rumor: Athletica going under

Discussion in 'Saint Louis Athletica' started by rokagrl13, May 20, 2010.

  1. rokagrl13

    rokagrl13 Member

    Aug 14, 2007
    STL
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  2. Nacional Tijuana

    Nacional Tijuana BigSoccer Supporter

    May 6, 2003
    San Diego, Calif.
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Witnessing from afar, I have little to go by. I've been under the impression that Athletica's been doing OK at the gate. Within the league's projected norms, which I thought were somewhat more modest than WUSA.

    As far as AC STL, I've only seen one figure, and it was in the hundreds, which alone is a bit disturbing, but the circumstances might have prevented anything better (i.e. bad weather).

    I'm not sure what to think. I will say I wish ACSTL sold ACSTL merch. Athletica seems to be OK in their web presence, with help from WPS and how they do things.

    http://bit.ly/dmBaHU

    I wish you all the best, though. :(
     
  3. Cville K C

    Cville K C Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    Collinsville, IL
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    First of all, for now it's just rumor. But where there's smoke, there's usually fire. Second of all, I didn't know that Cooper's partners, the Vaid brothers, had anything at all to do with the women's team.

    If this is true, and I think only a few people know at this point, then what kind of business plan did these people have?

    1) They probably did as well as any team financially last season in WPS.
    2) Their playing facility is free.
    3) They've only played 4 women's home games and 2 men's home games so far this year.
    4) Their staff is bare bones and shared.

    The only way this team should be anywhere near surrender financially is if (1) the people had no clue to begin with or (2) they're 8 year olds who don't understand the concept of money. And these were the same people who wanted to buy a MLS franchise? Sounds to me like they'd have trouble funding uniforms for the local Scott Gallagher U-10 team.

    And if the women's team is sacrificed for the NASL team, I will never set another foot in Soccer Park period.
     
  4. kool-aide

    kool-aide Member+

    Feb 1, 2002
    a van by the river
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just saw this article. It seems like there may not have been enough money to run two teams. Cooper can't make payments to NASL for the men's team.

     
  5. Cville K C

    Cville K C Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    Collinsville, IL
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, if they're looking for another source of funding in St. Louis, it probably ain't going to happen. The rich people in St. Louis make Scrooge look charitable.

    I've said this before and I'm saying it now...money is wasted on all the wrong people.
     
  6. kool-aide

    kool-aide Member+

    Feb 1, 2002
    a van by the river
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Unfortunately, the rumors I'm reading (from links here) make me think that, in fact, there wasn't enough money for two teams (Cooper took on new partners) and yes, the WPS team will go down b/c of the NASL team. I mean the WPS team hasn't been a sure thing, but if you're starting two businesses and don't have enough for even 1 of them....

    eta: found this link to rumors in the AC forum.

    I want to cry. And I'm not even in the Army. My heart goes out to all of you.
     
  7. Eleanor

    Eleanor New Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    Argh. Horrible news. Where's Ellen????
     
  8. kool-aide

    kool-aide Member+

    Feb 1, 2002
    a van by the river
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't understand your question. Does Ellen like soccer? Is she in the business of sports ownership?
     
  9. ForeverLOST108

    ForeverLOST108 Member+

    Jan 23, 2010
    Orlando
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not good news. :|
     
  10. Peg Hopper

    Peg Hopper Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    On the Border
    Club:
    Deportivo Cali
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Seems like a good time for the Budweiser Anheuser Busch corporate marketing people to step in and save the day. Nothing wrong with a good cup of Bud or Michelob in the beer garden now and then.
     
  11. CoCo_S_T_L

    CoCo_S_T_L New Member

    May 21, 2010
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    So, I never post in here (hence my having to sign up under a new screen name), but I do read fairly often. I went to probably 90% of Athletica games last year and bought season tickets this year. I thought of posting this about a week ago when reading the thread in the WPS forum regarding attendance and Athletica:

    Obviously ownership/management is/was screwing Athletica over in favor of AC STL. Look at the AC website. There are 15 different theme nights for games- CYC night, Latino night, Military night, etc. Every one of those nights took man hours for sales/marketing people to plan. Now look at Athletica's website- not a single theme night. If I remember correctly, there at least was a CYC night last year for Athletica. And if you cursor over "schedule" on the Athletica website it has 2 links- first Athletica and then AC STL. Cursor over "schedule" on AC STL site and you get list, calendar, and theme nights. Without a single mention of Athletica.

