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Discussion in 'United Soccer Leagues' started by GOALSeattle, Mar 4, 2008.
Well, darn. I was looking at that photo, and thinking "what a wonderful grass field!"
Hope it works out for you. Seems like a good fit for everyone involved.
Don't take this as a hit on Seattle, because it's not. But this is set up for failure. Bremerton is both too close and too far from Seattle and Tacoma for this to work for USL1. USL2 (when it comes out west), or PDL, sure no problem, but USL1? Man, I wish he would just move that club to a place like Boise, Sacramento or the like...
Populations of Principle Western Cities without USL1 or MLS (or successful PDL clubs) for comparison (MSA in parenthesis)
Bremerton - 37,259 (231,969)
Sacramento - 460,242 (2,091,120)
Las Vegas - 558,880 (1,836,333)
Phoenix - 1,552,259 (4,179,427)
Boise - 202,832 (587,689)
Spokane - 200,975 (456,175)
Reno - 214,853 (410,272)
Albuquerque - 518,271 (835,120)
Tucson - 525,529 (967,089)
Bakersfield - 315,837 (790,710)
Compare these to current and future USL1 cities
Vancouver - 611,869 (2,524,113)
Seattle - 594,210 (3,309,347)
Portland - 550,396 (2,159,720)
Minneapolis - 377,392 (3,208,212)
Cary - 121,796 (1,047,629)
Atlanta - 519,145 (5,278,904)
Charleston - 110,015 (630,100)
Rochester - 206,759 (1,030,495)
Montreal - 1,854,442 (3,635,571)
Miami - 409,719 (5,413,212)
Bayamon - 224,044 (2,509,007)
Austin - 743,074 (1,598,161)
Tampa - 336,823 (2,723,949)
Yes, we all know how well Miami is drawing.
It's only a 'failure' if Robin Waite can't finance it over the long term, and none of us knows if he can / will or not. He's no spring chicken, though.
(Besides, Tacoma, 40 miles south, is always waiting in the wings if Kitsap doesn't work...)
Tacoma is a great spot. I'd back that 100%. Bremerton? Not a chance. I don't understand his thinking here though. Why keep a team in a lower league that costs as much as USL1 in a CSA where an MLS team exists? It makes no sense, especially considering where. Now PDL, hell yeah. The cost isn't as enormous. He could find something like that or better in a place like Sacramento and practically guarantee success since he already owns the club.
I've talked with Robin Waite, USL-1 Kitsap owner, many times.
He lives in Kitsap now and he wants the team to be close to where he lives. He understands the doubters and even has semi-chosen a name that reflects the humor in those doubts: Kitsap Pipers. (As in following the Pied Piper across the Sound to Bremerton).
It is really that simple. He lives in Kitsap. He owns the USL-1 rights to the current franchise. The USL would have to deny a current owner, or Waite would have to run into a complete stadium dead end, for this not to happen.
BTW, Bremerton is an hour away from Seattle by boat, 1 1/2 hours by car. Those are the only two ways of getting there for the general public. So it might be 'isolated' enough. I really doubt the Kitsap Pipers would lose fans due to MLS Sounders FC.
I know I'll be trying to juggle Seattle, Tacoma and Kitsap matches in 2009. It won't be easy, but I'll die trying.
They have a name??? The Pipers?
Waite has personally told me that is his favorite choice. Then this appeared in the Kitsap Sun last Friday...
The new name for the team will likely start with a P so it could hang off the end of "Kitsap," he said.
So I am guessing he'll go with that, though at other times he's suggested a name the team contest might happen.
Is that what he calls his bong?
Military town, not really a separate media market, MLS a ferry ride and semi-convenient WALK away, school property with no alcohol sales. Oh, that pitch is nice grass for a bowling lane.
I guess I admire Mr. Waite's determination... but I do the same with some of these American Basketball Association owners. How many red flags does it take?
Seriously, the USL could care less as long as they get their franchise fee. Isn't that the historical M.O.?
Like this kind of piper?
It sounds a little goofy to try USL1 there, but hey, if it works, it works. Good luck to 'em! If it's successful, it could be just the USL1 booster shot that the west coast needs. Victoria, Sacto, Spokane, Reno could be next!
It sure seems like they don't care. However, maybe unlike MLS, they just don't verbalize their intentions as loudly. Besides, the franchise fee has already been paid on that club. Still I'd love for a team to come up in Sacramento.
I was thinking of the yearly fees, which are approaching 200k for USL-1 aren't they? Maybe it's more.
What was the last official fee you knew. I don't recall 200,000. Seems high. That's like 60% of the franchise fee.
The last I heard owners were required to post 150k in August for the following year.
Are you sure that's not just a 'in case you drop out and leave the league holding the bag' fee that they 'get back'? Kinda like a "first and last month's"?
No, I'm not sure. I do know they require a 'deposit' to guarantee for the next season.
Don't know how up-to-date this page is, and it speaks to joining the league, not maintaining status in it via yearly fees.
PDL for Kitsap in 2009:
Owner says 'six or more clubs' in current PDL are looking to 'go pro' and form a USL Second Division in the West. He wants Kitsap Soccer Club to be one of them...
So the USL-1 Sounders are no more after this season?
There'll be no more effort to relocate the franchise, as a USL-1 team, to another market?
Yes. RIP USL-1 Sounders and USL-1 in WA State.
Long live Sounders FC and Kitsap Soccer Club...and Tacoma Tide FC!
(Note: A USL-1 club could return to Washington State as a completely new franchise at some point, or Tacoma Tide FC could eventually jump up. Right now there is no indication that there are owners out there, and Waite was told by the league in no uncertain terms that they (especially other current club owners) did not want USL-1 in Bremerton at this time.)
A brief update. I got message today about a few things.
1. The territorial rights to USL-1 in Puget Sound are 'under discussion' at the USL offices.
2. It was the league who suggested Kitsap start in the PDL. I don't know what say Tacoma Tide had in the matter. Tacoma is about 30 miles south of Bremerton.
3. It appears the last step is near for Kitsap: just signing the lease to the stadium and getting ready for 2009.
Didn't I more or less predict that this is what would happen? I knew the league would say PDL. Despite it being a smart move to start Kitsap in the PDL, it is a bummer.
Totally agreed and if you called it early, props to you.
Kitsap starting in the PDL is spot on.
The USL-1 leaving the Puget Sound region?
Yeah man, I agree, bummer. I was hoping that we'd have close road trips.
Waite's a former co-owner of the current USL Seattle Sounders, who are playing their final season in that league before a Major League Soccer franchise named Seattle Sounders FC begins play. Waite originally wanted to move that franchise and rename it.
Waite's agreed to join the Northwest Division of the PDL, which plays from May to July. There would be an option of moving up to USL Division 2, though no teams in that division play on the West Coast.
Waite plans to pay his players, as do the Vancouver (B.C.) Whitecaps Residency. Other league members are the Abbotsford (B.C.) Mariners, BYU Cougars, Cascade Surge (Oregon), Ogden (Utah) Outlaws, Spokane Spikders, Tacoma Tide and Yakima Reds. Most of the PDL clubs are comprised of college players and don't pay salaries.
Waite, who will be the owner/general manager, estimated it would cost between $150,000 and $175,000 to operate a team for a season, depending on salaries.
Ticket prices, he said, will range from $5 to $10.
Once everything is finalized, Waite said he'll hold a name the team contest.
"It's been a couple of very, very interesting years, but I think we're finally there," said Waite. "All's well that ends well."