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Thread: MLS 2014 thread.

  1. #31
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    MLS to Atlanta being announced today, apparently.

    It's an area they probably need to be in (given market size and the lack of teams in the SE) -- but I don't like the idea of adding another team that plays in an NFL venue and, likely, on FieldTurf.
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  3. #32
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    MLS to Atlanta being announced today, apparently.

    It's an area they probably need to be in (given market size and the lack of teams in the SE) -- but I don't like the idea of adding another team that plays in an NFL venue and, likely, on FieldTurf.
    That has disaster written all over it. Not only is it an MLS 1.0 stadium setup, but it's a notoriously terrible pro sports city. I would be (happily) stunned if Atlanta really embraced a soccer team.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  4. #33
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    That has disaster written all over it. Not only is it an MLS 1.0 stadium setup, but it's a notoriously terrible pro sports city. I would be (happily) stunned if Atlanta really embraced a soccer team.
    Apparently their NASL team draws well -- but I think the success of the Sounders playing at the Seahawks stadium has gotten into the league's collective head when it's really more of an outlier in terms of a working model. Shared facilities rarely work well for ANY sports, and it's somewhat shocking that MLS is allowing this to happen again. I think it speaks volumes about the league's desire to expand into the southeast as rapidly as possible.

    On the plus side, this opens up a spot in the NASL that I plan to purchase for Cincinnati just as soon as one of these powerball tickets pays out.
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  5. #34
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Apparently their NASL team draws well -- but I think the success of the Sounders playing at the Seahawks stadium has gotten into the league's collective head when it's really more of an outlier in terms of a working model. Shared facilities rarely work well for ANY sports, and it's somewhat shocking that MLS is allowing this to happen again. I think it speaks volumes about the league's desire to expand into the southeast as rapidly as possible.

    On the plus side, this opens up a spot in the NASL that I plan to purchase for Cincinnati just as soon as one of these powerball tickets pays out.
    I think Orlando is following the right path. I'm skeptical of the Atlanta setup, mainly because the team will be owned by Falcons' owner Arthur Blank. He could well be a good soccer/football owner like Lamar Hunt, but rumblings I've heard were that his desire for an MLS team is rooted in his desire to have a second tenant to justify a new stadium for the Falcons. If that's the case, they could have another Bob Kraft on their hands. I still think Beckham in Miami is a train wreck.

    I would love to see an NASL team in Cincinnati.
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  7. #35
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    That has disaster written all over it. Not only is it an MLS 1.0 stadium setup, but it's a notoriously terrible pro sports city. I would be (happily) stunned if Atlanta really embraced a soccer team.
    Bigger potential disaster: Atlanta or Beckham's Miami Vice?
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  8. #36
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    Bigger potential disaster: Atlanta or Beckham's Miami Vice?
    I think it's Miami for sure.

    Atlanta has a fairly young population and I read that the stadium design will be like Vancouver where you can cover the upper deck.

    The Miami thing seems like something that will work for a season or two and then be awful.

  9. #37
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    I'm skeptical of the Atlanta setup, mainly because the team will be owned by Falcons' owner Arthur Blank. He could well be a good soccer/football owner like Lamar Hunt, but rumblings I've heard were that his desire for an MLS team is rooted in his desire to have a second tenant to justify a new stadium for the Falcons.
    If I remember my old articles right, the stadium project and financing was approved over a year ago, and there weren't any conditionals regarding a future soccer club. So I guess Blank could have walked away from MLS if he'd wanted to.

    Not sure what to think about Miami. There are certainly enough soccer-loving people living there to support a team, but having Beckham as the face man suggests they're more interested in a hip Euro-expat vibe than in cultivating the Hispanic market, which is the majority of Miami-Dade.
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  10. #38
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    If I remember my old articles right, the stadium project and financing was approved over a year ago, and there weren't any conditionals regarding a future soccer club. So I guess Blank could have walked away from MLS if he'd wanted to.

    Not sure what to think about Miami. There are certainly enough soccer-loving people living there to support a team, but having Beckham as the face man suggests they're more interested in a hip Euro-expat vibe than in cultivating the Hispanic market, which is the majority of Miami-Dade.
    The key to how the stadium deal works is: who runs the stadium and gets to keep the revenues from various events? It's my understanding that the Atlanta Falcons will operate the stadium and will therefore collect rent on any secondary tenants and get revenues from non-football events. So having a secondary tenant like an MLS team benefits Blank and the Falcons because it's less idle time for the stadium. And while it may not have been a prerequisite for the stadium deal to go through, I'm sure all parties involved were very much hoping to get the MLS in there, because if you plan on playing soccer there, the stadium has to be designed wider to accommodate a proper soccer field. Many NFL stadia have problems hosting soccer because they were designed only with the narrower dimensions of an NFL gridiron in mind. They may be used for friendlies, but fat chance getting approval for league play or, if need arises, hosting World Cup matches.

