Relegation in the US?

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

  1. mpruitt

    mpruitt Member

    Feb 11, 2002
    E. Somerville
    New England Revolution
    I think the whole structure of minor league baseball as a feeder system is prohibative to it. Plus possiably they're scared that people will stop showing up to 'Division AA' baseball when it's not about the hot young prospect skyrocketing into the major and instead the chance to move up into 'Division AAA.'

    Promotion and relegation could also work really easily and well in NASCAR. I don't know much about the sport but doesn't it already kind of exist. Nextel Cup guys will race in the Busch Series, and the better Busch Series guys work their way up? Though I'm not sure the worst Nextel Cup point guys get 'relegated.' Anyone know what happens there?
  2. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    other countries can do it because of the large number of clubs outside their top divisions who are feasible candidates for entry. The US has 1 potential candidate. Until the US has at least 10 A-League teams of Rochester's size it makes no difference how many clubs MLS has. There's no point even thinking about opening the door until you have people knocking to come in.
  3. Wide Boy

    Wide Boy New Member

    Aug 23, 2002
    I agree with RichardL. Promotion/relegation isn't an end in itself. It was introduced to meet the demand from clubs who are able to play at a higher level. Unless you have such clubs then the issue doesn't really arise.
  4. bright

    bright Member

    Dec 28, 2000
    Central District
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think pro/rel would work for baseball by splitting up the major leagues into a higher and lower league, and leaving the farm system as it is. It would be something like MLB I and MLB II with 16 teams apiece. There is already a perception that some teams belong in a higher category compared to other teams, so I don't think it would come as too much of a shock to fans if this kind of change took place.

    - Paul
  5. CoachCoach

    CoachCoach New Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Agree with RichardL and Bright.

    Bright, although i agree with you, the thing is with baseball, is it so entrenched in tradition that there is no way anyone would make such a change to format. I mean, remember the fit everyone threw when they started inter-league games, and that is a minor change compared to "classifiying" teams as Tier 1 or Tier 2.

    But back to the thread..... Although I am a big fan of the pro/rel concept, it won't work for American Soccer until enough teams exist that can financially support a move to a higher division. (such as having the ability to accomodate big audiences---meaning we need enough teams that have at least 10,000 seat stadiums, etc....just not gonna happen anytime soon.) And, we must consider the fickle investor who might bail if the team drops. Just too unstable of an environment. Maybe 20 years from now...maybe 50, if the league is still around. Demand will need to be so overwelming for this to happen.
  6. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    NASCAR does not have any mandatory promotion and relegation. NASCAR has multiple levels:
    1. Race at your local track and have a career other than racing (0.25 mile Riverhead Raceway is the example near me)
    2. Regional Touring Series (example: Feathelite Modified): Race within a region of the country at some tracks the biggest three series race at and some smaller tracks (rarely or never on TV)
    3. Craftsman Truck Series
    4. Busch Grand National Series
    5. Nextel Cup Series (formerly Winston Cup, title sponsor changed)
    A Nextel Cup driver could end up back in the Busch Grand National or Craftsman Truck series. Examples of that would be Ron Hornaday and Johnny Sauter in the Busch Series standings at
    Greg Biffle, Michael Waltrip, and Robby Gordon are Nextel Cup and Busch Grand National series regulars this year. During the beginning and end of the season, the Nextel Cup series normally races on Sunday and the Busch series on Saturday at the same track. During the middle of the season it is more likely for those two series to be at different tracks in the same weekend. You can look at: to compare how much money you make in the top three series.
  7. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If MLS gets to a point where it has 20 teams who buy into the league either through single-entity or by buying a traditional franchise if SEM is dumped some day, what is the benefit to the MLS teams paying their fee and setting up the team's infastructure just to find themselves playing in the A-League the next season and being replaced by a second-rate team that didn't have to risk anything to join the league? There just isn't anything in it. Even if soccer was strong enough to survive this in principle, when the league is at a point that it can get a decent TV deal, the loss of one large market team to relegation could sink the tv deal for everyone and possibly sink the big market team finacially.

    In an ideal world, pro/rel is great. In the US sports landscape, I don't see how it works. While it might make ivesting in an A-League team more attractive, it hurts MLS's ability to attract investors. I also think it could make the already volitile pro-soccer landscape even more volitile when owners spend heavily in a lower league team to move up, to find it can't compete or keep up with ambitions. Look at an English club like Leeds and an A-League team like Edmonton. The scale between the two is different, but both found their ambitions above their means. Before MLS started, the APSL shrunk to about six teams while trying to get D-1 status prior to merging with the USL creating the A-League.

