Why not Austin?

Discussion in 'MLS: Expansion' started by SoccerPro843, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. SoccerPro843

    SoccerPro843 Member

    Dec 3, 2004
    Austin, Tx
    Austin Texas has a huge youth soccer market. When Dallas and Colorado played here in the preseason, about 4,000 showed up. With proper advertising like in Salt Lake City, that number could be tripled. In my club alone, there are about 1,000-1,500 players. Most of those players would go to the games. Plus their families and friends of course. In the area there are about 6 other select youth clubs, whose player numbers equal around 500-600. About half those players and their families would attend matches. Next there are high school soccer teams, and middle school team in Leander. With proper advertising, these players may go see an Austin MLS team play. A stadium deal may take a while, but, I know some people who know some people that may invest. Until then they could play in UT's soccer stadium.
    It has a capacity of 20,000, and the seats are adjustable. Parking may be an issue, because there are only 1,200 spots. I'm sure other buildings may allow parking for games. I don't know, but it may work. Never happen though.
  2. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Is there an interested ownership group? Does the city want to enter into a partnership with an ownership group to build a stadium? If not.....forget it.
  3. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    The same reason Rochester isn't in MLS: It's not a big enough market.


    MLS Media Markets

    1 New York
    2 Los Angeles
    3 Chicago
    5 Boston (Manchester)
    7 Dallas-Ft. Worth
    8 Washington, DC (Hagrstwn)
    10 Houston
    18 Denver
    31 Kansas City
    32 Columbus, OH
    36 Salt Lake City

    Expansion candidates?

    4 Philadelphia
    6 San Francisco-Oak-San Jose
    9 Atlanta
    13 Seattle-Tacoma
    16 Cleveland-Akron (Canton)
    26 San Diego
    37 San Antonio
    45 Oklahoma City
    61 Tulsa
    79 Rochester, NY

    53 Austin
  4. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    I'm not buying it.....

    Find an owner with deep pockets and a city willing to put money into a stadium and the 53rd biggest market has a team yesterday.
  5. chapulincolorado

    Jul 14, 1999
    McAllen, Texas
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    ....but also do notice that it a rich city and a capital of the state with out any major league team: NO NBA, NHL, NFL, or MLB. It does have an AFL team, the Austin Wranglers, a minor-league hockey team, Austin Ice Bats, and an NBA development team, Austin Toros. The only big players there are the UT football team.

    As much as I can see a team in Austin, with support from San Antonio and San Marcos, I just don't see Austin as the type of city willing to invest on a major league sport franchise.
  6. fhsol76

    fhsol76 New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    I just cant see them goin back into Texas for awhile. The MLS has one major problem, lack of geographical expansion. The southeast and the Pacific Northwest are still regions that need a team. For this league to work in America they have to give a team for everyone to root for. Its great and all if you have willing ownership in Austin but you can have the entire league reside in Texas and California.
  7. amancalledmikey

    Oct 27, 2003
    I have a bindle at this point...
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Why not? You have to go where the support is - from the people, institutionally, financially and otherwise. So, if that support is in Texas, go to Texas.
  8. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Baseball was built largely from the NE and Midwest, hockey was built in the Northern Midwest, much of pro football's early succeses were the midwest and NE. Leagues start regionally all the time, I don't think you are necessarily right here.
  9. jburchard

    jburchard New Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    While they are different sports, I think that it is important to look at Austin's minor league baseball team, the Round Rock Express. This is a team that, since its inception, has drawn extremely well. In fact, in their first year of inception, they broke to all time attendance record for AA teams. They continued to improve upon that record until they were upgraded to a AAA affiliate this past year. Once again, they were able to improve on that record and were second to Louisville among all minor league teams in terms of attendance.

    I realize that they are different sports, but, to expand and succeed, MLS needs the sort of fans who attend minor league baseball games. That is, people who are not incredibly invested in who wins or loses, but are instead looking for a nice environment to sit outside and watch a sporting event.

