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North American Pro Soccer 2018


Gothamite
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19 minutes ago, Dilbert said:

Thats what Im feeling as well. The move to the suburbs for most of the teams hasnt really worked out well.

 

True, although in fairness the move to the suburbs was strictly about available land for a stadium.  That's what clubs were doing in those days.  So short-term successful, but not long-term.

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6 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

True, although in fairness the move to the suburbs was strictly about available land for a stadium.  That's what clubs were doing in those days.  So short-term successful, but not long-term.

Yep. Gave the teams all the revenue streams they were denied in rented stadiums. Gave them concert bookings. Naming rights.... but, inadvertently, it pigeon-holed the teams in a bad location for 20-30 years as the soccer profile in this country has continued to rise (even if viewership hasn't). And for all those empty seat pics of games such as Houston, FCD, or Chicago, it doesn't matter.

 

But, then LAFC happens. Now, soccer can command a prime urban locale with huge initial support and backing... and the suburban team is left in the lurch. Other markets aren't going to be able to handle two teams the way LA can for MLS... but it's pretty clear the move from the suburbs is imminent. If this USL team goes through with a 20k seat venue, I could almost see a 'swap' taking place. MLS team moves to the better venue, USL sets up shop in the suburban site catering to the minor-league crowd ticket prices and soccer moms crowd.

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Possibly.  

 

It’s interesting, though, to see how MLS has grown and evolved. 

 

At first, they were content to rent large, prominent venues.  As the league stabilized, they recognized the value of controlling their own stadiums, from a competitive position as well as financial (it should surprise nobody that just as football is better in a football stadium than baseball stadium, so too is soccer better in a soccer-specific stadium).

 

So clubs built their own stadiums. Unfortunately, that meant the outskirts. Outer suburbs and far-flung communities some distance from the urban core. That’s where land is both plentiful and cheap, and MLS took advantage of it. 

 

Now the league is stronger, and urban cores more important.  The irony is that so many of those clubs that took advantage of the exurban stadiums - Colorado, Chicago, even to an extent Los Angeles - are now victims of their location, while newer clubs secure more advantageous locations for their homes.

 

its easy to look down on Commerce City, and Carson, and Bridgeview.  But we shouldn’t forget that they were once at once necessary and indispensable. 

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2 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

Yep. Gave the teams all the revenue streams they were denied in rented stadiums. Gave them concert bookings. Naming rights.... but, inadvertently, it pigeon-holed the teams in a bad location for 20-30 years as the soccer profile in this country has continued to rise (even if viewership hasn't). And for all those empty seat pics of games such as Houston, FCD, or Chicago, it doesn't matter.

 

But, then LAFC happens. Now, soccer can command a prime urban locale with huge initial support and backing... and the suburban team is left in the lurch. Other markets aren't going to be able to handle two teams the way LA can for MLS... but it's pretty clear the move from the suburbs is imminent. If this USL team goes through with a 20k seat venue, I could almost see a 'swap' taking place. MLS team moves to the better venue, USL sets up shop in the suburban site catering to the minor-league crowd ticket prices and soccer moms crowd.

Houston is pretty close to the urban core, aren't they? Their attendance issues have been a bit perplexing to me.

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9 hours ago, Dilbert said:

Thats what Im feeling as well. The move to the suburbs for most of the teams hasnt really worked out well. If they play well and are well attended I think this USL team will be the next USL success story after Orlando, Sacramento and Cincinnati.

 

Also if this team gets ahold of the Chicago Sting name and logos that would be awesome as well. Its time to bring them back.

Chicago, though, is a few notches above those cities, needless to say. I've no idea how this could work out. I can imagine it being successful but in the same way that like, the Brooklyn Cyclones are successful. But could they surpass the relevance-challenged MLS club in the burbs? I dunno, maybe! The NPSL owner in Boston has talked a big game to this effect, but even as hopeless as the Revs are, Boston City FC is worse off -- not exactly comparable because they play in a high school stadium that's not Foxboro far but still a suburb. And also they somehow went with overtly English branding, which seems unwise in Boston. I guess my half-assed point is that big sports markets want the inner city stadium, true, but they also want major league quality, perhaps?

