soccer in the dirty south

Discussion in 'MLS: Expansion' started by halfnelson31, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. thurd

    thurd New Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    Melrose, MA
    i say atlanta definately needs a team, maybe a team somewhere in florida also. also, is soccer big in new orleans?
     
  2. splinterhead

    splinterhead Member

    Jun 10, 2001
    Beaver, PA
    Birmingham is a great city. Much better than Atlanta, if you ask me. It really isn't the sports fans fault a major (or psuedo-major, in some cases) league team didn't survive. The league went under and took the team with it in every situation you mentioned.

    Are there any potential owners in B'ham? Not just for soccer, but for any sports franchise?
     
  3. worldsoccer-Jeff

    Mar 4, 2000
    Atlanta
    The major sports guys in Birmingham and the only ones that play on a natinal wide stage are the HealthSouth gang. The HealthSouth that buys the singage at some sporting events is HQ in Birmingham. Also each week their is another major sports guy in town that has they joints looked at Health South. If a NFL player is hurt on Sunday, their in B'ham on Monday.

    Their are a coulple of minor league owner types who might have the cash. The Alabama Sports Foudnation is the group that plans the USMNT games, the Atlanta Olyimpics, the SEC title game pre-Atlanta (man I hate Atlanta for this one,) and other events. The Senior PGA has an event in B'ham and its one of the best stops on the tour. Birmigham now has a minor hockey team that does well, an AFL2 team that does ok, and the Barons are a part of the city history and do well (remember Jordan playing baseball?) The oldest baseball stadium in American is in Birmingham (Rickwood Field) and is were they do all the old baseball movies.

    As for market size, Birmigham is one of the larges citys not to have a major, big four, sports team. The B'ham TV market is #39 in the US. (BTW Oklahoma City is #45) However the city proper only has around 250,000. People belive that Birmingham is smaller than it is because we dont have a sports team and next to Atlanta, we are small.
     
  4. Barca_Fan2003

    Barca_Fan2003 New Member

    Mar 30, 2002
    Slidell, LA
    I live in a New Orleans suburb, and soccer is pretty big. Additionally, New Orleans and its suburbs have a HUGE Honduran population. I have a few Honduran friends and they would support any team that came this way. That having been said, there's no stadium, I don't know of any investors, and I don't think attendance would be spectacular. New Orleans is mostly black and therefor mostly football and basketball.
     
  5. Paul. A

    Paul. A Member

    Mar 16, 1999
    Wales, UK
    If Tampa is a problem for now. What about Orlando? I'd drive to see the games. But i'm unsure if it would get support. Maybe longer in the future at least.
    I've only lived in Florida 7 years but soccer does seem to be an hard sell. There are lots of soccer people in Tampa but getting them to like MLS is another thing.
     
  6. zizou9

    zizou9 New Member

    Sep 28, 2001
    Georgia
    i don't think that the new Silverbacks complex is going to include a stadium, just a few outdoor fields and maybe an indoor facility. so if the current stadium is truly the problem then I don't think it has been addressed.

    http://www.atlantasilverbacks.com/stuff/siteplan.shtml
     
  7. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
    That part of the website hasn't been updated in a while. The plan now includes a 5,000 seat stadium, as well as the training center. The stadium is supposed to be operational in 2004.
     
  8. alekhine8

    alekhine8 Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    No MLS in Atlanta, please.

    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/bravatte.shtml

    I dont like the idea of MLS putting a team in Atlanta. I just dont think it is a great sports town. The Braves pull in a decent crowd but it has been in decline since 1997 (first year for Turner Field) with the trend continuing this year. The Falcons/Hawks have hardly been known for having great attendance the last few decades. I dont know much about the new hockey team in Atlanta though.

    Besides just looking at attendance figures.. it may just be me, but Atlanta just doesn't seem to care much about its teams. I grew up in St. Louis and I could get Cardinals-Braves playoff tickets for two games in Atlanta (in 2000) a few days before on Ticketmaster. Playoff tickets would sell out in many other towns within a day or even hours. I understand that is just my personal experience but I am sticking to it.

    I think MLS could do much better than Atlanta. I think Tulsa/OKC, St. Louis, Detroit, and Houston would work out better, IMO.
     
  9. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
    Re: No MLS in Atlanta, please.

    Not this crap again...
     
