2018-19 MASL Attendance Thread

Discussion in 'Pro Indoor Soccer' started by Scooge, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I recall Deford bashing soccer but not praising lacrosse

    Understand that what you or I or our circles think of lacrosse is pretty immaterial. They outdraw us by a lot. A. Lot.
     
  2. Scooge

    Scooge Member+

    Jun 20, 2007
    Big Sky Country
    Club:
    Portland MLS
    Friday, March 8, 2019
    Orlando @ Kansas City - 1,436
    Monterrey @ El Paso - 932
    Tacoma @ Turlock - 410
     
  3. Scooge

    Scooge Member+

    Jun 20, 2007
    Big Sky Country
    Club:
    Portland MLS
    Saturday, March 9, 2019
    Orlando @ Milwaukee - 2,691
    Harrisburg @ Mississauga - 1,068
     
  4. Scooge

    Scooge Member+

    Jun 20, 2007
    Big Sky Country
    Club:
    Portland MLS
    Sunday, March 10, 2019
    Harrisburg @ Utica - 3,613
    Kansas City @ Baltimore - 3,487
    St. Louis @ Florida - 2,357
    Monterrey @ Dallas - 1,944
    El Paso @ Rio Grande Valley - 987
    Ontario @ San Diego - 4,517
    Turlock @ Tacoma - 2,427
     
  5. JmThms

    JmThms Member

    Jul 6, 2015
    #130 JmThms, Mar 14, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
    But that is just indoor soccer that lacrosse is now out drawing. Not soccer in general . DeFord bashed soccer in general. LaCrosse that is drawing these crowds is their entire world.

    Man I miss the golden years of the mid 1980's MISL, when the Sockers would draw 8000 - 12000.
     
    Centennial repped this.
  6. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I should have clarified, but we are in the indoor forum.

    Indoor (box) lacrosse is outdrawing indoor soccer by a lot.

    Outdoor lacrosse is outdrawing indoor soccer by a lot in some places (Denver, I think) and by less than that in other places.

    Outdoor lacrosse is not outdrawing outdoor soccer, except for some places where MLL teams are doing better than some USL teams.


    Fun fact: the Sockers' season high for indoor average was 11,415 in 1983-84 in the NASL.

    But post-1984, they were between 7,192 and 9,747 in average until the original MISL went kaput. In the CISL, they did not draw well.
     
  7. Centennial

    Centennial Member+

    Apr 4, 2003
    Centennial
    What do you believe will be the success of the MASL in terms of attendance over the next 5 years? Is there any chance that they will start gaining substantially in popularity? I didn’t realize how much I missed the indoor game until I watched a couple games on YouTube last week. It has been 26 years since I saw my last game live.
     
  8. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't know, but they are going in the wrong direction. They're on pace for their lowest average announced attendance in their brief history.

    Now, of course, the announced numbers don't have an ironclad relationship with the number of actual paid customers (the actual numbers are often less) or with revenue (the actual numbers are unknown), as some people are fond of reminding me.

    But it's clear that not a lot of people are going to most games. That's only a proxy for guesses of revenue and sustainability, but as proxies go, it's not a bad one. Most MASL teams are relatively young (they have not been in business for too long) and it's unclear at this point how many are truly sustainable. I could see five or six teams throw in the towel this summer, but I would also not be surprised if none did.

    This sport is like a cockroach in that you may kill a few here or there but good luck wiping them all out.
     
    Joey Tee repped this.
  9. JmThms

    JmThms Member

    Jul 6, 2015
    Yes good for lacrosse fans. I don't want to pick on lacrosse but what they have here is essentially the ENTIRE WORLD of lacrosse. I have always seemed to have a difficult time getting the majority of my American soccer acquaintances to even give MLS the time of day. They're soccer snobs who are all over EPL and UEFA Champions League . Poor indoor soccer, who's Golden Years were in the 1980's, when it it became the center of gravity for professional soccer here twixt the old NASL and MLS. It hangs around as a spectator Game and has proliferating participation but has been relegated to very niche.

    I was following the Sockers all through that time period with the exception of 83/84. I was introduced to soccer in general , indoor soccer, and the Sockers the next year.

