MLS & Toronto FC Cannot Survive

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argotom
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MLS & Toronto FC Cannot Survive

Post by argotom » Wed May 23, 2007 6:54 pm

After hearing of all of this latest craze about Toronto FC, for me it is nothing more then a novelty, I decided to go to the source.
Even though I have read over the years how the MLS is bleeding big time and will not last too much longer.
Especially now since the signing of the rediculous over the top contract with Beckham. This will force other teams to follow and the end will be near. Just like the old NASL.


Here it is from the MLS site, the current schedule with attendance figures.

Saturday, April 7
D.C. United Colorado Rapids COL 2, DC 1 18,086
FC Dallas Real Salt Lake 2-2 18,678
New York Red Bulls Columbus Crew 0-0 13,782
New England Revolution Chicago Fire CHI 1, NE 0 15,353
Toronto FC Chivas USA CHV 2, TOR 0 14,351
Sunday, April 8
Los Angeles Galaxy Houston Dynamo 0-0 16,404
Thursday, April 12
FC Dallas Los Angeles Galaxy DAL 2, LA 1 23,596
Saturday, April 14
Columbus Crew Real Salt Lake 0-0 16,157
Kansas City Wizards D.C. United KC 4, DC 2 22,358
Toronto FC New England Revolution NE 4, TOR 0 18,184
Chivas USA Houston Dynamo HOU 1, CHV 0 16,519
Sunday, April 15
FC Dallas New York Red Bulls NY 3, DAL 0 8,865
Chicago Fire Colorado Rapids 1-1 12,110
Thursday, April 19
New England Revolution Columbus Crew 2-2 13,290
Saturday, April 21
Houston Dynamo New York Red Bulls NY 1, HOU 0 12,481
Kansas City Wizards Chicago Fire CHI 2, KC 1 11,717
Real Salt Lake Chivas USA CHV 4, RSL 0 11,253
Sunday, April 22
Colorado Rapids FC Dallas DAL 3, COL 1 20,500
Wednesday, April 25
Toronto FC Kansas City Wizards KC 3, TOR 0 7,438
Thursday, April 26
New York Red Bulls FC Dallas NY 1, DAL 0 14,087
Saturday, April 28
Kansas City Wizards Toronto FC KC 1, TOR 0 20,148
D.C. United Columbus Crew CLB 1, DC 0 13,572
Chivas USA Los Angeles Galaxy LA 3, CHV 1 27,000
Sunday, April 29
New England Revolution FC Dallas NE 1, DAL 0 9,165
Chicago Fire Houston Dynamo CHI 1, HOU 0 13,392
Monday, April 30
Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake COL 2, RSL 0 14,173
Thursday, May 3
New England Revolution D.C. United 1-1 12,908
Saturday, May 5
Columbus Crew Kansas City Wizards KC 1, CLB 0 7,426
New York Red Bulls Real Salt Lake 3-3 14,789
Houston Dynamo Colorado Rapids HOU 3, COL 1 10,719
Sunday, May 6
Chivas USA D.C. United DC 2, CHV 1 14,267
Chicago Fire New England Revolution NE 3, CHI 1 9,508
Thursday, May 10
Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 1-1 13,458
Saturday, May 12
Chicago Fire Toronto FC TOR 3, CHI 1
Chivas USA Columbus Crew 1-1 12,545
FC Dallas Kansas City Wizards DAL 2, KC 1 10,141
New England Revolution Los Angeles Galaxy NE 3, LA 2 22,715
Sunday, May 13
Colorado Rapids New York Red Bulls COL 1, NY 0 7,802
Wednesday, May 16
Houston Dynamo Toronto FC TOR 1, HOU 0 19,123
Thursday, May 17
FC Dallas Chicago Fire DAL 2, CHI 1 12,164
Saturday, May 19
D.C. United Toronto FC DC 2, TOR 1 20,183
Columbus Crew New York Red Bulls NY 4, CLB 0 10,321
New England Revolution Houston Dynamo NE 1, HOU 0 18,232
Kansas City Wizards Colorado Rapids 1-1 14,577
Sunday, May 20
Los Angeles Galaxy Chivas USA 1-1 27,000
Real Salt Lake FC Dallas DAL 2, RSL 1 16,576


Now, I have done some quick calculation on the 45 out of 46 games showing attendance. The lone game out of Chicago must have had a "great crowd" to not be reported.
As we know and especially in a fledging league such as this, attendance is a combination of paid tickets and freebies.
The total count is 677,113 for 45 games with a per game average of 15,047.
Wow, my previous estimated figure on another posting of 15,000 is bang on.
By looking at individual teams, there are some real dogs.
In fact, an arguement can be said and because of the novelty, how Toronto is the most stable.
N.Y, K.C, Columbus, N.E. etc.
This league or any cannot sustain with these type of numbers(actual paid is uknown), lack of TV contract and especially when over paying over the hill superstars.
Now in seeing the actual numbers, I give this league even less time then before.
Maximum 3-5 years.
Oh yes, the old NA league was much better in attendance and did last longer then this MLS.
Vancouver and Montreal better stay in the A league.

