New women's league planned for 2013

Discussion in 'NWSL' started by kolabear, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. luvdagame

    luvdagame Member

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    Are you suggesting they might have no salary cap and several exceptions per team?

    Or no salary cap and no exceptions?

    Either way I think is risky.


    Wow!

    This could change things.

    If psg is going to start paying real $$ like Lyon, and if they start overrtaking Lyon, especially in champion's league, other euro teams might be pushed into doing the same. I myself will be cheering the ladies along (hope a lot of that money is guaranteed). But it could upset our apple cart plans over here.

    (Horan is the leading scorer in the u.s. u20 team.)


  2. BostonRed

    BostonRed Member+

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    I think you might have lost me. I don't know what an "exception" would be without a salary cap.

    We don't know what the new league will look like. It's possible they won't bother with a salary cap. I just think it's getting too far ahead of what we know. I wouldn't be surprised to see something of a salary cap, but, without any big sponsorship money to spread around, I don't think anyone is going to go nuts with big salaries. They'll probably hope the USSF keeps a number of players on salaries in 2013 and encourages them to hang around the US for the small number of playing opportunities.
  3. MRAD12

    MRAD12 Member+

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    Folks, please listen to Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler talk about the operation of Red Stars and his view of women's soccer. He gives a nice insight of what's going on behind the scenes, his thoughts about the future, why he stuck around as the last owner standing and what he would like to see.

    Arnim also talks about the meeting that was held a couple of weeks ago for the future of women's soccer. Says the meeting was very productive. They had talked about getting WPSL and W-league working together.

    Talks a little about MLS support.

    Also listen to his view on the building of team brands vs. the building of individial brands.
    And I believe the same thing. ESPN and TV spent a lot of time and energy promoting Hope Solo, Alex Morgan and Rapinoe during and after the World Cup and where those personalities went the crowds showed up. But what about Heather O'Reilly? Just as good and deserving as Rapinoe or Morgan to be promoted by ESPN but wasn't thus Sky Blue didn't get the crowds as teams that had the promoted stars.

    Very intelligent interview. This is a man has been involved very deep with the women's game in the last few years as an owner in the WPS and now WPSL and WPSL Elite.

    For those of you who are religious followers of the women's game, like most of us here are, this is a must listen.

    http://pitchinvasion.net/blog/2012/07/13/pitch-invasion-podcast-episode-6/
  4. BostonRed

    BostonRed Member+

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    Here's another good article with info on the future league possibilities:

    http://equalizersoccer.com/2012/07/15/qa-with-lisa-cole-state-of-womens-soccer/

    It's with Lisa Cole, Boston Breakers coach. Lot of discussion (vaguely) around player pay. One proposal was $4k per month for every player; another was around a "living wage". Lisa hinted that top players should be able to live off their salaries and that the more junior players would have to make more of their money elsewhere (which the team would help them do). She mentions that the teams would provide health care and housing (the Breakers had host families for players even when they were in the WPS). She also suggests that players should stay in the local area year round (arguably to take advantage of camp & other money-making opportunities in the off-season & extend the local brand). She hinted that teams could spend more than the targeted budget if they want to, meaning no salary cap (yet).

    She also hints that the USSF may not be that crazy about bringing the marginal NT players over from Europe regularly if there's a quality league in the US.

    Lisa also suggests the season needs to be longer (saying even WPS April to nearly Sept) wasn't enough. I'm curious if they go to a regional model with 16 teams total (and no cross region trips) does she suggest a double round robin (28 games)? If you go over 7 months, that's only 1 game a week (and maybe that makes sense). Maybe they can participate in the US Open Cup, too.


  5. BostonRed

    BostonRed Member+

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    Interesting numbers to consider for the new league.

    In its last year, WPS attendance figures:

    Average for all games (including playoffs): 3,660

    Average excluding top 3 outliers* (15,504, 10,461 & 9,345): 3,211

    Top attendance (excluding outliers): 8,076 - 5/22 at Western NY

    Bottom attendance: 864 - 5/28 & 952 - 5/8, both at magicJack

    Lowest non-MJ attendance: 1,114 - 6/12 at Sky Blue

    * Outliers:
    7/20 @ Western NY "Abby game"
    8/27 WPS Finals
    7/23 @ Atlanta Beat (magicJack visitor)
  6. Morris20

    Morris20 Member

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    A lot of this is pretty encouraging . . . the involvement of more stakeholders is great (especially the federation who ought to be putting money in), and it's terrific to hear CRS talking about a league with 12+/16+ teams and a national footprint. Glad to hear an explanation of the importance of a national footprint in terms of sponsor dollars (reducing the importance of stadium revenue) - but the devil in this is the details.

    The issue is going to be what's the least amount these guys can spend on salaries without destroying the quality of play/fan experience/revenue generating opportunities? And can they find that golden price point where players make enough (or have the HOPE of making enough) to justify the huge investment of time and body that is required here? Most of this sounds more like a labor negotiation than anything else - owners are re-setting salary expectations to make a profit.

