The All-Encompassing Pro/Rel Thread on Soccer in the USA

Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by bigredfutbol, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Exactly.

    When you have 4 major league teams and 1 minor league team in a city, competing in different sports, who are you going to pay attention to.

    In England each team represents a fiefdom, and most fiefdoms have have a hundred years of history behind them.

    They represent your city, or part of your city, or your family, going back generations. There are rarely any competing sports.

    In the US you have a choice. People tend to follow more than one sport. A lot of people follow all the teams in their city, or in the big cities they follow one team in each sport.

    One team goes bye-bye and they'll follow the rest.

    I mean New York City fans are so reluctant to change that they've moved a few games to New Jersey and look what's happened to their attendances:

    vs. Columbus 3,154
    vs. New England 4,929
    vs. Atlanta 3,564
    vs. DC 4,533

    And that had nothing to do with Covid.
     
  2. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    Right, pro/rel in the US is definitely a chicken and egg problem as regards perceptions.
     
  3. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's not just the US though.

    When Veracruz got relegated in 2013 they bought promoted Club La Piedad stating that Veracruz deserves a first division club.

    On a related note they were thrown out of the league in 2019.
     
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  4. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Berkshire
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    This is perhaps a crucial point for the theoretical success of failure of such a pyramid structure.

    The difference would/could be that it wouldn't be so out of sight in a connected system. Being part of effectively the same competition - in terms of structure - would different to the major/minor split that exists currently.

    Cricket in England effectively has a major/minor league split, and the minor county championship is pretty much unknown. In the days before the football league added promotion from non-league to its lower division, the non-league game was almost a mystery world. The threat of failing re-election was akin to being cast into the abyss, never to return. People would talk about the team finishing 92nd in the football league as being literally "the worst team in the country", as if there were no other football teams.

    Connecting the divisions created an interest that wasn't there before.

    Would that happen in the USA? Maybe not, but it's impossible to know, really.

    It's all pretty academic, but I'd suspect if fans of any sport would "get it", it would be fans who've seen the system in operation around the world.
     
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  5. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But the fans of the Super League 12 who might "get it" tend not to follow domestic soccer.
     
  6. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    Which is about $10 million more than they’re currently getting.
     
  7. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's not really relevant because there will be a new contract starting in 2023 anyway.

    Plus it was dependent on selling overseas TV rights.

    And in the context of $325M expansion fees, $200M+ stadiums and $50M or $60M training centers/academies it's peanuts.
     
  8. Potowmack

    Potowmack Member+

    Apr 2, 2010
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    (Shrug) I have no interest in watching minor league sports.
     
  9. Potowmack

    Potowmack Member+

    Apr 2, 2010
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think anyone would deny the fact that a sports team in New York or Los Angeles has a greater potential value than one in Omaha City or Dayton. The flip side of that is, getting a stadium built in NYC or LA is more difficult and expensive.
     
  10. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    Is your only direct exposure "minor league sports" in a closed league system?
     
  11. Potowmack

    Potowmack Member+

    Apr 2, 2010
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sure. But, we don't live in the UK Germany. I have lots of top-tier sports options where I live. I'm no more likely to watch DC United play in the USL, than I am to watch the Bowie Baysox play AA baseball.
     
  12. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    #31237 M, Jul 15, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
    Hardly a surprise given your view the world as pretty much static between "major" and "minor" leagues. I doubt I'd be rushing to watch minor league sport in a closed league environment.
     
  13. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Is it entirely a matter of major vs. minor, though? For most people, I think it's not so much snobbery about "minor league" sports, it's more that they already follow other major league clubs that can can easily take all of a person's sports attention and dollars. The unique thing in the US is not "major" vs "minor" but the phenomenon of most sports fans being casual fans of multiple sports.
     
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  14. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If
    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  15. I'm getting suspicious the quality of non sport tv content isnot worth watching.
     
  16. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #31241 Elninho, Jul 15, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
    It's not just TV viewing. Until the culture moved toward specialization in the 1990s, young American athletes were encouraged to compete in multiple sports until they finished high school, and that means many fans are watching three or four sports that they actually competed in at a decent level. My understanding is that specialization in one sport happens much earlier in Europe.

