Gothamite

North American Pro Soccer 2017

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1 hour ago, MJWalker45 said:

Because [Kraft's] field costs are minimal as [the Revolution] play in a publicly financed stadium...

 

Incorrect. Construction of Gillette Stadium was privately financed by Bob Kraft on land he had privately purchased years before. While the Commonwealth of Massachusetts provided $70 million in up-front infrastructure improvements - including access road construction - around Gillette Stadium, the Krafts are legally obligated to reimburse the state for said work, in full, via annual payments.

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As I've stated previously, the most likely pro/rel scenario involving MLS would be a strictly internal one; i.e. MLS creates a second and maybe even a third division within itself, then populates it by expanding like crazy and/or absorbing clubs from the NASL and USL. That way established clubs could be relegated without losing their MLS affiliation (which, as it is, is the biggest sticking point for pro/rel in North America), and eventually the USL would be for reserve teams only and the NASL would either disappear or become soccer's equivalent of the SPHL.

 

On another note, a few months ago I mentioned a report that Minnesota United had struck a stadium naming-rights deal with Allianz; well, yesterday that deal finally got an official announcement.

 

 

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11 hours ago, HedleyLamarr said:

Apparently the Atlanta Ultras SG were rooting hard for Orlando City to beat Atlanta United the other day.  Mainly because they feel AUFC is breeding new fans that never came out to see lower-level soccer that the Silverbacks play(ed) in.

The LOLtras were pieces of :censored: when they had an NASL team, and are still pieces of :censored: today. Perhaps if they would've actually shown a commitment to making a fun atmosphere rather than trying to impersonate the worst of European football culture, people would've actually went to their precious team's games.

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I think that's a problem with some "supporters groups". They'd rather show that they can riot and fight like they do in other parts of the world and turn potential fans away from their teams.

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12 hours ago, HedleyLamarr said:

Apparently the Atlanta Ultras SG were rooting hard for Orlando City to beat Atlanta United the other day.  Mainly because they feel AUFC is breeding new fans that never came out to see lower-level soccer that the Silverbacks play(ed) in.

 

Yeah, it's such a shame that Atlanta United is working hard and spending money to grow the game in their city.

 

What :censored: holes.

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10 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:

Incorrect. Construction of Gillette Stadium was privately financed by Bob Kraft on land he had privately purchased years before. While the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

provided $70 million in up-front infrastructure improvements - including access road construction - around Gillette Stadium, the Krafts are legally obligated to reimburse the state for said work, in full, via annual payments.

 

There's a lot of things I don't like about Bob Kraft, but that stadium deal should be the standard everywhere.

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It's nifty that Massachusetts people are both completely crazy for pro sports and completely opposed to spending tax dollars on corporate welfare for them.

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Indeed.  I don't often use the word "healthy" to describe Boston's relationship with its sports teams, but in this case it fits. :D

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7 hours ago, crashcarson15 said:

The LOLtras were pieces of :censored: when they had an NASL team, and are still pieces of :censored: today. Perhaps if they would've actually shown a commitment to making a fun atmosphere rather than trying to impersonate the worst of European football culture, people would've actually went to their precious team's games.

I assume each team gets to decide which SG's can be affiliated with the team and which aren't.  No idea if the Ultras tried to get on-board, got rejected by AUFC, and got butthurt as a result.  I haven't heard many good things about the Ultras and, until last week, didn't know they were still around.  I didn't even know the Silverbacks were still around until earlier today.

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5 minutes ago, HedleyLamarr said:

I assume each team gets to decide which SG's can be affiliated with the team and which aren't.  No idea if the Ultras tried to get on-board, got rejected by AUFC, and got butthurt as a result.  I haven't heard many good things about the Ultras and, until last week, didn't know they were still around.  I didn't even know the Silverbacks were still around until earlier today.

 

There are two types of supporters groups; recognized and not. There's pretty much no limit to what un-recognized groups can do, since they're just fans.   Recognized groups get special perks from and access to the club, but the trade-off they make is agreeing to certain conditions.  Not all groups are willing to do that, and the club won't always be interested in working with all groups.

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There's no good reason for an American soccer supporters group to call itself any version of "Ultras." It's the very worst of hipster American try-hard soccer fandom, because unlike the beards and scarf crowd, they actively ruin the experience for others.

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19 hours ago, Digby said:

Right I get why, for better or worse. Gillette Stadium was totally paid for by the Krafts, though. It may be a nightmare for soccer but at least it wasn't a taxpayer scam. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

It's actually not that unusual in MLS at least, for the stadiums to be privately funded. LA, NE, SJ, and several others all play in privately funded stadiums.

