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OT: When does a sports market become too saturated? (article about Twin Cities)

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Old
03-04-2017, 02:18 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by End on a Hinote View Post
According the the MLS Wikipedia page their goal is to be one of the biggest leagues in the world by 2022. They are already, after only 23 years of existence and no more than 21 teams, the #15 sports league in the world for revenue and #9 for soccer leagues. That's very impressive.

After only six years it already looks like the Whitecaps are about to eclipse the BC Lions as the #2 favorite team in Vancouver.

I predict in the next 10-20 years the "Big 4" in North America will be upgraded to 5 with the MLS being the other entry. This league keeps becoming more relevant every year and sooner or later the other leagues will be looking at it as legit competition.

Having said this, I am a little curious to see how Atlanta will do. ATL is notorious for not always being the most supportive sports town and I can't imagine it being better for soccer.
I think every league might wish they could reset and move to the single entity/MLS setup. Players getting about 30% of revenues compared to the 50% of the regular guys is a big difference.

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03-04-2017, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by IslesNorway View Post
Very interesting article. I do think the the MLS have got a great chance of finding new fans bored with traditional sports and building on the success of the sport among kids.
They can then be bored in ways they never dreamed of by watching an MLS game.

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03-04-2017, 04:22 PM
  #28
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The twin cities draw from a massive geographical area..Minnesota of course but also Wisconsin, north and South Dakota, north west Ontario and Manitoba. I know a few people here in Manitoba who have Vikings season tickets, I have driven down to see wild and twins games. Not sure about MLS games but that market is growing..there a few Toronto FC fans here that I could see making a road trip to see.

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03-04-2017, 05:00 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Mightygoose View Post
He should be tired of it. The Canucks have been interested in buying them for quite a while...old man needs to get off the pot

But back to the topic I agree with your premise re: the later.

The rise of MLS have eclipsed their CFL counterparts in the 3 big cities at this time.

Part of the reason why I think it will be a serious challenger to the other leagues down the road and more specifically the NHL.

More competition means more choiced for consumers and more specifically the casual crowd. Each league will always have the hardcores but that won't be enough in they're nor winning and the local competition is. Most NHL teams don't have biv enough TV/media dollars to fall back on during the down cycle.
I completely agree. The MLS ratings are bad in Canada, but you wouldn't know it from all the gear thats around. That's what the CFL still doesn't get...ratings are only good to a point, especially if you're a gate driven league. Then it's like a Jenga game, great on the top, but one block out of the middle and it's all in pieces. If Melnyk had gotten the Ottawa MLS team years ago, would the CFL have even bothered again?
Quote:
Originally Posted by End on a Hinote View Post
According the the MLS Wikipedia page their goal is to be one of the biggest leagues in the world by 2022. They are already, after only 23 years of existence and no more than 21 teams, the #15 sports league in the world for revenue and #9 for soccer leagues. That's very impressive.

After only six years it already looks like the Whitecaps are about to eclipse the BC Lions as the #2 favorite team in Vancouver.

I predict in the next 10-20 years the "Big 4" in North America will be upgraded to 5 with the MLS being the other entry. This league keeps becoming more relevant every year and sooner or later the other leagues will be looking at it as legit competition.

Having said this, I am a little curious to see how Atlanta will do. ATL is notorious for not always being the most supportive sports town and I can't imagine it being better for soccer.
Just to come back to this, I'm glad for the MLS to grow at this rate. They do need to loosen the ownership rules , and I would prefer a winter league, but this should be a wake up call to the NHL. No doubt they have studied all the NHL's mistakes in expansion, the have seen what works and what doesn't, and they haven't really made any mistakes up to this point, let's see how Atlanta goes.


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03-04-2017, 05:53 PM
  #30
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Mls and CFL are leagues where ticket prices are extremely low. They can't even afford private flights. This growth thing is overstated.

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03-04-2017, 09:32 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by USAUSA1 View Post
Mls and CFL are leagues where ticket prices are extremely low. They can't even afford private flights. This growth thing is overstated.
I've heard that the expansion fees are basically the thing that is keeping the MLS afloat right now, without it the league would be losing lots of money.

