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North American Pro Soccer 2017


Gothamite
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Totally true. And I would add that of the MLS 1.0 markets, KC became a success after an ownership change. Dallas became at least a model of on-field success after an ownership change. DCU has always had a relatively strong fan culture, but the stadium movement happened after an ownership change. The mentality of the OG MLS owners versus the people who own most clubs now is very different, and perhaps both groups were right for their own reasons and time periods. But in another one of those areas where the Revs stick out in an unflattering way, they're still the ones with their OG ownership group.

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1 hour ago, McCarthy said:

I know there's Crew fans who are threatened by the idea of Cincinnati joining MLS. I think they should think bigger. It's not like Cincinnati as a population was a huge part of their fanbase before 2016 anyway and the Crew have never had a true rival. If they have a team and fanbase to push back against I think it can only benefit both sides. High tide raises all boats. 

Agreed.

I think it would be a great rivalry and we could finally end the stupid trillium cup. The Crew could have their real rival and TFC already has Montreal.

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How much of the 1.0 blahness is due to their stadiums being built in exurbia?

 

Some of the more successful MLS stadiums have embraced the return to the city movement that's enough vogue across the country.

 

The idea of driving in traffic for 60 minutes for soccer sounds insane to me, but that's what the good people of Dallas, Denver and others have to do.

 

Basically every team in the league except for DC and NE have a good to decent stadium to play in, but the game day travel experience for a Crew game is way worse than in Seattle or Portland.

 

Getting some of those SSS was a huge deal, but now some of those teams are being burned on location.

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31 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

How much of the 1.0 blahness is due to their stadiums being built in exurbia?

 

Some of the more successful MLS stadiums have embraced the return to the city movement that's enough vogue across the country.

 

The idea of driving in traffic for 60 minutes for soccer sounds insane to me, but that's what the good people of Dallas, Denver and others have to do.

 

Basically every team in the league except for DC and NE have a good to decent stadium to play in, but the game day travel experience for a Crew game is way worse than in Seattle or Portland.

 

Getting some of those SSS was a huge deal, but now some of those teams are being burned on location.

 

That's a gigantic part of it. A lot of those stadiums aren't just in the suburbs, they're in far-flung places located very remotely from the city. They're not near the core of the metropolitan area, much less where most younger people are (who are most likely to follow MLS). Young people especially are not going to drive an hour to go see an MLS match. Not happening. This holds doubly true in Chicago, DC, and Boston, where a stadium that isn't transit-friendly is not going to succeed.

 

I hate saying that any SSS put up less than two decades ago need to be replaced, but Chicago, Colorado, and Dallas need to build in their respective cities in order to really thrive. Unfortunately, there's no way those stadiums are being replaced for at least another decade, given that they're all fairly new (all built in the 2004-07 timeframe).

 

The answer for New England is a heck of a lot easier, since they don't have an SSS at all yet. Move to Boston or one of the inner suburbs (Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline), and concurrently rebrand. Basically start anew with a centrally-located, transit-friendly stadium, and act as if you're an MLS 2.0 or 3.0 market.

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1 hour ago, DG_Now said:

How much of the 1.0 blahness is due to their stadiums being built in exurbia?

 

Some of the more successful MLS stadiums have embraced the return to the city movement that's enough vogue across the country.

 

The idea of driving in traffic for 60 minutes for soccer sounds insane to me, but that's what the good people of Dallas, Denver and others have to do.

 

Basically every team in the league except for DC and NE have a good to decent stadium to play in, but the game day travel experience for a Crew game is way worse than in Seattle or Portland.

 

Getting some of those SSS was a huge deal, but now some of those teams are being burned on location.

Dallas' case is somewhat different as even if they were back in the Cotton Bowl, people would drive even with a DART station there at Fair Park.  The team also alienated their Hispanic fanbase in 2003 when they played games at Southlake Carroll HS in Tarrant County (25 miles from the Fair Park and about 30-33 miles from south Dallas, where most live).  No booze in Southlake didn't help either. Moving north on the Tollway to Frisco didn't go Latinos any favors either.  Before Southlake, 50% of their season ticket base was Latino.  They bet on the Dallas/Collin County border as their population center and north, where the kids and families were and are still going.

Last year, D Magazine ran the population numbers and economic data between Toyota Stadium and the Cotton Bowl within a certain radius.  The results were interesting in to say the least, but understandable.  Males 18-34 are in much greater numbers closer to Fair Park than Frisco. 

Edited by dfwabel
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2 hours ago, kroywen said:

The answer for New England is a heck of a lot easier, since they don't have an SSS at all yet. Move to Boston or one of the inner suburbs (Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline), and concurrently rebrand. Basically start anew with a centrally-located, transit-friendly stadium, and act as if you're an MLS 2.0 or 3.0 market.

