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Old 09-18-2012, 10:49 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,770,888 times
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As many fans will attest the league has come a long way.

That being said, when you cant even get mention on SportsCenter, it is troubling....

Attendence and Local interest is good but it has yet to translate to national interest, let alone a lot of interest outside the country.

What do you think the league can do to improve it's visiblity more?

Apparently as long as there is an "eye-test" between MLS and Euro leagues it will always lag. Most say the only thing you can do is improve the level of play. However is that results from heightened salary cap or just better development?

Also don't places like Scandinavia and even Scotland face the dreaded "eye-test" between it's own leagues and the Big 4-5? I heard from my African coworkers that this is a big problem back on their continent and a similar one to an extent in Asia (Japan and Korea beng likely exceptions).

I think one big sign that the league is improving is if we make better results in CONCACAF, namely against Liga MX teams. Evening the score there would be a great boost, and possibly ignite more commercial interest in the tourny (CCL could REALLY use that!)
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Florida
1,748 posts, read 1,655,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltlantz View Post
As many fans will attest the league has come a long way.

That being said, when you cant even get mention on SportsCenter, it is troubling....

Attendence and Local interest is good but it has yet to translate to national interest, let alone a lot of interest outside the country.

What do you think the league can do to improve it's visiblity more?

Apparently as long as there is an "eye-test" between MLS and Euro leagues it will always lag. Most say the only thing you can do is improve the level of play. However is that results from heightened salary cap or just better development?

Also don't places like Scandinavia and even Scotland face the dreaded "eye-test" between it's own leagues and the Big 4-5? I heard from my African coworkers that this is a big problem back on their continent and a similar one to an extent in Asia (Japan and Korea beng likely exceptions).

I think one big sign that the league is improving is if we make better results in CONCACAF, namely against Liga MX teams. Evening the score there would be a great boost, and possibly ignite more commercial interest in the tourny (CCL could REALLY use that!)
I don't think that the MLS will ever have the impact that other American sports have on the American psyche, nor the impact that European football has on Americans. As an American, I couldn't care less about the MLS. I love European football and follow my team with a passion. I read all the news I can get my hands on and watch any game that I can, regardless of its Wigan vs West Ham.

If I pass an MLS game on ESPN2, I'll skip right over it. It just doesn't hold the same mystique that an English or Spanish game holds. I guess that if I lived in Seattle or Portland I'd root for my home team, but being in NY, I just don't feel that pull to root for the Red Bulls.

If you live in American and you are a football/soccer fan, you already have a favorite team in Europe that you are going to follow. You're not going to adopt a US team and root them with the same passion you have for your European team.

If you live in America and you are NOT a football/soccer fan, there is little to no chance that you are going to become one by watching the MLS. You're going to stick to the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB and do fine. If you catch that football/soccer buzz around the World Cup time, you'll wind up doing some research and become a fan of a European team.

It's just the facts. Unfortunately. The MLS is never going to be able to compete with other leagues to bring in the real young talent (like a Messi, Ronaldo, RVP, etc). They will continue to have young Americans and aging European stars that are out of contract from their original clubs. They'll continue to do well in their local markets, but won't attract any further viewership.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
4,847 posts, read 6,361,294 times
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There's still not enough access to MLS. When there's no local club it's hard to generate much interest.

Things are still moving in the right direction.

We're not all glory hunters and Euro snobs. The latter are akin to the Colts and Saints fans that pop up out of nowhere, all around the country, when things are looking good. I could care less if they appreciate MLS or not. If you have a local club and claim to support the game, you have no reason not to support the club.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
1,451 posts, read 1,425,072 times
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It's going to take a good while before the stature of MLS improves. First we need to attract more top US atheletes but before that we need to increase salaries, before that we have to increase attendance. WIth the attendance u have to have a good product. So it's circular. The MLS is doing a good job in my opinion, keeping everything semi-even and buying random well-known players whent they become more affordable--it's gaining momentum. You need to have a few generations of fans blooded in and most cities don't have that yet. Some do like LA, DC united, Chicago, San Jose. Our attendance in LA is always pretty good.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:33 AM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,770,888 times
Reputation: 371
I don't know. It's not like Asian or African soccer fans don't have the same problems of their leagues not being the best. Same thing with hockey fans in Scandinavia and Russia (probably a better example).

Ready access to internet and satellite TV have lead to more interest in the EPL from those markets but they still support their local sides.

