Gothamite

North American Pro Soccer 2019

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3 hours ago, kmccarthy27 said:

A lot of people in the Live Stream comments on Facebook were making bets how long before he moves to the team to San Antonio. 


There's one of two ways Anthony Precourt's "MLS to Austin" adventure plays out:


* He executes a 180-degree reversal from his piss-poor stewardship of the Columbus Crew and somehow manages to make all the right moves in establishing Austin FC as a successful MLS franchise and treasured community asset.

* He maintains his reputation as an in-over-his-head, ne'er-do-well trust-funder and - the second the first inkling of things going sideways with the team begins to manifest itself - his fellow MLS investor-operators move en masse to strip him of his franchise rights, force him out of the league, and hand control of the club over to someone else.

Which is why, if Austin FC were to someday end up moving to San Antonio, Precourt wouldn't have anything to do with said relocation. If he manages to screw-the-pooch in the "City of the Violet Crown" so badly that the market is tainted for MLS, there's no way MLS is going to hand him the keys to "Alamo City". No, if Austin FC should have to be relocated to San Antonio, it would most likely be under the Spurs Sports and Entertainment banner.       

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3 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:


That's just it! An MLS franchise based at a stadium at McKalla Place in Austin, Texas isn't in the same area as franchises playing at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, or at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. In point of fact, each of the teams will be based out of a home venue that is, at minimum, more than a 160-mile one-way drive from the other two... with the average driving distance between the home stadia of the three teams coming in at 216 miles one-way. As such, the notion that fans in either of the two existing Texas MLS markets are regularly driving 540 miles round-trip in order to take in anything at the other club's stadium besides their rivalry matches stretches credulity. Similarly, the idea that denizens of Greater Austin are routinely driving anywhere from 326 to 432 miles round-trip to get their MLS fix in Houston or Frisco is a bit far-fetched.

 

Further, we're talking about three distinct - and growing - markets. According to 2017 U.S. Census estimates, these are three of the most populous municipalities in the United States (Houston at 2,312,717 residents... Dallas at 1,341,075... Austin at 950,715), each anchoring metro areas that are expanding at a double-digit clip (Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington at 7,399,662 residents for +15.15% growth since 2010... Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland at 6,892,427 residents for +16.42% growth... Austin at 2,115,827 residents for +23.28% growth).     

Look... would it have been better for FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo if the teams had drawn more than 77% and 76% of capacity, respectively, at their home stadia this past season? Yes. Might Austin prove to be a dud market for MLS? It's possible... particularly with Anthony Precourt at the helm as investor/operator.

However, that said, there's no reason to believe that, in and of itself, simply granting a Major League Soccer expansion team to Austin is going to at all impact - let alone significantly impact to the point of dilution - the pool of fans for either FC Dallas or the Houston Dynamo. While the three franchises will all be operating in the same state, that state is 268,581 square miles in area... with an estimated population of 28,701,845 people. Think about that. Between them, the Dallas, Houston, and Austin Metropolitan Statistical Areas are home to 57% of the entire population of the second-most populous state in the union. 

 

 

France is smaller than Texas, how do they have more than one team?

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7 hours ago, sohiosportsfreak said:

Apparently everyone is getting all butthurt over my comment. Jeez take it how you like. It's just my opinion.

 

I was stating my reason because the two Texas teams were 18th and 20th in attendance last year. Why would you throw another team in the area and dilute it more?

 

Because none of those three teams are in the same “area”.  That’s the point. 

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55 minutes ago, Camden Crazy said:

France is smaller than Texas, how do they have more than one team?

 

Exactly!

Texas is 21,213 square miles larger than France, yet it plays host to just a pair of Major League Soccer teams, while France is home to 19 Ligue 1 sides. This coming season, Texas will have just four teams competing in the USL Championship, while France's Ligue 2 boasts 20 teams. Texas has but a single USL League One team, while the Championnat de France National is comprised of 18 clubs. 

Now, France is home to 38,646,155 more people than Texas, so that might explain some of the country's increased ability to support professional soccer teams. Also, there is the fact that the sport of soccer enjoys a much more deeply ingrained cultural significance in France than it does in the Lone Star State. Still, I don't know that these facts completely explain the sizable disparity between the number of pro soccer teams in Texas and France. 

Hmmmmmm... maybe Texas will prove itself capable of supporting a third MLS franchise.

😋

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Now that Nashville, Atlanta and Cincinnati are in the fold, I can't think of any remaining regions in the US the MLS needs to be located in. Maybe another Atlantic team?

 

So so long as new cities can reasonably support a franchise, the more the merrier.

 

However, the inverse is true - Chicago, Dallas and Houston need to step up. Probably Denver too. Show you care, because the games are embarrassing on TV with mostly empty seats.

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3 hours ago, DG_Now said:

Now that Nashville, Atlanta and Cincinnati are in the fold, I can't think of any remaining regions in the US the MLS needs to be located in. Maybe another Atlantic team?

