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Will the NASL Ever Compete head to head with MLS?

Discussion in 'NASL' started by Andy Bulldog, Apr 5, 2011.

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  1. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    I don't even know exactly what you're disagreeing with here - are you saying there are only a handful of people in minor league baseball towns who don't care who wins the league? My opinion is that winning and losing in minor league baseball doesn't hamper the fan experience, because it's not about that. Disagree if you like.

    If you're talking about soccer, I agree that an affiliation (or not) will go right over the heads of most potential ticket buyers.

    And that's the problem. Soccer has to matter in this country if we're going to advance. I'm not really talking about other sports right now, the baseball example was just an example. My larger point was that MLS is just not getting traction - after many years - in markets where the team matters. We've moved past the point of "Don't worry about that team, they're going to fold soon because every soccer league ever has folded, so don't take them seriously." 17 years later, that's not the issue. And now we're at the point where several MLS teams actually matter to people. That's a step on the road to America embracing the game the way most of us would like to see it done.

    And that same thing has to happen at all levels. I've been to Wilmington. The Hammerheads matter to people. We need to replicate that.

    I simply don't think an affiliate system does anything but hamper that, even if it's in a small way. So small, in fact, that I've already wasted more 1s and 0s defending my position than I care to, so I'll go back to the original premise, which was "not ideal." I'd rather not see it. I'd rather not see lower-level teams that are anything but free and independent.

    You can believe whatever you like.
     


  2. aetraxx7

    aetraxx7 Member

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    Sorry, I should have excluded the block about the PCL from the quoted text. I was disagreeing with people becoming upset with call ups. My point was that minor league sports fans are used to and accept call ups as a fact of life.

    I wouldn't say that it goes over fans' heads, just that they do not live or die by the affiliation. However, the right affiliation can strengthen a team's fan base. Affiliating our baseball team with the Cubs has made that team the strongest and oldest in the city. The Energy's affiliation with the Bulls carries more meaning than the (departed) AHL franchise's affiliation with the Stars and then Ducks. Everybody here knows that the I-Cubs are, and have been for a long time, affiliated with the Chicago Cubs; they know that the the I-Cubs are the top minor league affiliate. They knew that the I-Stars/Chops were the top affiliate for the D-Stars and Ducks. They may not know the second and third affiliate, but they know the Energy are affiliated with the Bulls.
    It's all about brand recognition. Perhaps MLS is not to that point yet. Or maybe this would help MLS reach that point. Chicken vs egg...
    I agree. But, does having independent "lower division" clubs make soccer matter more than affiliated minor league clubs would? I don't necessarily think so. Nor do I necessarily think the opposite.
    The only thing that will make soccer matter more than it currently does is people. People watching games on TV. People attending live games. People buying merchandise. People getting more media coverage- local, regional, and national - by demanding it vocally, through ratings, and through ticket and merchandise sales.
    The type of lower division/minor league we have in this country may help drive those efforts. But it is but a small fraction of the larger issue.
    It is. And it is a great thing. The next step, from a business standpoint, will be getting more people to care about those teams. This means targeting people outside of the market - people that will increase ratings. Higher ratings mean more advertising dollars, which are far more profitable and far less limited than ticket sales.
    I do not disagree. It hasn't yet and with the current "direction" of our lower divisions, I do not see it happening any time soon. Or at least not happening outside of a handful of well-managed markets.
    The I-Cubs matter to people. The Durham Bulls matter to people. The Lansing Lugnuts matter to people. The Wilkes-Barr Scranton Penguins matter to people. The Florida Everblades matter to people. The Dakota Wizards matter to people.
    Let's agree to disagree.
    My take is that the current system has been less than ideal. The minor league sports system has been successful for nearly a century. If the former continues to be a hindrance in the majority of the markets, why not examine the latter? Or even a hybrid of the two?
     
  3. athletics68

    athletics68 Member+

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    Not anymore they don't. They moved to Santa Cruz, California two weeks ago and were renamed the Santa Cruz Warriors.
     
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  4. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    They do in baseball and (to a lesser extent) hockey. I said that. I said that's part of the deal, part of the charm in baseball. Again, all I said was it's not an ideal situation. The original post to which I was referring said "The ideal situation would be..." and I said "That would not be the ideal situation." Now it's become a Congressional hearing.

