American expansion possibilities

Discussion in 'NWSL Expansion' started by WPS_Movement, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

    Apr 9, 2008
    Let's track all expansion news, rumors, or possibilities, in this thread.

    The latest news is that Colorado may have a team in this league sooner than you think. In fact, Colorado is a possible front-runner to be accepted into the league as soon as 2014. The name of the official franchise is yet to be determined, and the prospective ownership hasn't fully committed just yet. But there is intrigued interest on both sides. Right now, the state of Colorado has two W-League teams. In all likelihood, the franchise would be based in Denver, or outside of Denver.

    Will they be the Colorado Rapids? Colorado Cougars? Or another team name (which would be likely). I would bet on the latter, since that seems to be the formula. Sounders, Timbers, etc. Different ownership (same city/area), or same ownership and different team name (same city/area). Of course, none of that has to be decided yet. No commitments have been made. But look for a strong chance, 50-50 even, as of now, that Colorado will be in this league in as early as 2014.

    Colorado (Denver) has more "pulse" right now than St. Louis in the Midwest.
    As of now, St. Louis is out, and not much going on there from what is known.

    On another note, two California franchises may be in the league in 2014 or 2015. As many as three are showing interest now, but the league would prefer to take two of them in the same year for expansion (no more than two, no less than two). If that happens, could that push Colorado's expansion back a year?

    The league is still considering the idea of keeping every franchise within domestic borders, but is still open to the idea of at least one or two Canadian franchises being in the league.

    That's the news. Now for my own speculation ....

    It sounds like the league would want no more than two expansion franchises per year entering the league. They are more than willing to consider as many as four or five applicants each year, and accepting no more than two of them annually (no matter how many apply). That's my perception of what's going on.

    If I had to guess, it could shape up like this, pertaining to expansion:

    2014 - Los Angeles, Bay Area
    2015 - Colorado (Denver), Ottawa
    *Two divisions start in 2015:
    Pacific (West): Los Angeles, Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, Colorado (Denver), Kansas City
    Atlantic (East): Washington DC, Western NY, Sky Blue FC, Boston, Ottawa, Chicago

    2016 - Vancouver, Atlanta (638 miles away from Washington DC)
    2017 - Philadelphia, Connecticut (which shifts Chicago to the Pacific division).

    The league stops at 16 (for now).

    2017 (year #5 in the league)
    Pacific: Los Angeles, Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Colorado, Kansas City, Chicago
    Atlantic: Washington DC, Western NY, Sky Blue, Boston, Ottawa, Atlanta, Philly, Connecticut

    Of course, my speculation could be full of it.
    All these dots would have to connect just right to see a windfall like this for the league.
    This would mean the league is surviving strong, growing steadily each year, and more nations and subsidized players are increasing their presence in the league.

    There will be "some" expansion in this league within the first couple of years.
    You can count on it. Heck, even the official wikipedia page for NWSL says that.
     
  2. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

    Apr 9, 2008
    STATES (and AREAS) that are candidates for Expansion (or already field a team):
    [​IMG]

    The ulatimate path to a 24 team league (including four teams in Canada)
    --- (By: WPS Movement)

    Ok, this may seem silly. But with the right amount of subsidized players, and with increased ownership and investment into the league, we may see a 24-team league someday. We most likely won't see that many franchises (ever). But you never know. This is the right model to get us there. It would take close to a decade to grow the league that large. But with increased success, and a killer 2015 WWC, it would launch the league to a higher plateau. How much expansion is possible over the next 7-10 years? The max. # is 24. The magic # would be 20. The more realistic # would be 16. And the most we'll see at any point within the next 2-3 years, would probably be 12 franchises.

    Let's start with the areas that may starve for a franchise, in the United States.
    Above, you will see map, with certain states coded in red. This is the right geographic spacing, to feature teams in this league. The map is broken down into four areas: The Pacific, The Central, the Northeast, and Southeast. Texas is kind of isolated, but has a travel partner that is almost contiguous (yes, this is important to cut costs) in Colorado (especially if its Dallas, since Dallas is in north Texas). Denver is not too terribly far away from Dallas. The league would only consider expanding into the southeast, if at least 2 or 3 franchises of: Atlanta, Carolina, Florida, want in. Technically, the league would probably want two Texas franchises (Dallas and Houston), to make sense for travel costs. On the road, say Sky Blue FC can reduce travel bosts by playing a road trip (back to back games) in the state of Texas. You get what I'm saying now. If Denver (or Colorado) is in this league, it opens up Texas as a possibility. The Central (Chicago, Kansas city, Texas, Colorado, etc.) could eventually have their own division. The league could be broken down into multiple divisions (East, West, Central, South), to reduce on travel costs. It's all about controlling costs.

