USL-1 in Kitsap County, WA

Discussion in 'United Soccer Leagues' started by GOALSeattle, Mar 4, 2008.

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  1. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
  2. dmain

    dmain Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    I think this can work but i think its a mistake to try and be starting up in the same year as MLS Seatle. I think waiting to 2010 with a big fanfare for the new stadium would have more impact. As far as drawing from Gig Harbor I'd attend a few games as Poulsbo is a cool town to visit but i wouldn't count on a huge draw. Gig Harbor is very status oriented and MLS is cooler than USL to most so thats where the money will be spent if at all.
     
  3. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
  4. the shelts

    the shelts Member+

    Jun 30, 2005
    Providence RI
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I hope this works
    I want this to work
    I wish it will work

    but I doubt this will work.

    I just can't see the people around Puget Sound looking at MLS and a Kitsap County team that used to be the Sounders and choosing the latter.

    Fair play, its not my money, and I wish this guy well but competition with MLS is not going to work IMO. It would be like if a CFL team went to a old rodeo ground in Tacoma and tried to go head to head with the Seahawks
     
  5. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    It's not about competing with MLS. If that were true, I'd more than agree with you.

    It's about bringing a sporting entertainment directly to an under-served area. It takes an effort to get to Seattle from Kitsap, and many fans do it for the Mariners and Seahawks. Some will also do it for MLS Seattle.

    The audience for Kitsap USL would be the locals who want to support a local team and also avoid the costs and hassles of getting to Seattle.

    The business plan will be very important, too. If Waite can use his stadium for other revenue then he's at least one step ahead.

    Not one single person who loves the current Sounders needs to cross the sound and support Kitsap for this to be a 'success.' Any that do will be icing on the cake.

    It's more like a Seattle Mariners - Tacoma Rainiers situation than an actual head-to-head competition. There was a time when the Rainiers had the only 'true baseball experience' in the Sound (real grass, outdoors). The Mariners were stuck in the Kingdome. Waite wants to supply that same kind of option in Poulsbo. Real grass pitch, small, cozy, unique venue. Local pride.

    The unknown is how many people in Kitsap will turn out for this level of soccer. It is assumed that very few people from Seattle will. They don't even now, with the club right in their own back yards.
     
  6. HSEUPASSION

    HSEUPASSION New Member

    Apr 16, 2005
    Duck, NC
    I actually think he can pull it off. He's got vast experience with soccer in the Puget Sound from his time with the Sounders and has the fact that soccer throughout the world has a proud history of being "local". Everyone has a local team.
     
  7. the shelts

    the shelts Member+

    Jun 30, 2005
    Providence RI
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    See now that is where we fundamentally disagree.

    What you've written sounds great. It sounds like the kind of verbage a business would use to convince itself first. It sounds like spin.

    And I think you might be right in business, but soccer is not a normal business in America. MLS and USL-1 clubs never make good neighbors, one (usually USL) closes down. The pool of people willing to pay money to watch soccer is sufficiently small enough that most are very aware of which team is Major and which team is Minor.

    I get the distance from Kitsap county arguement but the perception of minor league soccer is going to kill this.

    I hope you are right and I hope this works. Its just me hoping something will happen doesn't help anyones bottom line.
     
  8. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    You could be right, but the people of Kitsap are more likely to embrace 'minor league soccer' than the people of Seattle are / were. Especially when it would be their first 'major' club.

    Kitsap also has:

    www.KitsapBlueJackets.com
    http://tomahawkshockeyclub.com/
    http://www.westsoundsaints.net/
    http://www.olympic.edu/Students/StudentServices/Athletics/

    see also:
    http://www.visitkitsap.com/sports/default.asp

    I should note for fairness that I live in South Kitsap county and currently support the Sounders and the Tacoma Tide. It takes about an hour each way to get to a Sounders match and about 35 minutes to get to a Tide match.
     
  9. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    My in-laws have a vacation house in the Brownsville area, so whenever a Kitsap Sounders game coincides with a weekend visit I know I will be at the game. During USL season we are typically on the other side at least one weekend a month. My in laws more so but they would definitely not attend.
     
