USL Expansion General discussion

Discussion in 'USL Expansion' started by mikehurst21, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    DC United
    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    USL doesn't need true nationwide relevance. They need to be a strong local product in the metro areas that MLS doesn't want/need. Get the local done, and keep dealing with something like ESPN, and the nationwide relevance will be a byproduct even if it never matches MLS.

    Even now, not counting the MLS2 teams, USL has 5 of the top 25 MSAs (Phoenix, OCSC [Irvine], Tampa, Charlotte, San Antonio) and there's talk of USL teams in 2-3 more in that range. You've got 53 MSAs right now over 1 million in the US with it looking like the next census will move to 55 with Tulsa and Fresno both topping that mark.

    Viability seems more and more likely every day, even though the safe bet is still a lot of volatility in the coming decades.
     
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  2. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    DC United
    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The NBA and NFL have both openly spoken of more expansion in the last year or so. NHL has upped their entry standards to record highs because of how many cities want in and is turning down markets with stadiums ready to go like Quebec City and Kansas City.
     
  3. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    What sort of nationwide "relevance" are you expecting from a lower division soccer league?

    You've still got a massive set of large cities to garner local support in, which is the more likely goal than expecting neutrals to follow a second division soccer.
     
  4. VBCity72

    VBCity72 Member+

    Aug 17, 2014
    Oki, J-pan
    Club:
    Plymouth Argyle FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't believe the NFL will expand again 32 is the perfect number of teams for them. The NBA will at some point even though I think the talent is spread too thin now but a league set up like the NFL is likely. The NHL already stated they were expanding to 32 but they only let in Vegas for the time being. MLS is honestly the only major league I can see expanding past 32 and I don't think that will happen either. The NHL waited for their last spot because in addition to QC and KC, Hamilton has been trying forever for a team and Houston, Seattle and Portland have expressed interest. 32 will be it so they need to chose wisely or they will have to use relocation of current teams if they want to move into new cities ala NFL.
     
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  5. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    DC United
    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The NHL has already let Seattle in as well (they're waiting until the arena to be finished in September to announce it). KC and Quebec City didn't have the financing together to go with their arenas or they would be in as well.

    Roger Goodell has talked about the NFL expanding for 3 years now.

    Adam Silver has specifically mentioned Seattle as an expansion city now that the NHL ownership group has the arena issue straightened out.

    The stop at 32 was due largely to TV markets. The next round of contracts for pro (and college) sports isn't going to be on traditional or cable TV. That's going to open things up again to a new paradigm where Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, and Facebook are the major sports broadcasters and aren't bound by/tied to location as much.
     
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  6. VBCity72

    VBCity72 Member+

    Aug 17, 2014
    Oki, J-pan
    Club:
    Plymouth Argyle FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yea I just looked up about Seattle but KC has an arena built specifically for an NHL or NBA team but they are a smaller city than Seattle so that makes sense.

    I know Goodell had talked about "expanding" overseas to London but I see that as more of relocating a team and the expanding part is expanding the NFL viewer base but I might be wrong in that. I just have seen any articles stating he wanted to add more teams.

    If/when the NBA expands, Seattle needs to be automatic #1.

    Also just a few days ago the MLB commish named 6 cities they could look to expand to. Portland, Vegas, Charlotte, Nashville, Montreal and Vancouver. He also mentioned Mexico as a place to expand to as well.
     
  7. waltlantz

    waltlantz Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Perhaps you are right. I just see USL in markets like Charlotte, Indy and now Hartford and think that these are markets that could have MLS level success if properly invested in.

    Especially due to the market sizes of some of these cities.

    And then at the same time, I wonder if MLS is the only way for these clubs to increase their notoriety or if USL can eventually bridge the gap between it and MLS.

    Sorry if it seems like I am rambling. I know that some teams like Tampa Bay, Indy and Chicago USL are really pushing.

    I just wonder if eventually the two leagues should just merge because so many of those larger cities seem like they could support something beyond Division 2.
     
  8. waltlantz

    waltlantz Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Nationwide relevance is probably not the right term.

    More like maximizing interest in local markets, which I think might be limited just by virtue of being in lower division soccer with no true interaction between independent clubs and their larger MLS brethren aside from the US Open Cup.

    Call it snobbishness if you will but I believe there is a whole set of fans out there to be gained by virtue of just being in the highest league in the land as opposed to something less.
     
  9. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    DC United
    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yep. I expect the expansion game to really heat up 3-4 years from now. The next round of broadcast rights deals start coming up then (NBA 2024, NFL 2022, MLB 2021, NHL 2021) and companies like the major streaming services plus Facebook have way more money to spend than the TV networks. They've also got more than just commercials for potential advertising revenue.

    Here's a great look at the concept of streaming services going after the power 5 college football conferences in the near future and how it could work for them:

    Put those ordered items in team branded Amazon boxes according to the preferences of the account owner. Now imagine that same thing with pro sports. It's going to be an intriguing new frontier in just a couple of years.
     
