Jump to content

USL's future expansion plans?


Recommended Posts

Just curious on what people's opinions are on if there will be any near future expansion in the USL for the first or second division. Does any one think there will be any more Canadian teams? If so what does any one think about the chances of cities like Ottawa, Winnipeg and Hamilton seeing professional soccer any time in the next few years? And what will the impact of possibly the MLS coming to Canada have with the Toronto Lynx?

Just something new to talk about

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i wonder what would happen to support for montreal's USL team, if toronto landed an MLS franchise?....would it be considered second rate suddenly?...would it have no impact at all? (excuse the pun)...would be interesting.

nobody cares about AHL hockey in winnipeg, due in large part to other comparable cities being in the big leagues....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:Originally posted by trueviking

i wonder what would happen to support for montreal's USL team, if toronto landed an MLS franchise?....would it be considered second rate suddenly?...would it have no impact at all? (excuse the pun)...would be interesting.

My hope is that a Toronto MLS side gets Vancouver and Montreal envious and they start pushing hard to get in MLS.

In England the clubs in the north tend to be really well supported compared to clubs is the midlands and the south. Hopefully that will be the same in MLS - Canadian clubs will have a reputation of having great support.

Seeing that Vancouver averages 5,000 and Montreal 10,000 a game in high school facilities in a second division, I really can't imagine a scenario where they will have average attendance of less than 15,000.

Toronto, I have no idea what to expect in terms of attendance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if there were 3 canadian sides in MLS, they would have to change the non-import rule, dont you think?...would there be enough canadian talent to supply the majority of 3 rosters?.....maybe the existence of those 3 teams would spur that on and make it possible in the future, but it doesnt seem possible right now.

i am with you...3 teams would be great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:Originally posted by trueviking

if there were 3 canadian sides in MLS, they would have to change the non-import rule, dont you think?...would there be enough canadian talent to supply the majority of 3 rosters?.....maybe the existence of those 3 teams would spur that on and make it possible in the future, but it doesnt seem possible right now.

i am with you...3 teams would be great.

No, we'd have to live within the ratio. Sure it might hurt us in the short term but that's the price we're going to have to pay for Division One soccer.

db

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:Originally posted by dbailey62

No, we'd have to live within the ratio. Sure it might hurt us in the short term but that's the price we're going to have to pay for Division One soccer.

db

In no way would I want MLS to change the foreigner rules for Canadian teams. In the long term Canada will benefit when teams here are forced to field Canadian players. That will mean 60 Canadians playing North American Division one soccer, opposed to 3 currently. Canada's talent pool will absolutely jump!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:Originally posted by mrpopulistfutebol

Just curious on what people's opinions are on if there will be any near future expansion in the USL for the first or second division. Does any one think there will be any more Canadian teams? If so what does any one think about the chances of cities like Ottawa, Winnipeg and Hamilton seeing professional soccer any time in the next few years? And what will the impact of possibly the MLS coming to Canada have with the Toronto Lynx?

To get back to the original question, I believe USL is pretty much open to anyone who can show they can afford to buy and operate a team. Like any league, it's only as good as its owners. Ottawa's already in USL with a PDL and W-League team, so I suppose if the support and the money is there, they could eventually go for a D2 or D1 team. It appears they'd need more support than they're getting now to do that. Hamilton and Winnipeg would need owners, and Winnipeg would seem to be a bit too far to start as a D2 squad, seeing they're all in the East. To seriously compete in D1 these days, you would need a decent player budget and solid paid attendance to go with it (ie. 4,000 - 10,000 a game). As Calgary and Edmonton discovered, it's a big risk and commitment.

With Toronto seemingly poised to become the first Canadian franchise in MLS in 2007, there doesn't seem to be a future for the Lynx in Toronto beyond next season. If I were in charge, I'd spend the 2006 season by building some goodwill for the game and making the club attractive for another ontario city (maybe Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, London or Kitchener).

Canadian teams in USL, and even the long-flogged CUSL, depend entirely on owners with deep pockets and a feel for the game that goes beyond basic North American style sport marketing. They also depend on having proper, attractive soccer stadiums that fans want to go to. Without either, the odds of having a high level of professional soccer anywhere outside of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are not good.