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03-04-2017, 10:58 PM
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MLS main problem is that it isnt even a top-10 soccer league in the world. Maybe fun to go to but Euro soccer leagues are already all over US TV.

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03-04-2017, 11:03 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
Probably a different topic, but how has this worked out in Europe and the way tv is handled there?

Just a feeling but I feel soccer and rugby have benefitted more from the opening up than American sports have.
Probably, but that is nobody's fault but the NFL, MLB, and NBA.

When you are turning off Americans because of all the constant yelling of "this is the most exciting thing ever ever ever!", do expect non-Americans to like that either. Not to mention all the commercials and delays. It is painful to watch unless you love the team playing.

Honestly, soccer and rugby have huge flaws as sports but they actually just play the game and the production around the broadcast are straight forward and restrained. That goes a long way for pleasurable viewing.

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03-05-2017, 12:22 AM
  #34
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How much would overlapping seasons matter? Lets say if Portland was NHL/NBA over NBA/MLB? Would the teama be equally healthy in either scenario?

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03-05-2017, 12:38 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
Maybe im reading it differently but you know people buying tickets regularly for 3 sports? Thats what I see as avid. I think anyone following more than that needs to get out....

Personally, I only have money/time to consume Blue Bomber tickets while paying to play golf/curling/re hockey. Theres no way I could find the time for the Jets.

And like past LV threads have covered....its also just as much about fighting for sponsorship/corporate money locally.
I follow the NHL religiously, NBA daily, MLB daily and just got into NFL this year. Toronto FC went to finals last season so I watched a few of those games too. The Toronto Argos moved to a new upgraded stadium and I got free tickets to see them so I checked them out as well.

I haven't gone to a Toronto Raptors or Toronto Maple Leafs game for a while since I haven't lived in the city during the season for a few years. However, I went to a World Juniors game and a few Ottawa Senators games this year. I also went to see the Toronto Blue Jays a few times last season.

I guess I'm pretty avid

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03-05-2017, 01:59 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
Probably, but that is nobody's fault but the NFL, MLB, and NBA.

When you are turning off Americans because of all the constant yelling of "this is the most exciting thing ever ever ever!", do expect non-Americans to like that either. Not to mention all the commercials and delays. It is painful to watch unless you love the team playing.

Honestly, soccer and rugby have huge flaws as sports but they actually just play the game and the production around the broadcast are straight forward and restrained. That goes a long way for pleasurable viewing.
Every sport has flaws, but soccer has two massive things going for for the next generation. There are no commercials, game starts and runs 45 minutes straight till half. Than 45 minutes after half. No stopping to sell you beer or a truck 80x. This will actually make it watchable for a generation of people who don't watch ads.

And its global, soccer is a borderless game which should be a big draw for this generation who live that way online.

The other side of it is, it's not corporate yet. Supporter sections, cheap, it's just a fun night out. I'm a season ticket holders to the leafs, they were my dads tickets previously and even me and my bright sell of 30 games now just because it's kinda dull to be there that often with those people. Big games/playoffs it's different. But game 52 against the islanders or hurricane ? It's not a big pull anymore.

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03-05-2017, 02:45 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by IslesNorway View Post
Very interesting article. I do think the the MLS have got a great chance of finding new fans bored with traditional sports and building on the success of the sport among kids.
Any kid who's ever dealt with the menacing football or baseball dad relishes the idea of sticking it to them this way someday. The supporter who wants to get into the artistic endeavor involved with tifo almost perfectly counterbalances the stat nerd who wants to prove to everyone that his baseball (or even basketball) knowledge actually means anything. Anyone else I can offend? (All I can think of is the stoners one sports radio show referenced who said "hockey is gladiators, not a real sport.")