  10. pcrow

    pcrow New Member

    Feb 24, 2006
    WA
    large cities (but not huge) are obviously the best markets, areas not used to (a lot of) major teams, especially in the summer, and looking for an identity. seattle never seemed to draw that well, while portland (much smaller) draws huge. montreal, rochester...i could see tacoma hosting a team...they are big but do not have any major teams and are probably overshadowed by seattle, especially in sports. personally, i would rather watch a usl game right in my home over an mls team in a different city.

    speaking of, the tacoma stars beat the seattle wolves, which had a lot of sounders players, last night in the pasl nw semifinals. championship is tonight in wenatchee...
     
  11. pcrow

    pcrow New Member

    Feb 24, 2006
    WA
    point is, tacoma: could work

    kitsap: i doubt it. very much so.

    what is the population? if he sells naming rights, has his own stadium and sells 2,000 tickets...then ya, could work. i doubt that happens.

    i thought the sounders were going to become the mls team. thats what i was told...by someone in the sounders. maybe not.
     
  12. Couverite

    Couverite Guest

    Forgive, all, but this a big one and about as short as I can make it to keep the examples in.

    GS, if anything that list of links demonstrates quite the opposite of what you're hoping it suggests.

    The Blue Jackets are quite ordinary in terms of attendance for collegiate summer baseball - not awful but are easily outdrawn by the Wenatchee and Bend teams and comparable to the Moses Lake and Spokane teams (Spokane is even competing with a PCL team in town!).
    http://www.wccbl.com/HTMLWCCBL07/

    The Tomahawks are dead last in Nor-Pac attendance. Every other team in their division more or less doubles their attendance.
    http://www.thenphl.com/html/stats___standings.html

    I don't know what the Saints draw but gridiron football is more popular as a spectator sport around these parts and, unlike a USL-1 team, their schedule barely competes with the major pro league (or high school or college gridiron).
    http://www.westsoundsaints.net/home.php

    I'm not seeing this vast untapped potential just like I didn't see it when the Waite rumors first surfaced almost two years ago. In fact, this Poulsbo plan is even more ridiculous since it will be unable to draw on concert and event revenue that the fairgrounds stadium would have been able to get, unless he plans to support this as a $600k per annum hobby.

    Let's just do this as a thought experiment -

    Premise 1: People in the MLS penumbra won't travel far to watch USL-1 level soccer.

    Premise 2: People from urban areas are less likely to travel to the suburbs to watch USL-1 soccer than vice-versa.

    Conclusion: The hypothetical ticket-base for this team will effectively be Bremerton-Silverdale-Poulsbo (hereafter "central Kitsap") only. That's about 220,000 people.

    Corollaries: In order to beat the current USL-1 Seattle Sounders' crowds of around 3,000 per match, a central Kitsap USL-1 team would have to draw at around 1.5% of the population in central Kitsap to a given match. Only one current USL-1 team draws even close to that level - Charleston. Since Charleston is an actual regional center, I'd bet dollars to donuts that it has a more robust sponsor base than central Kitsap, so you're going to have to draw EVEN more fans to be competitive with Charleston monetarily.

    This isn't even talking about how having a close MLS team will put all sorts of negative pressures on ticket sales and prices, how Poulsbo isn't where the people are on the peninsula and how even you know these things. Basically, you are spinning even more like a top than usual.

    pcrow, Tacoma could work... if there wasn't going to be an MLS team in Seattle or if soccer were way more popular as a spectator sport and played way more games like, you know, baseball. The Tide didn't exactly cover themselves in glory in the PDL attendance race and that was with "only" a USL-1 up the road, after all.

    Spokane is really the only "USL-1" city in Washington and even it's a little on the small side. But, unlike Tacoma and Kitsap, it is its own media market and is a regional center and I'd imagine demand for MLS Sounders tickets will be almost zero six+ hours from Seattle.
     
  13. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    In the end it is all about ownership the USL-1. If Waite has the money, he'll get his chance.

