Gothamite    6,092

I think that's more on Twitter than anything - it tends to amplify voices wildly out of proportion.

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MJWalker45    1,074

Kind of like Kentucky basketball fans sending death threats to refs and posting their work info on Reddit. They take this stuff way to seriously.

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Bucfan56    3,858
On 6/17/2017 at 9:48 PM, DG_Now said:

KNXV%20Phoenix%20Rising%20Stadium_149005

 

Phoenix has a looooooooooong way to go.

 

Yeah, of course they do. But considering that they're still a solid four to five years out, they're in a really great position. And you know what Phoenix has that a lot of these other bids don't? A bid that's actually somewhat realistic. It's modest right now, but it's built to grow and has a REALLY solid foundation. It already has a strong link to the land that they're planning to build on, a very strong ownership group with high funding potential (and it's growing every day), and a built in fan base that a lot of others just didn't notice or just completely overlooked (Despite Joe Arpaio trying his hardest to kick them all out, Phoenix has one of the highest Latin American populations in the country). St Louis, San Diego, and even Cincinnati all have some pretty grandiose ideas in place when it comes to "soccer villages", "state of the art facilities" and all. But none of them have things like actual access to the land they want, the funds, or even in the very least, public approval. They're probably all really great cities for MLS teams down the road, but they all have some MAJOR baggage and a ton of really serious hurdles to clear if they want a team in a league that's generally VERY skittish about major issues like that. 

 

The modesty of Phoenix's plan is their strongest suit right now, and in a lot of ways, it reminds me of Sacramento's plan. Cities who want teams absolutely have to do things the right way, and if they don't, MLS isn't going to consider them. Phoenix, for all intents and purposes, is doing things the "right" way. 

 

 

On 6/18/2017 at 2:07 PM, DG_Now said:

Just gonna say... if it's a bad idea in Qatar it's a bad idea in Phoenix. 

 

I'll take a surprising about face here and actually defend Phoenix weather (for once in my life) by saying, not really. Phoenix is a downright miserable place in the summer months, and I can tell you that from firsthand experience. But on average it's only like ten degrees warmer than it is in Sacramento, and Republic makes it work pretty well (With MUCH less of a focus on cooling people down). We have a game on Wednesday night and it's supposed to be 110 degrees when gates open. We compensate by playing a bit later during these stretches, and our kickoff mid summer is 8 PM or later. Phoenix is STUPID hot right now (Expected high of 122(!) later this week), but that's actually not common. Phoenix will get even more creative than we do to figure out workarounds to things like this. They could even partner with ASU's school of sustainability (which is the biggest in the country for that department. It may be the only one, actually) to find solutions to these cooling problems that benefit both the team as well as the school, and I'd be VERY surprised if they didn't do just that. 

 

 

And I say this all as someone who generally HATES the Phoenix area, so keep that in mind when it comes to personal bias. 

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dfwabel    1,056
8 hours ago, sohiosportsfreak said:

Cincinnati definitely has the funds, just a matter of finding the right spot. The stadium will have to be put in the suburbs. The city is too congested

 

I am starting to believe that any new FC Cincinnati stadium will be in Newport, Kentucky.

 

It is because of the Kentucky Tourism Development Act and its Incentive Program.  Kentucky loves the TIF so much that they were the first state to enact across the board tax incentives for recreation, tourism, and leisure endeavors.

 

Basically, once a project is approved and opens, the project owner can receive up to 25 percent of the initial project investment over a 10-year period back in sale tax rebates.  In addition, the local municipality can still give the project additional tax breaks


 

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DiePerske    476
11 hours ago, Bucfan56 said:

 

Yeah, of course they do. But considering that they're still a solid four to five years out, they're in a really great position. And you know what Phoenix has that a lot of these other bids don't? A bid that's actually somewhat realistic. It's modest right now, but it's built to grow and has a REALLY solid foundation. It already has a strong link to the land that they're planning to build on, a very strong ownership group with high funding potential (and it's growing every day), and a built in fan base that a lot of others just didn't notice or just completely overlooked (Despite Joe Arpaio trying his hardest to kick them all out, Phoenix has one of the highest Latin American populations in the country). St Louis, San Diego, and even Cincinnati all have some pretty grandiose ideas in place when it comes to "soccer villages", "state of the art facilities" and all. But none of them have things like actual access to the land they want, the funds, or even in the very least, public approval. They're probably all really great cities for MLS teams down the road, but they all have some MAJOR baggage and a ton of really serious hurdles to clear if they want a team in a league that's generally VERY skittish about major issues like that. 