I do think more people are finding soccer's plusses, but there's enough of the normal smack here that a cute little response seemed worth a shot. OTOH, MLS needs to solve an issue with the talent level of homegrown players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrose Munch View Post
In seriousness the markets below 5 million 3+ teams will be always be stretched.
I bet you mean this about attendance. It's even MORE true about funding stadia. Of course, with the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul are kind of proving they can share the load. And St. Paul, for being "little brother," really hosts the Wild quite well in more ways than one. Clearly, this works better for the Twin Cities than it does, say, Phoenix. However, I wonder about the Timberwolves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
Fragmentation and the death of the monoculture post internet. In a world with 3 channels, there are only so many niches that exist. In a world of 24/7 on demand global entertainment, the niches are unlimited.
Also... in the 3-channel world, you got your sports information from local newspapers and local television. Those were the days of the high school "3-sport stars" and, at the pro level, the "3-sport fans." Tickets were priced to allow for those 3-sport fans. Now each team is kind of priced to demand your full attention. BTW... good to see you, Brodie. Been a while.

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Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
Does Minnesota United then face a harder time to reach a high ceiling compared to what a SD MLS franchise might have? Or NHL in LV?
I've been led to believe that the Twin Cities has attracted a somewhat younger population than, at least, most of the Midwest. That bodes well for United. Thing is, theoretically, that's also supposed to bode well for the Timberwolves. MLS does seem to work better in markets that don't have all the sports.

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Originally Posted by HisIceness View Post
Also OT here, but 3 teams in the MLS with 'United' in the name, come on
After MLS allowed Atlanta to join and allowed them to be Atlanta United, the league began talking about trying to change the Minnesota name (Minnesota United was the name of the NASL team, ownership merely converted to MLS). That would have been wrong. I'd hate to go through 10 levels of just English leagues and show you how many Uniteds exist. MU informally goes by "Loons" anyway. Here in the world realm, the "city / mascot" convention doesn't always sit well. Also, rebrandings have often worked in MLS... just saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
I think every league might wish they could reset and move to the single entity/MLS setup. Players getting about 30% of revenues compared to the 50% of the regular guys is a big difference.
Two-sided coin or double-edged sword here. It creates a ceiling on who you can keep in the league. There's clearly room for the league to grow, but the structure will only let it grow so much when there's plenty of competition. The key step for MLS to convert from "emerging from survival mode" to "truly thriving" involves having to take off the shackles and actually spend the real money to compete well against better soccer leagues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf357 View Post
The twin cities draw from a massive geographical area..Minnesota of course but also Wisconsin, north and South Dakota, north west Ontario and Manitoba. I know a few people here in Manitoba who have Vikings season tickets, I have driven down to see wild and twins games. Not sure about MLS games but that market is growing..there a few Toronto FC fans here that I could see making a road trip to see.
That works for the NFL... and college football... and perhaps even the CFL if we look at Saskatchewan. I don't think this applies to any other North American sport, even though Cascadian MLS clubs can demonstrate strong regional followings. The tendency of soccer fans is to think of the city they're in, not the state. The schedules for everyone else preclude a consistent following, though regionality can be demonstrated by better weekend MLB attendance.


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03-05-2017, 08:14 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Swarez View Post
Every sport has flaws, but soccer has two massive things going for for the next generation. There are no commercials, game starts and runs 45 minutes straight till half. Than 45 minutes after half. No stopping to sell you beer or a truck 80x. This will actually make it watchable for a generation of people who don't watch ads.

And its global, soccer is a borderless game which should be a big draw for this generation who live that way online.

The other side of it is, it's not corporate yet. Supporter sections, cheap, it's just a fun night out. I'm a season ticket holders to the leafs, they were my dads tickets previously and even me and my bright sell of 30 games now just because it's kinda dull to be there that often with those people. Big games/playoffs it's different. But game 52 against the islanders or hurricane ? It's not a big pull anymore.
The MLS is tiny, the 2014 MLS Cup (LA vs NE) drew a 3.10 in Boston, the Red Sox average regular season game on NESN draws a 6.95, and there are 162 of those. (well like 130 on NESN) and generally ESPN poaches NYY/BOS and other marquee games.
The Bruins last year averaged a 3.47 for their NESN regular season games, and again NBCSN tends to poach their marquee matchups, or they split with NHL Network (well Obviously there were no playoffs)
A lot of MLS boosters have no idea where their league falls. An example is folks over on MLS reddit think that Kraft doesn't care about the Revolution because he had struggled to stadium in Boston, so should sell and the Revs should relocate. Getting a new stadium is something the Boston RED SOX had failed to do after 40 years of trying, are a team people care about.


