WUSA shuts down

Discussion in 'NWSL' started by nsa, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A very sad day indeed.

    I didn't think the WUSA made for great television entertainment, but in person it was a great sport played by some of the world's best athletes. And it was only going to get better.

    I don't know enough about "the business plan" to really comment, though obviously counting on corporate sponsorship that was never forthcoming was a huge mistake. It would almost seem like you would have to try extra hard to burn through $100 million in three years in an 8 team league paying what they paid their players, but somehow they managed to do so. Hindsight is 20-20, but I'm sure someone would do it differently if they could start all over.

    I really thought they'd see it through to next year. 95% of the "experts" said there was one more year left, but after that all bets were off. I guess things were even worse than they appeared.

    Someone, no doubt, will start a thread of favorite WUSA memories. I'll post some other thoughts there.
  2. Re: Re: Re: It is not a soccer thing but a women's thing

    Various, you're going wacko on us.

    Come back to the Dark Side, we need you
    over here....
  3. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    Well said. Thank you.


    And to all the Foudy bashers and women's pro sports haters, just be mindful that 8 teams were contracted today. There are a lot of hurting fans. Remember the pain that the Tampa and Miami fans went through. Let some of these folks have some time to get through the shock and grieve without the gloating.

    Tens of thousands of pro soccer fans lost their teams today.
  4. Albany58

    Albany58 Member+

    Sep 14, 1999
    Concord, CA USA
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Jeffries has been fired. You'll have to wait a bit.
  5. Albany58

    Albany58 Member+

    Sep 14, 1999
    Concord, CA USA
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My friend, you are absolutely right on.
  6. Questioning the "Whomesomeness" Demographic is not gloating in my opinion.
  7. Rich P

    Rich P Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Cleveland, OH
    Re: Re: Re: Re: WUSA shuts down

    Have you ever lost a team or a league you cared about?

    I've supported in the stands and worked for teams that have folded or moved. It's not a pleasant feeling. Try considering that.

    The whole WUSA folding thing hit home for me in several ways. One was that one of my closest friends is now out of a job. Second off, having to listen to the gloating of some of the testosterone spouting brain-deads on here was enough to make me lose my lunch.

    Third off, like the WNBA, the ladies who played in the WUSA played with a passion, and cared about the game, and weren't a bunch of overpriced a-holes. They cared, and that's enough for me.

    I personally could care less about your precious MLS. If it survives, great. If it doesn't...well, we're back to square one for the umpteenth time. It doesn't bother me any more.
  8. Wolves_67

    Wolves_67 Member

    Oct 27, 2002
    Pasadena, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    They didn't wait 'til all the next of kin like us on Big Soccer were notified. :(

    Perhaps the timing before the cup is just so that investors will see them play and the crowds and say "what a pity...maybe we can help".
    I think this may have been mentioned already somewhere. The article did mention that hope of the players.
    I haven't read all this yet.
  9. roarksown1

    roarksown1 Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    Playa del Rey, CA
    Hamburger SV
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: WUSA shuts down

    That doesn't change the fact that some people feel they have something to say and this is the place to do it. Everyone has a right to say whatever the hell they want to, regardless if it suits you or not. That's why this is a forum and multiple opinions are here to be expressed, not shut out because they're not sucking up to all those who still feel the need to do that kind of thing.
  10. jscott23

    jscott23 Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jan 24, 2003
    Poway, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: An opportunity

    Andy, you missed my point, which is rare. The dream IS pro soccer, nationwide, in their own stadiums, on TV for these women, or the women that come after them. Having lost the NASL in the early 80's allowed my to cry tears of joy in 1996 when pro soccer came back to my hometown, LA. Opening the Home Depot Center was the next milestone. The WPSL, college, HS, youth soccer support is what is necessary in the interim so that a fully funded pro soccer league for women can come back. We can't let anyone forget that there was a WUSA, and there can be another league for women, a better league for women in the future.

    Those of us who never stopped believing that pro soccer would come back to this country were rewarded with the birth of MLS and hopefully out of the ashes of WWC 2003 and the WUSA another league will rise to fill our venues and give our young players hope. In the meantime, I'll be at Torero Stadium with my daughter watching USD's women play Portland, and Santa Clara, and the like and waiting for the day those girls can play for the US and maybe a pro team here in the states. I hope more fans will keep THAT dream alive, and not just sit on their a$$es waiting for another Phil Anschutz to come along.
  11. Various Styles

    Various Styles Member+

    Mar 1, 2000
    Los Angeles
    CD Chivas de Guadalajara
    Re: Re: Re: Re: It is not a soccer thing but a women's thing

