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Discussion in 'USL Expansion' started by ButlerBob, Jan 2, 2012.
Well, yes. Since that's what Papadakis says in the USL press release:
Now, we need USL Pro in Tucson.
Just saying that last November when it was announced that VSI was putting a team in Tampa, all this "when there's already an NASL team there" was discussed.
VSI is not a "he." There's no owner that's a face of the franchise. See, we had this conversation, you just missed it.
Nobody can prevent that. But it is a league's job to not take someone on who will struggle mightily.
To be fair, most teams end up in the red regardless of the presence of another team.
They identify with it right up to the point where it involves buying tickets.
I've said this a kabillion times: anyone under the age of about 38 can't possibly have meaningful memories of the original Rowdies in their heyday. And that demographic, from 40 on up, isn't what soccer is about anymore. Codgers like me remember Marsh, Wegerle, Connell et al, but that shit went away in 1981, even before the team actually went away. It's not relevant in terms of selling tickets today.
The problems with Phoenix have been noted, "new" market or not. The fact there's no currently-operating competing team in this market doesn't make it any more or less likely to be successful.
To those who don't live in the Tampa Bay area (and for those who do live here and haven't got a clue) VSI could quite possibly carve out a niche here and make a go of it in the USL Pro. The Rowdies are as far Southwest as you can go in the metro area and VSI is going to play at USF which is about as far Northeast as you can go before leaving the metro area. So there will be plenty of geographic separation between the two clubs and the Rowdies haven't exactly lit the market up any way.
All the St. Pete haters will certainly be vindicated when the thousands of soccer lovers who refuse to cross the Bay from Tampa to watch the Rowdies will flock to Corbett Stadium leading to perpetual sellouts.
Assuming the NASL chief actually has potential owner groups and wasn't just rattling off non-MLS cities a few months back, Albuquerque would make more sense in USL-Pro than NASL. The only suitable stadium, the UNM soccer complex, is smaller than the USSF Div 2 standards and doubles as a track & field venue so it isn't getting any bigger:
According to the internet truth machine, the Geckos started off promising in Div 3 back in the day, but joined the A-League (Div 2) and promptly went belly-up and moved to Sacramento. The city has grown considerably since then and UNM soccer has a following. Maybe they could thrive in a western USL Pro conference?
I hope you're right. I've always liked when cities have two healthy teams in sport.
Considering how few seats there are at USF, that has at least a decent chance of happening.
They were actually an early example of merit-based promotion, as they won the D3 Pro League in 1997 and moved up to the A-League in 1998. Where, as you noted, things didn't go well (5-23 worth of not well) and they moved to Sacramento for 1999, where things actually got worse. Not only didn't they win a game, they got only one point for a shootout loss to somebody or other. They ended up as Team Sacramento and Pro Soccer, Inc. (parent company of the Cape Cod Crusaders and, I believe, the Boston Renegades) was paying the bills to keep the thing afloat so they could get through the season and at least preserve the integrity of the schedule.
UNM soccer has done really well in recent years, so it's an intriguing possibility. The Isotopes, though, lead the PCL in attendance, so there's that.
It's just funny that they announced the franchise on Nov 12, 2011 and nothing....but yesterday they announce Phoenix and they will have a event later this summer regarding coaching etc....
Just hilarious . The Flames are in the middle of the PDL season currently, I would expect similar announcements from them after the conclusion of their current campaign.
One does wonder how many of the new PDL teams who joined PDL with USL-PRO ambitions will actually follow through. To my recollection Boston Victory, FC Tucson, VSI Tampa Flames and maybe the Baltimore Bohemians suggested that they were intending to go USL-PRO in 2013.
Clearly, the Tampa team are further along than the others in that they have actually been awarded a franchise, but that isn't always a guaruntee that the team will ever get up and running. It wouldn't be the first time USL has announced an expansion that has not subsequently happened.
