Relegation in the US?

Discussion in 'BigSoccer Polls' started by madhoman, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. madhoman

    madhoman New Member

    Nov 12, 2000
    With the Kickers' upset of DCU this week, I got to thinking....

    Would a EPL style relegation work for sports here in the US?
    Imagine if teams got downgraded on the regular. The Brooklyn Cyclones replacing the Detroit Tigers, Richmond Kickers taking over for DC, etc.

    Yes I know I'm being a little melodramatic, but's almost soccer saturday.
  2. nsamsarmy

    nsamsarmy New Member

    Apr 1, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I don't see why baseball couldn't do it, and it would certainly give teams something to play for. It'd be cool. Nice Avatar by the way. I miss the trips down to Dale Mabry to see them play...
  3. modenafc1912

    modenafc1912 New Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Modena, Italy
    Modena FC
    Relegation has always been a hot topic here on bs.

    My bay, it would work in the Us soccer, which - of the "fab 5" - is the "less american" sport. Relegation, in whatever sport, gives always a reason to battle for: are you out of playoff? that's ok, but stay tuned cause you have to avoid relegation. Beside that, the opportunity to get promoted to mls could help the growing of A-league sides and the whole soccer community.

    On the other side, someone could say that the risk of relegation could drop investors away from mls: they don't want to put $$$ into a new mls franchise that maybe could get relegated, that means waste of money. But I could reply to this saying that the opportunity to climb from A-league to mls, could give investor one more reason to invest into A-league sides.

    It's a hard question, just like talking about single table or divisions/conferences: I think - in the end - that relegation would work fine with mls & a-league, but I also think we'll not see it into mls rules for several years.
  4. picaraza

    picaraza New Member

    Jul 27, 2003
    Relegation promotion would work if it were instituted early in the game... If the MLS and A League were to do it now for example. (impossible)

    In Major League Baseball the opportunity was there maybe back in the 1920s-40s when there were powerful "minor" leagues like the PCL. But expansion to the west coast and the growing disinterest in the game have made it impossible.

    With Football and Basketball the NCAA has always been the minor league-minor city farm system. Not a chance.
  5. Mach1

    Mach1 Member

    Jun 27, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Atlanta United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The only sport other than soccer that could have relegation as it stands right now would be hockey. The Major League teams for baseball own all of the players from the MLB down to A (expect for the few independant leagues), and the "minor" leagues for football and basketball are college teams, so I don't see how a minor league could be created now for either sport that could create any profit.
  6. Beakmon FC

    Beakmon FC Member+

    LA Galaxy
    United States
    Jan 10, 2002
    The OC
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Never. Why invest in a league where 5-10% of the teams are relegated each season? And I might have to try and sell Rochester-size markets to my season ticketholders instead of major markets? And how do you sell the TV rights beyond one season without certainty of the markets involves?

    Not in my lifetime..........
  7. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Our local youth soccer leagues and our racketball leagues do relegation/promotion. It's not a formal process, but if you win your league, you move up a division. If you are at the bottom, you go down a division. Leagues and teams (players) re-form and re-sign each season so you don't always play the same people.
  8. modenafc1912

    modenafc1912 New Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Modena, Italy
    Modena FC
    @ Beackmon FC
    Accordingly to your post, markets like Rochester will never come into mls, just because not major markets.
    But I was wondering ... for an I/O, what is more important? a medium/big market where soccer is the 4th-5th sport with the risk to lose himself into indifference, or rather a small/medium market with a strong soccer community where soccer is meant to be the top flight sport?
    Always talking from investors' point of view. If I invest into an A-league side, and my team becomes the stronger of the league, why shouldn't I have the opportunity to face upper level teams? Don't you want to give me this opportunity straightly? Fine, but give me almost a chance: play-off between the first a-league team versus the last mls team. It will give more intrest to the final part of the season, even for bottom table teams.
    And, talking in general: if a team does s**k, what's better than a "purgatory" year leaving upper place for a deserving team?
  9. (TxT)

    (TxT) Member+

    Jun 9, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Relegation would only work in the US for soccer because it is a new sport for so many people in this country and if pro/rel was added they probably wouldn't question it as long as they are told that is how soccer is done around the world.

    In other sports it wouldn't work for many reasons:

    If you have a local team in the second division you might think they suck since they can't make the first division, so you won't go to the games causing a loss in money. With not as much money you won't be able to get back to division 1 so therefore even less people wil attend and the team goes bankrupt.

    If baseball adds pro/rel betwen the major and minor leagues you'll have stadium problems. Most minor league stadiums don't exceed 15,000 capacity and when any former major league team will come to town ticket demand will be high and most minor league teams will want to expand stadiums. But if you expand you will have an empty stadium when a regular minor league team comes to town. Now most of the teams that will be relegated from the majors (Tigers, Pirates, D-Backs, Mariners) have reltivly new stadiums that were built for major league use therefore they are huge. So when a minor league team comes to town you'll see 30,000 empty seats in your brand new stadium.