 

The modesty of Phoenix's plan is their strongest suit right now, and in a lot of ways, it reminds me of Sacramento's plan. Cities who want teams absolutely have to do things the right way, and if they don't, MLS isn't going to consider them. Phoenix, for all intents and purposes, is doing things the "right" way. 

 

 

 

I'll take a surprising about face here and actually defend Phoenix weather (for once in my life) by saying, not really. Phoenix is a downright miserable place in the summer months, and I can tell you that from firsthand experience. But on average it's only like ten degrees warmer than it is in Sacramento, and Republic makes it work pretty well (With MUCH less of a focus on cooling people down). We have a game on Wednesday night and it's supposed to be 110 degrees when gates open. We compensate by playing a bit later during these stretches, and our kickoff mid summer is 8 PM or later. Phoenix is STUPID hot right now (Expected high of 122(!) later this week), but that's actually not common. Phoenix will get even more creative than we do to figure out workarounds to things like this. They could even partner with ASU's school of sustainability (which is the biggest in the country for that department. It may be the only one, actually) to find solutions to these cooling problems that benefit both the team as well as the school, and I'd be VERY surprised if they didn't do just that. 

 

 

And I say this all as someone who generally HATES the Phoenix area, so keep that in mind when it comes to personal bias. 

Just start the games at 9, should be fine. Ends up getting done at 11. Should be doable, especially in summer months. 

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Digby    727

Why is Cincinnati such a good soccer town? (And can that be kept up in a Kentucky suburb or will it suffer from the same problems that Columbus does?)

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McCarthy    6,886
1 hour ago, Digby said:

Why is Cincinnati such a good soccer town? (And can that be kept up in a Kentucky suburb or will it suffer from the same problems that Columbus does?)

 

GOOD QUESTION. I'm as surprised as anybody and never would've guessed they'd take off like this. I doubt even the team's staff would've had this response in their most optimistic projections. 

 

Here's my attempts to explain it:

- The Reds and Bengals suck and are expensive. FC Cincinnati came along at a time when our other major sports teams were underperforming on the field and cost prohibitive for families and younger people. 

- The weather is nice in the months when they play and they're a good excuse to go do something outside. 

- don't mean to heap all soccer fans into the hipster bucket, but there is an under-discussed subcultured population here of artists, craft beer snobs, beard growing, scarf holders. It's like a counter movement to the rest of the city's conservatism. 

- young people aren't moving away after college anymore, and are instead choosing to remain Cincinnati residents because it's actually a fun and nice place to live now and I don't know if that was true 10 years ago. Young people both like soccer more than their parents, grew up playing it, live near the stadium, and can actually afford to go to these games. 

This 2004 forbes.com review of the nightlife for young people is no longer true: https://www.forbes.com/maserati/singles2004/cx_dl_0624cincy_04single.html. It's straight up comedic to read that now. 

- we never had a team before at a level even as high as the USL and I think people were starving to unite behind one so everyone jumped on board the first group that came along. 

 

To answer your second question: First, the Kentucky stadium wouldn't be in a "suburb". It'd be across the river. You'd be able to see the soccer stadium from the other two stadiums. You could hit it with a 6 iron. Second, people go back and forth across the river all the time without ever thinking about it. People live in KY and work in Cincinnati and vice versa. I think it would discourage some people just on principle that FC Cincinnati isn't in Cincinnati, and for some people the bridge is a mental hurdle, but I don't think that location would be a major turnoff. I think it'd drive attendance better than the Oakley location, which is 10 minutes north of downtown. 

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Digby    727

That is helpful, thank you @McCarthy! It just seems like the most improbable US soccer success story. Maybe other than Sacramento. That is good to know about the stadium location. Seems fine to me and I don't understand the city-limit zealots either, but I live in Boston where the inner burbs are very much part of the city fabric (that's not where our soccer stadium is though!).

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DG_Now    4,009

One nice thing about going to Sounders games versus Seahawks games is that you can enjoy a top-level American sports experience without all of the baggage that comes with pro football. 

 

It'sa similar venue for most teams, but once you attend pro soccer in the US you realize it's a predictable time commitment, the in-game experience needn't be predicated on drinking a ton of beer, and you can afford to bring your family.