    Chivas USA :)
  12. Temudjin

    Temudjin New Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Alexandria, VA
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: WUSA shuts down

    I'm conflicted about the WUSA demise. I tried watching some games and attending some Freedom games but I found myself bored to tears. IMO, the quality of play was not that good but I didn't wish the league any ill. It would have been nice to see the league prosper but soccer is a fourth or fifth tier sport in the US and the league did not recognize that. Still, I'll miss the shocked looks on the faces of the 'wholesome' WUSA fans at DC United/Washington Freedom doubleheaders when the United supporters would roll in to RFK and begin our tailgates.
  13. Albany58

    Albany58 Member+

    Sep 14, 1999
    Concord, CA USA
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: WUSA shuts down

    I think Spartacus's question was directed at WUSA fans; asking them if (I think he had about three tentatives there) they would support a women's team that was affiliated with MLS. He is not asking MLS fans whether they think MLS should support a women's league. The reason for asking this is based on what has been seen as a great deal of antipathy between the two leagues, as if they are rivals, competitors for the same group of people who will attend soccer games. This feeling of antipathy between the two is very regrettable, it hasn't helped either of them, especially when you consider that the game (both men's and women's) draws crowds numbering less than the audience for tennis or golf and somewhat above that for lacrosse.
    The two sides have to work together, not against each other.
  14. futbolrey

    futbolrey New Member

    Dec 20, 2002
    Burke, Va
    um...since the WUSA has gone out of business what will hapen to the future of womens world cup? Will it continue...???
  15. JayJay

    JayJay Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Brew City
    There was a World Cup before there was the WUSA. International womens soccer will be fine. However, I do think we will see a bit of a drop of in the talent and skill level in the international game. The WUSA has done a tremendous job of developing players.
  16. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think there's more to it than that. MLS falls down a bunch itself with various decisions ("Welcome to Dragon Stadium!"). MLS has several inherent advantages:

    1. MLS will occassionally find a couple million dollars in its sofa cushions by selling a player to a big club in Europe (there's no truth to the rumor that the watermark on the Metrostars' paychecks next year will be a picture of Tim Howard). There's no such league in Women's Soccer.

    2. Higher levels of play in any sport do have _some_ advantage all other things being equal (college football through other factors overcomes much of this, but the factor does exist).

    3. Men's sports, for whatever reason, likely have _some_ inherent advantage above women's sports (above and beyond "level of play") all other things being equal.

    So that all needs to be overcome. Can it be? I don't know. I don't think WUSA's failure is an indication one way or the other.

    I think it can be done, but I think at this point, MLS is the most likely vehicle to get it done. Making such a project attractive to MLS is a problem. I also think we're reaching a point where big clubs in Europe and parts of Asia can be of _some_ use to a future women's league. Forsaking the infrastructure men's soccer has developed was in a sense admirable of the WUSA (going it alone, controlling your own destiny, etc.) but in the end it was probably unwise.

    The good news is that whatever WUSA's debts are, the new league won't have to assume them.
  17. Two Beasleys

    Two Beasleys BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 30, 2003
    Washington. DC
    I disagree, the timing is perfect. Basically, they are syaing they need $16 million to keep going. They have been trying unsuccessfully to secure corporate sponsors on the merits of WUSA alone.

    Now, it appears the preeminent womens soccer league in the world is going to fold. --> Here comes the pressure from all kinds of women's groups (and hopefully some gender neutral and "men's" groups as well).

    Wake up Martha Burke!! If young girls play sports, they are 17 trillion times less likely to stay in an abusive relationship!

    Now that they are certain to fold if they don't get sponsors, all sorts of people will lobby corporations on WUSA's behalf to get the sponsorships. If they don't get the sponsorships, then what's the loss.

    This way, corporations will get to see women's soccer at its best. Hopefully the US will win and all will be good in the world.

    Don't be so naive to think that the WWC was moved to the US solely because of SARS. Without a high caliber professional league, like the WUSA, the women's game will flatten out. Fifa needs WUSA (assuming you think FIFA cares about the womens game - perhaps a big assumption).
  18. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There were three WWC before the WUSA existed plus women's soccer at two Olympics. No reason to think that that should change in a future without the WUSA.