    I'm sure there are a myriad of reasons why the I-Cubs would resonate with the people of Des Moines, the Midwest thing, the stadium, tradition, all that stuff that baseball has. But if they were suddenly an Astros affiliate, would people stop going? The Indianapolis Indians had (what I thought was) the perfect affiliation for years with the Cincinnati Reds. They have gone between at least a couple of organizations since then. Do people still care about the Indianapolis Indians? They do. Great ballpark, great tradition, all that. We are not there yet with soccer.

    And how does the Energy's affiliation "carrying more weight" actually manifest itself? I'm curious.

    And, for the last time, I never said it was a dealbreaker. My personal opinion is that soccer - unlike other sports - has this tradition of lower-level clubs not being subservient to higher-level clubs (let's take Serie C or 2 Bundesliga reserve clubs out of this for a second). It's part (but not solely) of what makes our sport different. I don't want to see that go away. That's just me.

    Sounded like you had an opinion before. I happen to believe free and independent lower-level soccer teams matter more than farm clubs. That's just me. YMMV.

    I don't disagree. We seem to disagree on the extent to which being a fiefdom retards that. Everything boils down to people at the end of the day, but it's about engaging them. We've been trying to do that for decades (though some believe soccer arrived on these shores in June of 2002 and we should hit EPL status by 2013 or everybody sucks at their jobs).


    (a) Everything starts with ticket sales, you don't get those profitable advertising dollars without them, and those who case the latter without taking care of the former are doomed. ( b ) As for "targeting people outside the market," I have said many times, "Let us please go after the people who are standing just outside the tent - those with a demonstrated affinity for the sport of soccer - first, and then worry about the elusive "casual fan" or the "NFL fan" or the "baseball fan" (the whole "You're a Fan, You Just Don't Know It Yet" campaign an example of that). We've spent years and millions trying to reach those people and the one thing they have in common is that, in large part, they don't frigging like soccer. Quit trying to convert them. Nobody opens a restaurant and markets it as "Pizza For People Who Don't Like Pizza."

    No worries. I just don't want to see it happen. And, as someone else mentioned, the Dakota Wizards don't matter to anyone anymore.

    The free minor system in baseball was successful, too...it's just that MLB owners got sick of having to buy talent from the minors at market rates. The minors gave up independence for security a hundred years ago. You can say it was a win-win for everybody. I'd just prefer a system in which our lower-level clubs - who have been whittled down by Darwinism from the point even 15 years ago - figure their own stuff out rather than cave and become farm systems. That's just me.
     


  5. AndyMead

    AndyMead America Uber Alles

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    You know what I hated more than anything? The Best of 5 AAA World Series of a few years ago. You know why? Because all 3-5 games were played in Las Vegas - the Vegas visitor's bureau was basically paying for the thing.

    To me it was a bit of an outrage. As a Durham Bulls season ticket holder, what good did a second championship series (after the IL's Governor's Cup) do for me? Even if I went to a game, would I be in my seats, surrounded by thousands of fellow Bulls fans?

    Yeah, we're beholden to the (Devil) Rays - and even lose players during the playoffs, but the playoffs were certainly meaningful to me (and other Bulls' fans).

    But having a Best of 5 completely out of town? I considered that far more of an insult than the Rays calling up our starters for their end of the season 40 man roster.
     
  6. aetraxx7

    aetraxx7 Member

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    I agree on that. Neutral site games kind of work for single game championships for the major leagues and most college sports, but the idea of holding a minor league championship series at a neutral site makes no sense. You're talking about a localized fan base, smaller team budgets, and not enough broad spectrum appeal to warrant decent coverage.
     
  7. speedcake

    speedcake Member

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    I'm not convinced. Sorry you take exception.

    Thanks, but no thanks.
     
  8. CHHSfan

    CHHSfan Member

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    The idea of losing players in the middle of the season bothers me because it ruins the competition. The idea of MLS loaning out players isn't a problem because it spreads some of the talent. MLS is a far ways from supplying all the players, but I figure some loans would add to the lower divisions and would help raise MLS interest in non-MLS markets. That would be ideal to me.
     
  9. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    Minor-league baseball and hockey fans are used to the losing-players-to-the-big-club thing. They've never really known anything different. But like I said at the beginning...our sport is different. Soccer culture is different.
     