Don't get me wrong, I like Arsenal and I totally understand why the fandom for Euroball exists. I don't hate on those who like UEFA, it's the biggest baddest league around. But it's hard for me to go balls out interested in a foriegn team as I do for the Redskins or Virginia (I'm from DC area).

Attendance already matches what you get for NBA and NHL so that's pretty good. Some teams can do better but overall that's not the problem. The key is TV viewership nationwide.

It seems like the key is stars, that's what got the NBA up and running. US Soccer needs to develop more legit talent across the board and market the hell out of them. I know MLS would still be operating at a disadvantage as the US is likely to be a selling country for a LONNGGG time, but just having strong up and comers who would then move to Europe can help build interest.

I think if we get MUCH more people like Landon and promote them, the interest will come. A lot will be sold after a few years but if the interest grows that would lead to raising the salary cap and eventually ending single entity. (It's worked well for the first quarter century, but within the next 25 years we will have to dump it).

Frankly I know darn well that MLS/Soccer in general will never equal the Big 3. However if it can get somewhere inbetween NASCAR and NHL interest (which I think is it's ceiling) it will be very successful.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:39 PM
 
3,722 posts, read 3,878,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeter31 View Post
I don't think that the MLS will ever have the impact that other American sports have on the American psyche, nor the impact that European football has on Americans. As an American, I couldn't care less about the MLS. I love European football and follow my team with a passion. I read all the news I can get my hands on and watch any game that I can, regardless of its Wigan vs West Ham.

If I pass an MLS game on ESPN2, I'll skip right over it. It just doesn't hold the same mystique that an English or Spanish game holds. I guess that if I lived in Seattle or Portland I'd root for my home team, but being in NY, I just don't feel that pull to root for the Red Bulls.

If you live in American and you are a football/soccer fan, you already have a favorite team in Europe that you are going to follow. You're not going to adopt a US team and root them with the same passion you have for your European team.

If you live in America and you are NOT a football/soccer fan, there is little to no chance that you are going to become one by watching the MLS. You're going to stick to the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB and do fine. If you catch that football/soccer buzz around the World Cup time, you'll wind up doing some research and become a fan of a European team.

It's just the facts. Unfortunately. The MLS is never going to be able to compete with other leagues to bring in the real young talent (like a Messi, Ronaldo, RVP, etc). They will continue to have young Americans and aging European stars that are out of contract from their original clubs. They'll continue to do well in their local markets, but won't attract any further viewership.

Same here. I am an American who loves European football and I don't watch the MLS. I have very little interest in the MLS and my local club, the Revolution. The MLS lacks passion, big time. There aren't any rivalries in the league. Maybe in 20 years that will change, but right now there aren't any. The league will be smart an not expand beyond 22-24 teams.

There already are 4 big sports in this country and that's not going to change. I think the MLS will continue to grow, but never break into the true mainstream. Watching a match with 14,000 people in a 65,000 seat stadium doesn't create atmosphere.

Europe also has the Champions League. Teams from all of those countries clashing for the biggest prize in sports aside from the World Cup is amazing. Watching a team like Barcelona play AC Milan cannot be matched by watching D.C. United play Guadalajara.

The MLS needs to get every team into a soccer specific stadium. They also need to suggest teams build stadiums like Red Bull Arena, or Livestrong Park to help create atmosphere when less than 25,000 people show up to the matches. They also need to limit expansion to no more than 24 teams. The sport is not popular enough to keep fans engaged when their team is playing 40 matches for example. I personally think they should ditch the divisions and opt for a European table format where each team plays the other twice. In the end though, most Americans know the best players are all over in Europe. The best the MLS can hope for is to dub itself a breading ground for future stars and also the place where those stars come in the twilight of their careers. The MLS will probably never be able to attract top talent in their prime.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Tejas
7,550 posts, read 16,388,277 times
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I have always said that MLS needs to drop the conferences, I think most football fans over here would support that. Have a league, if you want to have a playoff type system after that with the top 6 or 8 teams or something else then do that.

I think you need to hook kids. When I was a lad I was given a season ticket by Shelbourne till I was 16 years old just for playing for a team that was connected to them. They had me hooked. When I turned 16 I bought season tickets after that. With kids season tickets youre going to have to have adults too so you automatically get people paying in or even some adults bringing more kids to the stadium. What they dont spend on tickets they spend on candy/merchandise to keep vendors happy. It wouldnt hurt teams who dont have a great attendence to give away a few hundred season tickets just to get kids in the door.