    In general, at least basic familiarity with American football, basketball, and baseball seems to be a cultural expectation.
     
  17. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And of course Europeans don't watch school or college sports. We used to play on a Wednesday afternoon.
     
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  18. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    According to Sportico's latest valuations there are 6 Premier League clubs worth more than $2.8 billion.

    However, there are 13 MLS clubs with a higher valuation than the 7th most valuable EPL club, Everton.

    LAFC number is numero uno in MLS at $860 million. Philadelphia Union are 13th, worth $530 million, while Everton are valued at $525 million.

    A Yahoo! report says that's what is driving MLS valuations is scarcity.

    Other sports have pretty much priced themselves out of the market (unless you're Steve Balmer), so MLS is the most affordable way of getting into a sports market (Sacramento says what?).

    If valuations are rising like crazy due to scarcity, that story of procludes pro/rel, does it not?
     
  19. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    I think he’s implying it’s a bubble, given its actual market share and viewership.
     
  20. This "strategy" in the American context threatens the rise of a competing league in cities not served. Scarcety is a bad policy when there's only a limit by the money needed to start a club. What happens if a bunch/10 of billionairs get together with let's say USL to start an own D1 league without the inflated entrance fee of mls, so the rise in club value goes right into the club owners pocket, instead of out of it as a fee.
     
  21. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

    San Antonio FC
    United States
    Dec 1, 2008
    TEXAS
    Club:
    San Antonio Scorpions FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Scarcity is just created differently here

    The money needed to get a top tier club in the rest of the world (especially the top end leagues) effectively cuts off the vast majority of clubs.
     
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  22. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The thing is...they actually can do this. In the US there is no rule saying that MLS can be the only "Division 1" Pro Soccer League. If 10 Billionaires wanted to start a competing Division 1 soccer league to MLS they can. The reason(s) they haven't as of yet? No one's demanding it. Oh, and it would cost a ton of money to build a startup that could rival MLS today on the field. Say what you want, but American Sports fans know quality when they see it. This is precisely why attempts to compete with the NFl with rival leagues always fail. Fans can see that the quality of play is not close to the NFL or Major College Football for that matter. Fans will vote with their feet, eyeballs, and wallets.

    In most of the rest of the globe, Football is the unquestioned most popular sport (New Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa, Venezuela aside). That's not the case in the US. Growing up I played Basketball, Tennis, Baseball, American Football, Hockey and Lacrosse. It's common for American School kids to play Soccer or American Football in the Fall, Basketball or Hockey or Indoor Track or Wrestle in the Winter, and play Baseball or Lacrosse or Outdoor Track or Tennis in the Spring. The sporting culture in the United States is just vastly different then it is in most other parts of the world.

    Because American kids play multiple sports, they also follow teams in multiple professional sports leagues. The sporting structure in the US is just different. All of our professional leagues overlap each other. When the NFL ends...fans switch over to the NBA and the NHL. When those end some switch to Baseball or MLS. Etc. When the EPL season ends....fans wait the 2 months and it starts all over again.

    I'll use the Philadelphia Union as an example. I've had season tickets since their first season. They've largely stunk for 12 years. The past 5 years they've steadily improved and even won the league last season. They still struggle to get ANY mention in the Philadelphia Sports Media. The Eagles, Phillies and Sixers dominate. The Flyers sell out almost all of their games, and they struggle to get mentioned in Philly unless they are on a Playoff run. The Phillies and Sixers have also been very bad for most of the past decade as well.

    There's an over abundance of quality TV in the US. The thing is now you can record your shows and watch them later, or watch them on demand when it's convenient for you. Sports, yes you can record and watch on demand....but the Sports viewing experience is better live and in the moment. Waiting to watch it later can be tough with social media and friends spoiling the results. Sports are appointment viewing, TV Shows are not anymore.
     
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  23. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
  24. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    #31250 M, Jul 16, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
    Creating a "false shortage" of major league teams is part of the business model for these closed major leagues. See my recent posts on how the Oakland A's are attempting to leverage the threat of moving to Las Vegas to get a new ballpark approved. And, of course, it drivers up franchise values.
     

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