  10. Jossed

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    Our soccer culture is just being shaped. And our soccer culture is always going to be different. We are not going to have a pyramid with pro/rel where teams can move up or down every year. And D1 isn't going to pay major transfer fees to D2 for developing talent. Nor is D2 going to buy players from D3 and so on.

    We don't know what eventually will be the system that works for all of American soccer. But it is probably going to be very familiar to most American sports fans. I do lean towards some form of a minor league affiliation system. But that is years away. In the meantime, there are other things that can be done.

    If you look at both minor league baseball, hockey, and soccer, the teams that are successful are the ones that have managed to integrate themselves into the community. The team then matters to the local community. The players come and go.
     
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  11. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    If that's true (and it might be, though soccer itself has been played on these shores for much, much longer than most realize), isn't it being shaped, largely, by the increasing numbers of people who seem to prefer an "authentic" way of doing things?

    Caveat: many times the term "authentic" is used by people who mean "ripped off from something we saw people in another country do on television" or, more simply, "British," but I mean it seems like the people who are actually shaping soccer culture act - for whatever reason - in a way that is more congruent with the accepted, traditional culture of the game (even though playoff systems and stuff vary from country to country).

    THAT part is very true. There will always be American exceptionalism because...we're Americans. We like to do some things our own way. I just would prefer this not be one of the ways this is expressed.

    And "most American sports fans" don't like soccer. I'm sorry, but that's true. They don't get it, they don't like it. They think it's boring and foreign and (in its ugliest connotation) "gay." As demographics change and dinosaurs die and soccer hangs around, that may lessen, but there are always going to be meatheads who played high school football who have macros that spew out anti-soccer invective.

    I am sick of trying to appeal to those people. And I simply would prefer that lower-level clubs remain free and independent, meaningful in their own rights and not just as incubators for top-flight clubs. I don't think that's a positive for soccer. But that's just me.
     
  12. Chowda

    Chowda Member

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    From what I've seen over in England, there are times you loan players and times you do not. Some popular scenarios are sending young forwards out on loan to get them used to scoring goals (or see if they actually can) and getting a player used to the professional grind of starting week in and week out.

    However, an added bonus they have over there is the loaned player gets a lot more eyes on him, possibly increasing their transfer value if there still isn't room for them on the squad when they return. We just don't have that kind of market in US soccer. Not by a long shot.
     
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  13. aetraxx7

    aetraxx7 Member

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    I agree with that. This sums up nicely what I was trying to say. Independent or affiliated does not matter at the end of the day; it's about the team itself and how it presents itself in the market. Fans identify with teams, not players.
    There is a reason why the Chicago Wolves have maintained good attendance in an NHL market even after transferring from a would-be NHL competitor to a certified minor league. And there is a reason why the Iowa Stars/Chops are no longer here...
    And here is is where I don't disagree with you, at least on the negativity. However, most Americans that attend sports are not under this definition of "fans."
    If they were, then there would be even fewer eyes watching MLS and European soccer. There would be fewer people attending live soccer in the US. Hell, if your above statement caught the bulk of the population that watches sports live or on TV, then Major League Lacrosse would already be dead; instead it's expanding as well.
     
  14. dtid

    dtid Member

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    I think you're missing a very important generational change. You don't have the large numbers of viewership of professional soccer in the variety of forms you have now without a large number of American sports fans in fact liking soccer. 2010 World Cup ratings for the US out-performing the Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals (i.e., probably THE marquee match-up for the Association) on English language television alone/large crowds consistently for quality international matches (whether they be US v. whoever or Euro club v. South American club/etc.)/the quick popularity of so many MLS venues (Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Houston) in such a short window - all indicate that very large numbers of red-blooded, mama's apple pie-eatin' 'Mericans love them some footie.

    Best indicator to me of this? You have three of the four major television networks spending multiple-millions of dollars each year broadcasting soccer in various forms. Only CBS isn't in on the action, but Fox, ABC/ESPN and NBC all have their fingers in the pie, and they don't spend that money for $#!+$ and giggles. Or to look at a bigger picture, just think of these economic metrics - money invested in soccer stadiums (including the $10M bits in places like Charleston, etc.), money invested in television rights (don't forget about the multiple-million dollar deals that Seattle and LA have for LOCAL broadcasts), money invested in owning MLS teams, money spend by fans on tickets to MLS/USA/"Champions World" games. Just the construction alone is over $1B. Yup, that's the big "B" boys and girls. Add it all up and you're looking at soccer being a $2-4B industry.

