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Crowds for International Champions Cup
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ClairtonPanther Offline
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Post: #1
Crowds for International Champions Cup
Has soccer in American arrived or are the crowds for the International Champions Cup merely nostalgia for the foreign clubs?
07-23-2017 04:26 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Crowds for International Champions Cup
The interest level in the sport is there, but only some of the interest in the big Euro teams and USMNT transfers to MLS.

MLS already has better average attendance than the NHL. That's pretty good for a league that isn't close to being one of the five best in the world, and for that matter is only second-best in North America. The baseball analogy would be, what if MLB was AA level and U.S. baseball fans could watch the real top leagues on TV every week. How many people would buy tickets to MLB in that scenario? Not nearly as many as are going to MLS games. MLS has done extremely well marketing the product they have; now they need to upgrade the product.

To do that, the owners have to increase spending enough to acquire a higher talent level leaguewide than Mexico's Liga MX. That's the next step up -- the level of play in Liga MX and similar leagues like the top leagues in Portugal and the Netherlands. That's the current "aspirational level" for MLS, the third tier among top national leagues. (Top tier is Spain, England, Germany, Italy; second tier is France, Russia, Turkey. Second tier is many years and many billions of dollars away for MLS, IMO.)
07-23-2017 05:12 PM
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DefCONNOne Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Crowds for International Champions Cup
(07-23-2017 04:26 PM)ClairtonPanther Wrote:  Has soccer in American arrived or are the crowds for the International Champions Cup merely nostalgia for the foreign clubs?

American? Don't you mean America?
07-23-2017 05:16 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Crowds for International Champions Cup
On this topic, from today's Sports Business Journal (everything other than the portion quoted below is behind a paywall):

https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Jour...s/MLS.aspx

Quote:MLS quietly rebuffed a bold offer that would have quadrupled its media rights fees a full six years before those rights even came to market. There was one catch to the offer. And it was a big one. The league would have had to put a promotion/relegation system in place.
07-24-2017 02:47 PM
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Brookes Owl Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Crowds for International Champions Cup
Good lord, that would have been awesome. Terrible mistake to turn that down.
07-24-2017 03:05 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Crowds for International Champions Cup
I didn't read the article because I'm not a subscriber, but apparently another issue is that ESPN and Fox would have to agree to be bought out of the current MLS TV deal, and they might not agree.

Also, promotion/relegation is a touchy issue with MLS, because their owners don't like the possibility their teams could be relegated from MLS to the second division. The MLS owners prefer the security of knowing that no matter how badly they mismanage their franchise, it's still in MLS.
07-24-2017 04:59 PM
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Brookes Owl Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Crowds for International Champions Cup
(07-24-2017 04:59 PM)Wedge Wrote:  Also, promotion/relegation is a touchy issue with MLS, because their owners don't like the possibility their teams could be relegated from MLS to the second division. The MLS owners prefer the security of knowing that no matter how badly they mismanage their franchise, it's still in MLS.

Yeah, of course! But that's just failing to see the forest for the trees. Having a big slice of a small pie is not always better than a small slice of a big pie.
Perhaps the TV partners were/are the bigger partner, but if MLS owners are dominated by a "revenue is good enough" attitude, MLS will never touch even third tier status.
07-24-2017 06:09 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Crowds for International Champions Cup
(07-24-2017 06:09 PM)Brookes Owl Wrote:  
(07-24-2017 04:59 PM)Wedge Wrote:  Also, promotion/relegation is a touchy issue with MLS, because their owners don't like the possibility their teams could be relegated from MLS to the second division. The MLS owners prefer the security of knowing that no matter how badly they mismanage their franchise, it's still in MLS.

Yeah, of course! But that's just failing to see the forest for the trees. Having a big slice of a small pie is not always better than a small slice of a big pie.
Perhaps the TV partners were/are the bigger partner, but if MLS owners are dominated by a "revenue is good enough" attitude, MLS will never touch even third tier status.

Two separate issues there.

Yes, promotion/relegation would make the pie larger because it is what drives interest in the second division. Spain, England, Italy, and others all have relatively strong second divisions because each team has the opportunity to win its way to promotion.

As for "revenue is good enough", that's the long-term challenge for MLS. Right now, fans are being generous, IMO, because the effort has been made to grow MLS and soccer in the U.S. But if MLS doesn't improve in stature and remains a cut below even Liga MX, the appeal will eventually diminish. Fans can watch Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Liga MX etc. on TV every week. MLS fans are going to expect that the level of play continues to improve and reaches or surpasses Liga MX at least, and the only way to do that is to spend more money on players and not get complacent counting today's ticket revenue.
07-24-2017 10:09 PM
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MplsBison Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Crowds for International Champions Cup
Hmm ... not sure I agree with that argument, because you're completely dismissing national pride.

I wonder for example, how many German natives, who like to watch soccer on TV, choose to watch English or Spanish leagues simply because the players are slightly better than German league players?


I don't know the game of soccer much at all, so I can't tell the difference when I watch MN United games ... have been to a couple, and had a good time ... so for the very limited amount of time I watch soccer, it will be MLS and not some other country's league.
07-25-2017 09:53 AM
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dbackjon Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Crowds for International Champions Cup
(07-24-2017 03:05 PM)Brookes Owl Wrote:  Good lord, that would have been awesome. Terrible mistake to turn that down.

No, it was the right decision

1) Not a valid offer, since MLS is 6 years away from being contractually able to entertain new offers
2) The US is not Europe, etc. Fans won't tolerate, nor will cities build a stadium if there is a chance of relegation.
07-25-2017 05:57 PM
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