  10. HalfManHalfAmazing

    HalfManHalfAmazing New Member

    Sep 13, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What, facts? Atlanta isn't a good sports town. The reason it has 4 major teams is because it's a major market. That is fine, but it's a bad sports team. The Falcons and Hawks are on LIFE support. The Thrashers are DYING and were a BAD BAD move by the NHL. The Braves aren't doing great either. The only sports that will EVER succeed in the South are college sports.
     
  11. zizou9

    zizou9 New Member

    Sep 28, 2001
    Georgia
    halfmanhalfamazing: is that game you got your name off of any good?
     
  12. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
    WRONG, sir. The Braves will draw nearly 3 million fans this year. The Falcons have a new owner, and season tickets sales went through the roof. The Thrashers actually look like they may be getting better, as do the Hawks. You don't live here, so you don't know. Check YOUR "facts."
     
  13. HalfManHalfAmazing

    HalfManHalfAmazing New Member

    Sep 13, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/attendance?year=2001

    Wow go Falcons!!!! You DavidP are a COMPLETE MORON. 2nd to LAST in Attendence.

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipsa/A0779624.html

    HAWKS BBALL! Catch the Fever!!! 3rd to last in the NBA in Attendance.

    [[url]http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?year=2002 [/URL]

    Get your tickets now! Soon The Thrashers may be leaving!! Not only were they third to last in total attendance, they were the 2nd worst when it comes to capacity at %73

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/attendance?sort=home_avg&year=2002&seasonType=2

    I saved the best for last. Here are your beloved Braves. Yes Atlanta fans are SO good that they are going to Turner Field at %65 capacity.

    So basically EVERY single franchise you have is FLOUNDERING except the Braves who are a solidly MIDDLE of the road in support team, and you want to put an MLS team there, WHY?

    Feel free to counter with meaningless insults and rhetoric because you got tooled SO severely.
     
  14. Easybake15

    Easybake15 New Member

    Jul 11, 2001
    Buffalo, NY
    It's a Nas quote, off his seminal LP "Illmatic." I think it was off the track called "Represent," but I could be wrong.

    Oh, and DavidP, not that I doubt your civic pride or anything, but Atlanta objectively really does suck as a sports town. Out of markets that have all 4 "major" sports, it's clearly has the least dedicated and most lame fans --- with the NBA Hawks being an outstanding example.

    I wish the Silverbacks all the best -- I find them to be a competent and professional orgnanization doing their best in a non-ideal situation. But MLS material? Hardly.
     
  15. Auriaprottu

    Auriaprottu Member+

    Atlanta Damn United FC STILL USOC Champs
    Apr 1, 2002
    The back of the bus
    Club:
    Atlanta
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    You're bashing you head against a wall here, DavidP. People outside metro Atlanta aren't ever going to agree with you on the idea of ATL having an MLS franchise regardless of where the play. They'd rather entertain ideas of getting one themselves.

    On a side note, if Rhett, Scarlett and their PTHs can join hands and tiptoe nervously into Southwest under armed escort to watch the Beat, then certainly grown men and women can go to DMS and see an MLS team. I lived in Clarkston for two years, walked almost everywhere, even after dark, and never saw a crime of any type. The area is made up mostly of recent arrivals from East Africa, Bosnia, Vietnam and Korea- not so many of the Black Americans some potential fans (not you- I mean no personal insult) are so frightened to encounter. And as disgusting as the whole 96Rock morning thing is (listening to these inbreds could make anyone "regular" ), I'll take Southside Steve and raucous drunks over the day care/sunday school atmosphere of a WUSA game anytime. Soccer ain't no deb ball, man- God forbid it should ever become one.

    I bring this up only because you were the one who replied to my post disparaging A-League awhile back, and suggested that I support the Silverbacks while we fight for an MLS team. I went, and you were right- they're worth watching. Wherever they play. But they do need to take care of the ticket and seating issue.
     
  16. HalfManHalfAmazing

    HalfManHalfAmazing New Member

    Sep 13, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He is the worlds greatest street baller. I just like the name. One of our Nuggets played with him in NYC and I have known about him way longer than Street Hoops has been around (1 month?) and I've never listened to Nas (Give John Coltrane a try youths).

    As far as my argument goes. Checkmate.