    And you don't get to real money like that without there being a bit of a demand for the game.

    As for the old guard, they are irrelevant to me. If anything, they are funny in a "wow, you don't even realize how obsolete you are" way. I agree there - ignore them. One, 'cuz it feels good to be able to. Two, because it drives them nuts. I love the thought of Jim Rome screaming his dumb-ass, over-enunciating, "I've GOT to have a Hot Sports Opinion no matter how dumb I sound" fool head off as his program is bumped to show Poland-Greece.... (I don't know if that actually happened, but I love the image in my head thinking of it happening.)

    But ignore them not because there isn't people there who will love the game - many will. It is just a question of exposure. I can't tell you the number of people I know who were die-hard baseball fans who came to soccer, especially after the last strike. Soccer is mega popular for a reason - it is engaging at a more basic, complete level than any other sport and once people really experience what it is to understand the drama of the game (Algeria, anyone? what an amazing sports moment), it is church.

    Ignore them because you're completely right about one thing - make it an authentic experience that true fans of the game will respond to, and you'll create something that will be an awesome advertizement for the game, and THAT is what will attract the generic sports fans.

    Like Portland, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Seattle, etc. And give the Canadians props - they lead the way. Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver generally have great crowds and make it easier for the US teams that are doing well to feed off that energy.

    From my experience, your MO is correct. I'm only disagreeing with the scope of current and future success - it is farther along than you're giving it credit, I think. Although, following lower division soccer is a different breed of cat and it depresses me too....
     
  15. dtid

    dtid Member

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    As for the overall point being discussed right now, I don't think we know what would work best because few are actually working to build a better mousetrap - er... well, that are using the right tools. Clearly, there are obvious blue-prints. Wilmington was mentioned and I would agree - go from a PDL to USL Pro level in that sized market? But the Battery are also a good example. It CAN be done. It IS being done. There just aren't enough people either with the experience to replicate it or the patience to study it enough to learn how to replicate it....

    The basics of building a fan-base and a brand is the key right now. Loaning/losing a player to a higher-level team - not a key determiner on whether the team is successful. I bet if you looked at Wilmington's roster over the years that they haven't had consistent players or even consistent success.

    What they do have, though, is brand equity in the sports entertainment industry. THAT is what will get this thing moving, not whether Des Moines loses their top prospect to an NASL team. (And, to be fair Kenn, in that sense, I do agree that soccer isn't as popular - to the extent that it does make an impact.)

    The loan/affiliate/whatever dynamic is going to be defined by how the lower divisions develop - how strong, what leverage they have/retain in terms of player rights, etc. It could go a variety of ways.

    But none of that matters if you don't have the turnstiles a' movin' along.
     
  16. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    dtid: There is no question "soccer interest" (however many different ways you wish to quantify that) is miles and miles ahead of where it was even ten years ago. That's not my point.

    But the number of people who really, really like soccer, who "get it," while growing continually as evidenced by not just MLS attendance but WC TV ratings, Euro TV ratings, stadium investment, all that stuff, still lags behind other sports and there is still that significant (in numbers, less so in influence as time goes by) bloc of people who will flock to their outbox and talk radio to scream that soccer is "gay" and boring and shouldn't be "shoved down their throats" (because they don't know how to change a channel).

    I don't know that other sports have that bloc of vocal dissidents, or if I just notice it more because I pay attention to soccer.

    But your general point, yes, that interest is growing and that's a good thing, no question. I'm right there with you. And it will continue to do so over time.

    But that's a bit of a digression (as much of this has been lately) because the original discussion - whether or not the NASL could ever compete "head to head" with MLS - is largely ridiculous because the money and patience needed to pull such a thing off is unlikely to pop up from nowhere. And should D2 and D3 teams become, in essence, "farm teams" for MLS clubs, it makes it even less likely.
     
  17. dtid

    dtid Member

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    I think that is some of it - from what I've seen, the number of people bitching and moaning about soccer are smaller and smaller with every passing year. Do they still exist? Yes. But they are being shown more and more to be the dinosaurs that they are.

