We had a chat with a friend I’ll just call Juanny Futbol about the merits of the MLS vs MLB:
Juanny Futbol: Metspolice.com needs to write about how not only the Mets as well as the rest of baseball is a dying sport. The upcoming economic disaster is going to be the demise of baseball in which just baseball revenue won’t cut it anymore. Building new stadiums to continously jack up ticket prices and charge $7 to $8 for beers does not make a successful business model.
I see less and less kids at the few games I end up each year. American Football IMO is now the all American sport. Young people, those in High School or younger don’t watch baseball, play it or care. And there are more soccer jerseys being worn out there everyday………While I am at it, the NHL is hurting and will eventually contract in league size.
Cyclones Fan (from the Mets Police): Disagree that it’s a dying sport – take a look at attendance numbers, particularly among the 200+ minor league teams. Over the last 10 years they have set attendance records each consecutive year. More people see professional baseball games now than football, basketball, and hockey combined
Juanny Futbol: That is because they are trading down. In manufacturing that is a bad sign, because you are losing margin when your consumer does so. (An example would be Toyota, now people are buying Yaris and Corollas, instead of the Lexus). TV revenue will go only so far………and the upcoming young adult age group does not watch baseball or care, there is where the problem is, not us older folk and the retirees.
Cyclones Fan: Trading down in terms of cost yes, but exposure is on the rise. Minor leagues crowds are no longer comprised of old farts and retirees. More and more you see young families going to games, and from a long term prospective that is good because they are exposing the younger kids more and more to a live sport
Juanny Futbol: Even Pujols knows the future of American sports are headed……………….
Mets Police: I think for soccer to work, the MLS will need to get much bigger and regional. If
“Long Island” played “New Jersey” I would root heartily against NJ. Then if LI played “Brooklyn” I would talk trash to Cyclones Fan for a week.
I think “FC Queens” appealing to a South American base makes sense…make it pseduo-national the way Chivas LA is. “LA Galaxy” seems like the team for the trendy people who want to look cool because Beckham is there. Teams also need futbol style names, no more of this “San Jose Earthquake” nonsense.
The downside of adding teams is that you water down the talent.
Juanny Futbol: Soccer is working! Soon all the current MLS clubs will have their own stadiums, the league is looking to expand to 20 clubs just as there are in many other soccer(football) leagues in Europe. USL (2nd division) already has 36 clubs, with many in smaller markets areas(IE. Long Island Rough Riders). There are club level teams which are an informal 3rd division(many are ethnic based). Our National team improves each couple of years as well.
1) The names do suck which you are right, but there are clubs with decent names (IE. Toronto FC, DC United, Dallas FC) but that is secondary issue for now at best.
2) Once there is a relegation system in place (10yrs away at this point IMHO), then soccer will flourish here and become a true pro sport, with 2nd division clubs coming up and 1st division being sent down to try to come back eventually will lead to more excitement. And will lead to those LI vs Brooklyn type match ups.
3) I had been reading that MLS TV ratings are surpassing NHL not too long ago.
Mets Police: I cannot quickly find any NHL data, and while I wish your premise was correct, I think the below refutes your premise.
MLS needs Beckham to not suck and the Galaxy to not suck to sucker in the trendys, and they should market to immigrants and 2nd generationers.
Again back to the names – stop with “Wizards” and be FC Chibcha Queens Colombiano if you want fans. The trendy folks can go root for the Galaxy, who can be hated by “real fans.”
According to the latest issue of the Sports Business Journal published by Street and Smithâ€™s (now the parent company of the Sporting News incidentally) MLS TV ratings are about as bad as can be imagined. ESPN2â€™s Thursday night rating fell this season and thetelecasts averaged a 0.2 rating and was watched in an average of 251,000 homes weekly. ESPN 2 has achieved higher average ratings in prime time for such sports as Poker and Bowling in the last year
Despite the signing of David Beckham, MLS averaged less viewers in 2008 on ESPN2 than the league did in 2006 before Beckham was signed and before the new TV deal took affect. But even more worrying is that MLS games averaged according to BNet a 0.5 rating on ESPN and a 0.3 rating on ESPN 2 for the 1998 season. MLS also averaged a 0.9 rating on ABC that season, when the network broadcast 13 regular season games. The lone ABC telecast this season between the leagueâ€™s two most successful clubs historically, garnered a 1.1 rating as a lead in to the Euro 2008 final which achieved a 3.2 rating. So in essence a smaller percentage of TV viewers nationally are watching MLS in 2008 than did in 1998, despite the league having more of a mainstream media presence and having two more franchises.
MLS ratings on FSC have not been as encouraging for the sport. The matchup between Chivas USA and Houston, the top two teams in the west got a rare 0.0 rating and was viewed in only 24,000 homes. Including the first weekend of the playoffs, FSC is averaging 30,000 viewers for MLS Saturday night matches.
International stars won’t work any time in the near to medium future. There is too much money overseas. it would be like expecting A-Rod to go play for Nippon Ham Fighters. Ain’t gonna happen. Similarly the Japanese baseball leagues lose people to USA.
Even if US comes up with a Freddy Adu they can’t keep him.
But there’s tons of college players who no longer play – and maybe you can go the local hero route, like the John Franco of soccer.