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03-05-2017, 08:34 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by HockeyThoughts View Post
I follow the NHL religiously, NBA daily, MLB daily and just got into NFL this year. Toronto FC went to finals last season so I watched a few of those games too. The Toronto Argos moved to a new upgraded stadium and I got free tickets to see them so I checked them out as well.

I haven't gone to a Toronto Raptors or Toronto Maple Leafs game for a while since I haven't lived in the city during the season for a few years. However, I went to a World Juniors game and a few Ottawa Senators games this year. I also went to see the Toronto Blue Jays a few times last season.

I guess I'm pretty avid
Damn, congrats This is a sports fan folks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCSPounder View Post
Any kid who's ever dealt with the menacing football or baseball dad relishes the idea of sticking it to them this way someday. The supporter who wants to get into the artistic endeavor involved with tifo almost perfectly counterbalances the stat nerd who wants to prove to everyone that his baseball (or even basketball) knowledge actually means anything. Anyone else I can offend? (All I can think of is the stoners one sports radio show referenced who said "hockey is gladiators, not a real sport.")

I do think more people are finding soccer's plusses, but there's enough of the normal smack here that a cute little response seemed worth a shot. OTOH, MLS needs to solve an issue with the talent level of homegrown players.



I bet you mean this about attendance. It's even MORE true about funding stadia. Of course, with the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul are kind of proving they can share the load. And St. Paul, for being "little brother," really hosts the Wild quite well in more ways than one. Clearly, this works better for the Twin Cities than it does, say, Phoenix. However, I wonder about the Timberwolves.



Also... in the 3-channel world, you got your sports information from local newspapers and local television. Those were the days of the high school "3-sport stars" and, at the pro level, the "3-sport fans." Tickets were priced to allow for those 3-sport fans. Now each team is kind of priced to demand your full attention. BTW... good to see you, Brodie. Been a while.



I've been led to believe that the Twin Cities has attracted a somewhat younger population than, at least, most of the Midwest. That bodes well for United. Thing is, theoretically, that's also supposed to bode well for the Timberwolves. MLS does seem to work better in markets that don't have all the sports.



After MLS allowed Atlanta to join and allowed them to be Atlanta United, the league began talking about trying to change the Minnesota name (Minnesota United was the name of the NASL team, ownership merely converted to MLS). That would have been wrong. I'd hate to go through 10 levels of just English leagues and show you how many Uniteds exist. MU informally goes by "Loons" anyway. Here in the world realm, the "city / mascot" convention doesn't always sit well. Also, rebrandings have often worked in MLS... just saying.



Two-sided coin or double-edged sword here. It creates a ceiling on who you can keep in the league. There's clearly room for the league to grow, but the structure will only let it grow so much when there's plenty of competition. The key step for MLS to convert from "emerging from survival mode" to "truly thriving" involves having to take off the shackles and actually spend the real money to compete well against better soccer leagues.



That works for the NFL... and college football... and perhaps even the CFL if we look at Saskatchewan. I don't think this applies to any other North American sport, even though Cascadian MLS clubs can demonstrate strong regional followings. The tendency of soccer fans is to think of the city they're in, not the state. The schedules for everyone else preclude a consistent following, though regionality can be demonstrated by better weekend MLB attendance.
Yup, it's attendance. You clearly see market pressure by the attendance numbers in each sport. It drops off badly after the big 10 markets. The twins are the weak sister right now, and maybe the T-Wolves, so you can see why the article has merit.


Last edited by Melrose Munch: 03-05-2017 at 11:09 AM.
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Old
03-05-2017, 10:40 AM
  #40
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Fragmentation and the death of the monoculture post internet. In a world with 3 channels, there are only so many niches that exist. In a world of 24/7 on demand global entertainment, the niches are unlimited.
That, and also it has almost become a chore to really *follow* a given sport outside of cheering for your local team.