 

So so long as new cities can reasonably support a franchise, the more the merrier.

 

However, the inverse is true - Chicago, Dallas and Houston need to step up. Probably Denver too. Show you care, because the games are embarrassing on TV with mostly empty seats.

It’d be cool to see Baltimore get a team, but we’ve got D.C., Philly, and two New York teams all around and that’s only what immediately springs to mind. Plus I don’t think it would be well supported. But a soccer fan can dream. 

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4 hours ago, DG_Now said:

Now that Nashville, Atlanta and Cincinnati are in the fold, I can't think of any remaining regions in the US the MLS needs to be located in. Maybe another Atlantic team?

 

So so long as new cities can reasonably support a franchise, the more the merrier.

 

However, the inverse is true - Chicago, Dallas and Houston need to step up. Probably Denver too. Show you care, because the games are embarrassing on TV with mostly empty seats.

2

Before another Eastern Time Zone team gets approval, I still think there is one area of the US which in more of a need: Phoenix, St. Louis

 

They're the only Mountain Time Zone option*.  Boise is too small and the declining attendance of Boise State's 35K stadium is proof that it is too small and would be cannibalistic. Nashville and St. Louis are about the same drive time from a city like Little Rock (so is Dallas), but 5 hours from a league of 30+ teams does kinda seem off.

 

If there was an Eastern Time Zone location, I'd pick either somewhere in North Carolina, as Charlotte is 4+ hours from ATL on a good day.  Charlotte or Raleigh/Durham/Cary/possibly Greensboro municipality or county would build a free stadium.

 

*-I know that it's only part of the year

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1 hour ago, dfwabel said:

Before another Eastern Time Zone team gets approval, I still think there is one area of the US which in more of a need: Phoenix, St. Louis

 

They're the only Mountain Time Zone option*.  Boise is too small and the declining attendance of Boise State's 35K stadium is proof that it is too small and would be cannibalistic. Nashville and St. Louis are about the same drive time from a city like Little Rock (so is Dallas), but 5 hours from a league of 30+ teams does kinda seem off.

 

If there was an Eastern Time Zone location, I'd pick either somewhere in North Carolina, as Charlotte is 4+ hours from ATL on a good day.  Charlotte or Raleigh/Durham/Cary/possibly Greensboro municipality or county would build a free stadium.

 

*-I know that it's only part of the year

The NBA is the only league with a close team to Little Rock, so it's really not that unusual in our case.

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10 hours ago, dfwabel said:

Before another Eastern Time Zone team gets approval, I still think there is one area of the US which in more of a need: Phoenix, St. Louis

 

They're the only Mountain Time Zone option*. 

 

That’s almost as goofy as worrying about state lines. The Mountain Time Zone comprises less than 7% of the US population.

 

Phoenix will be included because it’s the 5th-largest city by population, and the 11th-largest metropolitan area.  Not because it checks a time zone box.  And that’s why I think they might be a better expansion candidate than St. Louis.

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2 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

That’s almost as goofy as worrying about state lines. The Mountain Time Zone comprises less than 7% of the US population.

 

Phoenix will be included because it’s the 5th-largest city by population, and the 11th-largest metropolitan area.  Not because it checks a time zone box.  And that’s why I think they might be a better expansion candidate than St. Louis.

They'll also probably be playing a lot of night games as well. At least during the summer. 

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2 hours ago, MJWalker45 said:

They'll also probably be playing a lot of night games as well. At least during the summer. 

 

True enough.  But they aren’t alone in that.  And the upside is big enough I doubt MLS would be scared away from Pheonix by the weather. 

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On 1/18/2019 at 9:32 AM, MJWalker45 said:

They'll also probably be playing a lot of night games as well. At least during the summer. 

Weather hasn’t stopped MLS from putting two teams in Florida and one in Houston, so I don’t see why Phoenix would be any different. Plus, IIRC their stadium will be indoors anyway so it matters even less than the other “hot weather” teams.

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54 minutes ago, Magic Dynasty said:

Weather hasn’t stopped MLS from putting two teams in Florida and one in Houston, so I don’t see why Phoenix would be any different. Plus, IIRC their stadium will be indoors anyway so it matters even less than the other “hot weather” teams.

Summers in Phoenix can hit over 110 degrees for weeks on end as opposed to 90+ degrees in most of the Southeast. An indoor stadium would definitely mitigate the risks though. 

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On 1/17/2019 at 11:05 AM, Pharos04 said:

Feels like people don't grasp how large Texas really is.  Especially between the 3 cities.  For example, I had to take a bus from San Antonio to Wichita Falls and it took over 6 hours!  AND WE NEVER LEFT THE STATE!!!

 

It's not like Austin borders Houston or Dallas.  There is significant distance between the cities that is enough to warrant the potential for a distinct fanbase that doesn't overlap with FC Dallas or the Dynamo.