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  10. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    To be honest, the only scenario I can see where an MLS team pulls fans/interest away from a USL team would be them both being in the same market, which, outside of whatever happens in Austin and Chicago, only applies to MLS 2 teams, which is an entirely different issue.

    MLS simply does not attract neutrals and definitely wouldn't with any remotely professional local USL team (it remains to be seen whether or not this applies to D3).

    There will always be better soccer available to watch on tv, but US soccer would do best to establish itself in as many cities as it can. Whatever the level, it's generally a lot more fun to support your club in person than watching two Champions League teams that you have no connection to, despite the fact that the latter is going to be much better aesthetically.

    Yes, if the local club is not entertaining (uninterested owners, bad fan experience, etc.) they run the danger of losing interest to televised games, but probably not to MLS.
     
  11. aetraxx7

    aetraxx7 Member+

    Jun 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    Club:
    Des Moines Menace
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes. I am sure that MLS will adjust accordingly if and when the other leagues do. NHL is just one team shy of 32. MLB is also actively discussing expansion to reach 32, pending the resolution of the "stadium issues" in Oakland and Tampa. Manfred released a half dozen cities that the league is interested in:
    The big question is who will be the first to exceed 32 teams. The follow up is do they add four to keep the simple divisions, or two at a time and reconfigure.
     
  12. VBCity72

    VBCity72 Member+

    Aug 17, 2014
    Oki, J-pan
    Club:
    Plymouth Argyle FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think once a league passes 32 they will drop divisions and go with conferences like MLS does.
     
  13. waltlantz

    waltlantz Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    You make great points that I agree with.

    This will be up to the federation to realize that they can only win with more high level clubs creating talented players and stories.

    It will be interesting to see how things shake out by 2022.
     
  14. aetraxx7

    aetraxx7 Member+

    Jun 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    Club:
    Des Moines Menace
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm fairly certain that you are being sarcastic, but all four leagues have conferences: Eastern & Western in the NHL and NBA, American and National in the NFL and MLB.
     
  15. VBCity72

    VBCity72 Member+

    Aug 17, 2014
    Oki, J-pan
    Club:
    Plymouth Argyle FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm not but I think you are reading it wrong. I said get rid of divisions. Divisions are North, South, East and West in the NFL with 4 teams each, East, Central, and West in MLB with 5 teams each and so on... I think that instead of unbalanced divisions they would drop the East, West, whatever and just have the National and American conferences.
     
  16. aetraxx7

    aetraxx7 Member+

    Jun 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    Club:
    Des Moines Menace
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For some reason, I was reading it as they only have divisions and not conferences currently.
    I don't see any of the leagues dropping their divisions and solely going to conferences. The divisions allow for rotating schedules and provide better opportunities for playoff seeding. The NFL's current system of two games against each division opponent annually ensures strong regional rivalries (except for the Cowboys) and the rotating division schedule ensures that every team will play each other every few years. Because of their limited schedule, this is the best compromise.
    As far as seeding, having divisions means having an automatic spot for a playoff contender from each region (as most divisions are regional). From here, you end up with either regional playoffs (similar to how the PDL works) or matches with opponents that do not meet too often in the regular season (as with the NFL and NHL).
    With that in mind, MLB is considering several drastic restructuring options, all of which include division structures within their conferences. Proposals have been made for pure geographic alignment akin to the NHL, NBA, and MLS structures, but there are a lot of voices calling for the status quo with a few teams changing from American to National or vice versa to create better schedule and travel balance.
     
  17. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

    Mar 4, 2010
    Chicago
    Club:
    Chicago Red Stars
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Looks like Chattanooga may get a USL team (Div 3?) it will not be Chattanooga FC.

    https://soccer.nbcsports.com/2018/07/29/chattanooga-fc-ready-to-face-challenge-from-usl-d-iii/
     
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  18. SteveUSSF_ref8

    LA Galaxy
    United States
    Oct 25, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I know that San Diego 1904 FC has been turned down almost a year ago from joining USL Championship and have decided to go the NISA route instead. However has anyone heard any news about any other USL San Diego ownership groups? With the lost of an MLS bid it would be nice to get at least a D-2 club.
     
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  19. Threeke

    Threeke Member

    Feb 26, 2016
    I've heard that Warren Smith has secured USL Championship rights in San Diego and there is potentially an announcement coming in the next few weeks. Heard that back in early/mid December though so who knows?

    There is still a lack of suitable facilities in SD for any professional team. The Mission Valley stadium site that was identified for the MLS expansion bid now belongs to SDSU (once the city sells them the land) and they will still have to demolish and rebuild which will take years and years. Next best location is up north in Oceanside where 1904FC was looking to build their pop-up stadium.
     
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  20. Owen Thornhill

    Dec 22, 2012
    Club:
    Cork City
    Lane United Eugene OR are looking at League 1 from 2020 but I hope there are more west coast clubs by then otherwise a lot of travel.
     
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