St Louis MLS Team (St. Louis, Fenton: tax, vs, friendly)
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Rams attendance was down when the team was for sale, horribly managed and went 1-15
Originally Posted by moorlander
Blues team that was for sale, DRASTICALLY under the cap, the youngest teams in the league and terrible
And don't forget the great recession.
Cardinals draw better than EVERY other mid size market and better than nearly all the large markets.
I'd like to note that the Blues sold out the season and didn't even make the playoffs, AGAIN. Low ticket sales in this town is not because as much a factor of economic but a whether a competitive team is put on the field.
Not disregarding your argument, just pointing out that there are very good reasons why attendance was down. Did these "reports" take this into account? Please posts links to support your argument.
I understand the competitive and ownership issues that lead to reduced attendance and revenue. And the recession...everyone is dealing with that, so it penalizes everyone relatively equally. Again, this is not an attendance issue, it’s a revenue issue. As someone who has done some restructuring and acquisition assistance for certain teams that will go unnamed, I can tell you that Forbes team valuations and their estimates operating income figures are all over the place. They simply don’t have enough access to the cost structure of each team, special agreements related to parking and tax relief, and so on to arrive at reliable numbers. Their operating revenues are pretty close however. Some revenue figures below for the Rams and Blues follow from stuff readily available at Forbes lists:
1-The Blues are 22nd out of 30 NHL teams in revenue, despite the nice attendance figures.
2-The Rams are 28th out of 32 in revenue with a .500ish team w/ some promise in Bradford. Even the year following their last NFC title--not a good year on the field, but in a honeymoon period with season ticket sales coming off the SB run locked in--the Rams didn’t crack the top half of the league in revenue. Baltimore and the Steelers today are useful comparisons to that Rams season. Both are similar markets in terms of size. The Steelers have done everything right: great brand, tremendous loyalty, winning teams, newish stadium in the middle of a revitalized downtown…and they finished 14th in league revenue. Baltimore has strong team loyalty and has put good teams on the field lately with a modern stadium, but one outside of downtown. They’re doing well, but you couldn’t give them marks higher than the Steelers in anything…and they finished 6th in the league in revenue. The difference between Baltimore and Pitt/STL is the presence of 1 extra sport to divert some of the revenue stream in Pitt/STL.
And support for the Cards isn’t debatable. It’s there, and it will probably always be there. The issue is the other teams fighting for what’s left.
The study I mentioned has been put together by American Business Journals (the owner of several metro business journals--including the one in STL--and the Sporting News, among other publications) since 2004 or so. Interestingly, I don't think they released one in 2010...presumably because the economy was so poor that league expansion is pretty much off the table these days. Dec 2009 here:
Clearly, not all markets can be treated exactly the same. For simplicity sake, other forms of recreation that compete head to head with pro sports for entertainment dollars are not included: college sports, beaches, skiing, golf, gaming, etc.
Just because Little Rock can supposedly financially support an MLS team doesn’t make them a league target, nor will Austin get an NFL team anytime soon thanks to UT football. Notwithstanding the NBA Kings’ potential move to Anaheim, there are also a lot of territorial issues that prevent some of the markets mentioned by ABJ from ever landing a pro sports team too.
Financial support also doesn’t guarantee success. See: Jacksonville, Sacramento, Memphis, etc. Still, I think it is interesting that the results tend to mirror some of the issues we have seen in recent years. Just looking at the 12 most “overextended markets” (API/TPI ratios) with some form of pro sports, 8 have faced rather serious prospects of relo or contraction: Phoenix (NHL), Minneapolis (MLB/NFL), Buffalo (NHL/NFL), Tampa (MLB), KC (MLB), Pittsburgh (NHL), NOLA (NBA), and Milwaukee (NBA). Two more aren’t exactly tearing things up: Cincy and Cleveland. Denver and STL seem to be doing much better than everyone else in this group of 12. Further down the list: Seattle was overextended for a time before the public balked at the new NBA arena and the Sonics took off. Indy is modestly overextended, and that coupled with the Colts being so good for so long, and the Pacers falling apart after the Brawl in Detroit, has put the Pacers in a bind. Charlotte already lost an NBA team and the new version isn’t fairing much better.
