ESPN on MLS Attendance: League Well-Positioned to Survive

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by Simon Birch, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Simon Birch

    Simon Birch New Member

    Aug 4, 2003
    With McOwen's Monkey
  2. MightyMouse

    MightyMouse BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 19, 2003
    Island paradise east of the mainland
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well it's not bad considering its coming from ESPN.
     
  3. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  4. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, he's not your typical ESPN guy; he's a BigSoccer poster!

    PS...I don't like the word "survive" in the title. Did Kristian use that word? In any case, the question of MLS surviving has been settled. It's all Gloria Gaynor now.
     
  5. athletics68

    athletics68 Member+

    Dec 12, 2006
    San Diego & San Jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No the real title was "MLS remains well-positioned despite recession"
     
  6. bbsbt

    bbsbt Member+

    Feb 26, 2003
    How about, "League Well-Positioned To Weather Economic Storm" ?

    I always hated certain title words used in soccer headlines, such as "save" and "survive". As if to subliminaly imply to the casual observer that the league is still in survival mode.
    A favorite of mine: "But Can It Save Soccer In This Country?"

    As if soccer needs to be saved.
     
  7. soccermaul

    soccermaul Red Card

    May 28, 2009
    On the Bus..
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  8. KaptPowers

    KaptPowers Member

    Dec 29, 2003
    Arlington, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Building a new stadium in Somerville (or somewhere else in the Greater Boston Metro Area) is only the first step. It will help, but if the Revs don't jettison their low-budget/second-rate ways it won't matter at all. After the initial boost in attendance you'd just be moving their 11K core from a 68K stadium to a 25K-30K one. What needs to change the most (and what needs to change first) is the Front Office culture. Dallas has shown us a great stadium and NFL-bred FO people spells trouble.
     
  9. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 25, 2006
    A very interesting read, particularly the comments of Raymond Sauer.

    "They [MLS] do have pretty good cost-control structures, and that should help them in the current economic environment. But the U.S. market clearly has the attention of European teams," Sauer said. "MLS will have to spend more on talent if they are to build a generation of fans for their own home-grown teams. There are plenty of challenges ahead."

    Pretty much spot on.
     
  10. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  11. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    clearly nobody knows that (and "500" is likely a very bad guess, or a point of hyperbole).

    but I do think the broader point is true -- that MLS can survive (perhaps just barely) with stadiums (out) in places like Foxboro, but the league would likely (or have a better chance to) thrive with an increased number of stadiums in more centralized locations like Somerville.

    but, building venues will always be a challenge for MLS, and building venues in the ideal location in any market will be an even bigger challenge.
     
  12. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Manistee, Michigan
    Club:
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: MLS and the recession

    There's a cigar smoker in a blue dress that needs this brought to his attention. ;)
     
  13. Ted Lyons

    Ted Lyons Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    Tucson, Arizona
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Correlate this article with this article and things look even better for MLS.

    Some major teams in the bigger US sports leagues have come depend on income streams that likely are not sustainable. MLS, on the other hand, is still in the stage of charging ticket prices that working class fans can afford. Although a down economy obviously hurts, MLS should be able to make it through the storm by attracting new fans and alienating as few fans as possible.

    Of course, putting out a good product is as important as charging reasonable ticket prices when it comes to engaging new fans, so that is still an issue that needs to be addressed.
     
  14. Paul Calixte

    Paul Calixte Moderator
    Staff Member

    Orlando City SC
    Apr 30, 2009
    Miami, FL
    Club:
    Orlando City SC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For example, ahem ahem...

    I'm a student in a college up here in Boston (seriously). Right now, given my disposable income, I would be hard-pressed to make regular trips to Foxboro given the lack of public transportation there except for Pats games. But put a stadium in Sommerville and I'll literally be able to walk there.
     
  15. alky13

    alky13 Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Manchester/NYC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think its sad if all we're shooting for is to survive. Seems pointless. The whole goal is to draw fans and grow. Not stagnate and "survive".
     
  16. athletics68

    athletics68 Member+

    Dec 12, 2006
    San Diego & San Jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Long term yes. But as long as there is a world wide recession on, I think we can all live with "surviving" for now. It's better than the alternative that a few short years ago would have been our fate in a downturn of this magnitude. The fact the league is "surviving" in the current climate is very encouraging when you consider all the "lower" leagues that MLS is occasionally lumped in with that have tanked outright or suffered significant setbacks in the last year or two and the near civil war that has gripped our lower division cousins the USL.
     
  17. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 25, 2006
    I think it's more complicated than we make it to be. We've talked about it enough, but MLS -- the league, not the teams -- makes money from a share of gate receipts, national TV contracts and national sponsorships. TFC certainly draws well, and while we don't have hard numbers I'll stipulate that they must be sending more cash to MLS than most teams. But if you look at the other revenue streams, how many Canadian companies are major MLS sponsors? How many existing sponsors paid more because they got access to the Toronto market? Again, we don't know hard numbers, but it doesn't appear to be a major source of revenue for the league.

    And those CBC numbers are nice, but I'm not sure what they mean in terms of dollars either. Univision/TeleFutura pay MLS $9 million a year for an audience of 250,000 - 300,000 viewers. ESPN pays $8 million for a similar audience (especially with ESPN DePortes now adding more to the mix). I have no idea what CBC generates for MLS (outside of payments they make make to TFC), but it sure isn't close to those other deals, even if CBC is pulling in a similarly sized audiance on occasion.

    I support having the Canadian teams play in MLS, and while TFC is a great success, I'm not sure the Canadian market is all that profitable for the league, particularly when you compare it to the importance of its Spanish speaking audience and the money that generates for MLS. I do agree that it's got tremendous potential, but it hasn't fulfilled it -- not yet, anyway. When CBC or some Canadian broadcaster starts waving an $8 million check for the annual TV rights, or sponsors start writing some big checks because of the Canadian markets, the strategy will start to really pay off.
     
  18. Scott e Dio93

    Scott e Dio93 New Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    Montevideo, URU
    Survive in some cities, make some profit in a verey few cities, and lose tons in majority other cities.
     
  19. Scott e Dio93

    Scott e Dio93 New Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    Montevideo, URU
    When you don't have stars...you won't get TV deals. Most big money TV rights ans jersey sponsorship came because of Beckham ( like or not ). Reason why MLS needs bigger cap and more DP.
     
  20. RSwenson

    RSwenson Member

    Feb 1, 2000
    I think this is part of the rationale for having more Canadian teams... when the league can sell a national TV contract in Canada, MLS central is going to be the beneficiary (even tough it is probable that the local broadcast rights will net TFC less ca$h)...

    If national sponsorships and broadcast contracts come along with Vancouver and Montreal, it could be more than worth it to add this "national footprint" north of the border...
     
  21. Brutus112

    Brutus112 Member

    Feb 4, 2005
    New Albany, Oh
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    two extremely interesting points... The league is positioning itself quite nicely to be a marketers dream. There aren't many vehicles to reach Mex/US/Can consumers all at the same time. Only the international tourny's / Olympics can provide that kind of exposure. If SUM can figure out how to turn a buck by bringing in more Canadian teams, then by all means, welcome.
     
  22. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    Aug 1, 2007
  23. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    Aug 1, 2007

    Stop. Your making too much sense.
     

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