    I was at the Sockers game tonight. Fun 8-3 win over the Dallas Sidekicks. Donovan did OK.
     
  10. JmThms

    JmThms Member

    Jul 6, 2015
    That's how many non or even anti soccer types had long seen professional soccer in general here. I remember many years ago reading one of those anti-soccer opinion pieces, I think after one of the many leagues had just failed in the alphabet soup parade of failed soccer leagues, the writer said something like "Thankfully the seemingly endless line of entrepreneurs trying to push soccer here has finally ended."
     
  11. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Oh, I misunderstood you, sorry.

    Yeah, there's no international LAX market against which the NLL and MLL compete for eyeballs and hearts. It's this (and college, which is a thing in several places).

    But the EPL and La Liga and Liga MX and Serie A are not why the MASL draws family and friends to most games. That happens because the sport's heyday is thirty years in the rear view mirror, there are scarcely any players worth paying to see, owners are under-capitalized and you can't get talented sales and marketing people to work for you when it's easier and more lucrative to go into other sports where you don't have to bang your head against a wall every day.
     
  12. Scooge

    Scooge Member+

    Jun 20, 2007
    Big Sky Country
    Club:
    Portland MLS
    Friday, March 15, 2019
    Florida @ Orlando - 989
    Turlock @ El Paso - 835
    Ontario @ Tacoma - 2,114
    Dallas @ San Diego - no report
     
  13. NSL2004

    NSL2004 Member+

    Jul 23, 2002
  14. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's.
    Not.
    Just.
    About.
    Being.
    Good.

    Remember the idiot who went by "Hector" on Tom's old Let's Play Soccer indoor message board? Who insisted that winning was "at least 95%" of the ticket-sales equation?

    It's not.

    You can have a winning team. Lots of teams win. Lots of teams lose. It doesn't seem to make a huge difference all the time when it comes to the number of tickets they can sell. I would argue that the percentage of people who live and die with each win or loss in all of our many (and proliferating) sports is not huge and may be dropping.

    There are a lot - a lot - of things competing for Americans' time in 2019. Lots of things are entertaining, and they don't all involve people in uniforms ostensibly representing your geographic area playing a sport.

    You can't just spend resources getting this recognizable player or that recognizable player and creating a team that plays this way or that way and think that's enough to move tickets out the door. The occasional stunt-casting or made-for-posterity event like signing Landon Donovan (which, by the way, how'd that momentum trajectory go?) can bring out looky-loos, but the rather unsexy and difficult process of working day-in and day-out to actually sell tickets, one-on-one, relationship building....most teams don't have the stomach for the investment that takes. Because it's quicker and easier to think if you can just get this guy or that guy or win win win, all that will be taken care of and that's a lot more fun than a bunch of phone calls.

    When this sport was at its apex in the mid-1980s, cable TV sports were still nascent, there had not yet been the explosion in oddball sports leagues or the huge expansion in the number of minor-league hockey teams, there was no arena football*, no WNBA, no internet delivering anything you want to watch on a device in your hand that requires virtually no effort, no video on demand, no smorgasbord of content-creating-and-delivering TV networks, no YouTube, and the people who were, say, 20-24 in 1985 were way different in their tastes and desires than the people who are 20-24 today.

    The rules of yesterday don't apply anymore. You can't just throw a team out that wins (even entertainingly) and think tickets will sell themselves. It doesn't work that way. There's too much other stuff out there.

    The Sockers continue to exist because they're owned by a rich guy who enjoys it and can afford it. Great. If we had 15 other owners like that, it wouldn't really matter, and you could go and have fun or watch from afar and have an indoor soccer league that could go on for the forseeable future.

    But we don't have very many other owners like that. And that's because the actual sport - which never really made a lot of money across the board in its heyday, let us remember - is not a good investment. It's one made more often from the heart and the ego than from the spreadsheet. (And you can say owners with heart, money and ego are the ones you want as a fan, to which I'd say great, make a list of them, and, by the way, it's their money, not yours.)

    Teams have to get relevant locally before the league can become relevant nationally. (And even then, good luck.) And that takes time and a lot of lost money to pull off, and it might not be successful even then.