MLB + 2 of the other leagues in a mid-market city like STL is a lot of competition, especially when you consider the iconic elephant in the room that plays 81 home dates in the middle of an MLS season. This doesn’t mean MLS is not doable. It just means that it’s an uphill battle—especially in the eyes of an outside investor. AC STL had enough issues that one could write a book about the fiasco, but it is still somewhat instructive about the dangers of expecting this awesome soccer tradition to carry you through. Sure, the marketing sucked and there were the WPS and ownership fiascos, but I would think the initial buzz would last past 3 home games. Normally there is an attendance bubble in year 1 and 2 of a new franchise. Well, attendance was about 2000 to 2500 by the third game. Half of those were probably freebies, and those that were sold went for as little as half of what someone had to pay at other D-2 venues for similar seats…in markets that might have been one fourth the size…in places without the tradition of a STL. Let’s put it this way: the Raleigh-Durham D-2 team averaged more people per game in its first year than AC St. Louis ever got for a single game in its entire season.
Sorry for the length of this. No matter what this may sound like, I really want a team in St. Louis...i wouldn't ramble if I was against it. I just get more skeptical when people claim that tradition suggests that MLS will work in St. Louis. Even with a stadium in place and solid investor in place, a successful team is by no means a slam dunk. None of this "put a stadium in Collinsville" garbage. The margin for error is much slimmer than many think.
Wow, a surprisingly complete and in-depth discussion of MLS in STL, and I say that as a life-long soccer fan and die hard digester of "BigSoccer.com," the only complete soccer chat room in the US.
A few takes from my perspective....
1. Soccer playing does not translate to soccer watching very well.
Soccer players do not necessarily become soccer fans, and, in fact, my anecdotal experience is that they do not. Accordingly, St. Louis's long soccer-playing history will amount to a few hundred watchers (e.g., old coaches).
Boston has as strong a tradition of soccer playing as St. Louis, but barely supports the Revolution.
2. There are soccer-watching cities and, more importantly, MLS-watching cities.
Among MLS's target demographic (i.e., white Americans), soccer is typically equated with liberal, young, progressive and foreign, which is why it's popular to watch in places like the Northwest and the East Coast. It also explains why places like Seattle have gravitated towards it so strongly, whereas someplace like Dallas has not. If that ain't your city, it's unlikely to be popular.
(Philadelphia is a poor comparison -- the team is new and shiny. Give it ten years of mixed performances. Even now, in year #2, it's popularity is slack.)
As far as MLS goes, you need a city that understands soccer and believes it should be mid-sized, with fewer options, and that is willing to accept what many soccer-watches think of as an inferior product. Thus, popularity in cities like Toronto, DC and Portland are explainable, and why it fares less well in NYC (i.e., NYC believes it's a "world class" city, more worldly than the rest of the US and, thus, should have a "world class" team).
It's a similar argument as to why Seattle and Toronto did not support their minor league teams but do support their major league teams.
3. Editorial comment -- those who say "I love soccer: I watch Barcelona but refuse to accept MLS" aren't soccer fans. They're fans of a team, the idea of soccer or, worse yet, fans of being foreign. Ugh.
I'm sort of a "soccer convert"... discovered the game, love to watch EPL, Champions League, etc (can't play it, but thats another story)
I was hoping to see some sort of high level team here in St Louis.
I know that Jeff Cooper and others were trying to get a Major League Soccer team based in Collinsville, and that AC St Louis, a Division 2 team, just folded. Very unfortunate, as STL is a great soccer town that deserves an MLS team (more than Vancouver or Portland or a 2nd New York team)
So just wondering...idk if anyone knows much about the topic, but what are the odds of us getting an MLS team in the future?
How can you possibly say St. Louis deserves a team before Portland or Vancouver? Have you seen the support level in those cities? St. Louis "deserves" a team, I agree, but those two cities have far better fan support for the game than St. Louis does. The city's only hope to attract a team is a by relocation. Kansas City or Chivas would be possibilities, but it's a long shot.
Somewhat related: I was fortunate enough to go to the Real Madrid-Tottenham Champion's League Match in Madrid a couple weeks back - amazing experience! Great to hear from other soccer fans with St. Louis ties...
So I somehow got logged out and don't remember my password to City Data or to my old email account...so I made a new account instead. Fantastic. Anyway...
^I was talking more on the basis of size... i realize that both cities have great fans, probably better than here.
Ideally St Louis would have an MLS team before a second LA team (Chivas), 2nd New York team (cosmos- will arrive in MLS soon), or Dallas (already crowded with "American" sports)... and based on soccer tradition, before Columbus, KC, Philly, Montreal, Toronto
But regardless... I need to go sob in a corner after watching Arsenal blow their title chances AGAIN
he owns the rapids? damn it there goes my brilliant plan
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