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How concerned should the Rowdies be?

Discussion in 'Tampa Bay Rowdies' started by Bluesfan, Sep 10, 2012.

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How will the Tampa Flames change your local club allegiance?

  1. I am a diehard Rowdies supporter and would only watch the Flames lose to the Rowdies in the Open Cup

    35.3%
  2. I will support which ever team wins

    5.9%
  3. I will check out a few Flames games, but will remain a Rowdies fan.

    29.4%
  4. I will support both clubs equally. They are in two different leagues, no need to choose.

    11.8%
  5. I can't wait to burn my green and gold, save money not having to cross the bridge, and Forza Flames!

    17.6%
  1. Bluesfan

    Bluesfan Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2000
    Location:
    Palm Harbor, FL
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    Scotland
    I can't remember the last time I voted in an online poll. Never really saw the point. But I have been thinking for a couple weeks now about 2013 and how the Rowdies and Flames will coexist in the Bay Area. There is very little chatter anywhere about the VSI plans for 2013 outside of they will exist and play at USF. The nice thing is that the Rowdies and Flames couldn't be further apart from each other in this far flung market if they wanted to be. However, does having USL competition in the area mean that the Rowdies will lose even more Tampa fans?

    I know which market VSI will concentrate on.....the youth soccer market. Their main business is running academies and camps (at a profit I would suspect) and they do that by forming relationships with youth clubs. They have already linked up with two youth clubs that span both sides of the Bay. Over 5,000 players in those leagues. Youth soccer isn't the magic bullet to a great attendance. Far from it. It is a great marketing tool though, to have your name on thousands of kids' shirts throughout the area.

    I went down to Lakewood Ranch to watch my nephew play in a Labor Day tournament. It is a mere forty minute drive from Al Lang field. VSI (and Orlando City for that matter) were very well represented at the tournament. Who was invisible? The Rowdies. Now the place was huge, 29 fields, ridiculous really. So there was no way I could cover the whole place, but you would think that the Rowdies would have had some sort of presence there. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

    Spread the word, I would like to get as many Rowdies fans to vote in the poll as possible. Will the Flames impact the Rowdies?
     


  2. wickedwill

    wickedwill Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    The Rowdies marketing leaves a lot to be desired, at the USF nationally televised game versus Michigan there was some VSI marketing around but no Rowdies marketing anywhere. This happens to be in a stadium that was dedicated to the Rowdies.

    The fact that VSI is tied to so many youth soccer clubs in the area is actually something important, they will use the kids as an anchor to bring the parents in to stadium. VSI has a similar setup with the youth leagues as the one Orlando City has.

    A lot will come down to who markets better and what days games are played. I dont think its smart for both teams to play on the same day. As a Rowdies fan I will continue to drive to St.Pete and attend ALL Rowdies games.

    That being said if the Flames are playing on a day the Rowdies are not I may attend the game, I live right across the street from USF so as a soccer fan it be dumb no to.

    I want soccer to grow in our community, I don't think that a fan or team war between both teams will benefit the ultimate growth of soccer in out community. They are not in they same league so I'm for them both doing well. After all they both represent the city of Tampa.
     
  3. XaviusX

    XaviusX Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    I have no ill-will towards VSI. However, my respect for the USL has deteriorated, which is sad since I used to work for them and had a great time doing so. Putting another Pro Soccer Club in the Tampa Bay Area was clearly done out of spite by the USL front office.
    I agree that the Rowdies' Front Office has dropped the ball big time when it comes to marketing our club. Frankly, I am hoping we'll get new ownership in the near future since these current guys operate the club in a sub-par manner. This club, with its history and fan base, deserves so much better!
    With that said, my loyalty will always be with the Rowdies. I'm open to attending a few VSI Tampa Flames home matches, but I likely won't become an active supporter of theirs.
     
    WhiteStar Warriors and FNovoa repped this.
  4. Bluesfan

    Bluesfan Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2000
    Location:
    Palm Harbor, FL
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    Scotland
    I wish the ignore feature wouldn't even let me know that there is 'ignored content'. I am continually surprised at the fact that such a dolt could even operate a computer.