MLS will never = BPL or La Liga but it can pull in decent crowds in a few years with some effort and I think they will continue to grow.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:59 PM
 
4,158 posts, read 7,912,306 times
Reputation: 2371
Well I saw the Portland MLS game on NBC and was thoroughly impressed. I myself am not a huge soccer fan but as a my Dad played back in the "old country" I know enough to watch, play and enjoy it. I think the MLS just has to keep doing what's it's doing. To think that it will be as popular as the English or Spanish leagues is wishful thinking, but to think that it could be a very viable American Sport, maybe competing with NHL, is very realistic. It his played very heavily at the high school level, so the potential market is there. What needs to happen is it needs to get to the level that young HS players say, I need to play my heart out so I can make it to the MLS or even bigger. Of course for that to happen there needs to be incentives, primarily higher salaries as everyone else has mentioned. Next, the MLS has to find it's place in the rest of the world. Sure it may never be a premier league but it could be a very strong developmental league. What kid from South America, the Carribean, Africa, Asia or Europe wouldn't mind living in America and improving their craft while receiving a more modest pay? Sure you might not make the multi-millions of a Euro-league, but obviously your not skilled enough to warrant that contract yet. If you have a choice to live in Argentina or Portland, I'm sure we could attract the "next" or "potential" Messi to play in MLS for a few seasons. Than there would at least be intrigue in seeing the future international stars as opposed to watching former international stars in the twilights of their careers. Just my $.02.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:09 AM
JJG
 
Location: Fort Worth
13,247 posts, read 19,177,967 times
Reputation: 7005
Quote:
Originally Posted by waltlantz View Post
I don't know. It's not like Asian or African soccer fans don't have the same problems of their leagues not being the best. Same thing with hockey fans in Scandinavia and Russia (probably a better example).

Ready access to internet and satellite TV have lead to more interest in the EPL from those markets but they still support their local sides.

Don't get me wrong, I like Arsenal and I totally understand why the fandom for Euroball exists. I don't hate on those who like UEFA, it's the biggest baddest league around. But it's hard for me to go balls out interested in a foriegn team as I do for the Redskins or Virginia (I'm from DC area).

Attendance already matches what you get for NBA and NHL so that's pretty good. Some teams can do better but overall that's not the problem. The key is TV viewership nationwide.

It seems like the key is stars, that's what got the NBA up and running. US Soccer needs to develop more legit talent across the board and market the hell out of them. I know MLS would still be operating at a disadvantage as the US is likely to be a selling country for a LONNGGG time, but just having strong up and comers who would then move to Europe can help build interest.

I think if we get MUCH more people like Landon and promote them, the interest will come. A lot will be sold after a few years but if the interest grows that would lead to raising the salary cap and eventually ending single entity. (It's worked well for the first quarter century, but within the next 25 years we will have to dump it).

Frankly I know darn well that MLS/Soccer in general will never equal the Big 3. However if it can get somewhere inbetween NASCAR and NHL interest (which I think is it's ceiling) it will be very successful.
Big FOUR.

I know it may not seem like it at times, but the NHL is still one of the biggest leagues in the country.

As for the MLS, no, it may never equal the other big leagues in America. I mean let's face it, they've all had at least a 5 decade head start.

- MLB = est. 1876
- NHL = est. 1917
- NFL = est. 1920
- NBA = est. 1947

Of course, time doesn't mean everything. The Arena Football League has been around since they 80's and even had a decent amount of popularity last decade, but still the MLS is MILES ahead of that.

Thing is, there had to be an American soccer league with the right ownership and business struction. The MLS has that and because of it, has a brighter future.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
5,763 posts, read 9,746,473 times
Reputation: 2806
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAM88 View Post
There already are 4 big sports in this country and that's not going to change. I think the MLS will continue to grow, but never break into the true mainstream. Watching a match with 14,000 people in a 65,000 seat stadium doesn't create atmosphere.
The only place that is possible to see that is New England so I am not sure why you are referring to the entire league in that manner. Every other team is either playing in an SSS or fills close to capacity.

A large chunk of MLS teams are selling out their stadiums and some such as SKC are selling out beyond capacity. MLS has a higher attendance average than both the NBA and NHL now and is slowly approaching that of baseball.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAM88 View Post
The MLS needs to get every team into a soccer specific stadium. They also need to suggest teams build stadiums like Red Bull Arena, or Livestrong Park to help create atmosphere when less than 25,000 people show up to the matches.
Every team but New England either is in an SSS, has plans for one, and it is currently being built.
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