    The CRS guy talked about lowering the cost of entry meaning more teams (good), but he didn't address the fact that relatively poorer owners putting in less money up front probably means continued franchise turnover (bad). Regardless, it looks like women's pro soccer mach-3 is coming in some form. And THAT's progress, even if some folks will use league failure to argue there's no market, the real lesson of WUSA/WPS is that there's always another set of folks who think they can do it and make it work and each year you exist builds momentum.
  7. Morris20

    Morris20 Member

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    I love when people do averages with "positive outliers" excluded, but negative outliers (you know, MJSC games which weren't promoted properly) included. It's so helpful in understanding what actually happened . . . they did it with brain size and race back in the day.
  8. BostonRed

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    If there was much to them, then I might have excluded them from the computation. And I included both with & without high outliers so the influence of the big numbers stands out. Considering these 3 games were much higher than others (and add 450 in attendance to each game), it's worth considering.

    With the bottom 3 MJ games excluded (864, 952 & 1,008 ) and top 3 games excluded, the average attendance overall rises to 3,344. The bad attendance games happened and it's usually better to temper your expectations with the bad news than to let the really good times influence your decision making. The rest of the MJ games weren't that badly attended (1,224 - 4,011).

    Even against the adjusted average without either outliers, the average attendance jumps 8% when you include the highs & the lows. That is a lot of influence from the bigger numbers.

    I'm not sure why you decided to take a eugenics shot at me... just throwing out some numbers to add to the discussion. Feel free to add some value of your own.
    Peter Wilt repped this.
  9. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

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    For what it's worth, here are the attendance numbers for the top 20 NCAA Division I teams (top 20 in relation to average attendance):

    PortlandU 31103 3110
    BYU 31697 2882
    TexasA&M 31159 2597
    FloridaU 20195 2020
    NorthCarolinaU 17307 1923
    NewMexicoU 22829 1902
    TCU 15583 1731
    NotreDame 14133 1570
    Stanford 23208 1547
    GeorgiaU 15155 1516
    TexasU 14418 1442
    TennesseeU 15437 1403
    TexasTech 14657 1332
    UCLA 14217 1292
    SouthCarolinaU 11156 1240
    ColoradoU 9612 1202
    LSU 10569 1174
    Auburn 12768 1161
    VirginiaU 18435 1084
    ConnecticutU 8583 1073

    Question: Would one expect professional women's soccer to attract more or fewer fans than NCAA Division I women's soccer?
    BostonRed repped this.
  10. MRAD12

    MRAD12 Member+

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    MagicJack games would have been very well attended if Borislow would have marketed the team.

    The game I attended last year MJ vs. Atlanta Beat in South Florida there was a fairly good crowd, but people that I talked to told me that they heard of the team or the game through word of mouth, or accidently reading the sports page.
    It's a shame. There could have been something really special in South Florida.
  11. BostonRed

    BostonRed Member+

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    I'd say on par with those Top 20 numbers (at least as a starting point). If you had a 20 team league with those averages in the 1st year, you'd be pretty happy (considering the numbers we have seen from some of the established W/WPSLE teams this year).
  12. necron99

    necron99 Member

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    Actually without listening to the podcast yet, I would guess that the owners are resetting the salary expectations to be able to break even.
  13. necron99

    necron99 Member

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    Don't forget that 1k attendance was a sell out at FAU stadium for MJ. They could only seat that many until MJ added temporary seats for the last 2 games.
  14. SiberianThunderT

    SiberianThunderT Member+

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    (Sorry for continuing this attendance tangent, but my radar goes off any time math terms are thrown around)
    I haven't done any actual analysis, and it's been 2+ years since my last stats class, but my gut is telling me that those upper numbers are actually statistically "farther out" than the lower numbers - obviously, we're not dealing with a normal distribution so it shouldn't be symmetric to begin with, there's more leeway at the top, but at least in this case, I feel like if you were going to mathematically "prune" the data, you'd definitely cut off that highest attendance first, it looks like a true "outlier" to me; you'd probably cut off more higher attendances than lower ones as you "pruned in", though I will agree I'm not sure that the second and third "high attendance outliers" mentioned above actually are "outliers".
    The eugenics reference was entirely uncalled-for, though.

    ....This is why I like seeing the standard deviation and the median mentioned with the mean.
    [/math tangent, unless someone want to provide sigma and med]
  15. Morris20

    Morris20 Member

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    Absolutely, and in the podcast they talked about the fact that when you shrink salaries/costs you also shrink revenue - there's a search for the right price point to retain fans/sponsors/teams . . . but it ought to bother folks if we're looking at a players being asked to pretty much volunteer for a full-time job while owners break even - everyone needs to be investing if the thing is going to be sustainable.
  16. BostonRed

    BostonRed Member+

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    I'm definitely not a numbers guy. As a businessman, I believe you have to expect the bad times and assume there won't be any good times. Those top 3 were at least 1300 above the next highest attendance, so I figured I'd take a look at the averages without them -- nothing scientific.