    I'm a realist- I know women's sports will always have an uphilll battle. And if this was Athletica versus and MLS team, I might be a little less pissed off. But this is women who have won World Cup and Olympic medals for their national teams versus guys who CAN'T EVEN HACK IT IN MLS- WHICH IS CRAPTASTIC SOCCER.

    Both teams were going to be a tough sell, but I don't understand the logic of promoting AC STL over Athletica other than gender. And since Athletica's players are on such a higher level (within their gender) compared to ACSTL (I could use both hands to tick off men's leagues better than NASL and still have fingers to spare) it would seem smarter to focus on one product than two.

    Okay, that's my venting for now. Needless to say, I'm pissed. E_f_f Cooper and AC STL. I was thinking off going to AC game this weekend, but obviously I'm not going to give those guys a single dollar. I guess I'll just enjoy however many Athletica games are left and maybe drive to Chicago for a few games next season.
     
  12. defensewins

    defensewins Member

    Nov 15, 1999
    Wow, what happened to Mr. Cooper, AKA Mr. St. Louis Soccer? Is he giving up because he can't score an MLS team? Cooper has made zillions off of asbestos litigation-It would be utterly unfair for the Athletica to have to fold because of the costs of the men's team. I agree, what bull shit!
     
  13. TetsuoShima

    TetsuoShima New Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    St. louis Metro East
    Club:
    St. Louis Lions
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    i'm sitting here after reading all the links from the ac forum.. literally sick to my stomache. No words can express what i'm feeling over the possibility of losing the women's and men's teams. I just want to go throw up at all this. :/
     
  14. Cville K C

    Cville K C Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    Collinsville, IL
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Unfortunately, Anheuser-Busch is no longer controlled by philanthropic locals, but by Euro (Belgian) tightwads. With roughly half the fans being well short of drinking age, they can't make a buck off of it, so not much chance of help there.
     
  15. Longtimesub

    Longtimesub Member

    May 18, 2009
    Indeed, I am sure that some members of Athletica are more famous than anyone on the men's team...But, some people will still go watch the men's team and refuse to attend Athletica games...Including many women...

    I am sad to hear the rumor...

    I remember how Sol ended...But, Sol at least finished the season.
    Athletica should at least finish this season...
     
  16. D.J. Knight

    D.J. Knight New Member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Saint Louis
    Club:
    AC St. Louis
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And where did you see this "in the hundreds" figure?

    4/3/2010 AC STL preseason game (vs. KC): attendance-2950

    4/17/2010 AC STL 1st home game (vs. Austin): attendance-5695

    5/1/2010 AC STL 2nd home game (vs. Baltimore): attendance-2985

    The 3rd home game is this Saturday. I'm really curious as to where you saw this "one figure".

    Was it a preseason game against an STL-area college? If that's all it was, or more likely your imagination, I'm not sure someone paying attention or actually knowing what the hell they're talking about would find that "a bit disturbing". No matter what the weather was like.

    You can find the attendance figures for the regular season games here:

    http://www.nasl.com/schedule/year/2010/time_zone/0

    Facts: They're not just for breakfast anymore. Try 'em, you'll like 'em.
     
  17. kool-aide

    kool-aide Member+

    Feb 1, 2002
    a van by the river
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I saw this post in the ACSTL forum:

    From the perspective of Athletica, if attendance will determine the team's fate, will the team be given the resources (ie sales staff) to accomplish said goal?
     
  18. Soccer-Fan-1

    Soccer-Fan-1 New Member

    May 18, 2010
    It is just a shame. At least, they should finish the season! The teams should have proof in the beginning of the season to show that they can take care of the season ahead. Otherwise this whole league will start looking like a Mickey Mouse league if teams can just drop in the middle of it. Shocking!
     