    I like pro-rel for regional minor leagues though. The old USISL model could be successful for creating this sort of set up.
  8. j&bontherock

    j&bontherock BigSoccer Supporter

    There's no first division in baseball
  9. j&bontherock

    j&bontherock BigSoccer Supporter

    We should change the name of MLS to UPL ( US Premiere League ), it sounds very cool, isn't it ?
  10. Soccer_Lancer

    Soccer_Lancer Member

    Jun 30, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    Orlando City SC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, it is cool.

    In american pro/rel, new teams would go into the lower divisions and work their way up, not the other way around.

    TV contracts would only go to the top division so the second division (and the teams in it) would eventually go away.

    The way baseball works now (with the Majors and the Minors (AAA, AA and A)) would work better for soccer. MLS teams need to create A-League and PDL teams and pro/rel the players from one to the other. Also, put the teams in different cities so as to expand the reach of soccer.
  11. mellon002

    mellon002 Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Towson, MD
    MLS still needs to build a fan base, not have a few teams be dropped from MLS every year.
  12. Nepal Footy

    Nepal Footy New Member

    Feb 8, 1999
    I agree with bright - pro/rel has to be done within the framework of MLS. MLS needs to expand to 20+ teams and then divide into 2 divisions (MLS & MLS2).

    There is no way MLS investors are simply going to let A-league join their setup. I myself, as a "eurosnob," wouldn not let it happen if I owned an MLS club.

    To all those who say pro/rel won't work in America because of our culture... Well what about Japan? They added J2 and are looking to start a J3 by the end of the decade. Last time I checked Japanese baseball does not have pro/rel. Not sure about Sumo Wrestling :) So the "culture" argument is a load of crap.

    Korea also added a K2 (though I think they are waiting a few years to link it up with the K-League)
  13. Robert25

    Robert25 New Member

    Jun 1, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I think the promotion and relegation adds a lot to the European leagues. Fans can concievably watch their team rise and fall, and this is such a strong basis for their support.

    However given the natur of soccer in the US, I am not sure it would work. Who would invest so much money in a team, only to be unsure of its chance of being relegated to a smaller league? For the moment it looks like the current system has to remain at least until there is a stronger standing. perhaps people would love to see their local teams have a chance to rise to the top. And teams in the MLS would feel what every EPL, La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga team does, the desire to finish above the relegation zone and continue in the top flight.
  14. Auxodium

    Auxodium New Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    i think it would make clubs in the MLS work harder and improve their woeful goal differences (look at all time tables and you will see) It would tie the first division in with the MLS but call A League MLS Division 1 to tie the 2 leagues together.

    I hope the APL does the same eventually in Australia
  15. irishrepublican1916

    irishrepublican1916 New Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    i think relegation would work in the us look at the rest of the world they all have got relegation and promotion thats what is wrong with the americans they are scared to see a team go down thats what is the matter with them,
    i wonder do they understand the game properly cause over at our end we know what the game is about football or soccer as you call it is a game of skill the greatest sport on earth so come on tell the teams to get the promotion and relegation idea set up just like other sports it would make it more of a competition then people would like to see it
  16. guado

    guado Member+

    Jun 30, 2004
    ocotengo miedo
    Inverness Caledonian Thistle
    Nat'l Team:
    but there's major and minor leagues... even though most of teh minor league are afiiliated to the teams in the majors. relegations a bad idea right now. teams would lose much of their fanbase if their team were to fall. if it happened there would be more teams that end up like tampa bay and miami.
  17. jeffconn

    jeffconn Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Norfolk, VA, USA
    Hampton Roads Piranhas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Pro/rel MIGHT work in the PDL, but only on a regional basis. The PDL has finally gotten a critical mass of clubs spread out all over North America (more than 50). The PDL is now divided in 4 conferences, and 8 divisions. (To make it less confusing, i'd rename divisions to regions.)

    Presently in the Heartland, there are 10 clubs. If in 2005, 2 more clubs in this region of North America wish to join the PDL, place 2004's top 6 clubs in Heartland-1, place the bottom 4 clubs in Heartland-2, and add the 2 new clubs to Heartland-2. After every season, you will promote just one club from H-2 to H-1 and relegate one club from H-1 to H-2.

