The YBTD Pro/Rel Thread, Part 9,614

Discussion in 'MLS: Commissioner - You be The Don' started by barroldinho, Aug 31, 2015.

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Should some type of Promotion and Relegation be introduced to MLS?

  1. Yes

    33.3%
  2. No

    66.7%
  1. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    I agree that Australia's sports landscape is very similar to America with regards to where soccer sits in the hierarchy, but I don't think NSL is particularly reflective of the sport in America today.
     
  2. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thought I'd do a quick comparison of USLC attendances and minor league attendances in our other summer sport to see if it could be indicative of how soccer teams could fare in a permanent minor league environment.

    Team USLC MiLB 2018
    New Mexico (ABQ) 11,619 7,948
    Sacramento 10,770 7,808
    Las Vegas FC 8,308 4,746
    Louisville 7,757 6,658
    El Paso 7,559 7,819
    Memphis 901 7,556 5,007
    San Antonio 6,538 4,885
    Nashville 6,069 8,741
    Fresno 5,596 6,051
    Birmingham 4,971 5,751
    OKC 4,517 6,713
    North Carolina (Wake Co.) 3,881 2,800
    Reno 3,212 5,019
    Colorado Springs 2,796 4,104
    Charleston 2,736 4,486
    Tulsa 2,650 5,230
    Tacoma 2,394 5,403
    Charlotte 1,598 8,980

    In 7 of the 18 cities USL is out-drawing minor-league baseball.
     
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  3. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Great list, we can add Austin, 5803, 8637.
    Also, interestingly, we can add St Louis 4,003, 3739 (the gateway grizzlies, who knew)
     
  4. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    going a step further down this rabbit hole, the overall USL average attendance in 2018 was 4923 (it's anchored by the MLS 2 sides being included, which they won't be in 2019 numbers). That compares well to England's league 2 (4397) and if you boot out the anchors, the average of just less than 7,000 ( i did rounding) compares well to League 1's 8650.
    My point is only that it is decent attendance for a lower league.
     
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  5. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Why.won't MLS 2 sides be in the 2019 numbers? Red Bulls II sit atop USLC at this time and have moved off the bottom.of the attendance table thanks to their move to Montclair.

    I'll continue to leave the Lou out because there's a major league team in town.

    I knew I.should have Googled Austin.
     
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  6. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    They were also buoyed by Cincinnati, which be in 2019 numbers.
     
  7. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    This comparison is really, really flawed, imo. Memphis, El Paso, Albuquerque, and Austin are all brand new with less than 5 home games in their history.
    We're also comparing a league with, what, 18 games, mostly on Saturday or Sunday, to a league with 50-60 games? With how many weekday and business man special days?

    There are plenty of other questions, too: what division does the MiLB team play in; are the stadiums in comparable locations; etc.

    None of this is intended to take away anything from USL-C team's attendance, just that average attendance tells us nothing relatively to MiLB.
     
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  8. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    True, but Indy numbers are up, and League 1 was buoyed by Sunderland (really similar numbers to Cinci, btw)
     
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  9. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    I was wrong, you are correct. the MLS 2 sides will continue to anchor down the attendance numbers. I was not implying they are or were poor teams on the field, but the bottom of the league in attendance is pretty heavy with MLS 2 sides.
     
  10. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Your points are valid, but the numbers do still tell us something. We might not be able to completely compare the turnout of Austin Bold v RRE, but by looking at numbers that show minor league soccer is in the same neighborhood as minor league baseball we can see quite a change in the US attitudes towards the game (s). None of this says USL will suceed, but it does indicate an appetite that did not exist 30 years ago, and one that extends beyond MLS cities. That does matter. Its very positive news for soccer in the US.
     
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  11. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    Now this I do agree with.
     
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  12. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You make a good point but unfortunately there is no way I can pull out the weekend numbers for baseball.
    It compares well to the Italian second division where 15 teams average less than 10,000.
     