Part of it is that leagues have expanded so much. I'd imagine this impacts the mid-range markets the most.

Take a city like Denver. Pre-1960 it had no major pro teams and was therefore a "national" market to every sport (in the sense of viewing primarily national sports coverage). From the 60s till the mid-90s, they had the Broncos and Nuggets, and so remained a national market for baseball and hockey. Beginning in the mid-90s, they were a 4-sport city and have since added MLS and pro lacrosse. How much time does a sports fan in Denver have for each of these teams? And beyond the local team, how much time is left to follow out-of-market events? Trying to be a "fan of all sports" in that context is like a full time job.

Minneapolis follows an almost identical arc. Pre-1960 it was a college and minor league market which was part of the "national" audience. Gradually ramped up to a 4+ sport market. Who in Minneapolis has the time to follow all those teams AND follow the national picture in all of those leagues AND care about tennis/golf/racing?

Also, following any given sport has become a much more intensive activity. It used to be enough to know who was good, who was bad. A hardcore fan would know who was fast, who had a heavy shot, who was good in a fight. But now, with the advent of internet discussion, you're expected to basically do homework before talking about anything. Gotta know someone's Corsi, their save% over the past 5 years, their playoff performance relative to regular season performance. If you don't, you get made to look like an ass trying to talk about anything. It's become less about passion and more about expertise. And who has time to engage at that level of intensity with 4 sports simultaneously?

IMO, with the dawn of cord-cutting and streaming subscriptions it's going to get even more fragmented. At this point, a fan's identity is less tied up in being a fan of a specific city, than in being a fan of a specific sport.

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03-05-2017, 12:46 PM
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That, and also it has almost become a chore to really *follow* a given sport outside of cheering for your local team.

Part of it is that leagues have expanded so much. I'd imagine this impacts the mid-range markets the most.

Take a city like Denver. Pre-1960 it had no major pro teams and was therefore a "national" market to every sport (in the sense of viewing primarily national sports coverage). From the 60s till the mid-90s, they had the Broncos and Nuggets, and so remained a national market for baseball and hockey. Beginning in the mid-90s, they were a 4-sport city and have since added MLS and pro lacrosse. How much time does a sports fan in Denver have for each of these teams? And beyond the local team, how much time is left to follow out-of-market events? Trying to be a "fan of all sports" in that context is like a full time job.

Minneapolis follows an almost identical arc. Pre-1960 it was a college and minor league market which was part of the "national" audience. Gradually ramped up to a 4+ sport market. Who in Minneapolis has the time to follow all those teams AND follow the national picture in all of those leagues AND care about tennis/golf/racing?

Also, following any given sport has become a much more intensive activity. It used to be enough to know who was good, who was bad. A hardcore fan would know who was fast, who had a heavy shot, who was good in a fight. But now, with the advent of internet discussion, you're expected to basically do homework before talking about anything. Gotta know someone's Corsi, their save% over the past 5 years, their playoff performance relative to regular season performance. If you don't, you get made to look like an ass trying to talk about anything. It's become less about passion and more about expertise. And who has time to engage at that level of intensity with 4 sports simultaneously?

IMO, with the dawn of cord-cutting and streaming subscriptions it's going to get even more fragmented. At this point, a fan's identity is less tied up in being a fan of a specific city, than in being a fan of a specific sport.
Couldnt agree more.

To follow a team really closely also means a need to follow that league pretty closely to follow the moves, and with that now reaching into the 30-32 range.....it takes a lot of time. I could never imagine being an NHL/NBA fan at the same time, and maybe thats why the two sports almost have the biggest either/or following.

I know the CFL gets mocked, but I love being able to follow MLB closely in the Summer and still having room to know exactly whats happening in the CFL. Following the CFL now is what I imagine watching old NHL was like and why people look back at that era fondly. You literally can watch most of the games and know the real tendencies of the players/teams.

Its also why i honestly cant really give the NHL/Jets great attention until all of football is over.