    Bottom line for me, even with a fully loaded WPS (and understanding a lot of stars were away at the WWC followed by a post-tourney bump), women's pro soccer had less than exciting (and I assume less than breakeven) attendance. If I were planning for a team in the new league, I sure wouldn't expect to get anywhere close to these averages.
  17. necron99

    necron99 Member

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    Nothing is sustainable if you are "re-investing" every year. IE investing more of your capital every year to cover a loss. That is a big reason WPS failed. It definitely sucks for the women who practice so hard and sacrifice so much for their game to be paid a pittance. However the economics of the game at this time says that is what must happen for there to be a league. Maybe the players stop playing when they feel the play is not worth their time and effort. (Funny that the whole league can run on the rounding error of Drew Bree's contract, or not funny). But in this case we are back to the players are "investing" in the future of the league by working for low salaries. In the hope of better salaries in the future or at least to try and bequeath a stable growing league to future players. A legacy if you will. They invest what they have which is work, skill, marketability, since none of them has the cash to be an owner. Of course there is no guarantee of salary growth if the league is successful, and they might not be still playing to enjoy it if there was. Or the owners could take all the cash that comes from growth as profit. I don't forsee them doing that though.
  18. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

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    [Emphasis added.]

    At sustainable salaries, it almost certainly won't be able to be a full time job. Rather, players will have to find part-time work. That's too bad for the players and also for what would be most desirable in terms of soccer skills and fitness. I can't find it, but somewhere there's a podcast interview with the Sounders' Kate Deines about what it's like working part time and playing for the Sounders and how it affects her training level. It's a really interesting interview if someone else can find it.
  19. Morris20

    Morris20 Member

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    Honestly, if you're investing in women's soccer for short term profit, you're not going to be part of a sustainable league. How many years did MLS bleed for?
  20. Ben James Ben

    Ben James Ben Member

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    There was an article by Jeff DiVeronica a couple of days ago that was more pessimistic about prospects for the new league. The article is behind a semi-paywall (limited number of free articles per month).

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012307150021
    http://www.democratandchronicle.com...iggest-names-women-s-soccer-save-their-sport-

    On the level of USSF involvement:
    And, from the same article, WPSL Elite's plans:
    Other notes of interest from the article: Joe Sahlen wasn't able to make it to that Chicago meeting.
  21. SiberianThunderT

    SiberianThunderT Member+

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    I would hardly call that article pessimistic - I guess I'd call it more realistic, but not because previous article were more like fantasy, this just simply had more facts. And of course Zanelli isn't going to have rosy things to say about the new league, it's practically a death sentence for his newest league. I hope WPSLE sticks around, though as a stepping stone/testing ground between the fully amateur WPSL and the mostly-pro new league - the current WPSLE top five need to be in the new league.
  22. BostonRed

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  23. SiberianThunderT

    SiberianThunderT Member+

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    I definitely remember the original Equalizer article mentioning that Sky Blue would be involved. I do NOT remember it mentioning that all eight WPSLE teams would be involved, so that's news*. Also, it sounds like the W-League contingent is less on board that I thought based on what's been talked about so far. I hope everything plays out well.

    Let's see, I want to start counting teams....
    8 WPSLE + 1 Sky Blue + 2 or more WPSL = 11 or more already
    If the league is 12-16 teams, that's not much room for potential W-League additions.... Makes me wonder if we'll see a 12-team league next year with no W-League involvement, basically the WPSLE by a new name. Not to knock WPSLE, but that would suck for all this to have gone around to just see the W-League still isn't playing nice.

    *EDIT
    Just double-checked and realized that this should NOT have been news to me. X-D It was mentioned in the original article as well.
    Wonderful memory I have.... X-P
  24. Greg_G

    Greg_G Member

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    The jump to this new league was always going to be toughest for W-League franchises because of their financial model and reliance on amateur players to fill their ranks, combined with the geographical and logistical challenge of having those West Coast teams either traveling out East or needing enough members to establish a separate Western Conference. I imagine they're waiting for the powers-that-be to show them a model that will not put undue burden on them compared to the franchises from the WPSL-Elite League, who basically already have what would amount to an Eastern Conference (with a year long logistical test run under their belts).

    I'm quite surprised (if the claim that all 8 Elite League teams are on board can be trusted) that a few of those Elite League teams are willing to take yet another step forward in terms of professionalism, ie Chesapeake, FC Indiana, Philadelphia Fever). This tells me that the budgets of the proposed league won't be very much in excess of what they are in the Elite League right now. If the league is going to a longer calendar (and more professional standards) and making due without college and high school players to help fill the ranks, payroll will certainly increase the overall budgets of the teams. I'm wondering how ready those previously mentioned teams - in addition to the W-League teams - are for that increase. And will FC Indiana continue to be, in essence, the Haitian National Team in this new league, or will USSF/FIFA rules prevent this sort of "stockpiling" in a more professionally run league?
  25. BostonRed

    BostonRed Member+

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    The more that I look at the article, the more I think that there's no new reporting going on there ... just some extrapolation based on wording like "expected to". The Breakers have said they are going to be around next year and to expect some kind of big announcement soon, but I'm not sure anyone is far enough along really make any firm commitments. I'm sure the serious discussions probably won't start until the end of the season.

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