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Toronto Sun: MLS vs The Lynx

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

There is no one ( including the CSA) who has ever disputed that. But does that mean that we should working to keep out the MLS or derail the plans of more prominant investors to upgrade the pro soccer situation in Toronto?. That is what is happening here.

Sheez, thats like saying, no we don't want major league baseball in Toronto because it would hurt or be a slap in face of the triple "A" operation that is already in place. Speaking of which did we ever hear of these kind of objections when a new pro teams ever came to any city?

My point is from the CSA's perspective, and how they should have handled things. I don't think anybody takes the Lynx complaining seriously. At least not in Toronto. The Lynx are not going to be the reason MLS won't come or stopping anybody from investing or stop the CSA from supporting an MLS club.

But to the general fan, all this complaining doesn't look good. If the CSA had just somehow I really don't even know what, just promised the Lynx, or even publically thanked them or something.

Frankly it doesn't really matter what the Lynx say.

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quote:Originally posted by Elias

But to the general fan, all this complaining doesn't look good.

It doesn't look good, but the only people who's reputation seems to be taking a beating with it are the Lynx owners. The CSA essentially already has the lowest reputation possible amongst the people who care about them (ie. Canadian soccer people) so this is hardly going to make it worse, and in fact it might improve a bit with the general approval in these parts of the idea of bringing the MLS to Toronto.

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quote:Originally posted by Cheeta

Did get the best quote in though. "What the Hell dose MLSE know about selling soccer? They haven't had to sell a hockey ticket in 50 years..."

Ouch. It's funnier because it's true.

Yes, you are correct. My father said the same thing when we talked about this back when the MLSE-MLS story first surfaced, and he's been following the Leafs since 1956. How else did the team get by under Harold Ballard despite all his craziness?

As my father has also suggested, not only does MLSE not have to market the Leafs, in the interest of their bottom line they have actually done things that would drive most customers away (eg. converting handicapped seats to VIP seats, cancelling their annual charity skate, their handling of MLG, not acquiring available quality players, etc.) with the knowledge that the blue and white keeps them coming back (my father included, who was literally the first person to sign up for Marlies tickets :().

The Raptors have gotten by on novelty and hype so far, but as that continues to decline we are yet to see any brilliance from MLSE to turn the tide.

MLSE have the money to get an MLS team off the ground, but that's it. Their marketing ability is over-stated, and, most important of all, their lack of interest in soccer (as opposed to, say, Saputo and Kerfoot and even the Hartrells) will send them packing the minute they feel the team is no longer beneficial to them, which I think will be before this even gets off the ground — just like the Argos and the new stadium.

As for the Lynx, I've already stated that I don't like the way the situation has been handled, and all indications are that it started with the CSA. This is not about sympathy for the Hartrells (after all, I do agree with most of the criticisms directed at them). It is about what is good for Canadian soccer. And brushing aside people who are not only willing to but have already put millions into Canadian soccer is not good for Canadian soccer. Everyone is always complaining that there aren't enough people putting money into Canadian soccer, so why dismiss those who do.

I don't like the idea of MLS in Canada, but that's another issue (which I'm not interested in debating anymore, anyway). If MLS is going to happen in Toronto, then I say keep the Hartrells somewhere in the equation. It is possible to have an MLS team and the Hartrells still involved in Canadian soccer. However, with the way the situation is being handled, bridges are being burnt from both sides.

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I think the main things, beside money, that the Leafs bring to the table are leverage and access.

Leverage - you want Leaf tickets, you better purchase MLS tickets. I know they do this to corporate clients with the Raptors.

Access - when a Leafs salesperson calls up a CEO to sell tickets/sponsorships at 3 in the morning, the CEO apoligizes for sleeping.

It's still up to the fans at the end of the day to show up, regardless of who owns the team. But I think the Leafs just bring a sense of stability and can do a lot of things like cross-promotion and other things (like getting the media to show up every game) that other potential owners would have a hard time doing.

Having said that, I still don't believe they are really interested.

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