    One point of information Will: I did some research after seeing the VSI and Orlando youth clubs in person. They are actually set up a little differently. VSI enters agreements with various existing clubs. The nature of those agreements probably varies from place to place. One youth club here in Pinellas had an agreement with Everton which expired and they took up with VSI afterwards. It involves branding,coaching and clinics but not sure what else. Don't get me wrong, it could be a great way to go about things. VSI is very visible in the youth soccer community.

    Orlando did something completely different. They bought a PDL team and rebranded it as their own PDL club. Phil Rawlins is now the President of the youth soccer club that was rebranded Orlando City Youth Soccer. He has a lot more control I believe in the operations and direction of that organization. Honestly, I have no idea what that means in the real world. But Orlando is far more vertically integrated than VSI.

    Who knows what the right course is for the Rowdies. At the very least, they could get a branding/coaching swap going with a local group. It would get their brand out into the youth soccer market. Plus then you have little kids running around to the store, in the neighborhood, and to school wearing Rowdies gear. This brand actually might mean something to a new generation at some point.
     


  5. speedcake

    speedcake Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 1999
    Location:
    Tampa
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    You are aware that VSI currently operates a W-league team as well as a PDL team in Tampa already, right? That next year's USLpro team will be the third professional franchise in their organization and that they control one of, if not the, largest youth organization in the Tampa Bay area? They seem to be fast becoming as "vertically integrated" as Orlando City.

    The difference is that so far we have no idea just what kind of resources VSI plans to pump into this. All I personally know is that season ticket sales and marketing push for the inaugural season is imminent, we should have a pretty good idea at that time.

    And damn right the Rowdies should be worried. They aren't, or they publicly aren't at least, but if they aren't taking this seriously then it could come back to bite them pretty hard.

    They already struggle to draw soccer fans from across the bay. Now a pro team is setting up shop exactly those fans want one and it will be very interesting to watch what happens. I predict the VSI Tampa Flames will do well at first, which could be pretty craptastic for the Rowdies.
     
  6. FNovoa

    FNovoa Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Location:
    Redington Shores, FL
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    Spain
    In a perfect world if we had owners that wanted to spend money the rowdies would buy this franchise and use the their resources. Of course that's not the case here.

    I agree with CD on this being a sour grapes move by USLPro. Why have another minor league team in the same market as the rowdies who have been more "established" in tenure as a professional soccer team in Tampa bay? We are already hurting for attendance. Why have another team in Tampa? Do the USL attend our games? The flames will experience this too, and if not and they draw more than us then it's not meant to be, sell this team to an owner or ownership group that wants to market and pour money into this team. Man, I wish I had more money...I would buy this team if I had the chance.

    I really feel this will steal potential, and possible rowdies fans to their market, but only bc of the convienience mto tampa than we are now. Nowmif this move were in the same league (crazy to think about two teams in the same market, just making a point) I could understand. But it would all depend on butts in the seats.

    With this move in 2013, The rowdies need stability. We need to build our own home, or buy ALF. We need to figure of this ownership is in it for the long haul with the rowdies. They have had this team since 2008, and all we get is silence and some questionable moves. I would be extremely pissed that if the flames are more successful and get a stadium before us. It would even speak more volume about our current ownership. I feel the flames infringe on that, and it should a note of concern for the ownership. As it should be.

    That being said, I am loyal to the rowdies and I will not be attending any flames games, unless it's the rowdies-flames in an open cup game, a friendly or something else.
     
  7. wickedwill

    wickedwill Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    But the competition may motivate Rowdies ownership to do something, anything would be nice
     
  8. FNovoa

    FNovoa Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Location:
    Redington Shores, FL
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    Spain
    Great point. But who knows. This ownership group sure does not inspire me, or give me confidence.
     
  9. wickedwill

    wickedwill Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    That makes two of us!
     
  10. FNovoa

    FNovoa Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Location:
    Redington Shores, FL
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    Spain
    ..but to answer your question of the tread title bluesfan, the rowdies should be concerned.
     
  11. wickedwill

    wickedwill Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    The Rowdies will do fine if they communicate the future of the team with the fans including if they have any interest in still building a stadium. They need to address this before someone else does it first.
     
  12. FNovoa

    FNovoa Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Location:
    Redington Shores, FL
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    Spain
    Agreed. You would think they would have done this already. They tried 2 years ago, but we've heard nothing since? Is the silence a good thing, or a bad thing? I have no idea. I wish we did have an idea.
     