    One other reason is in order to have pro/rel in the NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB more teams would be needed so therefore the talent pool will be thinned out so the quality of play will be horrible.

    Last but not least the whole country will think it is stupid that not every team can compete for the championship like they have for as long as they had lived.
  10. Treetaliano

    Treetaliano Member

    Jun 29, 2002
    San Diego
    not this ******** again.
  11. ChuckA

    ChuckA New Member

    Apr 4, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    I would normally ignore this type of thread, but I am getting in early. I think that pro/rel might work in Arena Football. They have the infrastructure. And, the size of the crowds in AFL vs. AFL2 are not that substantial.

    OK, I'm out.
  12. theodore

    theodore Member

    Nov 7, 2003
    Bring it on baby!

    I love the idea. I think that it would be the salvation of the sport in the US. Way too many of you are pompously waiving off the idea because of fear of scaring off investors. I actually believe it would be the candle under the butt of lazy investors. Investors who are content to ignore what the public wants, investors who put a crap product on the field and are content because they are doing it there way in spite of dismal results. You'll get tons of investors throughout the country trying to be the one's that got their franchise to the major league. This would create a dog -eat -dog environment that would have the big boys hiring knowledgeable soccer people to run their precious investments. Bottom line, the consumer would have a better product.

    The A-league teams deserve more respect. I think that at a grass roots level, soccer in this country is becoming deeper and wider with a ever growing group of serious teams that continue to outsmart the mAjor League teams.

    I greatly reject the clowny and puny efforts that many of the "mAjor League Soccer" teams are adopting. An almost cartoon type of marketing effort that puts all the eggs in the basket of having youth soccer players fill stadiums is doomed to fail. The teams that are doing the best are those who have adopted traditional approaches to the game and cater to the existing fans of the game. These people understand and support the relegation concept. ( for example: Who misses the shootout?) Quit trying to create an amusement park and call it soccer. Instead, do what works in the rest of the world. Run a real league. Including bringing on relegation.

    This protectionist view is patently un-American. Give us competition in the market place. Always the better way. Tell me, is middle of nowhere Utah really a better location than a Rochester or Seattle or a host of other great A-League soccer cities? You have nothing to fear, unless you are a lazy mLS investor who doesn't give a damn about the customer.
  13. copaantl98

    copaantl98 Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    I agree.
  14. ilv2

    ilv2 New Member

    May 30, 2004
    L'abbaye de Leffe
    Re: Bring it on baby!

    agreed, for the MLS at least. More competition and motivation.
  15. YankeeWomble

    YankeeWomble New Member

    Jun 24, 2004
    Re: Bring it on baby!

    Technically MLS already has p/r : i.e. teams that do well are "promoted" to the play-offs, teams that do poorly are "relegated" to the off season. The romantic notion of p/r here in the states is wonderful (especially for fans of lower divisional teams) but it doesn't make the leagues that have it any stronger. Watching two teams in a relegation dog fight is very rarely a beautiful thing. Also remember, when the G14 was considering a breakaway league they weren't going to have p/r. It's great for creating drama but it doesn't make very much sense business wise.
  16. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But by the same token, the same investment prospects for the clubs in the minors perk up considerably.

    Promotion/Relegation would be a tremendous boon to professional baseball, I am 100% sure of it. It solves so many problems it's amazing they've yet to dabble with the idea.
  17. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's not a famous league, but basketball has the NBDL (National Basketball Development League) below the NBA. The NBDL replaced the CBA (Continental Basketball Association).
    In my area there is some promotion and relegation in high school sports.
    U.S. college sports have self-promotion. One university near me chose to move up to Division I a few years ago. As for relegation, Louisiana-Monroe or Louisiana-Lafayette or something was playing football games at Louisiana State or somewhere else in Louisiana in order to get the minimum attendance to be in Division I-A (the top level) and not be relegated, although I don't think the NCAA would use the term "relegated."
  18. JPH

    JPH BigSoccer Supporter

    Nov 18, 1998
    Jersey Shoreish
    NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA - Nope nope nope. These leagues are too well-established and fans as a whole would not accept having thier team dropped to lower level of play. Even fans of the Detroit Tigers, after the horrific 2003 season, would rather see their team stay in the top division in 2004 than have them play at a perceived AAA level.

    Could it work in MLS? Only if:

    1) The league structure of SEM goes bye bye, allowing each ownership group to control their teams more freely, and

    2) those same ownership groups see the benefit to the possibility that their teams could be relegated


    3) teams in lower divisions (A-League, etc) had playing facilities that could be considered first-division; in other words, a beautiful 6,000 seat SSS would be prefect for A-League, but way way below what you would want for MLS.