Are you suggesting that they simply change the club's name to Boston Revolution? Or a total rebrand like SKC and FC Dallas?

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2 hours ago, kroywen said:

 

That's a gigantic part of it. A lot of those stadiums aren't just in the suburbs, they're in far-flung places located very remotely from the city. They're not near the core of the metropolitan area, much less where most younger people are (who are most likely to follow MLS). Young people especially are not going to drive an hour to go see an MLS match. Not happening. This holds doubly true in Chicago, DC, and Boston, where a stadium that isn't transit-friendly is not going to succeed.

 

I hate saying that any SSS put up less than two decades ago need to be replaced, but Chicago, Colorado, and Dallas need to build in their respective cities in order to really thrive. Unfortunately, there's no way those stadiums are being replaced for at least another decade, given that they're all fairly new (all built in the 2004-07 timeframe).

 

The answer for New England is a heck of a lot easier, since they don't have an SSS at all yet. Move to Boston or one of the inner suburbs (Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline), and concurrently rebrand. Basically start anew with a centrally-located, transit-friendly stadium, and act as if you're an MLS 2.0 or 3.0 market.

 

This is absolutely correct.  The thing that allowed those MLS 1.0 clubs to survive and succeed - soccer-specific stadiums in outlying areas where land was cheap and they could control their own buildings - are now stifling them as that success has allowed newer clubs to build in more desirable urban areas.

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10 minutes ago, AstroBull21 said:

Maybe some of you can answer this, but how was it decided a city like Columbus was given a team?

How?

 

11,000 season ticket deposits, that's how.  And Kroger

 

http://www.columbusmonthly.com/content/stories/Classics/soccer-can-the-crew-make-it-in-columbus-february-1996.html

 

Excerpt:

Quote

America supposedly was going to go gaga for soccer in the World Cup summer of ’94 when Rothenberg approached 43 cities about bidding for an MLS team. Only 28 showed interest, with only 22 actually submitting bids.

Each city was required to implement an MLS-designed ticket deposit drive, in which potential ticket buyers were asked to plunk down $75 for the right to buy season tickets should their city win a team. MLS said 10,000 deposits would be needed for a city to be considered.

It was clear early on that Columbus, thanks to the chamber’s marketing drive, was just about the only city with any interest. Even in Orlando and Detroit-two World Cup sites-the deposit drives were positively flaccid. That 10,000 goal went by the wayside early; Washington, D.C., for instance, would later get an MLS team despite selling only about 2,000 deposits.

Even Columbus’s enthusiasm was dubious. Corporations, especially Kroger, purchased at least half the 11,000 deposits. Team and league officials declined to provide specific numbers.

But it was good enough for MLS officials, who repeatedly touted Columbus’s effort when MLS announced its charter teams. Not much else was going right for Rothenberg.

 

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14 minutes ago, AstroBull21 said:

Maybe some of you can answer this, but how was it decided a city like Columbus was given a team?

 

Prospective ownership groups put in bids.

 

The league used the 1994 World Cup to solicit bids (creating a new pro league was a condition of being awarded the Cup in the first place).  Here's the brochure they distributed to potential fans, distributed at one of the World Cup matches and recently salvaged from the Silverdome:

 

silverdome-1-2.jpg

 

It included a list of potential markets they were looking at.  Well, pretty much every good-sized American city.

 

comm.jpg

 

I don't know the specifics of the bidding process, but it would seem that the Columbus group's pitch was more impressive than one from Cleveland or Cincinnati.  If they even got one from Cleveland or Cincinnati.

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41 minutes ago, 4_tattoos said:

Are you suggesting that they simply change the club's name to Boston Revolution? Or a total rebrand like SKC and FC Dallas?

 

I used to think the Revs should keep the name (but get a new logo obviously). But lately I'm thinking if they ever build a stadium in Boston-ish, they need to do the full rebrand thing. No doubt Kraft wants to keep the colors and the New England identifier to align with the Patriots. But I think the Revolution are largely a punchline in the Boston sports scene and I think it will take everything possible to shift that perception.

 

(I also suspect that the name and stadium will be the same 10 years from now.)

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4 hours ago, Digby said:

 

I used to think the Revs should keep the name (but get a new logo obviously). But lately I'm thinking if they ever build a stadium in Boston-ish, they need to do the full rebrand thing. No doubt Kraft wants to keep the colors and the New England identifier to align with the Patriots. But I think the Revolution are largely a punchline in the Boston sports scene and I think it will take everything possible to shift that perception.