    Agreed. If nothing else, it is as simple as there isn't enough talent for them to have anywhere near as good a product on the field - so even if you had the product in the stands organized right, you still either fall short there or overpay for foreign players who probably don't translate as well into players that local fans can identify with enough....

    The chance of NASL/USL Pro teams becoming farm teams is, in my personal opinion, laughable. The gulf in terms of player development and organization is way to big. And MLS doesn't have the resources to overhaul the current teams. Hell, MLS doesn't have the resources to have a legitimate reserve league. Unfortunately, that is the "Emperor's clothes" of US soccer - player development is an absolute joke. Even the Development Academy is a shadow of what it should be, and then what? These kids go to MLS and rot on the bench or go to college and are developmentally delayed for 2-4 years?

    Oh, and don't get me started about the barriers to entry for players to get into the current player development system, dysfunctional as it is.

    The sad truth is this - US soccer's biggest bottle neck is the development of US players, and no one is putting legitimate resources towards addressing that.

    So to answer the question of this thread - no, an NASL or USL Pro team won't be able to compete head to head with MLS anytime soon, even if they get their act together in the front office - which, as has been detailed on these boards often enough, is a long shot in and of itself.

    BTW, don't think by saying this that I'm giving MLS a pass - they are just as liable for the lack of development as anyone. THEY are the ones who would benefit MOST from better competition, yet refuse to put the minimal amounts of money towards player development as is needed. When operated appropriately, a generalized MLS team should be making $18-20M on a $14-16M budget. That gap alone should be able to pay for a significant player development program including a regionally based reserve league. Enough MLS teams are doing well enough that - as a "single entity" - the league should be able to fund such a player development program.

    The demand for the game is there. The raw talent to supply the right players is there. Someone just has to get their act together and make it happen. I keep hoping that MLS, the NASL or the USL Pro League will begin that process, but we keep seeing ineptitude after ineptitude and it drives me up a wall.
     
  18. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    Partially because no one can seem to agree on the best way to do it. Everyone seems to think they have the best way to do it, but no consensus can be reached.

    I'm not sure that's completely realistic. You're saying there are just ways of operating, tweaks to the way MLS teams do business, that would take them (the "most MLS teams" who are said to still be losing money) from an annual operating deficit to $4M a year profit? I'm not sure it's that simple.

    MLS surely isn't losing a collective $250M over five-year-spans like it did in its early days. But I'm not sure there's this $4M annual profit out there for everybody if they'd just change a few things up. Not yet.
     
  19. Jossed

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    Why? There are already affiliated teams. It wouldn't take much to expand on that. Harrisburg has greatly benefited from working with the Union. They are able to hold joint player combines and exchange ideas. It greatly cuts down on costs.

    MLS only brought back the reserve league two years ago. Because it cost more than it was worth and they sometimes didn't even have enough players. It is going to take maybe five years before the reserve league is where they want it.

    It is a work in progress. And MLS seems to be addressing the issues. Just as they started academies and moved to improve the player development system. No one has their head in the sand.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...evelopment/2012/06/11/gJQAK4tjVV_story_1.html

    The most likely two solutions are:

    - Increasing the first team roster size and expanding on the number of reserves games.
    - Creating a minor league affiliation system with the NASL and USL

    One of those two things will happen. Or maybe both. And then we will see the next phase of player development.

    Funny, I thought MLS would be getting praised for pushing development ahead. It is odd to get upset at the one entity that is actually doing something.

    Tell the teams that have academies that they are not putting any money toward development. Remember, we are in the very early stages.

    I am not quite sure about your numbers. And operating your team properly is only half the battle. I also don't get this idea you have that MLS is spending nothing on player development. The main problem right now is bridging the gap between the academies/college and MLS. That 16-22 year old needs a place to play.

    What ineptitude? The NASL and USL do not have the money for some massive player development overhaul. And MLS is making great strides in this area. It is far from perfect and changes will be made along the way.

    It seems you want everything to come together now. But it will not happen that way. We are talking about a very young league that is improving slowly each year.
     
  20. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    Affiliations like the City Islanders and Union (which is the best-known one, I reckon) have been beneficial. My objection is not to that type of arrangement. It's to the Phillies-Iron Pigs-Reading type of affiliation where the minor-league club exists primarily to serve the interests of the big club, which supplies all of its players. Identifying players and loaning a handful here and there are different from MLS just using NASL and USL teams as places to stash/develop players.
     