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03-05-2017, 12:51 PM
  #42
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Damn, congrats This is a sports fan folks!


Yup, it's attendance. You clearly see market pressure by the attendance numbers in each sport. It drops off badly after the big 10 markets. The twins are the weak sister right now, and maybe the T-Wolves, so you can see why the article has merit.
So MLS is obviously filled with people smarter than me, but whats the actual benefit to going to the Twin Cities for MLS, when its already crowded?

Are corporate suites/advertisements/attendance/regional sport rights/etc still worth more in a crowded 3.8mil Twin Cities than being the lone-worl/2nd team in a market like Sacremento/Austin/SA/SD/etc?

How about a recent example, are the Thunder better being lone-wolf in OKC over Seattle? Would the Kings have been better off moving to Seattle years ago vs being alone in Sacremento?

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03-05-2017, 01:07 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
So MLS is obviously filled with people smarter than me, but whats the actual benefit to going to the Twin Cities for MLS, when its already crowded?

Are corporate suites/advertisements/attendance/regional sport rights/etc still worth more in a crowded 3.8mil Twin Cities than being the lone-worl/2nd team in a market like Sacremento/Austin/SA/SD/etc?

How about a recent example, are the Thunder better being lone-wolf in OKC over Seattle? Would the Kings have been better off moving to Seattle years ago vs being alone in Sacremento?
It's the corporate money. While Minneapolis is stretched, the MLS feels they can still pull some corporate sponsorship with having a team there. Being the only teams has its merits, but you also have to allow for 2nd and even 3rd tier cities in your league at that point. Those cities might only have the corporate support for one team.
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Couldnt agree more.

To follow a team really closely also means a need to follow that league pretty closely to follow the moves, and with that now reaching into the 30-32 range.....it takes a lot of time. I could never imagine being an NHL/NBA fan at the same time, and maybe thats why the two sports almost have the biggest either/or following.

I know the CFL gets mocked, but I love being able to follow MLB closely in the Summer and still having room to know exactly whats happening in the CFL. Following the CFL now is what I imagine watching old NHL was like and why people look back at that era fondly. You literally can watch most of the games and know the real tendencies of the players/teams.

Its also why i honestly cant really give the NHL/Jets great attention until all of football is over.
That happens with other sports too. There is an MLB/NFL split, and a MLB/MLS split (as indicated earlier.) You can be both an NBA and NHL fan, but is has become much harder in the last few years as you pointed out.

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03-05-2017, 01:08 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by PCSPounder View Post
Any kid who's ever dealt with the menacing football or baseball dad relishes the idea of sticking it to them this way someday. The supporter who wants to get into the artistic endeavor involved with tifo almost perfectly counterbalances the stat nerd who wants to prove to everyone that his baseball (or even basketball) knowledge actually means anything. Anyone else I can offend? (All I can think of is the stoners one sports radio show referenced who said "hockey is gladiators, not a real sport.")

I do think more people are finding soccer's plusses, but there's enough of the normal smack here that a cute little response seemed worth a shot. OTOH, MLS needs to solve an issue with the talent level of homegrown players.



I bet you mean this about attendance. It's even MORE true about funding stadia. Of course, with the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul are kind of proving they can share the load. And St. Paul, for being "little brother," really hosts the Wild quite well in more ways than one. Clearly, this works better for the Twin Cities than it does, say, Phoenix. However, I wonder about the Timberwolves.



Also... in the 3-channel world, you got your sports information from local newspapers and local television. Those were the days of the high school "3-sport stars" and, at the pro level, the "3-sport fans." Tickets were priced to allow for those 3-sport fans. Now each team is kind of priced to demand your full attention. BTW... good to see you, Brodie. Been a while.



I've been led to believe that the Twin Cities has attracted a somewhat younger population than, at least, most of the Midwest. That bodes well for United. Thing is, theoretically, that's also supposed to bode well for the Timberwolves. MLS does seem to work better in markets that don't have all the sports.