I wonder how many of those four clubs are still expecting to go USL-PRO next year? None of them have been drawing exceptionally well at the gate and FC Tucson are only the onle with an impressive playing record.
I would guess that the chances of Boston or Baltimore playing pro in 2013 are pretty remote. Does anyone have an idea whether Tampa or Tucson are still playing pro?
And that is right side to side with University Stadium, which has an even bigger field than that. If needed, they could always ask to use that and schedule accordingly.
The Flames announced at the beginning their intention to enter USL Pro in 2013. I can't imagine any of the teams who announced for 2013 and are playing in PDL now would make many USL Pro announcements prior to the end of the PDL season.
If you recall, Orlando was originally announced in March 2010, and we heard nothing before Phil Rawlins announced he was moving here at the end of October.
Living in Lakeland, just outside Orlando, and going to a bunch of Orlando City games and preseason tournaments and friendlies I can tell you Phil made a wise decision based on what I have read from Austin. Orlando has fostered the growth of the club, they have added a few more people with deep pockets into the ownership group for a jump to MLS in the near future. To think a div 3 club has an average of 6-8,000 fans at home games is huge. The only hiccup is a SSS or a refurbished Citrus Bowl. Well a week or 2 ago it was announced that a $175mil restoration project has been approved for the Citrus Bowl with the idea of attracting big neutral site NCAA football and with a specific idea in regards to soccer! Phil and some of the other owners have worked hand in hand with the city and county to get this passed. Big things are ahead for Orlando City!
Season's over July 15
I would still give Baltimore a chance. They do have an owner who can put the money down and has the ambitions to make the club name larger.
A couple comments in USL Pro's FB page are worth mentioning here. When asked about VSI Tampa joining in 2013 this is USL Pro's response "Yes, Phoenix joins VSI Tampa as an expansion franchise for the 2013 USL PRO season."
Also, some more info on the NASL investor group and a supporters group
not sure how to post a direct link to the topic on their FB page but here is USL Pro's timeline
you can read all the comments there
In which case, I would direct you to the rather checkered past of teams that have attempted to move from the PDL ranks to the pro level over time.
One comment claimed it's the same investor group, "From what we know here in Phoenix." So, I guess it's an assumption more than a fact... There's a supporters' group called La Furia Roja 1881 on FB for those Phoenicians ( ) interested.
Wow. This is an eye-opener!
I am also doubtful about Boston based on attendance.
Any word on Austin? I thought their intentions were also to move up eventually.
I think they said they're approaching things more professionally than most PDL teams (they have like eight coaches or something). But I wouldn't expect the bulk of teams to make their intentions for 2013 known to the world during the summer. Usually - but not always - it happens after the season. Partially, I think, because they have reservations, because you're going to need all the time you can give yourself to make the move and gear up for a move to the pro level.
It's a bigger step than most realize. Just because you can get 800 or 1,000 a night most nights doesn't necessarily mean that if you step up, the marketplace is going to react by doubling its interest.
Wow, it really does look like a strange attempt at maintaining numbers doesn't it. Within a year or two of every influx it seems there was a corresponding or near corresponding exodus. Also interesting that among clubs that have gone either direction they have a roughly 50/50 shot at surviving (some instances higher, some lower but all in the ballpark) to the present. I wonder what the overall survival rate is among teams D2 and below?
I used to have that number. Wait, here it is...
From 1996-2010 (I haven't updated it since, but will), 79% of D2/D3 franchises that ever played folded eventually.
Damn. Not surprising, but still a bit jarring. Also interesting that among the teams that move up or down (or both) there's a slightly higher survival rate compared to that 79% number you listed for teams in general. Wonder if its because of PDL and NPSL involvement with those teams (though I also wonder what the general survival rate is for those leagues as well).
I think most teams aren't around long enough to contemplate a move. In that study, six teams dropped from D2 to D3, 15 dropped to the PDL 17 were still active at D2 or D3, three had gone to MLS.
As usual, the strong and smart survive. The problem is that too many teams, historically, have been neither.