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9 minutes ago, Digby said:

I guess my half-assed point is that big sports markets want the inner city stadium, true, but they also want major league quality, perhaps?

 

Not half-assed at all.  It’s an astute point. 

 

Big markets don’t tend to support lower-level teams.  Unless that team finds a particular niche it can exploit.  The Brooklyn Cyclones were the first to capitalize on the borough’s rapid pride, marrying it to an outstanding location and this city’s undying love affair with baseball. That gave them the niche they needed to thrive.

 

In Chicago, the minor league Wolves hockey team found that it could compete quite well in part by appealing to suburban fans and in part by capitalizing on the void left by the Blackhawks’ incompetence and poor business strategy. They could sell tickets cheaply as the Blackhawks prices shut out many fans. Together, the Wolves found enough factors to carve out a market for themselves in an otherwise-crowded landscape.

 

The Chicago USL club will have a hard time competing on price point, but could well find its own niche by catering to urban fans, creating a “ballpark village” effect in its new and growing neighborhood. Appeal to their civic pride, along with proximity, public transit, and community atmosphere. That’s a niche that could overcome the general big-city disdain for minor-league sports. 

 

Come to think of it, that’s exactly the same formula Boston City FC might ride to success. 

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I think there's a few things with Boston -- if the Revs can't find a place to play, the NPSL team sure as hell can't (Malden ain't THAT much better than Foxboro), plus Boston is on that cusp where it just isn't big enough to support minor- and major-league teams simultaneously like NY or LA or Chicago, plus plus I don't know that Boston is really a soccer town, all four of the Big 4 legacy leagues still take up all the air. So maybe that's not an ideal comparison. Either way I'm not sure any of the minor league soccer success stories have had even an irrelevant MLS franchise in their market to topple, so that's why I'm a skeptic. But it seems like the stars have aligned there, if anywhere.

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17 hours ago, Digby said:

Houston is pretty close to the urban core, aren't they? Their attendance issues have been a bit perplexing to me.

I wasn't really pointing out Houston for their location, but just their sheer lack of fans in the stands each game. But, in their own stadium with naming rights, signage, sponsors, etc, even a small crowd can be profitable.

 

I saw a game in Houston and was shocked. And seen enough pics of other games since then to know their attendance tanked after moving from UH's stadium. However, I don't think they care. When I was there, they hadn't gotten the one rail line built, but that was years ago. It's not far from Minute Maid. It should be easily accessible and attended well.

 

But, again, they're MLS 2.0. Even with the great location, they didn't have the 'newness' of these newer teams waltzing into their new stadiums and succeeding.

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47 minutes ago, Mockba said:

I know it's not the entire reason, but last year's flood is one factor in people not having as much disposable income.

Also hasn't helped that the Astros got good in 2015 and have kept it up.

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I'm watching DC United vs San Jose right now and can't help but notice part of SJ's stadium is blocked off for renovation. Isn't that stadium only about 3 years old? Seems a little too soon for a renovation to be made.

 

Now there is a sign reading "future home of the San Jose Ultras". Can't help but think whatever plans they have for that section were probably considered for the stadiums opening in 2015, but got scrapped for some reason.  Once again, 3 years in is too soon (to me) for any renovations to be made to a new stadium. If I owned the Quakes, renovation on the ultras section wouldn't begin until some time around year 8 or 9 of the stadium *shrugs*

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12 minutes ago, 4_tattoos said:

I'm watching DC United vs San Jose right now and can't help but notice part of SJ's stadium is blocked off for renovation. Isn't that stadium only about 3 years old? Seems a little too soon for a renovation to be made.