    Myer's stadium, as the UT soccer/track stadium is called, seems like a wonderful temporary venue for an MLS. It is located downtown and was built with soccer in mind.

    I don't see it as being an issue since they manage with Royal Memorial stadium, which packs in 80K + for football.

    All of this being said, there is no investor group, so I don't see it happening. It is interesting to think about, though.
  10. Stumptown Texan

    Stumptown Texan New Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    Taking into account that this entire thread is pure speculation and fantasy, both arguments have merit. While it is true that MLB, the NFL, and the NHL began as more regionally-based leagues, they also began where the most populous cities were located. Cities like St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati were major population areas at the turn of the century. There simply wasn't the population and the transportation infrastructure to warrant putting teams in the plains states, the southwest, or the west coast. Based on that rationale, it would be proper to locate teams where the populations are booming: in the sunbelt states and the west coast.
    However, with the advent of television and the potential revenue that it brings for sports teams, one would be wise to establish as wide a geographic footprint as possible for television interest. The problem is that not every geographic region has the fundamental prerequisites in place: a potential ownership group, a large potential fanbase, and a government or educational institution willing to take a chance on a ten-year-old modestly popular league in regards to stadia. As a result, like Texgator said, it boils down to who has those elements in place. Unless the league becomes wildly popular in a short period of time, we will have to be content with modest growth in those areas that make economic sense. The one thing that I find interesting is Nielsen's DMA's. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose is considered a single area but San Antonio-San Marcos-Austin is not? Anyone who has ever driven down that part of I-35 realizes that it might as well be a DMA of it's own as far as television is concerned. Does Houston also include Galveston and the communities on the bay(Deer Park, Pasadena, Baytown, League City, Clear Lake, Texas City)? It seems that the Houston area would be much higher-ranked than 10th. The way that Nielsen determines these areas seems rather arbitrary(or perhaps it just escapes my sense of logic).
  11. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Doesn't Austin have its own local network affiliate stations and San Antonio has their own? If that's the case, they should be separate DMA's.
  12. Stumptown Texan

    Stumptown Texan New Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    That's true, but so does San Fran. and San Jose. Not sure about Oakland though.
  13. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Two things:

    1. San Jose is only 35-40 miles from San Francisco, while Austin is 80 miles from San Antonio.

    2. I could be wrong about it, but Nielsen markets were set up basically how the various different TV markets shook themselves out over the years. San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose have generally gotten the same set of TV stations over the years. However, Austin has always gotten different stations than San Antonio, with the exception of KBEJ from Fredricksburg, which is the UPN affiliate for both Austin and San Antonio.
  14. yure323

    yure323 New Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    I agree that Austin could be a good market, but i think that MLS would do better in San Antonio.
  15. jburchard

    jburchard New Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I bedgrudingly agree with that statement. Given San Antonio's track record ofsupporting the Spurs, it would probably be a better move for MLS.
  16. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is 100% correct.

    Is there a way for some mod to make this the title of a thread, make it a sticky, and require anyone to read it before posting that some city should have an MLS team?
  17. thurd

    thurd New Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    Melrose, MA
    Not to nitpick the Nielsen list, but with Foxboros location south of Boston you would definately need to include Providence, esp. if youre including Manchester.
  18. VioletCrown

    VioletCrown Member+

    FC Dallas
    United States
    Aug 30, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    Austin Aztex
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    *sigh* I *wish*. However, first, let's point out that there are now MLS teams in Houston and Dallas. Texas is now the only state with 2 MLS teams (oh, what? Chivas? Well, technically, CA has two. Technically).

    Now, that aside, let me address your two points above.

    1. Round Rock Express. They were originally going to be in Austin. And Austin voters resoundingly thumbed their noses, raspberried, mooned and otherwise vociferously rejected building a stadium. Even if Michael Dell or a couple dellionaires decided to fund the construction entirely themselves (and I haven't heard even the faintest whiff of anything like that), they'd have to find a place where enough neighborhoods didn't find fault with it and scuttle it. I know Austin pretty well. Can't think of a one. It'd be a fun game to try and find one. Anyone want to join me in a pointless exploration of our city for a stadium location?