    The pluses i see in this plan:
    1. Since there is promotion only within the region, the travel costs stay low. Definitely a plus, with the limited budgets of PDL clubs.
    2. You can still have rivalries with local clubs. How great would it be to beat the other club in your state to promotion, or razz them when they are relegated.
    3. Fewer blowouts. The teams that aspire to be big clubs would more than likely be in H-1; the teams that are happy being developmental squads would probably be in H-2.
    4. Placing the new clubs in H-2 would force them to be more fiscally responsible, and also give the new club a realistic hope for more wins their first season. It also wouldn't penalize older clubs, because the newer clubs would have to earn their way up the ladder.

    I realize this plan wouldn't work for all of the PDL. The Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest just don't have enough clubs to think of making Division 1 and Division 2 yet. If the PDL wanted to make a post-season playoff for PDL Division 2, that wouldn't work well until all 8 regions had a 2nd division.

    As for the MLS/A-League/PSL, pro/rel won't work until there are a LOT more stable clubs in those 3 divisions. There isn't the critical mass yet.
  18. Fevernova99

    Fevernova99 Member

    May 3, 2003
    New York Red Bulls
    Relegation works fairly well in the 5 major leagues of europe, but there are many many other leagues in the world where relegation brings controversy and problems. Promotion/Rel changes the income to a team, in many countries it is not unheard of to spend some money on opponents so the result would go their way. Also in Brazil I heard a few years ago a team took the league to court and sued over them being relegated. In scotland there is a team being denied a promotion because their stadium did not have the amount of seats required.
  19. sokkerluver

    sokkerluver Red Card

    Jul 22, 2004
    Team's that get relegated in the MLS will have to fold because they need all the $ they can get!
  20. Auxodium

    Auxodium New Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    Perth, Australia

    Too bad: "that's the way the cookie crumbles" goes the saying

    Promotion and Relegation would liven up the end stages of the season. Everyone would talk about the top teams winning the league but also talk of survival would spruce up the league.
  21. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Okay, so you end up with like six teams left and no league to have promotion and relegation work. Seriously the way sports work here, a big team going down would kill the league.
  22. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Red Card

    Feb 13, 2004
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think rel. could work in Baseball, not with all the MLB teams that have affiliations with the minor league teams. That and the fact that there would be an issue of putting in Major League Stadiums.

    Hockey is interesting, I think with the new league forming and the AHL it could be done, but first the NHL would have to contract down to make the league more competitive. Too many teams in the league right now.

    NFL no way. Just don't see that happening. Arena and AFL2 would be good to see it there, but the NFL?? No way, unless they start calling some of these "college" teams what they are, pro's.

    NBA, same as with the NHL too many teams already in the NBA, further there isn't a solid minor league to work this with. Get a strong minor league and maybe it could be done.

    MLS, MLS is actually the best league to try this with. There are established leagues other then MLS that they can work with. There aren't too many teams in MLS, stadiums are in the process of being constructed so that wouldn't be an issue. A-Leauge teams already have followings and they have already shown that they can play against MLS teams. I think A-League and MLS need to sit down and work this out.
    MLS needs something to stand out for the American fan. This is a novel concept for US fans. No other league does this. Right now we are used to coaches being fired or players being sent down for a teams failure. Imagine the whole team being relagated?? Yes I see that there are problems with this, but again, I think it is something worth trying.
  23. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What about the ownershil issues and the fact that most A-League teams feel like they are run out of a garage? An MLS team has a $9 million budget and is a year round operation. Maybe one or two A-League teams seem to be all year operations and none comes close to the MLS budget. Is it worth killing an MLS team just to kill an A-League team the next year? I say no. A league without pro/rel is better than no league at all and despite not having "what the rest of the world has" here, the league managed to form the backbone of a world cup quarter-finalist.
  24. prk166

    prk166 BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 8, 2000
    Med City
    Relegation is a leftover tradition from the days when sports were amatuer, not professional multi-million dollar businesses. Leagues that have it are stuggling to find ways to keep it. It's causing problems with the gap between the top flight and 2nd tier being too great for most clubs to cope with. Leciester's up, then they're down, then they're up, and now they're back in the 1st division. WBA is in the 1st, then they're up, then back in the 1st and now back in the premeirship. The money part of the picture is a HUGE issue. And until that problem is addressed it's no investor in the MLS is going to even want to give it a second thought.
  25. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    This is such an ignorant and wrong post, i just don't have the time to write in detail why. I know richard likes doing that.
    But relegation is there to stay in Europe. Any league without it would be a huge (finacial) bust.

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