  19. kool-aide

    kool-aide Member+

    Feb 1, 2002
    a van by the river
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It isn't just the WPS team, though. Cooper & Friends have f-d up the finances of both teams. It seems that Cooper simply did not have the money (or proper outside investors) to run two teams while spending the sorts of money on ACSTL that they spent. One of the articles suggests that the Athletica cost is 1/3 that of ACSTL for the reason of the season (and I *think* the Athletica play farther into the fall but am not 100% on that).
     
  20. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    What really miffs me about this whole situation was that, at the end of last season, Cooper was saying he expected that Athletica could break even or even turn a profit this year. I don't know if it was a lie, naivity, or just a statement made before new circumstances popped up, but hatever the case, it really hurts to have my view of the team's situation go from "sitting pretty" to "almost gone" in a matter of just fifteen minutes of article-reading.
    I guess the fact his statement is no longer true (whether it was to begin with or not) isn't that surprising, even discounting ACSTL. I bet Athletica was expecting to get a shirt sponsor and higher attendence the second time around, neither of which happened, and we got a few (I assume) relatively expensive players from the dispersal draft....
    Still, we know all the WPS teams operated in deficit last year. Which really scares me as to how bad it must be right now.
    What the hell happened?
     
  21. sjsocrfan

    sjsocrfan New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Club:
    FC Gold Pride
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  22. defensewins

    defensewins Member

    Nov 15, 1999
    Then
    Re the Athletica: “I have been in close contact with the teams over the past year and am very impressed with and fully committed to their mission. There is no other way." http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sp...DB35841F40C0DD248625772A00103AA6?OpenDocument
    and then….
    “AC St. Louis will be the biggest soccer team in St. Louis regardless of which league it plays.” http://pitchinvasion.net/blog/2010/02/03/q-a-with-interim-nasl-commissioner-jeff-cooper/
    “Cooper, a highly-successful attorney who's net worth is estimated to be upwards of $200 million…” http://www.mls-daily.com/2010/05/st-louis-set-to-lose-nasl-wps.html
    Thanks Cooper. Just because your MLS dreams have been dashed, that's no reason to bail on and de-prioritize the Athletica.
     
  23. law10

    law10 Member+

    Dec 26, 2007
    Is it a dive and looking for $?
     
  24. CoCo_S_T_L

    CoCo_S_T_L New Member

    May 21, 2010
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    One thing to keep in mind when comparing AC STL and Athletica attendance figures is that this is the 1st season for AC, so there is still a novelty factor contributing to their numbers.

    Last year for Athletica:

    Game 1- 5,008 (all the way in Edwardsville in a stadium surrounded by corn fields)
    Game 2- 4,228 at SLU stadium
    Game 3- 3,860 once again in the cornfields

    Once they moved to Soccer Park attendance numbers were between 3,000 and 4,000 with around 5,000 for the playoff game (actually beating attendance at the first game). I think its reasonable to assume that AC STL's numbers will average closer to their pre-season and 2nd home game and that the number from the first game is higher due to novelty. Look at the drop-off between games 1 and 2, Athletica's wasn't that bad last year.

    Considering the numbers I still think Athletica is the more viable franchise if I have to pick between the two. Once the weather improves and the entire seasons are played for both teams (hopefully!) I think Athletica will still average more fans than AC and this will be while AC has the full support of the sales/marketing staff and Athletica seems to be getting next none.

    In an ideal world both teams would get all the support they need, but that's not happening. Imagine how much better Athletica's numbers could be if they had 15 theme nights being pushed by the sales/marketing team.
     
  25. Nacional Tijuana

    Nacional Tijuana BigSoccer Supporter

    May 6, 2003
    San Diego, Calif.
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I wish I could remember. It seemed a bit odd to me. Iäd chalk it up to an error in proofreading. Either way, donät get bent out of shape. Iäm actually on your side. I have family in STLCO. I am an American soccer fan, through all the levels, both menäs and womenäs. I just wondered. Thanks for the source. Mine seems to have been faulty. So it goes at times.

    I hope the gloom and doom in STL is premature.
     

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