Odds on WUSA white knight?

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by sachinag, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. sachinag

    sachinag New Member

    Jun 19, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO
  2. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think there is any chance someone else steps in. They just tried to sell teams individually and nobody bought one. Why would someone losing his ass on MLS want to lose his ass on WUSA?
     
  3. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    'diego
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Unless someone has a MUCH BIGGER vision of how soccer can work in this country than I do (not necesarily unlikely), I don't think MLS or AEG wants any part of this. What they want is SSS in NY/NJ. Chicago, Colorado, DC and stadium restructuring in SJ (whose attendance may improve with the CyberRays folding), and further expansion above and beyond (maybe Philly and/or Seattle).

    But what do I know. I'm as far away from the backroom deals AEG and/or MLS are always making as I am from Heather Mitts.
     
  4. Femfa

    Femfa New Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Does a WUSA knight have to neccesarily be MLS related?

    Or just willing to work with them.
     
  5. Rocket

    Rocket Member

    Aug 29, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Aren't we looking at an awfully short window of opportunity for any white knight interested in the WUSA?

    Unless someone's able to bail out the league within the next week or two, I suspect it would be necessary to create a new league in order to have pro women's soccer in the U.S.
     
  6. roarksown1

    roarksown1 Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    Playa del Rey, CA
    Club:
    Hamburger SV
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Anyone who would have money enough to come in and save the league got that much money by making smart investments and not wasting their money. No one will step in to save it...
     
  7. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    I agree that the $100 million needs to be written off first, then start fresh with:

    1) reasonable goals;

    2) marketing to people other than 10-year-old spoilt girls;

    3) a lot more shoe money (Reebok/Puma were never in the league AT ALL);

    4) more SSS;

    5) greater due diligence on corporate sponsors;

    6) better TV deal;

    7) another World Cup win here on American soil. Y'know, why do I think this announcement will be the greatest motivation for the Red, White, and Blue to win it all???
     
  8. anderson

    anderson Member+

    Feb 28, 2002
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, I think you'd want a new business. If you took over the WUSA, you'd get their legal rights and obligations (to the extent that you couldn't get the sellers to eat some of the liabilities). Some of their current deals you may want, but even their sponsorships weren't apparently enough to keep a low-cost league alive.

    If MLS wanted to go into this business, it may make sense if they do it in the markets in which they control the stadium or have good stadium revenue deals. It may not be too crazy to have an exhibuition "WMLS"-type mini-season next summer - say 6-8 games per team over 2 mos. or so - in places like NE, Columbus, KC, and LA. Make 'em all doubleheaders with the MLS team and maybe you got the starting point for a business if you can add a few more markets with favorable stadium situations.

    Of course, your business objectives wouldn't really be a self-standing women's soccer league. It would be adding maybe 6-8,000 to your MLS attendance by having a women's game as part of a double-header. Dunno if that would be a good business.
     
  9. PaulGascoigne

    PaulGascoigne Member

    Feb 5, 2001
    Aotearoa/NZ
    Pretty much any knight at all would do. Even Sir Rodney from Wizard of Id.
     
  10. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    'diego
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Or it could depress the hell out of all those American players - you know, the ones who just lost their jobs and are just salivating over living on assistant college coaching and W-League wages - and lead them to lay a huge, fat egg.

    Could go either way I suppose. Maybe more people will tune in as a result?
     
  11. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    Club:
    DC United
    It would have to be Barishnakov, with the untimely passing of Gregory Hines.

    Sachin
     
  12. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think all things considered it would be preferrable to do so. I think the WUSA's structure is not viable and a bit of mess. Being only a few years old, I'm not sure the league itself has a whole lot of inherent value over a new entity. Certainly not enough to make up for all the additional obstacles it would present.
     
  13. Autogolazo

    Autogolazo BigSoccer Supporter

    Feb 19, 2000
    Bombay Beach, CA
    Chinese Women's League 2004!

    Mark my words, the Chinese will get us back for stealing this SARS-tainted Cup--and who needs corporate sponsorship when they've got the state?

    They spend all sorts of state money on Olympics training, why not throw down a little more to make silly America look foolish?

    Kunming Lady Dragons Fighting!

    The US players will stay and try to get coaching gigs, but the rest of the world will look to China as the guidestar for women's soccer from now on.

    I'm only half joking.
     