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    [​IMG]

    The Canadian map above, shows the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec highlighted. As we all know, Vancouver is in British Columbia (furthest province to the left), Edmonton is in Alberta (2nd province from the left), Ottawa and Toronto are in Ontario (2nd province from the right), and Montreal is in the furthest province to the right. All those cities (Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal) are not too far away from the U.S. border, with the exception of Edmonton, which is a little further up north than the other cities.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    When looking at the U.S. map again, you will see that this it the optimal geographic map for the league. Fans that live in Nevada can travel to California. Fans from Kansas can go to Kansas City or Denver. Fans in Indiana or Michigan have plenty of options. Fans from Virginia have plenty of options. Same for South Carolina. So even though some of those states don't have teams, they can also be part of the league as fans. As long as a team is within 300-400 miles away, they can travel to a game and get back home. This increases the # of fans that can cheer on a team, and grows the game nationally at its highest level.

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    [​IMG]

    Now let's break the league up into two conferences, two divisions in each conference.

    Western Conference and Eastern Conference.

    Western Conference
    Pacific Division: Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Bay Area, San Diego
    Central Division: Columbus, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Dallas
     
  3. necron99

    necron99 Member

    Oct 17, 2011
    Club:
    Washington Freedom
    If anyone had the "right" model we would not have lost 2 leagues already.
     
  4. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

    Apr 9, 2008
    STATES (and AREAS) that are candidates for Expansion (or already field a team):
    [​IMG]

    The ulatimate path to a 24 team league (including four teams in Canada)
    --- (By: WPS Movement)

    Ok, this may seem silly. But with the right amount of subsidized players, and with increased ownership and investment into the league, we may see a 24-team league someday. We most likely won't see that many franchises (ever). But you never know. This is the right model to get us there. It would take close to a decade to grow the league that large. But with increased success, and a killer 2015 WWC, it would launch the league to a higher plateau. How much expansion is possible over the next 7-10 years? The max. # is 24. The magic # would be 20. The more realistic # would be 16. And the most we'll see at any point within the next 2-3 years, would probably be 12 franchises.

    Let's start with the areas that may starve for a franchise, in the United States.
    Above, you will see a map, with certain states coded in red. This is the right geographic spacing, to feature teams in this league. The map is broken down into four areas: The Pacific, The Central, the Northeast, and Southeast. Texas is kind of isolated, but has a travel partner that is almost contiguous (yes, this is important to cut costs) in Colorado (especially if its Dallas, since Dallas is in north Texas). Denver is not too terribly far away from Dallas. The league would only consider expanding into the southeast, if at least 2 or 3 franchises of: Atlanta, Carolina, Florida, want in. Technically, the league would probably want two Texas franchises (Dallas and Houston), to make sense for travel costs. On the road, say Sky Blue FC can reduce travel bosts by playing a road trip (back to back games) in the state of Texas. You get what I'm saying now. If Denver (or Colorado) is in this league, it opens up Texas as a possibility. The Central (Chicago, Kansas city, Texas, Colorado, etc.) could eventually have their own division. The league could be broken down into multiple divisions (East, West, Central, South), to reduce on travel costs. It's all about controlling costs.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [​IMG]

    The Canadian map above, shows the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec highlighted. As we all know, Vancouver is in British Columbia (furthest province to the left), Edmonton is in Alberta (2nd province from the left), Ottawa and Toronto are in Ontario (2nd province from the right), and Montreal is in the furthest province to the right. All those cities (Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal) are not too far away from the U.S. border, with the exception of Edmonton, which is a little further up north than the other cities.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    When looking at the U.S. map again, you will see that this is the optimal geographic map for the league. Fans that live in Nevada can travel to California. Fans from Kansas can go to Kansas City or Denver. Fans in Indiana or Michigan have plenty of options. Fans from Virginia have plenty of options. Same for South Carolina. So even though some of those states don't have teams, they can also be part of the league as fans. As long as a team is within 300-400 miles away, they can travel to a game and get back home. This increases the # of fans that can cheer on a team, and grows the game (and league) nationally at its highest level.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    Now let's break the league up into two conferences, two divisions in each conference.

    Western Conference and Eastern Conference.

    Western Conference
    Pacific Division: Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Bay Area, San Diego
    Central Division: Columbus, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Dallas

    Eastern Conference
    Northeast Division: Boston, Western NY, Connecticut, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa
    Southeast Division: Florida, Atlanta, Carolina, DC, Philadelphia, Sky Blue

    20 American franchises.
    4 Canadian franchises.

    When teams go on a road trip to play the Canadian teams, Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa are very close to each other. Teams could take a road trip and play all three of them on the road, back-to-back-to-back (3 games straight), to save on travel costs.