    2. UT let an MLS team use the soccer field.


    Oh, ooh, my stomach hurts from laughing!

    Sorry, UT is bigger than a gorilla. There's no way they're going to let anyone use that stadium. I don't know how the Wranglers wrangled using the drum. Probably because it's football.

    I know, my argument for #2 is really just laughing at the idea. I have nothing substantial in the way of an argument against it other than my belief.

    I'd truly love to have a soccer team here. I'd love to have an A-League team here. We should really be able to support it. There was a window of opportunity before the Express, before the Ice Bats, before whatever that basketball team is. At this point, though, we've missed the boat. At least as far as MLS goes. Probably as far as soccer goes for a long time.

    And, yeah, I know about the Lightning in the USL. But really, who knows about them? They're at a different field every season.
  19. FC Tallavana

    FC Tallavana Member+

    Jul 1, 2004
    La Quinta
    As someone who recently bought a house in the Austin area I would like to formally endorse this plan. :)

    In my opinion MLS needs to forget about the size of the market and look at how supportive locals are of their teams (high school, college, and pro). When you look at how supportive locals are of the Round Rock Express you'd have to think that they's go head over heels for a "Major League" team in any sport.

    The NFL was laughed at when they awarded a franchise to Jacksonville (slightly smaller metro population than Austin IIRC) but look at the results. The Jaguars are one of the best locally supported teams in the NFL. Do I even have to mention Green Bay?

    MLS should be even less concerned about market size at this point than the NFL. Why? Because market size only really matters for TV revenue. Since MLS is not even close to negotiating a major TV deal it's safe to say that their revenue will continue to come from local sources (tickets, merch., parking, concessions. etc.). When it comes to the ability to draw local revenue, midsize markets without competition for entertainment dollars can be extremely competitive with the large (and saturated) markets.
  20. clevemlsfan

    clevemlsfan New Member

    Apr 6, 2001
    why not Lubbock.

    Jeez come on I would say right now 2 teams in a state is plenty and NO i still think 2 teams in one city is very ill advised (LA) the league needs to broaden its footprint into new geographical and economically feasible locations sreading this wonderfull game giving people as local as possible teams to support why not St Louis or a Florida or Northeast team.
  21. jburchard

    jburchard New Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    As you pointed out, UT allowed a the Wranglers to play at the Erwin center, so there is no reason to think that UT would disallow a team to book some dates at a stadium that gets less use.

    The stadium issue is a concern. I do wonder if people would feel differently, now that they have seen the sucess of the Express.

    The point regarding three teams in Texas is a valid one, though, I doubt, if the investors were in place, MLS would care all that much. Which, of course, brings me to my final point: there are no investors and, thus, no possibility of a team.

    It is, however, the dead of winter and there is not much much news to discuss. I don't see this thread existing during the season.
  22. jburchard

    jburchard New Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Come on, everyone who knows Austin, knows that they would ram a stadium down the throat of some east side neighborhood. ;)
  23. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Uh, no we don't.
  24. nasaman

    nasaman New Member

    Sep 11, 2004
    Well, it is pointless as you mentioned, but here are some thoughts.

    Someone could probably make a pretty good profit from a private stadium used for concerts, soccer, rugby, etc.

    Possible locations:

    1) 51st and I-35 on the old airport (Mueller). There are no neighborhoods to tick off. Everything is commericial around there.

    2) 183 and MLK, southwest corner. all commercial.

    3) The old Delvalle H.S. stadium across from the new airport could be renovated and expanded.

    4) A partnership with AISD to enlarge and improve Berger Center.

    5) Camp Mabry after it is closed (It will happen -- sooner rather than later.)

    6) Mopac and Park Bend - all commercial.

    Of course, all this land is owned by someone and they'd have to get on board, but it is fun to think about.
  25. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Actually, that's what the plan was in the early '90s. Still didn't fly.

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