  14. myshap

    myshap Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Just kind of half-assing here and playing around with other people's money, but I see a way for MLS to save WUSA. Which could be a good for the league because they can bring in new investers who invested in WUSA and gain dates in their SSS. Who knows maybe one or two of those cable companies comes along for the ride as well.

    First WUSA would have to write off the MLS from being responisble for most or all of the money they lost. Secondly, In order for it to work, clubs would have to move. MLS could move San Diego to Dallas, Philadelpia to Columbus, and SJ to LA. That puts 3 clubs in MLS SSS. Creates doubleheader possibilities in places wher MLS controls the revenue and when the MLS team is on the road WUSA(WMLS) can play at the empty stadium.

    Carolina, Atlanta, and DC can stay where they are. Carolina and Atlanta both have SSSs or close to it and I don't see a big problem with RFK since soccer is the only tenant. Also DC is in the running for an SSS.

    The NY team can stay in NY waiting, like all of us, for the Harrison stadium, but they have to stay in the place they play now. MLS can't afford a second rent in GS for 3 more years. This is a little iffy as I believe, just like in MLS, the NY club is costing a ton of money in operations just because of the location. If Harrison gets side tracked another year and won't be ready by 2006, they have to be moved somewhere. Maybe Rochester, would be interested or if Cleaveland or OKC get a MLS franchise and built SSSs. You can always add another team in NY, but you can't replace the money very easily.

    The big problem is Boston. I know Revs fans aren't very happy with the Krafts and from what they have said Kraft isn't too happy with soccer. It would help out greatly if Kraft got in with Gillette Stadium. Though, I'm not holding my breath. An alternative is maybe KC with Arrowhead or see where Chicago is with their stadium dealings and move them there. Maybe Kronke in COL would be interested if he's in MLS.

    What would really help is if one or two of those big cable companies came aboard as well. Maybe even taking a MLS team off Uncle Phil's hands as well. All pipe dreams I know, but it gave me something to do right now.
     
  15. pc4th

    pc4th New Member

    Jun 14, 2003
    North Poll
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    3:1 on revivial in 2007. So WUSA won't play in 04, 05, 06. No big deal. MLS will announce that it will start WMLS in 05.

    By 2007, MLS will have the following SSS

    1) Columbus Crew Stadium
    2) Home Depot Center
    3) Frisco Stadium (2005)
    4) Harission Stadium (2006)
    5) FireHouse (2007)
    6) DC United Stadium (being hopeful 2007)
    7) Denver Stadium (Kroenke is building a SSS for the Rapids and his lacrosse team as well as concert venue, the question is when, i put 2007)

    MLS can put teams in these stadiums, plus Atlanta, Carolina.

    8) And remember that Rochester is building a SSS also, (completion by mid July 2004) put a WMLS team in there too.

    So that is 7 MLS SSS, 8 if Rochester receive expansion in 2005, 2006, or 2007.

    WMLS ten teams: In the cities noted above.
    However, the earliest I can see the revival of WUSA is 2007.
    It is foolish to suggest that MLS will take over WUSA now. They will inherit whatever debt WUSA has, which some suggested at 100 million dollars.
    -start a new women league, you don't have to pay for the debt
    -wait for SSS (by 2007, there should be at least 5-6 if not 7 SSS MLS-owned.)
     
  16. Red Card

    Red Card Member+

    Mar 3, 1999
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Would the women go along with being second fiddle to the men in a WMLS that plays as part of doubleheaders? Maybe not the national stars, but there are others.

    And would the potential new investors lwant to get involved with a women's team? Imagine a women's Chivas team.
     
  17. kyledane

    kyledane Member

    Jan 28, 2000
    Near San Francisco
    This may be a radical idea to some, but I've always thought that the women could be good for MLS in that they could provide extra revenue on days that MLS was NOT playing. MLS plays saturday, the women could play Sunday. If MLS owns both leagues, they have two separate revenue streams with only one set of stadia. This obviously only works if they also control the revenue streams at those stadia, which might be the current problem/reason MLS won't bail WUSA out.

    I've never felt that MLS/WUSA doubleheaders meant double the attendance. On a few rare occasions, yes, but generally it didn't work that way. The fan bases contained far too much crossover to double the revenue with doubleheaders. But they could do so if they worked it right.

    To be honest, I like the NBA/WNBA logic of having the men and women play separate seasons, and keeping the stadia in operation with soccer games year-round.
     