 

Now there is a sign reading "future home of the San Jose Ultras". Can't help but think whatever plans they have for that section were probably considered for the stadiums opening in 2015, but got scrapped for some reason.  Once again, 3 years in is too soon (to me) for any renovations to be made to a new stadium. If I owned the Quakes, renovation on the ultras section wouldn't begin until some time around year 8 or 9 of the stadium *shrugs*

The Ultras were not at field level before by stadium design. There was no supporter's terrace upon opening.

 

Previously, they were in Sections 117 and 118 which we're general admission.  Those seats are now on sale as individual seats

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8 hours ago, 4_tattoos said:

If I owned the Quakes, renovation on the ultras section wouldn't begin until some time around year 8 or 9 of the stadium *shrugs*

 

So you would refuse to make changes that would improve the experience for your fans, and therefore increase your bottom line, in order to hold to an arbitrary timeline?

 

The supporters were in one place when the stadium opened.  They didn’t like it, and asked the front office to create something better for them.  The club should be commended for working with them, not criticized because they were willing to admit a mistake without waiting a proscribed number of years. 

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21 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

So you would refuse to make changes that would improve the experience for your fans, and therefore increase your bottom line, in order to hold to an arbitrary timeline?

Yup (sips my grape juice in a snobbish manner) B)

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10 hours ago, 4_tattoos said:

I'm watching DC United vs San Jose right now and can't help but notice part of SJ's stadium is blocked off for renovation. Isn't that stadium only about 3 years old? Seems a little too soon for a renovation to be made.

 

Now there is a sign reading "future home of the San Jose Ultras". Can't help but think whatever plans they have for that section were probably considered for the stadiums opening in 2015, but got scrapped for some reason.  Once again, 3 years in is too soon (to me) for any renovations to be made to a new stadium. If I owned the Quakes, renovation on the ultras section wouldn't begin until some time around year 8 or 9 of the stadium *shrugs*

 

Considering the reputation of the "San Jose Ultras", might it simply be that they are fitting that part of the stadium with automatic knockout gas emitters or "taser seats".

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Meanwhile, NYCFC just dominated Colorado on a rainy day at Yankee Stadium. 

 

 

It was “David Villa Day” in the City of New York, celebrating his 400th career goal, and he was presented with a certificate by the Mayor’s office before the match.

 

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I can’t tell what that other one is, but I think it’s a City Council proclamation.   That’s a Councilmember from Queens holding it, someone expected to be instrumental in a stadium push, especially if it happens in his home borough. 

 

David Villa was also given a commemorative jersey from the club, and a special trophy from the Third Rail. 

 

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Awesome.  And, of course, he had to score two more. :D 

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6 hours ago, rams80 said:

 

Considering the reputation of the "San Jose Ultras", might it simply be that they are fitting that part of the stadium with automatic knockout gas emitters or "taser seats".

I'll bite... Exactly how bad are they? Are we talking Euro level hooliganism?

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53 minutes ago, 4_tattoos said:

I'll bite... Exactly how bad are they? Are we talking Euro level hooliganism?

 

Eastern European level

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6 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

It was “David Villa Day” in the City of New York, celebrating his 400th career goal, and he was presented with a certificate by the Mayor’s office before the match.

 

 

Awesome.  And, of course, he had to score two more. :D 

 

David Villa has shattered expectations for his time in MLS, right? Especially in light of what a dud Frank Lampard was.

 

Of all of the great European players (or guys who had significant time in Europe) who came to close out their careers in MLS, it seems like Villa may be the best. Other guys that come to mind are Dempsey, Oba Martins (I'm biased, sue me), Robbie Keane, Beckham, Thierry Henry, and who else? I personally loved Didier Drogba's time with Montreal, but he seemed more like a flash in the pan that I'm not positive actually happened, compared to the sustained success the LA Galaxy guys had.

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2 hours ago, 4_tattoos said:

I'll bite... Exactly how bad are they? Are we talking Euro level hooliganism?

 

AWFUL. 

 

State Troopers have to come out to our games at Cal Expo when they play the Earthquakes because the Ultras are such a huge hassle. Sadly, Reno (of all teams :rolleyes: ) is modeling their supporters group after the Quakes and legit EVERYONE hates them. 

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