TUFcast Ep. 14 – United’s First Fall Fall, NASL Week 1, and TUF Live!
Listen to Nach and Kyle explain how Minnesota United is simply handicapping the league to make it fair for everyone else *muffled sobbing ensues*. Stay tuned for all the NASL news from Week one and we dive into each match of the past week to let you know the big points from every match. Stay tuned for week two of the fall season prediction game!
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You guys were discussing the FC Edmonton game and criticizing attendance — but the game wasn’t played in Edmonton, it was in Fort MacMurray, Alberta. A couple of things of note though, 1 – this is a five hour drive north of Edmonton, 2 – this is a record for the northernmost place in N.Am. a pro game was ever been played, and 3 – it seems the entire weekend may have been funded by local companies in the F.Mac. area. No doubt the attendance was horrible, but for a good discussion of the event and FC Edmonton in general check out this podcast – Loyal Company of the River Valley. Sorry, can’t attach link, but I’m sure if you google the name you will find it.
Also, you guys were criticizing the scheduling of some the Fall Season games – legitimate and frustrating at times for sure – but you have to take into consideration that some of these teams don’t control their facilities and as a result scheduling is complicated. For example, the Eddies reportedly are playing two games in F.Mac. because their field was not available and also the Cosmos always have to defer to the Hofstra when scheduling because university events have priority – this past weekend is an example of this and so is the Mothers Day game they had to play. Anyway, agreed that scheduling is an issue, but it doesn’t appear that this is totally in their control.
Really great points, and I didn’t realize that about the Edmonton game. Too bad they don’t have another facility in Edmonton they could take advantage of, though I’m sure Edmonton doesn’t have a robust soccer facility infrastructure which is understandable.
The Cosmos at Hofstra…boy, is there anything not to hate about that? From the scheduling to the turf to the fifteen different sports’ lines on the field, the thing is a nightmare. I think about the Cosmos wanting a 25,000 SSS and in my head I get stuck playing this tough game. Is the Cosmos attendance relatively low specifically because of Hoftsra’s limitations? Would the team consistently fill a 25,000 seat stadium? How much interest/market does NYCFC steal? Are there intermediate options somewhere between playing at awful Hofstra and having a brand new stadium? Are there just better venues that exist already?
So much to think about.
Not sure if you had a chance to listen to the FC Edmonton fans’ podcast, but they do discuss some nearby facilities – but they seem to suggest the games at F.Mac. were being used to try and extend the brand around the province of Alberta (I think province is Canadian for “state”).
As for the Cosmos, stop fixating on the negatives or you will drown. This is a club that is growing despite immediate competion from two “bigger” teams. Also, it is only three years old, actually just two, this is year three. Yes, Hofstra stinks, but it is just a beginning. This team has all games televised (nationally), a fully professional B team, and the financial resources to build a stadium (as far as we know).
People have already discussed One World Sports, but as relates just to the Cosmos understand that this network covers the entire area from Penn to N.E. That is far greater than just it’s home city’s metro area as opposed to all other NASL teams that have local coverage at best. In addition, without knowing actual numbers, let’s look at some tangential facts. At first One World only televised home games. Then they showed home and away games. And now they have reaffirmed the home and away relationship for a second year. This expansion and the additional costs would not have been undertaken if they were losing money on the games – if anyone thinks otherwise I would like to hear it because I’m not in the television industry so there could be something happening behind the scenes. The inescapable conclusion is that viewership is such that it is profitable for the network, and profitable enough to broaden the relationship.
Before this gets too too too long, don’t expect to get a clear picture of the Cosmos’ situation until they get a stadium. Evidently even the mighty mighty RedBulls only had 4k sth until they got their own stadium, Cosmos have over 3k already. The lines don’t bother me at all actually nor the turf. If they’re still there in 2-3 years without a plan then it is time to worry – but not because of lines or turf. The issue is income. The biggest problem at Hofstra is that it limits their income. Just a couple examples that are public knowledge are the promotional relationships with Nestle and a pizza chain (damn, forgot the name). Neither company is allowed to sell their products in the stadium because of existing contracts that Hofstra. My point here is that in their own venue they can make all the money they need to put in the turf they want and the lines they need – see, the most important thing people are forgetting is that the Cosmos have no problem bringing in sponsorship, but they need a venue to maximize those dollars and justify spending money on increasingly bigger players etc.
Only thing holding Cosmos back with attendance is the minor league label in the eyes of US soccer fans, not ManCity toddlers. You think all these ManCity fans were won in a year? No, they’re Americans accustomed to the notion that minor league teams don’t count. Addressing this perception is the main problem league wide, not NYCFC or mls, if anything, playing mls teams only helps the Cosmos and other NASL teams by increasing their exposure – in particular because American fans don’t expect to see minor league teams play the big boys. This is a minority opinion, but as I see it even losing to the RedBulls is good because it puts eye balls on the Cosmos that normally wouldn’t be there – the RedBulls game doubled NJRBs attendance for any other Open Cup game they ever had in their 20 year history and was even more than the attendance at last year’s game at Hofstra, that’s significant. And lastly, unless NASL continues to develop, no playing NASL teams won’t fill a 25k stadium, but that won’t be the strategy. The strategy will be to bring in big name clubs from around the world (Euro/Mex most probably) for exhibitions to bring in the fans. Until then they are just on a holding pattern. Not sure how closely you follow the Cosmos, but yes the team is looking at other options and has reported publicly that they have a number of backups they will be pursuing if the current target falls through. As for Hofstra, if anyone has a better suggestion let’s hear it.
It seems too early for a doom and gloom deathwatch given all the positives that have developed in this short period. Anyway, that’s just one internet troll’s opinion. (Alleged troll!)
We got a note about the Eddies game location on Twitter. We’ll be putting out a correction on next week’s show.