  13. Bluesfan

    Bluesfan Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2000
    Location:
    Palm Harbor, FL
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    Scotland
    Oh, I don't have personal knowledge of VSI's plans. My point, which I guess was articulated well enough, is that either way VSI could be a formidable force for the Rowdies to deal with. Vertical integration in my book is not just cooperative agreements with youth clubs, but rather direct control. Look up the Orlando City youth club on the state's corporate directory. Phil Rawlins is president. That is integration. I know that VSI has PDL and Womens teams already, PDL is a form of vertical integration, but the women's team would be horizontal integration. We are really splitting hairs here and it isn't really important to the point which we both agree on.

    VSI could be in its current form or a more advanced set up like Orlando City either way a huge roadblock to the Rowdies.
     
  14. Bluesfan

    Bluesfan Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2000
    Location:
    Palm Harbor, FL
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    Scotland
    It will be interesting to see how the Rowdies respond. The Flames are head to head competition. If I was a betting man, I frankly would lay money on the Rowdies doing.....wait for it......nothing. They will continue on the same bumbling, inept course. Someone sets up shop across the street from you competing for your customers, you better have a business plan and execute it.

    Will be interesting to see what kind of resources VSI commits to the Pro team. It will be playing in an undersized stadium on USF's campus. So they can't outdraw the Rowdies in sheer numbers and before anyone corrects me, I know that Corbett Stadium has berms that will accomodate around a total 3,000 fans. I just can't see 2, 000 people parking their butts on the grass every game. The Flames are going to draw around 1,200 a game is my prediction if they market well to the college kids and the soccer community. If they rely on people just showing up, they will draw 600 a game.

    IF the Rowdies don't respond with a big push to get to the next level, then I think they start a slow dwindling death. They just fade away.
     
  15. XaviusX

    XaviusX Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Another thing: If VSI plan to use Corbett Stadium at USF, they should not rely on Students to help with attendance since the grand majority of the USL Pro Season is in the Summer and a good chunk of USF students usually take off for the Summer. My prediction is that the Rowdies will dominate when it comes to attendance, but will likely falter when it comes to marketing the club.
     
  16. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 1999
    Location:
    El desierto
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    The positive thing, though, is that since they're all commuters, they're still in the area.


    Ba-doom-boom. :D

    (Also, until and unless VSI actually establishes a reputation for being able to start, grow and market a professional soccer team, I would be less than worried, personally. The Rowdies have enough to worry about on their own end.)
     
  17. wickedwill

    wickedwill Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Someone on the Rowdies must have read my post last night...lol

    Rowdies Agree To Stadium Deal At Al Lang Stadium
    Tampa, FL - The Tampa Bay Rowdies have announced today that the club signed a 4-year agreement keeping the Rowdies the primary tenant at Al Lang Stadium in Downtown St. Petersburg starting with the 2013 season. Al Lang Stadium has been the home of the Rowdies for the 2011 and 2012 NASL seasons in partnership with the City of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Baseball Commission.

    “The Rowdies are an important part of the Tampa Bay community and are proud to be an integral part of St. Pete’s growing downtown landscape,” said Rowdies Owner & President Andrew Nestor. “St. Pete has embraced the club and we will continue to build on the amazing stadium atmosphere at Al Lang.”

    The Rowdies have seen a steady increase in season ticket sales and paid attendance since moving to Al Lang Stadium. Not only did the modern-day Rowdies have the highest total number of paid single game ticket sold in the 2012 season, but season tickets increased by 65% over the 2011 season. Also, on the field the Rowdies continue to climb the NASL standings finishing 3rd place in the 2011 regular season and currently holding onto 2nd place in 2012 standings. The Rowdies have arguably the best home field advantage having lost only once this season in league play at Al Lang Stadium.

    The club has been fully embraced by the St. Petersburg community, and is proud to be a part of the vibrant, burgeoning downtown arts and entertainment district. The team is truly a Tampa Bay club with 42% of current season ticket holders from Hillsborough County and 53% of current season ticket holders from Pinellas County.