    Once you take care of these hurdles, then......maybe ;)
  19. sprovi

    sprovi New Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Where I breathe
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Promo/Rel will work with US Soccer leagues but not until there is a significant amount of teams in MLS. I would think that if MLS expands, successfully, to 20 teams, the system could work. However, what the EPL, League Championship, League One and League Two have in England that we don't entirely have in the states yet is truely established clubs. In other words, until the A-League is firm in its teams from year to year (ie. Edmonton just got taken over by the league and could very well be done for by end of season and the Milwaukee Rampage folded immediately after winning the A-League championship in '02), the p/r won't work.

    The other leagues in the world can have a system like this because of the length of time these leagues/teams have existed.

    Oh yes, and one other obstacle - the A-League owners own their teams, whereas the MLS owns its teams. The single entity plan would have to be shredded in order for this to make business sense. Otherwise, if you move up, does MLS take over -well, that wouldn't be fair, and if an MLS moves down, does that mean that team still gets MLS money - well, I don't think that would be fair either.

    I would love to have a p/r system in the states as it does give teams to play for something every year. But (and finally), to add to my above thinking, just as playing for a spot in the CONCACAF Cup Winner's Cup does not seem to be a big deal because conditions just aren't ripe for people and the media to understand exactly what that tournament is, I don't think conditions are ripe for a p/r system to work.
  20. Ron Keller

    Ron Keller New Member

    Jul 9, 2004
    There are all kinds of incentives if you are an A-league investor that wants a free ride into MLS, or an A-league player that can't make the cut to play for an MLS team.

    There are exactly zero incentives if you're an MLS investor or player.

    Now, for all the money, guess which league is more important to the future of soccer in the United States. I'll give you a hint: count the number of A-league players on the national team. Promotion/relegation will not happen in the United States. Ever.

    Aside from the fact that you will never, ever convince MLS to adopt pro/rel, the week to week finances place a prohibitive barrier to pro/rel. The United States isn't England. You can take the whole of England and dump it into Illinois with space left over. If you get promoted in England, you can still take the team bus to all of your away games. You can't do that here. If you want to drive from New York to LA, you're looking at more than 40 hours of driving. Do you think you'll arrive in any kind of shape to compete? How are A-league teams going to come up with the money to fly the whole team around the country every couple of games? Don't ask the league for money, because you haven't invested dime one in MLS. One of the reasons you can afford to have small clubs promoted in Europe is that the countries are small and the travel costs are minimal, so you can support a club on a smaller fan base than in the United States. You've got to sell a lot of home tickets to pay for the flight to one away game.

    Heck, how many A-league teams have had to drop to a lower league because they couldn't even afford to compete in the A-league? I can think of a few. Now you're going to have them come up with the cash to fly 20-25 people around the country every two weeks? Doubtful.

    Also, what about player contracts? MLS players have a contract with the league. What happens to the players when an MLS team is relegated? Do they all have to hop a plane and move to a new city? Is MLS supposed to pay them even though they aren't playing in MLS? Are we going to cancel their contract? Sounds like a tough sell to me. When an A-league team joins MLS, would they expect MLS to give them new players? Does MLS have to offer the A-league players contracts?

    There is just nothing good about this idea.
  21. Ron Keller

    Ron Keller New Member

    Jul 9, 2004
    Whoops. Looks like sprodi said some of the same things I did. That's what I get for not reading all the way through the thread.
  22. Jabinho

    Jabinho New Member

    May 29, 2004
    I could give you several reasons why it wouldn't work here even with baseball. For one, imagine dealing with a stadium issue. Say for example, Salt Lake's baseball team suddenly became top division. Well the stadium they are using would not support something like that numbers wise to get the kinda revenue needed to "stay-up" and pay the higher saleries (TV doesn't do it all in baseball). Now say they, or any other small team, builds a large stadium then they get relegated. It costs a WHOLE lot more money to maintain and operate that larger stadium you now have that is suddenly not getting very many fans and you are in worse shape than you were before you went up in the first place.
  23. ZeekLTK

    ZeekLTK Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Nat'l Team:
    If they did it would have to be very well thought out and it would have to give the teams who are in danger of being "relegated" a decent/good chance of staying in the top league. I don't care how bad the Tigers or Lions play, just because they have one (or maybe even a few consecutive) bad seasons does not mean they should get kicked out of the league and some "nobody" team, who hasn't done anything except win some no-talent minor league championship, should get to replace them.
  24. ZeekLTK

    ZeekLTK Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Nat'l Team:
    I mean look at this year in the NBA. Orlando would get relegated right? So now you are going to send a team with Steve Francis, Grant Hill, Keith Bogans, Cuttino Mobley, Jameer Nelson, and Tony Battie to play against some minor league teams...

    And then Chicago had the 2nd worst record. Let's send Scottie Pippen, Jamal Crawford, Luol Deng, Antonio Davis, Chris Duhon, Kendall Gill, Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, and Eddy Curry to beat up the minor league teams as well. Yeah, that'll really be fair.
  25. Jabinho

    Jabinho New Member

    May 29, 2004
    They would do what a lot of EPL teams do when they get relegated. They would sell most of their stars. They couldn't afford their saleries for one thing. The fans would love that.. :)

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