    This is what the league is trying to employ. Expansion franchises that are geographically close to each other, or close to current franchises in the league. That way when any team in the league takes their road trip, they can get more "bang for their buck" on travel costs, by playing 2, 3, or even 4 cities on a road trip that are all within a smaller radius of one another.

    By expanding further, and including more ownership and subsidized players, the road triples become more affordable, and essentially your cost per road game (avg. travel costs) goes down per each road game on avg.

    This is why the league is open to expansion, and more than just 2-4 additional franchises ultimately. 24 may sound crazy. But I wouldn't give up on 20. 24 is a pipe dream, but if the dominoes fall just right ... you never know. The federations involved would love nothing more than this to become the next MLS (for women). The same # of franchises, similar long-term eventual success, and so on. Can it happen? Will it happen? The past track record says no. But it's still not impossible to get there.

    NWSL is on a mission.
     
  5. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Evanston, IL
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Was wondering if someone had the list of all the groups that applied for the league this year? I would think that the groups that didn't get selected for this season, would be the prime candidates for expansion.
     
  6. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Of the twelve applicants, we had the eight selected, plus the following four:
    -a Connecticut group (was that one backed by Riley? I don't remember...)
    -joint bid from Pali Blues/LA Strikers
    -Seattle Sounder Women
    -FC Indiana (according to FCI's website)

    Aside from FCI, all the others were reported by the Equalizer and other popular WoSo blogs
     
  7. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Evanston, IL
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thanks for the info. So take out Seattle for the obvious reasons and that would seem to be the top candidates for expansion. I'm guessing they were told a reason for not be selected. So if they want in, they need to meet that gap. They all seem to be in good locations to help full a gap except maybe LA.
     
  8. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You should have stopped long before that.

    The entire concept is silly.

    It was waaaay premature to start sketching out a 24-team NWSL in December, and it's only slightly less premature now (but, thanks, Bob, for resurrecting this. :)).

    Let us please first prove that we can get people in Chicago to actually go to games in Chicago before we start worrying about whether or not people in Michigan will go to games in Chicago. Let us please first prove that we can sustain eight teams before planning for how many times they'll play each of the next 12-16 expansion teams. Let us please get through, oh, I don't know, week two before we start with the maps, okay?
     
    Nacional Tijuana repped this.
  9. newsouth

    newsouth Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    Club:
    Santos FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    i get the strikers/pali. they were in this year, if the league could have found a match for them in california. you keep saying the bay, but fcgp said, they couldn't give tickets away to the tech audience in the bay area. how has that changed? is fitz even interested, if atlanta were to comeback in the picture? and riley was on the fringe this year also, so at some pt his team enters.

    it's a possibility that 1 or 2 (chicago, seattle or washington) of the current 8 won't be around in 2 years, so they better have more worthy candidates in the wings. nfl and nba loose cities, so no matter what you do or say, this league will loose some.

    if they got portland to carry the thorns, how in the world they couldn't get the sounders to pick up the reign? don't the sounders have the same level of support as the timbers? they definitely have paul allen's money backing them.
     
  10. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Potentially for the same reasons the Glazers bought ManU and not the Mutiny, or that Mark Cuban didn't buy the Burn or for any one of a number of reasons that corporations decide to do or not to do anything.

    Just because we think it seems obvious doesn't always make it so. And just because someone can afford to do something doesn't mean they're going to want to do it, or that it makes sense to them.
     
  11. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    ...because the Sounders already had a women's team that Predmore basically said FU to?
     
  12. holden

    holden Member+

    Dundee FC, Yeovil Town LFC, Girondins de Bordeaux
    Oct 20, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Club:
    Dundee FC
    Don't the Sounders Women have a completely different ownership group, they just licensed the use of the Sounders brand from them?
     
  13. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Well, true. But before the Sounders jumped from DII to MLS, I think they were the same ownership group. And even if not, do you really think they would drop the team they've already shared their brand with just like that?
     
  14. Morris20

    Morris20 Member

    Jul 4, 2000
    Upper 90 of nowhere
    Club:
    Washington Freedom
    I totally support putting an NWSL expansion team in Chicago. Or maybe just drafting in Jon Spoelstra to help the franchise that's already there. Sometimes you can try to make a case about the size of the fan base - but when your home opener sets a new low for attendance, maybe the issues are with the organization.
     
  15. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

    Apr 9, 2008
  16. raymondleone

    raymondleone Member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
     
  17. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

    Apr 9, 2008
    New York Lady Red Bulls.
     
  18. newsouth

    newsouth Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    Club:
    Santos FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    i don't see two teams in california unless the Galaxy are interested along with Pail and the Strikers. There are the two SC squads. FCGP's owners already said, you'd throw money away in the Bay area. Why do people keep saying that area? I'd go with Utah and Cali and pair them up, if it came down to that, if the Mormons can put 4000-6000 per game in a stadium. The team wouldnt have much competition like Portland and KC.