    The problems some of us brought up years ago - teams that exist only to ease travel or provide diversity of opposition, interchangeable beige players, the disposable nature of franchises, poor vetting of potential investors - are still with us and keeping the sport at a subsistence farming level.

    As you allude to, Syd, there aren't any good answers. If the league lopped off about six clubs (who, as they might say in Texas, need killin'), we're back to a widely dispersed group of teams who wouldn't be able to afford the travel. If they get six new ones to replace the six that go away (as has been the operating system for years), that's just more turmoil and plays into the idea of an unstable and unworthy sports enterprise. (Maybe one or two of them stick - the Missouri Comets were probably the most successful expansion franchise in recent memory - at least it appeared that way - but how are they doing now?)

    Are they going to continue to sign late-thirties recognizable former outdoor stars? As a business model? That's unsustainable, too.

    Maybe Utica's the answer. Maybe small markets with minor-league hockey teams in small arenas who can offer a live experience that can find enough people who will put away their phones for two hours is the way forward. (You can't prove that by Harrisburg or Lakeland though.) And the nostalgia bit hasn't exactly produced a wave of fans coming back into the sport who are somehow thinking that if you squint, maybe those really are the Sidekicks and Stars and Comets from back in the day.

    We're on, by my count, our fourth different league in a decade or so. And seven of the nine teams that existed ten years ago today are no longer. Yet the game somehow continues, despite itself.

    (Also, despite what the author of that piece would have you believe, the MASL is not 11 years old, as we all know, and many of the franchises he says "still exist" are just re-constituted identities on modern-day clubs.)


    *You could argue there's precious little arena football now, as much as it has been marginalized despite continuing to exist, like indoor soccer.
     
    Joey Tee repped this.
  15. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    League average attendance:

    December 2018: 2,486
    January 2019: 2,091*
    February 2019: 2,009
    March 2018: 2,008#

    *One data point missing, surely <2,091, so the average would be slightly lower
    #One data point missing, surely >2,008, so the average would be slightly higher
     
  16. NSL2004

    NSL2004 Member+

    Jul 23, 2002
    But Josh assured us a couple weeks ago that revenue was up through Week 4 (this is Week 16).
     
  17. Scooge

    Scooge Member+

    Jun 20, 2007
    Big Sky Country
    Club:
    Portland MLS
    Saturday, March 16, 2019
    Monterrey @ Rio Grande Valley - 1,126
    Kansas City @ Orlando - 964
     
  18. Scooge

    Scooge Member+

    Jun 20, 2007
    Big Sky Country
    Club:
    Portland MLS
    Sunday, March 17, 2019
    Mississauga @ Utica - 3,711
    St. Louis @ Milwaukee - 4,059
    Kansas City @ Florida - 1,218
    Baltimore @ Harrisburg - 2,367
    El Paso @ Monterrey - 2,234
    Dallas @ Rio Grande Valley - 732
     
  19. JmThms

    JmThms Member

    Jul 6, 2015
    I was 24 when I was introduced to indoor soccer back in 1985. I remember reading that Ron Newman said back in the 1990's that one of the big reasons for the decline of the game from it's mid 80's heyday was that all of these "junk" arena sports had started to proliferate and indoor soccer just got lumped in with them and the perception eroded.
     
  20. JmThms

    JmThms Member

    Jul 6, 2015
  21. Scooge

    Scooge Member+

    Jun 20, 2007
    Big Sky Country
    Club:
    Portland MLS
    Friday, March 22, 2019
    Orlando @ Baltimore - 2,931
    Utica @ Mississauga - 1,926
    San Diego @ Turlock - 430
     
  22. powerplay13

    powerplay13 Member

    Mar 17, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Update-Friday March 15, 2019
    Dallas at San Diego- 4,001
     
    Scooge repped this.
  23. Scooge

    Scooge Member+

    Jun 20, 2007
    Big Sky Country
    Club:
    Portland MLS
    Saturday, March 23, 2019
    Orlando @ Harrisburg - 2,047
    Florida @ Milwaukee - 4,838
    St. Louis @ Kansas City - 2,376
     

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