    I'll be there to cover it if it happens.
     
  14. pcrow

    pcrow New Member

    Feb 24, 2006
    WA
    the evergreen hockey team does well. granted, no nhl team in seattle, but one in vancouver (2 hours). if i lived in tacoma, i would rather go to a tacoma usl 1 game than a seattle mls game. and the tide did not, exactly, do anything to attract a crowd. they dont even try to get people to the games.

    i said could work. as in, its possible and maybe worth a shot. not that i would try it if it was my call. id do it over spokane, though spokane could work (shadow brought in 1k/game). the stars do well attendance-wise.

    ps. tacoma lost to wenatchee in the championship game tonight.
     
  15. Couverite

    Couverite Guest

    I think you're missing the "stadium" part that he'd also need and that's about more than money. Extension of utilities to the site, securing off-site parking at a nearby business park and all that and dealing with increased traffic on that stretch of highway before and after games. Unless he's going to drill his own well, generate his own electricity, build his own road to the stadium and buy that business park - those are problems which are insoluble with mere money.

    Sure, he could secure USL-1 territorial rights for 2009 but I don't see him exercising them then unless he plans on using Olympic or Central Kitsap or something because I'd bet you money right now that he won't be able to build a stadium in 12 months. $100 on that - want to take it?

    And even if he does build a stadium, and I'm not suggesting that he needs to make money on this or anything, he's acting like a rich fan and not a sensible owner. Nothing in his described plan makes any fiscal sense and, as I hinted at above, expectations are utterly unrealistic.

    P.S. The parking setup at his proposed stadium is so totally nonsensical, why has no one talked about it? 150 spots on-site and shuttle buses from a business park (this will cost a lot of money comparatively speaking) - get real. Maybe for once a year events like an airshow or a NASCAR race but not c. a dozen times a year - people won't put up with that sort of inconvenience for a lower division product.
     
  16. Couverite

    Couverite Guest

    Huh? What are you talking about? Everett?

    If so, yeah, they do well but that's the WHL - a regional league. USL-1 is a continental league - a different animal entirely. And Everett is not Tacoma. Talking about hockey, the Sabercats (and the WCHL) were a disaster in terms of attendance - they drew less than the Seattle T-birds in a more expensive league. Talking hockey numbers does not help your case for Tacoma being a good market if there's still a team of any sort in Seattle.

    That's nice, thanks for sharing. A better thing to think about would be how many Tacomans (or is it Tacomen) would prefer going to a Rainiers game over an M's game. Or an Arena Football League game over a 'Hawks game.

    Neither do most PDL teams in the area, but some draw better than others.

    Well, one could put a team in Wenatchee or the Tri-Cities. It's possible, too. But an even worse waste of resources.

    Spokane is way better for this sort of league. In terms of the metropolitan characteristics that have made successful USL franchises (at whatever level), it has way more of them than Tacoma.

    For a PASL team that means what, 75 people? The MISL Stars did great, though, long ago. Anyway, that's indoor not outdoor.
     
  17. pcrow

    pcrow New Member

    Feb 24, 2006
    WA
    yes, everett. i was thinking of evergreen college.

    anyway, saying a sports team does well in a market just outside of seattle with a major franchise withing driving distance. the whl plays 2x as many games, in arenas, which are expensive. i am guessing a whl team has a budget close to a usl1 team. so, no, it is not a perfect analogy, but what is? the raniers have been around as a successful team for a while, have they not? they have been around since '60, longer than any other minor league baseball team in the pcl. that seems successful. and its not a perfect analogy, but you brought it up and it shows tacoma can support a minor league team w/ a major league team in seattle. soccer would be tougher than baseball in tacoma, but soccer is tougher in every market.

    my bad on not taking a poll on people in tacoma before posting on bigsoccer. that was really stupid on my part. just speaking for myself, and thinking that probably there are others out there who are like me was ridiculous. thanks for pointing that out.

    any pdl team that does well in attendance does quite a bit of marketing/advertising. search the web and you will see this. some try and fail. tacoma tide did not even try. they are not a good indication.

    spokane might be better, which i admitted. im not convinced. if it was my decision id probably go with tacoma, i could be wrong.

    and pasl teams do well drawing 300-500/game. a select few get close to 1,000/game. not a ton, but very comparable to pdl teams, an analogy that you wanted to use earlier, even though you often seem to be against any analogy which is not perfect. tacoma does well in terms of attendance, as did the stars back in the day.
     