    I also think Phoenix would be another long shot like KC. I think they like KC would need a hot young marketable team.

    Like it or not, allocations are SO important to this league success. like Portland, I don't KC's allocations are a mistake. They average 25 yrs old, young and attractive, and they got a damn good defensive captain in Sau and the #1 keeper with Solo out. Tell me someone didn't pull strings to load KC. And I don't agree with Renae that much, but she must be the BEST mexican national. if she gets behind defenders, she has shown she can finish, just isn't good at fighting for possession.
     
  19. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

    Apr 9, 2008
    It was definitely important for this league to put good talent in KC.
    You get 5,000+ fans out to most matches there with a great roster (heck, over 4,000 in cold rain).
    You get less than 3,000 fans there, if the roster is not all that.
     
  20. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

    Apr 9, 2008
    C'mon Real Salt Lake. Make it happen.
    Challenge Portland for best environment in NWSL.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. holden

    holden Member+

    Dundee FC, Yeovil Town LFC, Girondins de Bordeaux
    Oct 20, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Club:
    Dundee FC
    Sounds like the same situation as the Sounders Women (meaning it's really just RSL licensing their brand), except the RSL Women will play a few games at Rio Tinto with RSL Men.
     
  22. toad455

    toad455 Member+

    Nov 28, 2005
    with all the potential owners, I don't see why the league can't add on 4 teams for 2014. Then 2 more for 2015 & 2 more for 2016.

    2014: Colorado(Denver), Bay Area, Southern California & Vancouver.
    2015: Connecticut & Ottawa
    2016: Atlanta & Toronto

    The league then divides into 2 conferences.
    EAST: Atlanta, Boston, Connecticut, NY/NJ SkyBlue, Washington DC, Toronto, Ottawa, Western NY
    WEST: Portland, Seattle, So California, Bay Area, Vancouver, Colorado, Chicago, Kansas City.
     
  23. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Aside from the fact that your expansion list is missing one of the three currently-voiced expansion possibilities (NYRB) and has a second (Toronto) relegated to 2016, expanding at an explosive rate like that will
    A) completely kill the talent pool, spreading it WAY to thin (and let's not get started on how allocations would work out), and
    B) prevent roster stability, hurting existing teams' abilities to build fanbases

    The only legitimate expansion possibilities at the moment look like VAN, TOR, and NY. Anything else is wild mass guessing at this point (save the four bids we know were rejected initially). Honestly, I would only want two of those three next year with the third (and some other yet-to-be-discovered expansion group) maybe the year after.
     
  24. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

    Apr 9, 2008
    You could add two per year, and healthily grow the league:

    2014: Vancouver, Toronto (Canada wants in)
    2015: Los Angeles, Bay Area
    2016: Real Salt Late, New York
    2017: Ottawa, Connecticut
    2018: Atlanta, Florida (welcome Brazil and Colombia federations to the NWSL)
    2019: Dallas, Carolina (Cary or Charlotte)
    2020: Colorado, FC Indiana
    2021: Philadelphia, Columbus
    2022: Victoria, Edmonton
    2023: St. Louis, San Diego
    2024: Houston, Mexico City

    This pushes the league to 30 franchises, by the year 2024.


    You would want more subsidized efforts into the league to counter this:

    2014: USA (24), Canada (20), Mexico (16) - subsidized
    2015: USA-24, Canada-20, Mexico-16, Costa Rica-8
    2016: Mexico steps up to 20
    2017: Haiti jumps in with 6, USA jumps up to 28 (announced after winning the 2015 WWC)
    2018: Brazil jumps in with 12, Colombia jumps in with 8
    2019: Argentina wants in, but only contributes 4, Haiti steps up to 8
    2020: Canada steps up to 24, Costa Rica steps up to 12
    2021: USA bumps up to 32, Brazil bumps up to 16
    2022: Australia and NZ come in (after W-League folds). Australia = 16, NZ = 12
    2023: Uruguay wants a piece of the league, and they contribute 4
    2024: Mexico bumps up to 24, Colombia bumps up to 12, Argentina bumps up to 6
    2025: Nobody increases or adds for the first time in league history

    Year 2025 subsidized pool
    USA = 32 players
    Canada = 24 players
    Mexico = 24 players
    Brazil = 16 players
    Australia = 16 players
    New Zealand = 12 players
    Costa Rica = 12 players
    Colombia = 12 players
    Haiti = 8 players
    Argentina = 6 players
    Uruguay = 4 players
    --------------------------------------
    = 166 subsidized players

    166 / 30 franchises = 5.53 per franchise.

    So about half of the franchises will get 6 subsidized players, the other half about 5 players.


    [​IMG]
     

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