 

(I also suspect that the name and stadium will be the same 10 years from now.)

 

Yeah, there's no way they can keep the "Revolution" name if they move to Boston. It's the butt of jokes across both MLS and New England, and it's a terribly dated name that when the MLS was still a fledgling, unstable league trying to get off the ground. Even the biggest Revs fans probably would not miss the name.

 

Given that Kraft would insist on keeping a New England-centric identity (and most potential owners probably would as well), I think "New England Football Club" would work perfectly. They can mold their visual identity around the historic Flag of New England, which they've already done on away kits occasionally.

 

But I do think that there's little chance either the name of the stadium will ever change for as long as the Krafts own the team. They really couldn't care less about the Revs or MLS, and seem content to fill additional dates at Gillette Stadium rather than letting it sit idle those days. The entire team is more or less a way to fill more dates and get some side revenue for Gillette Stadium, in their eyes. Can't see them wanting to spend their own money on an SSS stadium in super-expensive Boston.

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7 hours ago, kroywen said:

The answer for New England is a heck of a lot easier, since they don't have an SSS at all yet. Move to Boston or one of the inner suburbs (Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline), and concurrently rebrand. Basically start anew with a centrally-located, transit-friendly stadium, and act as if you're an MLS 2.0 or 3.0 market.

 

Would it be a boon to both the franchise and Major League Soccer for the New England Revolution to be operating out of a state-of-the-art, transit-friendly, centrally-located, soccer-specific stadium in the Greater Boston urban core? Absolutely. That said, the quest to get such a facility built has proven - with good reason - to be a heck of a lot more difficult than you seem to understand.

 

There is nothing "easy" about securing a plot of land suitable to host a soccer-specific stadium in Boston or one of the city's inner suburbs. Given the compact nature of the Greater Boston urban core, the majority of developable land in the area sits cheek-by-jowl with residential neighborhoods. Said neighborhoods are chock-full of residents predisposed to NIMBY attitudes. Further, given the historic refusal of political leadership at both the state and municipal levels in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to expend public funds on the construction of sports facilities to house major professional tenants, any developer of a soccer-specific stadium in Greater Boston is likely going to have to be willing to pay market-rate to purchase or lease land upon which to build the facility, and equally amenable to financing its construction.

Believe me, as a Revolution supporter, I'd like nothing better than to believe that the team will soon be operating as "an MLS 2.0 or 3.0" organization, particularly insofar as their home facility is concerned. That said, I'm not holding my breath.

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14 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

 

Would it be a boon to both the franchise and Major League Soccer for the New England Revolution to be operating out of a state-of-the-art, transit-friendly, centrally-located, soccer-specific stadium in the Greater Boston urban core? Absolutely. That said, the quest to get such a facility built has proven - with good reason - to be a heck of a lot more difficult than you seem to understand.

 

There is nothing "easy" about securing a plot of land suitable to host a soccer-specific stadium in Boston or one of the city's inner suburbs. Given the compact nature of the Greater Boston urban core, the majority of developable land in the area sits cheek-by-jowl with residential neighborhoods. Said neighborhoods are chock-full of residents predisposed to NIMBY attitudes. Further, given the historic refusal of political leadership at both the state and municipal levels in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to expend public funds on the construction of sports facilities to house major professional tenants, any developer of a soccer-specific stadium in Greater Boston is likely going to have to be willing to pay market-rate to purchase or lease land upon which to build the facility, and equally amenable to financing its construction.

Believe me, as a Revolution supporter, I'd like nothing better than to believe that the team will soon be operating as "an MLS 2.0 or 3.0" organization, particularly insofar as their home facility is concerned. That said, I'm not holding my breath.

 

In fairness, in my very last post, I said that a new Revs stadium was highly unlikely and that I doubted the Krafts would be willing to put up their own money to build one (which they'd need to do).

 

Believe me, as an NYCFC fan, I totally get the difficulty in finding a suitable stadium site in a major Northeastern city. But what I'm saying is that the Revs don't have the added roadblock (relative to Colorado, Chicago, and Dallas) of having to abandon an existing SSS in a terrible site. A different owbership group more invested in the Revs would probably be more actively pursuing an SSS closer to Boston and would be willing to invest their own money in it (though perhaps falling into the same rat hole as NYCFC's stadium site search).

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6 hours ago, 4_tattoos said:

Are you suggesting that they simply change the club's name to Boston Revolution? Or a total rebrand like SKC and FC Dallas?

 

As mentioned above, my preference would be for New England FC. If they wanted to focus on Boston, then maybe something like Boston 1630 FC (in recognition of being the oldest major English-settled city in the US).

 

Anything except "Revolution," please. That name evokes the worst parts of MLS 1.0.