After MLS allowed Atlanta to join and allowed them to be Atlanta United, the league began talking about trying to change the Minnesota name (Minnesota United was the name of the NASL team, ownership merely converted to MLS). That would have been wrong. I'd hate to go through 10 levels of just English leagues and show you how many Uniteds exist. MU informally goes by "Loons" anyway. Here in the world realm, the "city / mascot" convention doesn't always sit well. Also, rebrandings have often worked in MLS... just saying.



Two-sided coin or double-edged sword here. It creates a ceiling on who you can keep in the league. There's clearly room for the league to grow, but the structure will only let it grow so much when there's plenty of competition. The key step for MLS to convert from "emerging from survival mode" to "truly thriving" involves having to take off the shackles and actually spend the real money to compete well against better soccer leagues.



That works for the NFL... and college football... and perhaps even the CFL if we look at Saskatchewan. I don't think this applies to any other North American sport, even though Cascadian MLS clubs can demonstrate strong regional followings. The tendency of soccer fans is to think of the city they're in, not the state. The schedules for everyone else preclude a consistent following, though regionality can be demonstrated by better weekend MLB attendance.
I do kinda hate the way baseball culture has evolved in NA. When I see the Latin crowds in the WBC im jealous. I have two friends who have been to Yomiuri Giants games and couldnt believe the chanting/cheering culture in NPB. And then you have the Taiwan NT crowd which is amazing as well.


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03-06-2017, 06:29 AM
  #45
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Very interesting article. I do think the the MLS have got a great chance of finding new fans bored with traditional sports and building on the success of the sport among kids.

They lost, but Atlanta United had a rocking debut at Georgia Tech's football stadium. It was impressive considering the local MLB franchise has decamped for the northern suburbs. Also impressive was Orlando City's new stadium. I lament all this because this puts MLS in New England, still stuck in the 90's, to shame.


http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/gall...opshere-030517

http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/stor...ets-mls-030517

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03-06-2017, 07:11 AM
  #46
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Originally Posted by Melrose Munch View Post
It's the corporate money. While Minneapolis is stretched, the MLS feels they can still pull some corporate sponsorship with having a team there. Being the only teams has its merits, but you also have to allow for 2nd and even 3rd tier cities in your league at that point. Those cities might only have the corporate support for one team.


That happens with other sports too. There is an MLB/NFL split, and a MLB/MLS split (as indicated earlier.) You can be both an NBA and NHL fan, but is has become much harder in the last few years as you pointed out.
Just to add to this, the fragmentation of sporting interest, Don Garber had this to say at ATL United's debut.

http://www.myajc.com/sports/rousing-...TPCvsjDnB0UZO/

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Here was Garber: I want our league to be the sport for the New America. A diverse city like Atlanta is the New America. Were not the sport for the fan who likes all the other sports.

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03-06-2017, 10:33 AM
  #47
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It's the corporate money. While Minneapolis is stretched, the MLS feels they can still pull some corporate sponsorship with having a team there.
A lot of good discussion on this topic. I'll point out that the MLS team will play in St. Paul, not in Minneapolis. You have a unique situation there that makes it inaccurate to refer to the region as "Minneapolis," like you might call the New York region "New York," and it would be understood. The geography/history is unique enough that after 90 years of every major league team in every league being named after a city, when the Twins moved from Washington in 1961, they were the first team in any major league to be named after a state. Mpls and St. Paul both wanted to host the team, and with populations roughly similar (a 9/7 ratio, not enough to call one dominant and name the region after it), the Twins owner had to relent and call them the Minnesota Twins. He had wanted to keep some nod to tradition and call them the Twin Cities Twins.

I think St. Paul will do a good job hosting the team, as it was pointed out above they have with the Wild. But of course, there will be a lot of fans and corporate support from both cities. Every market has its own uniquenesses, and that's a significant one here.