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And of the proposed expansion groups, Sacramento, San Diego, Tampa Bay, and Phoenix are all planning on paying for their own stadiums.  

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53 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

And of the proposed expansion groups, Sacramento, San Diego, Tampa Bay, and Phoenix are all planning on paying for their own stadiums.  

Same for San Antonio.  And if they don't get in the Spurs will be paying $21 million in penalties.

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18 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

Same for San Antonio.  And if they don't get in the Spurs will be paying $21 million in penalties.

All private?

When did that change?

 

In February, Judge Wolff thought a ballot measure was going to be needed for the Bexar County share and a city spokeswoman couldn't say anything about available funds until they knew the actual plan.

https://www.ksat.com/sports/soccer/mls-bid-could-require-public-money-for-stadium-expansion

 

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I missed that part. My understanding was it was all private. 

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Cycling back to pro/rel or whatever…

 

I think part of the problem with American soccer is that we desperately want to make it feel organic, but in so many ways, it can’t be. Go to Europe, and (well, at least the view is), you’ll find this great organic football culture, with fervent supporters living in communities that are closely tied to their club. With a few exceptions (the Packers immediately come to mind), that doesn’t necessarily happen to this level in the United States; for an Arsenal supporter, well, that’s a huge defining part of their life. Not a London sports fan, an Arsenal fan.

 

The idea of promotion and relegation, thus, is appealing, because — like in a romantic view of world football — the clubs that are best-run have the opportunity to win out, not simply those with owners that have deep enough pockets to afford a nine-figure expansion fee (or, if they do, can make the selective cut). I think for a lot of us (and this is a broad Americans drawn to soccer, not pro/rel), it’s the stories like Bournemouth or Eibar that help draw us in to the sport, and for those introduced to the game in European leagues (which I effectively was), it’s a neat, unique flair.

 

It would never happen, but the thought that Chattanooga could be a first-division city with great support is super neat. It’d be an organic story, and it’d provide a bunch of intrigue.

 

A lot of the more recent successful American soccer clubs, at least when it comes to fan culture, have had some level of organic, pre-MLS growth; Montreal, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver were all good entries that proved their worth before entering the league, and Minnesota has been the same. In these markets, something grows outside of the simple fact that a major-league team there exists. This is, in theory, how we see it working around the world, and something that differentiates soccer from other sports. But the structure of MLS keeps great culture out, too — right now, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Sacramento (among others) have great fan scenes. But one won’t sniff the top flight, and another might not get it done, either.

 

That the idea of “minor league” soccer barely exists in the world helps it too, I think. We talk about supporting your local club, but nobody ever campaigns to support your local minor league baseball team. Some (wrongly, I might add) see lower-division soccer as unable to progress past a minor league view. But really, I just come back to that “organic” thought — enough people desperately want America to have its place in the existing football economy more than they want America to define a new place in it.

 

Of course, I think I’d love to see promotion and relegation in MLS. I’d venture most would. But the people who bitch and moan about what happens to clubs that signed up to play the game knowing the existing rules? Please.

 

We finally have a successful soccer league that’s building a solid fan culture. It ain’t worth destabilizing over some pipe dream.

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3 hours ago, MJWalker45 said:

I missed that part. My understanding was it was all private. 

 

that was the original rumor - the Spurs certainly have the money to do it themselves. 

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One potential answer for the pro/rel set is a bigger focus on the Open Cup. We all enjoyed Cincinnati's win over Chicago. I don't know how you get more attention on the Open Cup; the ESPN broadcast is pretty rare and the YouTube two-camera broadcasts are kind of embarrassing. But it might be the first place for the Indianapolises, Tampas and Cincinnatis of the world to focus their efforts.

 

Does that Miami billionaire want to pay a bunch of money for the Open Cup? It's one way to show his sincerity in growing the game.

 

(The other side of this coin is that I would personally love to see a single-elimination continental cup among pro and semi-pro basketball teams. It could be a ton of fun and provide some intrigue to fanbases that aren't the Golden State Warriors.)

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VERY good sign for Sacramento's MLS bid this morning, as the city and club said they wouldn't even think of beginning any type of construction until it was assured they were going to get their bid. This is a bit read between the lines, but it absolutely feels like we're just a few months away from the inevitable. VERY exciting times. 

 

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/city-beat/article163854248.html

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