    How the US women prepare themselves for the international stage will change. For the past three years it has been all about the WUSA. Players that were low profile coming out of college were given the opportunity to grow professionally (think Hucles, Boxx, Mitts) and others that had fallen out of favour could prove the coach wrong (think Roberts and Wombat). Without a D1 league the players will be back working in Wal-Mart or teaching kindergarten or whatever and fitting soccer in on the side with a W-League team. A few will venture to Germany and elsewhere to play. Ironically, attendance at USWNT matches in the US will go up because the players will be seen less frequently.
  19. Albany58

    Albany58 Member+

    Sep 14, 1999
    Concord, CA USA
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And not just Americans, either. The other teams in the WWC, whether Japanese, German, Chinese, Australian, Brazilian, etc. are going to be playing just that much better because their key players have been given an opportunity to play on a higher level.
  20. Albany58

    Albany58 Member+

    Sep 14, 1999
    Concord, CA USA
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Especially with all those kids you brought to the matches. BTW, how's the back of your head? ;)
  21. rcleopard

    rcleopard New Member

    Aug 26, 2003
    While I am saddened to see this league go.. very saddened, as it was soccer in America.. I cannot help but agree a bit with truthandlife.

    The fact is, the male sports demographic in america was the largest category of sports fans. Males predominatly watch sports. A larger percentage of men will watch a sport then women. This is not sexism.. it's not anything but a fact.

    The WUSA was run on a model that targeted women for viewership. The commercials targeted the little girls and women and them solely. When we point that out, don't think we do that because we're sexist. WUSA made their call. It was their belief that the female demographic could hold this league, and that the male demographic was not as important. I saw, after leaving Turner, 0 ads for the WUSA in male sports timeslots. None.

    The reason many claim that the WUSA was male-bashing all through its existance was because they did nothing for the male demographic. They didn't reach out to the male fans. Yes, they had doubleheaders, occasionally, at MLS games. But even then, that wasn't an attempt to reach out to the male fan so much as it was hoping people got there early and wanted to watch a whole day of soccer. I think the one thing that most men who watch sports have against women's sports is the same thing I do. That they (the leagues) often feel like they have to "compete" with men's leagues. What I have seen.. in the WNBA.. the WUSA.. the women's professional football league.. the women's rugby league that was out and about a few years ago..

    All of them have shared two common themes:

    1. They acted as if they had something to prove and that there is some level of "competition" between their male counterparts and that they are just as skilled, athletic, and competitive as the male counterparts.

    2. They acted as if marketing solely to the female demographic would "bring out" a multitude of fans and sponsors that were not there to begin with.

    Now.. the future.

    In the near future, I'd like to see a woman's league that first markets to all sports fans. Men and women. Soccer fans. I don't want to be told these players are good. I don't want to be told they're just as professional as the men. I want to watch the game I love.

    The far future would bring coed leagues. Yes. Males and females. On the same pitch. Because I believe in equality, I want to see some day where atheletes can play on the same level field as teammates and fellow athletes.

    This is but a bump in the raod.

    It'll get better as we move along, and we are moving along at a very steady clip. Soccer is growing in the states. Don't worry.

  22. BenchRobSmith

    BenchRobSmith New Member

    Well said. It was painfully apparent from the beginning that the league was fighting an uphill battle. Plain and simple - the business plan made no sense.

    That depends. I'd love for a major women's professional soccer league to succeed in this country, but the nightmare scenario would be for MLS to attempt to bail out the WUSA - and get killed financially in the process.

    Two soccer leagues would be ideal, but one is better than none. If the WUSA model's not financially viable, it wouldn't help anybody in the long term for MLS to prop it up.

    What needs to happen now is this: if there are any really, really wealthy people who want to give this another shot, they need to spend time coming up with a solid business plan. You can't just open the doors and expect a sellout every night.

    I hope someone tries it, and it succeeds.
  23. jb3

    jb3 Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    Gaithersburg, MD
    I'll never understand why the Saturday game on TV (Pax) was usually at the same time of the MLS game on ESPN2. I always opted for the MLS game, but if the WUSA game was at a different time, I certainly would have watched it.
  24. Tom T

    Tom T New Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Soccer Wasteland
    I still want to believe that its the bad business plan thing and bad timing - considering the big ecomomic picture.
    Soccer is gonna' be a tough sell in this country for long time - men's or women's. And without a good plan and without deep Uncle Phil pockets then, well, I guess we have seen what happens.
    Regardless of the women bashers and doomers and gloomers, it was a good product and I wish it could stay and I hope it comes back.
    But, I'm still intrigued by the idea that this league was hinging on TV revenues/exposure and the time slot was absolutely LOUSY, LOUSY, LOUSY
    What demographic is watching TV at 4 PM eastern on Saturdays in the summer - and the other time zones are worse yet. Whatever demographic they were looking for - men, women, PTHs, they sure ain't gonna get them at that time.

    A sad day!
  25. Goodsport

    Goodsport Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 18, 1999
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

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