USL Expansion General discussion

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

  1. Blando13

    Blando13 Member+

    Dec 4, 2013
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sorry, you brought up ticket price ... I don't understand the point of ticket price when it comes to the outlook of development teams. Sure it matters when comparing RGV attendance vs an independent, but many other things matter just as much. I doubt if cost is driving attendance down ... and I really doubt development teams in markets where there are no high levels being played is an issue. Marketing, ticket sales strategies, promotions, facilities (fan experience) are likely just as big of an issue and they're different in every situation.
     
  2. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    What I was trying to get at was that (I think) people go to MiLB games because they're a cheap day/evening out to watch baseball. I could be completely wrong on this, but I don't think there are (many, at any rate) passionate Rumble Ponies or Macon Bacon fans (maybe Rumble Ponies. I mean... Rumble Ponies!). I also highly doubt that the Salt Lake Bees or the Mobile Bay Bears are massively increasing Anaheim's fan bases in Utah and south Alabama, respectively. MiLB is a pretty dispassionate experience vis-a-vis the actual baseball. You go for the atmosphere (which, also, is very laid back in baseball) and the individual players, but I don't think the teams matter much. I don't think when the Sand Gnats moved from Savannah to Columbia and were replaced with the Bananas that anyone in Savannah kept their allegiances to the Sand Gnats. I also really don't think that majority of people that pass through MiLB care overall how their local team is doing as long as it was a fun day at the ballpark when they go.

    Soccer is a really different game, though. Individuals have far less of an effect (usually). So while Ricardo Pepi might draw some interest, it's also really possible that the rest of the team is in a state (or the opponent's defense) that he's taken completely out of the game. Last season, baseball fans in Manchester, NH and Buffalo knew that Vlad Guerrero, Jr. was going to be at the plate 3 or 4 times a game regardless of whatever the rest of the team looked like.
     
  3. Blando13

    Blando13 Member+

    Dec 4, 2013
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Don't think I disagree with any of that ... but I also don't understand why ticket pricing is an issue in soccer ... or maybe it isn't. I do think, that if done correctly, the developmental teams can draw from people wanting to see players from their "own home town" or region. I am an Austria Wien fan this year based on a kid from my neck of the woods being on their team. If a developmental team has a handful of local players, I can see why fans would come and see them play. I do think some players can draw fans for many different reasons though.
     
  4. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    I just think it's a much harder sell when it's going to cost $60 (plus fees) for a family of 4 simply to get through the gate if there's not much excitement about or connection to the team, although obviously that isn't exclusive to reserves teams.
     
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  5. Blando13

    Blando13 Member+

    Dec 4, 2013
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't disagree ... but I'd be shocked if teams wanted higher attendance and had those costs for entry. Swope Park certainly don't have those costs. They have other reasons for attendance issues ... but really, they aren't that concerned with it ... just concern from USL/twitter/reddit fans!
     
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  6. hipityhop

    hipityhop Member

    New Mexico United
    United States
    Jan 10, 1999
    Mission TX
    Club:
    SønderjyskE
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would still like to see a USL-1 team in Wichita and to have an agreement for a few of the better SKC Academy players to be loaned to them for a season.
     
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  7. Blando13

    Blando13 Member+

    Dec 4, 2013
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd rather have those Academy players playing for Swope in USL1 against Wichita, Topeka, Springfield, Columbia, Des Moines, Omaha, Little Rock, etc.
     
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  8. athletics68

    athletics68 Member+

    Dec 12, 2006
    San Diego & San Jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But then you have to take into account the relative niche position of soccer in this country too.
     
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  9. LouCityFan

    LouCityFan Member

    Louisville City FC
    United States
    May 25, 2019
    Louisville, KY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    https://www.soctakes.com/2019/09/10/usl-league-one-adds-4-clubs/

    Portland Tinbers 2 and Los Angles Galaxy II will move from Championship to League 1, and will be joined by a new club in Riverside that is a reserve team for AS Roma of Serie A. A new reserve team for New England of MLS is joining League 1 as well.

    Soc Takes initially reported that the 3 MLS reserve teams would join for 2020, but the USL's Ryan Madden confirmed that will not happen next year.