 

It would be like people arguing that the Kings up in Sacramento takes away from the Clippers fanbase.  There's enough distance that there isn't any overlap or dilution of the fanbases.

 

Facts: I-35 from Laredo at its southern terminus to Gainesville at its northern terminus is 504 miles. I-10 from its western terminus at Anthony (yeah, there's a little town stuck just northwest of El Paso) to Orange at its eastern terminus is 873 miles. So yeah...ginormous territory that state is. (And I've covered most all of it while dragging upwards of 20 tons on five axles...Lord, be my strength!) Of course, west of I-35 there's pretty well next to nothing out there, so there's that.

 

On 1/16/2019 at 8:11 PM, MJWalker45 said:

They're counting on San Antonio,  San Marco's and the I-35 corridor to make the trip in as well as locals. Finding somewhere to park still hasn't been fixed but if all of the bus station changes occur some of the congestion could be fixed. I also keep hearing they plan to work with UT in some capacity, but that still hasn't happened yet. 

 

I have a hard time seeing anyone in San Antonio being moved to care one iota about Austin FC, despite the two cities being barely 80 miles apart. And I say this from the standpoint of the several people I know and grew up with who live there now.

 

On 1/17/2019 at 9:34 PM, Red Wolf said:

The NBA is the only league with a close team to Little Rock, so it's really not that unusual in our case.

 

Haven't we already been through this??? 😁

 

**************************************************************

 

In other news, just in case anyone actually cares about the developments of Nashville SC: they are still slated to begin play in 2020--in Nissan Stadium, because they are still dealing with increasingly fierce opposition to getting their proposed new stadium built out by the Fairgrounds. This is hardly new news, as they've faced opposition from the start concerning that location (not to mention Nasvhille getting an MLS team at all--but that hurdle's long since been cleared). The main crux is the issue of the proposed stadium taking away from space and events at the Fairgrounds. We've now got councilmen attempting to outright ban NSC from building the stadium there (not sure if any of them were actually successful in doing that as of yet). If this keeps up, they could very well end up playing their first two seasons in Nissan Stadium.  The drama continues around here...

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@Buc Fans will make the trek from SA to Austin because it's MLS, and some folks will refuse because if how Austin jumped the line. San Antonians that don't give a fig about SAFC because they aren't the top league are who Austin FC will target. As much as people say they look forward to Columbus Crew vs Austin, if SAFC and Austin FC ever meet, especially if it's at Toyota Field, I'd think that would be the ugliest match ever from a fan's perspective, almost as bad as Orlando and Tampa Bay.

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1 hour ago, Buc said:

Haven't we already been through this??? 😁

Hey now, it wasn't my fault this time.

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1 hour ago, MJWalker45 said:

@Buc Fans will make the trek from SA to Austin because it's MLS, and some folks will refuse because if how Austin jumped the line. San Antonians that don't give a fig about SAFC because they aren't the top league are who Austin FC will target. As much as people say they look forward to Columbus Crew vs Austin, if SAFC and Austin FC ever meet, especially if it's at Toyota Field, I'd think that would be the ugliest match ever from a fan's perspective, almost as bad as Orlando and Tampa Bay.

 

Of that I have no doubt--in fact it'd probably be worse.

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I’m not a huge soccer fan, to be fair, but I fail to see how this makes Austin a villain.  Precourt and his ilk, apparently the city council and others made this arrangement, largely leaving the Austin populace out of everything.  There were many rallies on both sides, and it became a regular story on the nightly news. No one was ever trying to “steal” Columbus, except maybe the Precourt group and I’m glad the situation worked out the way it did.  Trust me the MLS will do well here.  People who reject the “big-cityness” of Dallas and Houston, and aren’t drawn to the big 4 will line up to see something international and cultural. Surprised to hear Houston is lagging in attendance. I went to a match a few years ago and it seemed packed to me. 

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4 hours ago, rainmaker17 said:

No one was ever trying to “steal” Columbus

 

:blink:

 

Just because MLS was able to come up with a compromise that ended with clubs in both cities doesn’t mean that Precourt, his allies in the municipal government, and whatever fan support they had in Austin weren’t trying to move the Crew away from its home and its fans.  I didn’t hear a lot of “expansion not relocation” talk coming from Texas. 

 

And fair enough, you deal with what’s in front of you. But let’s not pretend that wasn’t what it was. 

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Am I happy that Austin will have a team? Yes, Am I happy with how they obtained it? Absolutely not. Precourt tried to move the Crew there, and the Crew fans and Ohio revolted. Just before all this started 12 cities applied for expansion, one of them being San Antonio. San Antonio was one of the early leaders to get a team. 12 cities vying for 4 spots and Precourt wanted to bypass that expansion process and in turn steal Columbus. Not fair to the Crew fans and not fair to those 12 cities, especially San Antonio. Now the Crew have been spared, Precourt got an expansion team in Austin, stealing a spot from the 12 without having to go through the same process, and killing San Antonios bid.

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