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03-06-2017, 01:14 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by PCSPounder View Post
After MLS allowed Atlanta to join and allowed them to be Atlanta United, the league began talking about trying to change the Minnesota name (Minnesota United was the name of the NASL team, ownership merely converted to MLS). That would have been wrong. I'd hate to go through 10 levels of just English leagues and show you how many Uniteds exist. MU informally goes by "Loons" anyway. Here in the world realm, the "city / mascot" convention doesn't always sit well. Also, rebrandings have often worked in MLS... just saying.
To me it isn't really an issue with there being too many in the sense of redundancy as much as that it just doesn't make sense. In England there are teams with tons of history, and "United" in the name implies that two or more local teams merged together and became a united club. As far as I know none of the U.S. teams with "United" in their names did that, it was rather a branding decision to make their team sound more real or authentic. It's one of my pet peeves with MLS. Give U.S./Canadian soccer it's own identity, don't try and force European norms into it. For some reason we decide to call teams "FC" when almost nobody locally calls it football. Then the whole "United" thing. "Real" Salt Lake is probably the most pathetic and egregious attempt at it. I don't dislike soccer, but for god's sake give MLS it's own identity and stop trying to make it something it isn't, it just seems forced and corny. /rant

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03-06-2017, 02:20 PM
  #49
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That, and also it has almost become a chore to really *follow* a given sport outside of cheering for your local team.

Part of it is that leagues have expanded so much. I'd imagine this impacts the mid-range markets the most.

Take a city like Denver. Pre-1960 it had no major pro teams and was therefore a "national" market to every sport (in the sense of viewing primarily national sports coverage). From the 60s till the mid-90s, they had the Broncos and Nuggets, and so remained a national market for baseball and hockey. Beginning in the mid-90s, they were a 4-sport city and have since added MLS and pro lacrosse. How much time does a sports fan in Denver have for each of these teams? And beyond the local team, how much time is left to follow out-of-market events? Trying to be a "fan of all sports" in that context is like a full time job.

Minneapolis follows an almost identical arc. Pre-1960 it was a college and minor league market which was part of the "national" audience. Gradually ramped up to a 4+ sport market. Who in Minneapolis has the time to follow all those teams AND follow the national picture in all of those leagues AND care about tennis/golf/racing?

Also, following any given sport has become a much more intensive activity. It used to be enough to know who was good, who was bad. A hardcore fan would know who was fast, who had a heavy shot, who was good in a fight. But now, with the advent of internet discussion, you're expected to basically do homework before talking about anything. Gotta know someone's Corsi, their save% over the past 5 years, their playoff performance relative to regular season performance. If you don't, you get made to look like an ass trying to talk about anything. It's become less about passion and more about expertise. And who has time to engage at that level of intensity with 4 sports simultaneously?

IMO, with the dawn of cord-cutting and streaming subscriptions it's going to get even more fragmented. At this point, a fan's identity is less tied up in being a fan of a specific city, than in being a fan of a specific sport.
This is a great post... I remember when you could be a hardcore fan of the team without even knowing who was on the roster outside of the starting lineup. College football fans, to use an extreme example, are now following the recruitment of high school sophomores. It wasn't even a decade ago when I was kind of skeeved out about the attention being paid to National Signing Day and not long before that when new star QBs just showed up, seemingly out of nowhere. Now you'll be considered a dumbass if you don't know that the 5th string center had an offer from Vanderbilt when he was a junior before he pulled his hammy.

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03-06-2017, 05:24 PM
  #50
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A lot of good discussion on this topic. I'll point out that the MLS team will play in St. Paul, not in Minneapolis. You have a unique situation there that makes it inaccurate to refer to the region as "Minneapolis," like you might call the New York region "New York," and it would be understood. The geography/history is unique enough that after 90 years of every major league team in every league being named after a city, when the Twins moved from Washington in 1961, they were the first team in any major league to be named after a state. Mpls and St. Paul both wanted to host the team, and with populations roughly similar (a 9/7 ratio, not enough to call one dominant and name the region after it), the Twins owner had to relent and call them the Minnesota Twins. He had wanted to keep some nod to tradition and call them the Twin Cities Twins.

I think St. Paul will do a good job hosting the team, as it was pointed out above they have with the Wild. But of course, there will be a lot of fans and corporate support from both cities. Every market has its own uniquenesses, and that's a significant one here.
Fair enough. It's because St. Paul has local pride, are just an agreement.

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