    As far as MLS goes, I might have to check out the Rapids sometime if I can get over my Eurosnobbery. I also don't feel like they are MY team. I don't need players that I could buy and sell 10 times over (Via Salary) acting like they are big time pro athletes. They aren't, yet that is what the Rapids act like. They don't act desperate for fans, and they need to. They act as if they don't want fans, yet they must since they have no TV revenue stream (Not a real one a la the NFL or NBA, or even the *shudder* NHL [CRAP TV Money, yet the MLS would die for it]).

    I think we should only put MLS teams in cities that are DYING for entertainment. Denver isn't, but the Rapids draw well because we *WILL* support our teams. Any team. Atlanta cannot say the same thing.

    The more I read those Tulsa and OKC guys talking about getting an MLS team, the more I think it sounds like an AWESOME move. No pro teams, a SSS, could make for a lot of fun. In order for the MLS to grow it MUST grow "derbys". There are absoLUTELY no natural rivalries except perhaps Boston/NY which would be a false one as the league is so new, it's just geographic.

    I question if its too late for a 5th major sport to catch on, it's not just that there is so much competition, it's that there is so much inbred hatred in the existing rivalries (Lakers/Celtics) (Yankees/Red Sox) (Broncos/Raiders, Cowboys/Redskins). So in MY opinion. The way to ASSIST MLS (I hesitate to use the word fix because I dont think MLS is Broken) is to expand. Not rapidly, but calmly, into SSS.

    I have been thinking about it, how much could a SSS really cost to build? If you got back to basics:

    Land:Free (this would have to be worked out with some kind of tax deal)
    15,000 seats: $525,000 (/$35)
    Concrete and Rebar: $2,000,000 (Total guess)
    Labor:?

    I for one would donate labor for a SSS in Denver. I dont see where you can spend $15,000,000 on a stadium when you can get 100 workers for 52 weeks for $3,000,000.

    Anyway that's for a different thread.

    Sorry Stanklanta, it doesnt add up for you.
     
  17. The Cadaver

    The Cadaver It's very quiet here.

    Oct 24, 2000
    La Cañada, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Right as to the need for Derbys

    Wrong on the "no natural rivalries" point: LA v. SJ is both geographical and historical. And, since this year they are also the two best teams, the rivalry in every game has been intense and the game in SJ promises even more intensity.

    Go read the SJ post game and pre-game threads on last Saturday's game. Some of the flavor of the rivalry comes through there, but you really need to experience it. Attend an LA v. SJ game and THEN tell me there are no rivalries.
     
  18. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
  19. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
    Re: Re: soccer in the dirty south

    Only because the newcomers feel it's beneath them to support the "new" home side. I don't really care whether we get MLS or not. We have no stadium, and nobody with money who's willing to plunk it down for a team named the "Phlegm" and have his best player "traded" to the Rotmasters so they can try to make the playoffs.

    Atlanta, in all truth, may not be a pro basketball town. I don't like basketball myself, and I can't afford to go to the games if I did. Ditto for the Thrashers although I like hockey. The Falcons sold out the Dome yesterday, and will continue to do so, as long as Blank acts like he's trying to put a winner on the field. Their two losses have been really close. The Thrashers are building, and as they improve, the crowds will improve.

    But Atlanta fans are not sheep. They won't plunk down a ton of money for parking, crappy seats, and expensive food to see a team go 3-13, 60-102, 28-54. or 14-57-6-5-4-3-2-1, or whatever the NHL scoring system is now :D. They want a return on their investment. We were screwed over for so many years with the Falcons, whose owner had no clue (althought they got lucky a few times). the other teams have also had spurts of insanity in the front office, and we let them know it. The 'Backs got it this year as well, when they raised ticket prices, and ran off the families with the obnoxious atmosphere. We don't have the traditions of Chicago, New York, and some of the other towns, and we demand a big bang in order to pay out big bucks. Call it what you will, but if I pay $50 for a crap seat at a Thrashers game, they sure as heck better win more than they lose.

    Atlanta is an untested market for top-line soccer. 20 years ago, it wasn't too good, but that was 20 years ago. You can't point to bad Hawks attendance, and an A-League team hardly anyone knows about, due to a lack of proper marketing, and say Atlanta can't make it in MLS.