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Post by Inquiring Mind » Wed May 23, 2007 7:04 pm

And this has what to do with the CFL? If you want to rail against something, at least do it in the right area.

Moved to the appropriate forum
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Look. We can go round and round about this all the live long day. Let's keep it simple. I embody amazement. Can you dig on that? Good. Then meet me on the corner of rock and roll, and bring a flask of something that burns.

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Post by wfm » Wed May 23, 2007 7:08 pm

NPSL, USL, NASL Indoor, MISL and etc and still more etc all counted on "grass roots" interest in sustaining the leagues. It never happened, the kids play soccer but when they've grown they watch other sports.

So each league eventually turned to big name stars to improve ticket sales. I can't name one case where that worked to any serious degree. They didn't need Pele in New York and he did little to help the other cities numbers, same for Franz Beckenbauer, big name, big money, no more tickets sold.

The soccer people have been a bigger failure, since 1968 no less, in north America than the NFL has been in Europe. In a few more years we can add the initials MLS to that list of failed soccer leagues.

No loss.

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Post by Inquiring Mind » Wed May 23, 2007 7:19 pm

wfm wrote:NPSL, USL, NASL Indoor, MISL and etc and still more etc all counted on "grass roots" interest in sustaining the leagues. It never happened, the kids play soccer but when they've grown they watch other sports.

So each league eventually turned to big name stars to improve ticket sales. I can't name one case where that worked to any serious degree. They didn't need Pele in New York and he did little to help the other cities numbers, same for Franz Beckenbauer, big name, big money, no more tickets sold.

The soccer people have been a bigger failure, since 1968 no less, in north America than the NFL has been in Europe. In a few more years we can add the initials MLS to that list of failed soccer leagues.

No loss.
Actually I think Pele did help out attendance a great deal, at least in New York... they went from playing in front of friends and family to thousands, and eventually the Cosmo's became huge. There was almost a 10 fold increase in attendance from the year before he arrived, to the year he retired.

Of course everything did eventually implode rather spectacularly... but without Pele coming over I seriously doubt anyone would have even heard of the NASL, it would have just stayed a small de-facto semi-pro circuit.

Whether the MLS will let thing spiral into the same pissing contest that led to the NASL's failure is yet to be seen, but I think those involved thus far either are willing to foot the bill or are out of the picture soon... if they let their vanity get the best of them, they could definitely join the bone yard, but I don't think they've reached the point of no return yet.
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Look. We can go round and round about this all the live long day. Let's keep it simple. I embody amazement. Can you dig on that? Good. Then meet me on the corner of rock and roll, and bring a flask of something that burns.

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Post by argotom » Thu May 24, 2007 4:12 pm

Yes the New York Cosmos in the early years with Best, Pele and Giorgio Canaglia did draw near sellout crowds at the old Giants stadium.

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Post by Stephen LaRose » Thu May 24, 2007 8:43 pm

MLS makes money from two things: the fact that almost all teams are now playing in their own soccer-specific stadiums, which means they don't pay rent, they get all the money from concessions, advertising parking etc, and World Cup Finals revenue. They also make some revenue selling their best players to leagues in Germany, Scotland, and England.

NHL clubs are losing more during a fiscal year than MLS clubs, and I don't see bankruptcy signs for the Phoenix Coyotes or the Los Angeles Kings.
Captured German soldier (Peter Sellars): I request political asylum.
Major Bloodnock (Spike Milligan): Then take a bus to the House of Commons. It's the finest political asylum in the world. They's all there, you know ...

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argotom
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Post by argotom » Fri May 25, 2007 3:09 pm

I do not recall reading anything but how the league and its teams are hemoraging big time.
By looking at my attendance numbers it is easy to see why.
The fact there may be other suckers out their that want to joing the loop, speaks on the stupidity factor not reality.
Yes the NHL is loosing collectively much more and for the vast majority of the teams on an individual basis. Notwithstanding the "new NHL" with its cap, this model is not working.

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Post by EastVanMark » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:21 pm

wfm wrote:NPSL, USL, NASL Indoor, MISL and etc and still more etc all counted on "grass roots" interest in sustaining the leagues. It never happened, the kids play soccer but when they've grown they watch other sports.