 

Not to slag on the original MLS, which ultimately navigated through lack of cash, low expectations, and an uncertain environment to create a stable, growing league. I actually give quite a bit of credit to how the league managed through those initial years, especially after Garber became commissioner. But the MLS has moved way beyond that era, and the Revs' identity is probably best left in the dustbin of history with the Kansas City Wiz, the Metrostars (always hated that name; there, I said it!), and the San Jose Clash.

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I've always liked Revolution as a name. At the very least, it's the best of the Arena Football League-style names of the old teams (Clash, Mutiny, Crew, Burn, etc.). Heck, it's even better than the newer Real Salt Lake. 

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48 minutes ago, kroywen said:

 

Yeah, there's no way they can keep the "Revolution" name if they move to Boston. It's the butt of jokes across both MLS and New England, and it's a terribly dated name that when the MLS was still a fledgling, unstable league trying to get off the ground. Even the biggest Revs fans probably would not miss the name.

 

The notion that the New England Revolution name is "the butt of jokes across both MLS and New England" strikes me as an overstatement... particularly insofar as its reception in New England is concerned.

 

Many Revolution supporters argue that the name should be retained. They reason that it speaks to the history of both Boston and New England as a hotbed of revolutionary thought and activity leading up to and during the American War of Independence.

Further, there are those who also feel that abandoning the identity after 22 seasons of use is a blow to the development of an authentic soccer tradition in the United States. After all, they ask, how is soccer in this country expected to build tradition if supporters are so willing to jettison history - including "dated" team identities - in the name of aping international club branding styles and erasing less-than-stellar eras in team management? American-style team names - Chicago Fire, Los Angeles Galaxy, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps - are, whether some supporters wish to acknowledge it or not, part-and-parcel of the authentic history of the sport of soccer in this country... and, by extension, the sports's history worldwide. And the instability of Major League Soccer's early years isn't something to be ignored. Rather, the league's growth from the "fledgling" status of MLS 1.0 to the success of MLS 3.0 should be remembered, recounted and celebrated - lurching and stumbling included.

As for the Revolution name being the "butt of jokes across... New England", as I said, you'd find that a significant number of the club's supporters wish to see the identity retained. And, to date, most of those New England sports fans who aren't currently soccer supporters haven't given the franchise enough thought to even consider the team "the butt of jokes". The Revolution simply fly under their radar. There's no reason to believe that many of those sports enthusiasts couldn't be won over to the New England Revolution - identity and all - if the club was being operated competently in a soccer-specific stadium in the Greater Boston urban core.

Finally, as a New England Revolution supporter, I couldn't care less what the fanbases of other sides across MLS think of my team's name. Their opinions of my side are immaterial to me.

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2 minutes ago, Red Wolf said:

I've always liked Revolution as a name. At the very least, it's the best of the Arena Football League-style names of the old teams (Clash, Mutiny, Crew, Burn, etc.).

 

That's like saying that Silver Side Up is the best Nickelback album. ;) (Side note: I have no clue if it is, and even less desire to find out.)

 

Granted, I loathe those verb/adjective AFL-style team names. I hate it in the NBA (Heat, Magic), in the NHL (Avalanche), and certainly in MLS. To me, Revolution is irredeemable just on those grounds.

 

As for RSL? Equally bad, but for wildly different reasons.

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I actually think Revolution is a good enough name on its own. A little 90s, yes, but not nearly as bad as Wiz or Fusion, and "Revs" has become a pretty good organic nickname that just about all fans use. Personally my aesthetic taste would be more toward dumping New England for Boston (sorry, soccer fans of Vermont!) if the team was to move. I could even be persuaded for a "Revolution FC" type non-geographic name, if MLS decided that Arsenal or Celtic were the next European clubs to, er, emulate brandingwise. I'm also very sympathetic to the history argument -- though the Revs get dunked on all the time for valid reasons, there is value in being an MLS original and one that's participated in nearly 25% of all MLS Cup finals (albeit with bad results every time!). 

 

ALL THAT SAID, if you take away the objective reasoning, I can't help but feel that the Revolution brand for most people in the Boston area is "Bobby's soccer team that no one takes seriously", looked down upon by the "Mass/hole" bros (lol thanks board censor) on one side and the Eurosnobs and SA-snobs on the other side. That's why I'm leaning more toward full rebrand in the fantasy future where they actually play in Boston. The other tricky thing for me is that Boston is one of the last markets where the local baseball team is still relevant (in fact, religion) to the modern MLS target market, which is another thing that makes me wonder if Boston will ever be an elite soccer city.

 

(Sorry to constantly derail this topic into Boston woes)

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