    Heading into the 2013 season, more improvements will be made to a soccer-specific Al Lang Stadium to create a better fan experience. The most evident change will be a new field configuration with the pitch running North to South. The Field Level Club will replace the East-side Beer Garden and will become a new club fan area for all games featuring exclusive in-game VIP hospitality, and the stadium will feature field-side seats right next to the player benches. Sidelines will also be closer to the first row of seats creating better sight lines and enhancing the fan experience.

    “I’m delighted with the news that the Rowdies will be still based at Al Lang,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “The atmosphere the fans have generated at Al Lang is unique and there is no other venue in this league that makes more noise than what Al Lang generates when fans get behind the players and I’m sure it gives the players an adrenaline boost that they need during matches. The players and our staff are excited to continue to play at Al Lang Stadium, as they have always been open to helping the Rowdies grow as a club.”

    The Rowdies are Tampa Bay’s first-ever professional sports franchise and provide a one-of-a-kind gameday experience featuring top-level professional play. Since 2010, the Rowdies have featured players from over 10 different countries, and hosted a match against an English Premier League club.

    The Rowdies always look to give back to the Tampa Bay community and have key sponsors throughout the Tampa Bay area including legacy partners like Mainsail Suites and Town & Country Hospital / Westchase Orthopedic from Hillsborough County, Great Bay Distributing, United World Soccer, and Buick / GMC from Pinellas County, and Wellspring Pharmaceutical based in Sarasota County. The club has constantly worked with many local St Petersburg establishments including Courigan’s Irish Pub, Crowley’s, Jonny Reno’s, and Midtown Sundries. The Rowdies are excited to continue partnering with businesses in the St. Petersburg area, helping to foster further development of community programs and the city’s waterfront.

    "St. Petersburg is excited to provide a home for the Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium for years to come,” said St. Petersburg’s Mayor Bill Foster. “The city and the team are already working on improvements to make Al Lang a great stadium for both the players and the fans. And, with the support of the city and the St. Petersburg Sports Alliance, we are committed to join with the Rowdies to ensure the team's success in St. Petersburg, both on and off the field."

    The exciting developments for the Rowdies comes hand-in-hand with the continued growth of the North American Soccer League. In July 2012 the NASL announced that the league will welcome the New York Cosmos back to the NASL in 2013 and NASL will also debut a new competition format featuring two distinct annual tournaments and an annual Soccer Bowl championship game. A new Ottawa franchise will also join the NASL in 2014.

    With a win at Fort Lauderdale against the Strikers on September 1, the Rowdies clinched a playoff spot for the second consecutive season, and look forward to welcoming fans to Al Lang Stadium for the club’s postseason run. The Rowdies last regular season home game will be on Wednesday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m., as they face the Carolina RailHawks.
     
  18. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 1999
    Location:
    El desierto
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    I have no idea what this means; awkward phrasing is only half of it.
     
  19. FNovoa

    FNovoa Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Location:
    Redington Shores, FL
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    Spain
    Oh Kent you are a blast. You must be even cooler in person.

    /sarcasm
     
  20. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 1999
    Location:
    El desierto
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Oy. Give me a break, genius.
     
  21. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    Club:
    Chicago Red Stars
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    United States
    That is 95%.
     
  22. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 1999
    Location:
    El desierto
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    The other five percent sail in on their boats from other counties, like St. Pete's mayor said they would.

    (You knew there are more than two counties in the Bay Area, right?)
     
  23. XaviusX

    XaviusX Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Exactly! As we've said before we've got people in Ralph's Mob alone who live in Polk, Manatee, Pasco, etc. Counties and even as far away as Gainesville and Jacksonville.
     
  24. G Enriquez

    G Enriquez Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2002
    Location:
    Tampa
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Without knowing anything about the supposed bad blood between the Rowdies and the USL,I'd like to see both teams do well at the gate. I live in north Tampa so,the VSI Tampa Flames are actually closer to my house. I intend to support both teams.
     
  25. WhiteStar Warriors

    WhiteStar Warriors BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    St.Pete/Krakow
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    I don't see it as a threat but it's a stupid move by USL to do that, if they really wanted a Tampa team why didn't they do that pre-Mutiny or post-Mutiny.?

    In my neighborhood back in the day it matters where you grew up and you supported that team til the end. I had a 2nd division team play right across from my parents house and never went to games nor cared about them. I had my team that i supported and that's that to each it's own.
     

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