  18. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    Going for Kitsap:

    1. USL-1 needs west coast clubs
    2. USL knows Victoria hopes to move up, but they won't if Van / PDX jump to MLS, unless other clubs spring up out here.
    3. Robin Waite's $$$
    4. Waite's long tenure as a Sounders owner
     
  19. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    I can also speak on the Tacoma issue, as I have directly asked the USL-1 question to Tide owner Mike Jennings.

    He only wants to move up to that level if there is a way to have a Mariners-Rainiers type working relationship with Seattle MLS.

    This season the Tide are stepping up efforts to draw more fans and gain exposure, and perhaps new investors.

    I also asked Robin Waite point blank last week if it didn't make more sense, population density-wise, to have a PDL club in Kitsap and the USL-1 club in Tacoma. He bristled a bit. "If we can have the higher level team here, then that's all the better for Kitsap, isn't it," he replied.

    Waite is not interested in a PDL as of now. Tacoma is not ready for USL-1 as of now.

    Could Waite take his money to Tacoma and 'raise' the Tide? Sure, he could. He lives in Tracyton (Kitsap) and his dream is a team in that area. He wants to replicate the rural clubs he's familiar with from travels to Norway.
     
  20. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
  21. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2008/apr/10/new-site-eyed-for-proposed-soccer-stadium/

    Waite is still talking with USL officials about relocating the Sounders, the defending USL Division I champs, to this side of the Puget Sound. If that happen, he'll hold a name-the-team contest because Seattle's Major League Soccer team, which begins play in 2009, has adopted the name Seattle Sounders FC.

    "Having the Sounders over here would be great for us," he said. "It's a well-known name, but it would have been a real mistake to not name the (MLS) team the Sounders."

    Waite has decided to install an artificial surface instead of real grass. Artificial turf is easier to maintain, can be used for more events and can be installed more quickly.


    New stadium site in the works, too...
     
  22. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    I suppose calling them the Ferries in honor of the commuter ships would probably get misconstrued, huh?
     
  23. Paul Schmidt

    Paul Schmidt Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    Portland, Oregon!
    Personal opinion: Poulsbo is an acceptable PDL market, perhaps moreso than Tacoma... IF Poulsbo actually funds the stadium. It's a chance for that spot to have a "community team" without the overwhelming pressures of funding continuous shortfalls. The regional teams elsewhere in Kitsap County fit that nature, that would be acceptable.

    Personal opinion: given the dynamics in Portland and Vancouver, and the lack of same for USL-1 in California, it would be foolish at this point to shoot for 2009. Given the extremely strong likelihood that the stadium will still be on the drawing board next spring (one-year timelines are easy to smash to bits by anyone who is semi-concerned with any $$ or NIMBY issues), my opinion is sufficiently reinforced.

    Complete fact: it's still in Seattle's media market. Bremerton's newspaper can't carry this proposal, not in the way that (I suspect) Everett's radio station helps the Silvertips.

    Everyone should wait a year before taking any action on this. Seriously.
     
  24. pcrow

    pcrow New Member

    Feb 24, 2006
    WA
    Looks one will put a team in Wenatchee.

    "Milliken said he hopes to secure 16 franchises by May 14. He already has come to terms with owners in Colorado Springs and Ft. Collins, Colo.; Dallas and Albany, N.Y. He said deals in Wenatchee, Wash., Prescott, Ariz., St. Louis and Houston are scheduled to be finalized next week. Milliken said the league hopes to add more teams in California."

    http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080405/A_NEWS/804050328/-1/A_SPORTS07
     
  25. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    Good find, but that is an indoor league with no relation to the USL.
     

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