 

Soccer in person at appropriately scaled venues is awesome. I'm not surprised to see new markets taking to it.

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Viola73    81
1 hour ago, McCarthy said:

 

- The Reds and Bengals suck and are expensive. FC Cincinnati came along at a time when our other major sports teams were underperforming on the field and cost prohibitive for families and younger people. 

- don't mean to heap all soccer fans into the hipster bucket, but there is an under-discussed subcultured population here of artists, craft beer snobs, beard growing, scarf holders. It's like a counter movement to the rest of the city's conservatism. 

- we never had a team before at a level even as high as the USL and I think people were starving to unite behind one so everyone jumped on board the first group that came along. 

These are three reasons why Cincinnati is NOT a good soccer town.

First off, you are right. The Bengals and Reds suck, and have sucked for awhile now. FCC had a good inagural season last year and that helped. But if any of the big two...especially the Reds...turn things around I would guess you would see alot more empty seats at the Nip. This, along with if FCC cant get stadium and an MLS franchise, that newness...without any type of championship to show for it...will wear off fast.

The second point...the hipster factor...this is a trend and trends tend to die off. If the FCC is counting on hipsters to be their core audience then they should stick to the USL. MLS is more corporate, regulated, and structured when it comes to fans and supporters. Hipsters hate that stuff and want to be able to be free from the main stream. Now, there is something to be said that in soccer you have more abilities to express yourself than in any other major league sport, but once you make the jump to MLS that free spirit that FCC loves so much from their fans turns into a marketing scheme and tends to leave a sour taste in some supporters mouths. 

The third point is false. Cincinnati had the Kings in the USL in the early 2000's. They played at Xavier Univerisity and drew about 1,000 a game. They are now in the PDL and play in Kentucky. I blame their marketing and poor location as to why they never made a dent in the Cincy sports scene. Plus, the Hipsters had not made it to the Midwest at this point in time.

Dont get me wrong. Cincy is hot, red hot, for the moment as a soccer town. But by no means are they good soccer town. Never have been and never will be, which is why even McCarthys explanation as to how this is happening falls into the "scratching head" column. 

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Gothamite    6,092

Those are great points, @DG_Now.  I've thought for a long time that MLS is uniquely positioned to grow in this country.  As all pro sports suffer from competition, they seem to have the most upside. 

 

Ironically, their only significant disadvantage is overseas competition.  But the lure of in-game experience coupled with local pride gives MLS a similarly unique opportunity. 

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DG_Now    4,009
1 hour ago, Gothamite said:

Those are great points, @DG_Now.  I've thought for a long time that MLS is uniquely positioned to grow in this country.  As all pro sports suffer from competition, they seem to have the most upside. 

 

Ironically, their only significant disadvantage is overseas competition.  But the lure of in-game experience coupled with local pride gives MLS a similarly unique opportunity. 

 

Do you mean overseas competition as in other leagues? Or player movement? If the former, for the west coast at least, EPL is pretty difficult. The games play weekend mornings, and often well before I wake up. The Champions League Final is mid-afternoon, which is nice, but it's not really "appointment TV" viewing. MLS can deliver a passable version of the same product in time zones that work for most.

 

But I think TV is putting the cart before the horse. The in-person experience, even if tickets skyrocket, is unmatched by almost every other league. No play stoppages and a set timeline for each game is such a benefit that you don't realize until you start going to the games. Predictability is great.

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Gothamite    6,092

That's indeed what I mean - the best players are overseas, and it's not as hard to follow those clubs as it once was. 

 

I get your point that watching live is harder on the west coast.  It's not exactly easy over here either, but I've spent a lot of Saturday mornings in bars watching Arsenal.

 

That live experience is key.  I'd say NYCFC is probably the sixth-most popular soccer club in New York City right now, but of those it's the only one that you can see in person every month from March through December.  And that counts for something.  We have the first(? only?) supporters group for kids, and those kids and their friends will grow up watching games in person.  That's the best hope MLS has while it grows into a place it can compete for some of that talent now playing in England and Spain and Italy. 

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Red Wolf    861

Saturdays in the fall are pretty great. I wake up and watch the morning EPL games, and just as they're ending, college football gets started. What a time to be alive. 

 

MLS will continue to grow, and hopefully have the money to sign and retain more top-tier players. The league is barely old enough to drink, and yet you'll see some goobers on twitter trashing the league for not having a massive multi-generational fanbase. 

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