  21. dtid

    dtid Member

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    No doubt. And the real problem is no one has enough experience at being successful to really be able to show why their way is the right one....

    Well, to a degree I'm going on what Portland published when pushing for their stadium deal - I think based on RSL plans to have a $15M budget and bring in $18-20M. (Sorry that I don't have a link to it....) I could be wrong about those estimates, although you have to think that Portland, Philadelphia, Seattle, Kansas City, Houston, LA and New York have enough of an incoming revenue stream to be in the black.

    But even if I'm wrong about the estimates, there is still ways MLS can and should invest in player development. A fully blown USL Pro team (other than Orlando, I would imagine) is on a $1M budget and, as a hypothetical model, that would be a good structure for the MLS players who could benefit from playing in a reserve league.

    Is $1M really that much of a cost that would result in a significant growth of the league?

    Outside a handful of teams (Dallas, Chivas, Columbus, New England and possibly San Jose), most MLS teams have large enough crowds and strong enough revenue streams that only marketing and quality of play are really holding them back from being bigger, and I personally believe that if you up the player development, when that starts bearing fruit your marketing job will be half done.

    Let's do this math: Each MLS team spends $1M a year on player development for ten years. In ten years, that player development has raised the level of play to where MLS isn't a somewhat good league with zero depth, but is on par with the 5-15 leagues in the world in terms of talent and quality of play. Call me crazy, but a league with that level of play would surely bring in a significantly higher level of demand that would overflow current facilities and push up the ticket prices and sponsorship dollars - not to mention television rights dollars.

    Either way, MLS has the most to gain from improving players in the US and it is clearly one of the - if not the only - things holding it back.
     
  22. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    Oh, you're saying their hoped-for scenario would be that type of revenue with that type of budget, I get you. You're not saying that these millionaire businessmen are just operating their multi-million-dollar corporations all wrong and a guy on a message board has the secret. :)

    Keep in mind that any time anyone wants public funding for something and has to convince the populace (whether they're voting on it directly or not) that it's a good idea, they paint the best economic picture possible. Actual profits (as far as we have been told) have been elusive, even for teams that seem to sell a lot of stuff. I don't want to get all pc4th on everybody and I hope you won't, either, but I see your point that the clubs you mentioned had better be in a superior financial position than, say, the MetroStars were at Giants Stadium. How much better is guesswork, largely.
     
  23. OnlyOneTInFootball

    OnlyOneTInFootball Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    MLS is investing in player development, but they're not doing it in the traditional baseball/basketball/hockey farm club model. They're doing so at different age levels, by starting youth academies and keeping U18/U23 clubs close to home. Portland has the best attended U23 team in the country in the Timbers U23 - Kenn will note this is somewhat of an aberration as they don't draw consistently, because they play all over town. Still, this keeps the cost of operating the club as low as possible while keeping the funds flowing toward development.

    Any look at any new expansion club will show what the new development model will look like, and the farm club model isn't that model - Philly, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver have all done similar things. Montréal doesn't count, but Montréal is special.

    PS: I'd already put MLS in the low teens in terms of worldwide league ranking.
     
  24. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 1999
    Location:
    El desierto
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    (Actually Des Moines and Fresno have higher averages in the PDL, which is largely - but not exclusively - a U23 league, but that doesn't invalidate your point. Portland's PDL numbers for 2012 are skewed a bit by two huge crowds that represent 16,000 of their 22,000+ attendance to date - apparently school-day scenarios - but they are a very well-run organization.)
     
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  25. AndyMead

    AndyMead America Uber Alles

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 1999
    Location:
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Which leads to a pointless debate. I can probably come up with close to 20 leagues that have teams that would either win MLS every year or come close. Conversely, I can only think of four or five leagues where the worst MLS club would be relegated from.

    It's hard to compare parity driven leagues to non-parity driven leagues. And, frankly, the comparisons don't actually resolve anything. They don't really affect the bottom line. They may make a select group of fans more secure in their fandom, but I see that as a personal issue. I have never had any trouble being a fan of MLS, and the league's place in the international arena is largely irrelevant to me.
     
    aetraxx7 repped this.
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