  18. whirlwind

    whirlwind New Member

    Apr 4, 2000
    Plymouth, MI, USA
    But you'd have to pay twice as often to the concession vendors, the ticket-takers, the parking guides, the security teams... and while it might work out better in SSS, you'd be paying rent twice in Giants Stadium, etc...

    Which works fine in indoor arenas, but MLS already occupies the entire playable timeframe in Chicago, New England, New York, DC and Columbus and maybe even Dallas.
     
  19. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Unless women's teams are going to play for free, I don't see how a WMLS makes sense. The bump in attandance won't be enough to make it work. I just don't see it.

    For instance, assume every Freedom ticket holder never went to a DC United game and vice-versa. On any given game day, that's about 21,000 tickets give or take. If MLS is still losing money in DC on 15k a game, and the Freedom lost money for WUSA on 6k a game how can a model that puts both together work assuming the best case is true?

    The only thing MLS is saving is front office staff like sales people which is cheap. They still need to absorb the entire soccer organization of a women's team including coaches and players and a GM etc.

    Does anyone in their right mind think MLS could add a women's division without paying female players similar salaries to male players. If we figure this to be 200 players at $40k a year, this is an extra $8 million not counting coaches, travel, insurance, etc. Do we think MLS has an extra $8 million a year to spend on a women's division?

    Obviously this is all hypothetical, but I just don't see how this works. If there's another organization that gets a new league going and pays MLS to use stadia, that's a boon for MLS. Throwing more money down a hole, that doesn't make sense. MLS is still in a tough spot, so I don't see it happening.
     
  20. Brownswan

    Brownswan New Member

    Jun 30, 1999
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    There's just no way the women would play for less money -- and if they did, the bad press coming out of it would be a major embarrassment.

    We don't need it. The W-League is there for the players who want it. One former WUSAer -- a player from Nigeria -- is already in the W-League, and helped her team to a championship. I think more will follow her -- just as a number of former MLSers now play in the A-League.

    At 100 mil this was one heck of an education for all concerned.
     
  21. Red Card

    Red Card Member+

    Mar 3, 1999
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's sad that this happened. No doubt the bashers are going to have a feast. But this was inevitable, and gives the (women's) sport a chance to start anew. Sort of like the forest after a devasting forest fire.

    Somehow I am reminded of a very unique league, the WTT. It formed at the height of the tennis bonanza in the US. Each team consisted of men and women, and a match against another team had men's and women's doubles, singles, and then mixed doubles. Like the WUSA, it folded after a few years. But it was groundbreaking and unique.

    http://members.fortunecity.com/wfl/wtt/structure.html

    Maybe someday a promoter will come up with a mixed soccer league, men and women. for 1st 30 minutes men play, then 30 minutes women play and the last 30 minutes is mixed play. Maybe that will make it? You never know.
     
  22. Rocket

    Rocket Member

    Aug 29, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    A Last Effort to Revive WUSA - Washington Post



    Hey, aren't Mia and Nomar Garciaparra engaged? Maybe Nomar and a few of his teammates on the Red Sox can chip in the $20 million or so that the league needs. :)
     
  23. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Evanston, IL
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm not sure if your aware of this,but the W- League is similar to the PDL in that they don't pay their players. For the most part it's set up for college players. So in fact if they went to the W- League they get paid a lot less / nothing.
     
  24. Northside Rovers

    Jan 28, 2000
    Austin TX
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    MLS Confidential reported that WUSA approached AEG 2 weeks ago to see if he would bail out the league. Obviously, he turned them down.

    It also said that many in WUSA had wrongly assumed that if it came down to it, that Anschutz would save the league.

    The gist of it was that back in 1999 when MLS was considering a womens league, they wrote a plan, offered to team up, but WUSA went out on its own. And as far as MLS was concerned, from that point on, it was that WUSA would sink or swim on its own.

    Mark Abbott said that even though MLS did not have all the answers, they knew the markets and they wanted to help. WUSA just left negotiations and went out on their own and did it their way.

    And here we are.
     
  25. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    See, again, the problem is that I think you're much better off starting a new league at this point then trying to patch holes in the hull of the WUSA. It just isn't worth the expense to prop up this three year old league whose structure appears to not be conducive to a sustainable league.

    I'm not convinced Anschutz has written off pro women's soccer, just the WUSA specifically.
     

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