    Time will tell if Blank is interested in putting the effort into the MLS team or is just using it to bring in rent to put toward the Falcons.
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  11. #39
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    Bigger potential disaster: Atlanta or Beckham's Miami Vice?
    To Beckham's credit, he seems to get marketing. Miami is a tough sports market. The weather's so good you've got to ask yourself "Why would I watch other people do stuff when I could be out doing stuff?" However, LeBron (and Shaq before him) have proven that sizzle sells with the South Beach crowd. Looks like Beckham plans on cranking on the hip factor for his franchise. I don't know that it will work, especially because the location and build of the stadium are key elements, but he's got the right idea.

    Atlanta seems built on the MLS 1996 principle of "Hey, it's soccer." This team isn't going to be Seattle. It's going to be the New England Revolution in a softer sports and soccer market.
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  12. #40
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Atlanta and Miami might be tough sports towns -- but, really, the metro areas for both are so big (~10.5 million people combined) that you really can't afford to leave them both blank if you want to have a national profile as a league (and generate revenue on a national TV contract).
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  13. #41
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Atlanta and Miami might be tough sports towns -- but, really, the metro areas for both are so big (~10.5 million people combined) that you really can't afford to leave them both blank if you want to have a national profile as a league (and generate revenue on a national TV contract).
    Ultimately, sure. Though I'd argue the key to making those markets work is by raising the profile of the league to a much higher level. The NHL failed twice in Atlanta and the NBA barely works there. The Braves rank near the top of the list in terms of MLB teams that underperform their market. My guess is until MLS payrolls rise to where every team can afford high profile players, Atlanta's going to be a difficult market. I don't know that Atlanta's going to turn out to see Chris Wondolowski (good player, but kind of vanilla). Also, we're just at the beginning of NBC broadcasting the EPL. The number of people who see international highlights like Gareth Bale's run for glory yesterday is still mushrooming.

    So it seems to me MLS might be trying to force the issue in Atlanta when a wiser strategy would be to wait and have the market clamoring to get in on this soccer gig. It might take an extra decade, but my concern is the Atlanta MLS team is going to gain a small potatoes label it can't shake.
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  14. #42
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    The key to how the stadium deal works is: who runs the stadium and gets to keep the revenues from various events? It's my understanding that the Atlanta Falcons will operate the stadium and will therefore collect rent on any secondary tenants and get revenues from non-football events. So having a secondary tenant like an MLS team benefits Blank and the Falcons because it's less idle time for the stadium. And while it may not have been a prerequisite for the stadium deal to go through, I'm sure all parties involved were very much hoping to get the MLS in there, because if you plan on playing soccer there, the stadium has to be designed wider to accommodate a proper soccer field. Many NFL stadia have problems hosting soccer because they were designed only with the narrower dimensions of an NFL gridiron in mind. They may be used for friendlies, but fat chance getting approval for league play or, if need arises, hosting World Cup matches.

    Time will tell if Blank is interested in putting the effort into the MLS team or is just using it to bring in rent to put toward the Falcons.
    NFL teams are cash machines with a salary cap, so I doubt the Falcons ever need a dime of Blank's outside money for football operations. But since they're putting up a fair amount of their own money toward stadium construction, the rent won't hurt when it comes to debt service. Ultimately, though, money's money, and to get the rent, the MLS club has to be able to pay it. One of those "separate pockets but they're both mine" scenarios.

    Good point about the need to incorporate soccer logistics into the stadium design, hadn't considered that.
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  15. #43
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    Crew supporters group gives Atlanta a warm welcome:

    http://deadspin.com/atlanta-burned-again-1563864432
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  16. #44
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    MLS 2014 thread.

    Soccer is slowly gaining more popularity in the US. As the access to high level soccer is easily available, more and more people (young people especially) are being drawn to it. Hell, I started getting into it just this year after watching some Liga and BPL matches.

    Given enough time, these cities should have plenty if supporters.
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  17. #45
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    Re: MLS 2014 thread.

    MLS announced a new TV deal involving ESPN, FOX, and Univision. Each network will have a Game of the Week. On the one hand, I think it's great that MLS will now have 2 English language games of the week. Running them back to back on Sundays seems like they're trying to see if it can catch on in a similar way to the NFL and EPL, which both have days with back to back broadcasts. My only concern is that ESPN still seems to have that culture going on where a number of their on-the-air personalities have an open contempt for soccer. They did a good job with the last World Cup, but I don't know how much effort they'll put into MLS. It's interesting that FOX is getting back into the MLS game. They lost the EPL and subsequently did away with FOX Soccer Channel. However, they kept the Champions League and now look to be adding MLS and the Bundesliga to their stable of soccer broadcasts.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.


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