    For 2020 there might be a 3 division alignment:

    West - Riverside, Tucson, North Texas, Omaha

    East - Richmond, Lansing, Toronto, Madison

    South - Orlando, Greenville, South Georgia, Chattanooga

    I wonder if Boise will make a stab at USL Championship if Tacoma stays.
     
  10. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    I see Boise and Spokane pushed forward a lot for USL-C expansion, but it feels unlikely that USL would prioritize more markets that would push the D2 population requirements percentage in the wrong direction.
    Boise is probably close enough to be fine, but it highlights how limited the markets are in the west. Outside of California, anyway.
     
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  11. LouCityFan

    LouCityFan Member

    Louisville City FC
    United States
    May 25, 2019
    Louisville, KY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with you. Boise probably could work for USLC, but if Portland and Real Monarchs ultimately move down (not to mention Tacoma), there's little reason for Boise to stay up. Both markets would be great adds for League 1.
     
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  12. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    Agreed on all points.
     
  13. VBCity72

    VBCity72 Member+

    Aug 17, 2014
    Oki, J-pan
    Club:
    Plymouth Argyle FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I do remember the USL commish saying they were going to cap USL-C soon so they can start to fill up USL-L1.
     
  14. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    Only after they expand to 40. And that's after kicking down 10 or 12: https://www.si.com/soccer/2019/01/14/usl-jake-edwards-future-expansion-promotion-relegation
    "We’re looking at the ideal number [in the Championship] somewhere around 38 or 40, and that’s where we’re going to top out and cease expansion. What that means is there will be a number of teams—probably 10 or 12—currently in our Championship that will come out of our league over the next years and go into League One."

    That's 12-16 new teams, not counting teams poached by MLS.
    It seems ambitious, to say the least.
     
  15. LouCityFan

    LouCityFan Member

    Louisville City FC
    United States
    May 25, 2019
    Louisville, KY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would suspect Championship will wind up at either 36 or 40 - 38 means 2 conferences of 19, which means someone has to leave a weekend date open every weekend.

    As far as who's headed out, it will probably look like this:

    Nashville (2020) - MLS
    Austin (2021) - folds due to MLS
    Sacramento (2022) - MLS
    Saint Louis (2022) - MLS
    Charlotte - MLS
    Portland Timbers 2 - League 1
    Los Angeles Galaxy II - League 1
    Swope Park Rangers - League 1
    Tacoma Defiance - League 1
    Real Monarchs - League 1
    Atlanta United 2 - League 1

    If all five of the new MLS teams create League 1 teams in their wake, that gets to 11 new teams. New York Red Bulls II and Loudon United might be the last two out, but that would still mean 13 departures from USLC plus possibly Ottawa.

    So to get back from 24 or 25 to 40:

    San Diego (confirmed)
    Oakland/East Bay (confirmed)
    Jacksonville
    Milwaukee
    Cleveland
    New Orleans
    Buffalo
    Baltimore
    Detroit
    Grand Rapids
    Richmond (from League 1)
    Virginia Beach
    Providence
    Omaha (from League 1)
    Tucson (from League 1, Phoenix Rising moves reserves to Flagstaff or Phoenix)
    Knoxville

    If MLS goes to 32, you could probably add Albany and Greenville to the list.
     
  16. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    I'd probably throw Charleston and possibly Colorado Springs into L1 pot, as well.
    Can't imagine they would promote Greenville up from L1 at their current attendance numbers.
     
  17. Blando13

    Blando13 Member+

    Dec 4, 2013
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would have said that prior to their stadium solution coming about. I think that changes the game for them a bit.
     
  18. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    I agree, but it really boils down to whether or not they think they can continue to afford to operate at that level. Since it's a gate driven league, the stadium could help, but it's not going to be a magic wand.
    The stadium situation is why I hedged on them, but I think any smaller market that is struggling competitively is at least considering the drop.
     
  19. Blando13

    Blando13 Member+

    Dec 4, 2013
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agree ... Charlotte's situation is similar, only the market is larger, but a larger market doesn't mean anything if you don't do the work.
     

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