    Nobody slams Miami, and they have crappy attendance for just about everything, except the Fusion (10-12,000 ain't bad, even in MLS). They would have worked if the owner hadn't gotten all pissy and went home. You can't just read the papers and watch TV (the media has been anti-Atlanta ever since we got the Olympics (which were, yes, a joke, but only because of the morons who were in charge, who stole them from Billy Payne, and made a mockery out of it)), and just go with what they say. And you can't live here for only 3-5 years and be an expert either.

    But hey, if you don't want us, we don't want you.
     
  20. USRufnex

    USRufnex Red Card

    Tulsa Athletic / Sheffield United
    United States
    Jul 15, 2000
    Tulsa, OK
    Club:
    --other--
    Originally posted by HalfManHalfAmazing

    As far as MLS goes, I might have to check out the Rapids sometime if I can get over my Eurosnobbery.


    Please DO. If nothing else, treat it like a college football game or AAA baseball. I spent a summer out at Central City in '96 and went to a game. Not very impressed at the time (1st yr. of MLS) but I was amazed that the best player/playmaker on the field was actually an AMERICAN (Marcelo Balboa).

    TV is no substitute for watching a game live. Besides, these teams WILL get better in the next couple of decades. Hamburg SV found out they couldn't just show up and expect a "W" when they got their clocks cleaned by the Fire and the Crew in exhibitions a couple of years ago.

    And unless I start becoming a jet-set world traveler, I need to ask myself a simple question: Would I rather watch: A) Teams with aging superstars far past their prime like Johann Cruyff, Franz Beckanbauer, George Best, etc. playing on the green sandpaper we Tulsans liked to call astroturf at Skelly Stadium back in the "good ole NASL days"... OR... B) Young teams with young players like Beasley, Donovan, Mathis, Twellman, etc. develop their games in what I think is now a pretty solid league. (Don't mind watching the Stoichkov magic every now and then either--but am relieved that he is not THE story of the Fire).


    I also don't feel like they are MY team. I don't need players that I could buy and sell 10 times over (Via Salary) acting like they are big time pro athletes.


    I'd argue that many of them ARE just as good or better than their baseball counterparts... yet make less $$$ and have less attitude... I like watching players that don't make 50 times my annual salary...


    They aren't, yet that is what the Rapids act like. They don't act desperate for fans, and they need to. They act as if they don't want fans, yet they must since they have no TV revenue stream (Not a real one a la the NFL or NBA, or even the *shudder* NHL [CRAP TV Money, yet the MLS would die for it]).


    That's a shame. I think it's obvious that these players need to be out in the community to promote the game... it's the only way the league will survive the lean years.


    I think we should only put MLS teams in cities that are DYING for entertainment. Denver isn't, but the Rapids draw well because we *WILL* support our teams. Any team. Atlanta cannot say the same thing.


    Even as a soccer fan, it's hard to get a lot of entertainment value out of a game at Mile High with 8K spread out and inaudible... league needs fan-based "atmosphere"...


    The more I read those Tulsa and OKC guys talking about getting an MLS team, the more I think it sounds like an AWESOME move. No pro teams, a SSS, could make for a lot of fun. In order for the MLS to grow it MUST grow "derbys". There are absoLUTELY no natural rivalries except perhaps Boston/NY which would be a false one as the league is so new, it's just geographic.


    There's the Brimstone Cup (Chicago/Dallas) and a NY/DC one... New England/DC and NE/NY are not just geographical rivalries... SJ/LA is getting heated... Chicago/Columbus sells out Crew Stadium... rivalries only happen when teams stay in the same cities/divisions for years at a time... look at the Cowboys/Redskins rivalry-- those happened over decades, not just a few years.

    A 22,000 seat SSS would give the game "atmosphere" even if a game drew 10K to 15K... 8K in the Cotton Bowl/Arrowhead is a disaster...


    I question if its too late for a 5th major sport to catch on, it's not just that there is so much competition, it's that there is so much inbred hatred in the existing rivalries (Lakers/Celtics) (Yankees/Red Sox) (Broncos/Raiders, Cowboys/Redskins). So in MY opinion. The way to ASSIST MLS (I hesitate to use the word fix because I dont think MLS is Broken) is to expand. Not rapidly, but calmly, into SSS.


    MLS is already in 7 of the top 8 media markets with only 10 teams... NFL has Jacksonville, NBA has Salt Lake, Sacramento, San Antonio... NHL has Nashville... MLS has Columbus... KC is a smaller market MLS team yet still plays in the shadow of the Royals at the Chief's big stadium at Arrowhead... Which would be better? Dallas and KC at the Cotton Bowl and Arrowhead or Tulsa and OKC at two SSS facilities? The league has said 2 teams in OK won't happen, but would it really be any worse than what we're currently stuck with?