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  13. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    I'm not asking you to! But it's still an invalid comparison. I think you can make the case that the numbers indicate that support is pretty good in USL-C, but you can't draw any conclusions on those numbers based how they stack up relatively to MiLB teams.

    And with Memphis, El Paso, and Albuquerque numbers, it's worth noting that Nashville SC also averaged more than the Sounds last year, but this season are down over 35% YTD to last year.

    Besides Louisville and Las Vegas, every other non-expansion USL-C team that plays in the same stadium as the local MiLB draws less/game.
     
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  14. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    Indy's attendance on Wednesday was 8,035. I am fully aware that that's a weeknight, but it's also why I feel it's way too early to call them this year's FC Cincinnati. After all, Louisville's attendance barely dropped from their average for their Tuesday night game.
     
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  15. DCW531

    DCW531 Member

    Jan 31, 2017
    St. Louis actually has two minor league team in the metro area. Gateway Grizzlies to the east (in Illinois), and the River City Rascals to the west. And, yes, that other team that plays downtown. Hopefully in the shadow of our new soccer stadium:)
     
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  16. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    That is a lot of baseball. I remember when St. Louis Soccer Park opened with this odd concept of a soccer specific stadium (5000 seats?) in the 80s. Exciting times, and a really good look-back machine way to view where soccer is today in the US, comparing the new plans to an old standard-setter.
     
  17. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    Indy's 2nd and 3rd home games combined are less than their home opener. As they regress to the mean, all eyes turn to Albuquerque.
     
  18. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    But hey, at least the taxpayers are building them a stadium in case the Don comes a-knockin.
     
  19. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    9,000 is still a pretty healthy attendance.
     
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  20. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    I'm not arguing that it isn't, but after their home opener there was a crowd that was ready to hand FC Cincinnati's attendance crown to them and prep them for the MLS track, whereas now it looks like 2018's attendance might be closer to the norm (when, note, nobody was really talking about Indy's attendance).
    My only point is that nothing can be read into a single game's attendance, especially home openers (in before we start uncorking the bubbly about Hartford Athletic).
     
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  21. thekorean

    thekorean Member

    Jan 10, 2017
    Club:
    New York City FC
    I think the problem with all these pro rel for USA people on social media platform, is that they believe MLS has low ratings because it can't attract interest from people who watch European soccer. This part is true. But what they are wrong is these people will watch US soccer as soon as pro rel is introduced. That is false. They do not watch US soccer because they deem MLS as an inferior product not worth spending their time on.

    I am not exactly sure how pro rel is supposed to even change this fact.
     
  22. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    The argument would be both that pro/rel would force clubs to produce better teams, players, for fear of relegation and that, with the notion of it all being a single pyramid, more people would back more local clubs, raising the overall interest in domestic footie. Instead of, say, 32 or 36 MLS clubs with strong local support, you'd have, in theory, 54 or 60 clubs, 18-20 in 3 tiers, with strong local support, and eventually that would turn into a wider general support of the game on a national basis. The US would have more and better teams, the top league would be forced to be particularly competitive and therefore more fans would tune in (I don't think the argument is that more people would attend top level games, because attendance is quite good, but that TV numbers would climb).
    I'll probably be told that this is a condescending take on pro/rel in the USA.
     
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  23. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    From the encompasso de todo thread in Soccer in the USA.

     
  24. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    No, this seems pretty close. The "simplistic" take is that pro/rel would switch the eurosnobs to MLS. It's not an on/off switch: it's a long game. Assuming implementing pro/rel doesn't introduce instability (for arguments sake), you would have to have more spending in MLS (not necessarily eliminating the salary cap, but definitely raising it), which by itself would massively increase the appeal of MLS.

    Of course, at that point, maybe you don't need pro/rel to entice followers. Still, I'm not sure anything MLS does will draw TV viewers in droves because I am not sure people consume (new) content that way.
     
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  25. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Why? Instead of MLS teams paying North and South Americans no-one outside of MLS has heard of an average of $200k you may end up paying North and South Americans no-one outside of MLS has heard of an average of $400k, which is still peanuts compared to the big 5 leagues.
     

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