So each league eventually turned to big name stars to improve ticket sales. I can't name one case where that worked to any serious degree. They didn't need Pele in New York and he did little to help the other cities numbers, same for Franz Beckenbauer, big name, big money, no more tickets sold.

The soccer people have been a bigger failure, since 1968 no less, in north America than the NFL has been in Europe. In a few more years we can add the initials MLS to that list of failed soccer leagues.

No loss.
Lets see, Cosmos without Pele; playing in decrepit Downing Stadium (what the heck is Downing stadium you ask?... Exactly). in front of about 15,000 fans. NY Cosmos with Pele; 70,000 at Giants Stadium. Guess it just depends on what the definition of "more tickets sold" is :roll:

OldFortYork
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Post by OldFortYork » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:20 am

FYI, 5 teams will turn a profit this year.

This league will survive for decades to come ...

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Post by argotom » Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:46 pm

Says who and please post the particulars.
Save and except TFC because of the novelty factor?

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Post by primetime1 » Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:21 am

The business model of MLS is a big thing that will help it survive in future years. The fact that the league owns the contracts and not the individual teams, makes it much easier to control things from a cost certainty basis. Granted, until recently, many of the franchises were owned by a single entity, Anchutz Entertainment Group. However, they have divested themselves of all but two franchises, Houston and Los Angeles, which they will hold onto, thereby bringing other investors on board. Furthermore, there is an overriding perception that attendances of 15000 is not viable for sports in North America, which is not true. Most top pro soccer leagues around the world only draw around this number while only the big three England, Spain and Italy draw excessively more. And before someone quotes the German Bundesliga as a big draw, they don't charge as much for tickets as even MLS games, so the numbers are inflated and that is reflected in their inability to compete financially with the three larger European leagues.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Vancouver and Montreal eventually join the league since they already possess two intact organizations with a new stadium in Montreal, a potential new one in Vancouver and vibrant soccer communities in both cities.

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Post by Dave in Calgary » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:57 pm

primetime1 wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised to see Vancouver and Montreal eventually join the league since they already possess two intact organizations with a new stadium in Montreal, a potential new one in Vancouver and vibrant soccer communities in both cities.
I'd really like to see that! It would also help TFC survive with national rivals to play against.
As for your thoughts on Ottawa, it's unfair to the fans to be held accountable for some of the poor management over the years.
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Post by Inquiring Mind » Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:30 pm

The MLS seems to be plugging along making small gains, much like they have the last few seasons.

With their salary cap or 2.1M (not including whatever they're paying their two designated players (should they choose to have that many) over and above the 400K that counts) kind of limits the damage they can do to themselves. That they can trade these Designated Player spots seems like it could be a downfall, but it hasn't really been abused enough to know if that will happen... but in anycase you're only looking at less than 3M in annual salaries for most teams.... afaik Beckham is the only guy making seven figures

Between league and friendlies they're playing 16-20 home dates a year, increasing tv revenues, some pretty good ad revenues from the sounds of it... they seem to be keeping things within reason.... most teams are still losing money, but the backers have some seriously deep pockets and if you can keep losses moderate these are guys that aren't going to be scared off.

Time will tell, as I mentioned awhile back, it's keeping the owners in check and keeping from it becoming a big pissing contest for players that is key... as is, I don't think they're in any danger whatsoever. They're not going to become one of the big three or four pro sports leagues anytime soon, but they aren't going to post any monumental losses either. Slow and steady as they say.
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Look. We can go round and round about this all the live long day. Let's keep it simple. I embody amazement. Can you dig on that? Good. Then meet me on the corner of rock and roll, and bring a flask of something that burns.

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Post by OldFortYork » Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:02 am

The league is expanding next year by two teams, and in 2009 by another two teams. There was just a Soccer Specific Stadium approved in St. Louis.

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Post by cromartie » Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:38 am

I would encourage anyone who has any interest in the Cosmos to rent/torrent/NetFlx/ whatever Once In A Lifetime the documentary about the Cosmos. Not only is it well done, but it gives you some great insight as to what happened those years, and how the Cosmos still managed to lose money.

Downing Stadium was the stadium the New York City used to hold it's High School football and Track and Field Championships in. The New York Stars of the World Football League played there in the early 1970s as well.

In the first decade of existence, the MLS lost something close to $250 million. Lamar Hunt, in particular, ate close to half of that getting the league up and going. But they have a stable revenue model and persistence sees them fighting to get some exposure in the marketplace.

Regardless of whether you view the MLS as a punchline or a novelty act, I don't believe the league is going anywhere any time soon.

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