    And sold out 15K games in Naperville perk up the media talking heads better than that same # at Soldier Field... GO FIGURE!
     
  21. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
    Hey, if Tulsa and OKC can both support MLS, go for it. Imagine the rivalry!
     
  22. panicfc

    panicfc Member+

    Dec 22, 2000
    In my chair, typing
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  23. eric515

    eric515 Member

    May 8, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Club:
    Aston Villa FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, those dying Thrashers with the Rookie of the Year, Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk, the guy who would have won Rookie of the Year had he not got hurt. The Thrashers with a World Championship winning keeper. The Thrashers who just signed Slava Kozlov. I think they will be fine. Fans will respond with victories. The Thrashers had shown no noticeable signs of improvement, outside of Heatley and Kovalchuk, since their inception...that will change this year. However, fans weren't going to blindly follow the Thrashers for years on end because they love hockey. It just doesn't work that way...especially since most hockey fans here already have prior loyalties.

    By the way, the Falcons sold out their home game on Sunday, and not because there are so many Bears fans in Atlanta, but because the fans actually feel the new owners are comitted to winning. Unlike the last owners who were committed to riding the NFL profit wave. Secondly, if you would have noticed, when Feely missed the potential GW FG, you would have seen a dozen or so fans in Bears jerseys in the background cheering the miss. What other city could you get away with that in and not get roughed up? Atlanta is probably one of the only cities I can think of. We are used to being matched or outnumbered by transplant fans at home games. It's just different than your experience where you are from.

    The Braves do great attendance wise in the summer, but their attendance goes down when school starts back because a trip to a Braves game for most Atlantans is a 2.5 hour roundtrip venture. Every game is on TV anyway, why put up the hassle when you have to get up to get your kids off to school at 6 the next morning??

    Once again, the cities you try and compare Atlanta too, as if you had any clue about the city, are cities like Denver. But do you think the Avs would be drawing anywhere near like they do if they didn't win the Stanley Cup their first year in town?? If the Rockies weren't a guaranteed 5 HR, 7-10 run team every day, do you think people would show up to support those loveable losers?? Nope...and they are starting to not be so plentiful at Coors Field. The Broncos...let's see, winning tradition, a commitment to competitiveness and victory, 6 trips to the Super Bowl, 2 titles...that will get you a fan base...the Falcons have never had that.

    Outside of that, comparing Atlanta to a Northeastern or Midwest city that has had pro sports for 75 years is just absurd, it is still relatively young in terms of its pro sports. My generation (1978-1988) and the kids who are 10-11 now, will be the one's that become the fanbase of Atlanta teams, because they will actually be natives, unlike my, and many other Atlantans parent's are.

    An MLS team wouldn't have to deal with prior loyalties, and would be smart enough to build an SSS somewhere north of the Techwood ghetto. And since it would be at least .500 (aren't all MLS teams??) its first year, the fans would be there. The league is built for all teams to have a chance to succeed quickly.

    As for Silverbacks attendance, it is partly location, and partly the fact that they spend virtually no money marketing the team, compared to the WUSA/Beat/Cox, Inc. marketing machine. I have met scores of people who didn't even know the S-Backs existed since they get a 2 inch column on page 10 of sports about their games.
     
  24. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
    Very well put, Eric.

    If the Avs had been an expansion team, rather than the Cup-ready Quebec Nordiques (if they had moved to Atlanta, we could have called them the "Redneques" (sorry :D), they would be the Houston (or maybe Seattle) Avalanche by now. The "first" Colorado Rockies were a hockey team. They're now the NJ Devils.
     
  25. eric515

    eric515 Member

    May 8, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Club:
    Aston Villa FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Blasphemy!! Are you saying that the almighty sports mecca of Denver has had franchises that they have not supported?? How dare you!! If that were true, we should move the Rapids now!!

    Obviously, when determining the Rapids new home, we should use other sports as an example of where soccer will be supported well...so I vote for moving the Rapids to either Cleveland, Pittsburgh, or Green Bay, I mean, those guys love a few of their teams, OBVIOUSLY they would support soccer. :)
     

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