And that's a shame, because I'd love the entire country to have what we have.

Cheers,

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:Originally posted by Sigma

Ottawa will need much more support for the men's team. Personally, I don't see any point in trying to get a D2 or D1 team over the next few years. Right now, the PDL is a perfect fit for Ottawa.

Exactly...and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that! Successful PDL and W-League teams are better for the game in Canada than failed pro teams or a failed pro league any day of the week!

Cheers,

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the beginning of this season USL issued a statement saying USL D-1 would be limited to 16 teams. With 12 in this years league that only leaves room for 4 new teams. I am not optimistic that there'll be any new Canadian teams and if there is maybe only one at the most.

But then again this is the USL we're talking about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tough to guess if there's anything a-float out there.

Think it was last year the A-League execs said they had Winnipeg penciled in as a potential franchise and didn't want to damage that by allowing interest in a PDL franchise to get too far off the ground. Nice to say, I guess, but maybe a bit too much chicken counting before the shells start breaking. Got to have an owner with a bankroll. And a suitable venue.

As much as PDL can be done on the cheap, I don't know if I'd be too keen on it. Seasons too short and the schedules are wicked. Even compared to Division 1. Not so sure a lot of the casual fans of the game here in Winnipeg would show enough interest for that. I'm sure there would be enough support out for it to make it fly but I honestly don't know what lasting good PDL could do for a place like Winnipeg. Or Ottawa or Hamilton for that matter. It's a pretty big next step from PDL to Division 1 in every single aspect of a business.

Going on about Winnipeg here because it's all I pretty much know.

Tough to guess if the city could draw 5K averages. If it was done right, and by right I mean fairly professionaly, I don't dought it. But doing it professionaly can get pretty costly pretty quick and would 5K be enough to balance a budget?

I know this. At $20 a head and reasonable local content a crap Division 1 side in Winnipeg would outdraw the Lynx. Provided the clown act stays in Toronto.

Soccer Mom Daycare turned off quite a few football fans last go around, and once you loose that core, it's hard to get that casual fan who's just-one-notch-below-the-hardcore to come out either. And those are the ones who'll bring a place to life and show others that this(the club) is important and dose matter.

WSC is up and running again by the way. At least for the rest of the season. Just the pitchs. No clubhouse or change rooms. Yet. We'll see. Can't wait for WSC II. Very curious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:Originally posted by Cheeta

Tough to guess if there's anything a-float out there.

Think it was last year the A-League execs said they had Winnipeg penciled in as a potential franchise and didn't want to damage that by allowing interest in a PDL franchise to get too far off the ground. Nice to say, I guess, but maybe a bit too much chicken counting before the shells start breaking. Got to have an owner with a bankroll. And a suitable venue.

As much as PDL can be done on the cheap, I don't know if I'd be too keen on it. Seasons too short and the schedules are wicked. Even compared to Division 1. Not so sure a lot of the casual fans of the game here in Winnipeg would show enough interest for that. I'm sure there would be enough support out for it to make it fly but I honestly don't know what lasting good PDL could do for a place like Winnipeg. Or Ottawa or Hamilton for that matter. It's a pretty big next step from PDL to Division 1 in every single aspect of a business.

Going on about Winnipeg here because it's all I pretty much know.

Tough to guess if the city could draw 5K averages. If it was done right, and by right I mean fairly professionaly, I don't dought it. But doing it professionaly can get pretty costly pretty quick and would 5K be enough to balance a budget?

I know this. At $20 a head and reasonable local content a crap Division 1 side in Winnipeg would outdraw the Lynx. Provided the clown act stays in Toronto.

Soccer Mom Daycare turned off quite a few football fans last go around, and once you loose that core, it's hard to get that casual fan who's just-one-notch-below-the-hardcore to come out either. And those are the ones who'll bring a place to life and show others that this(the club) is important and dose matter.

WSC is up and running again by the way. At least for the rest of the season. Just the pitchs. No clubhouse or change rooms. Yet. We'll see. Can't wait for WSC II. Very curious.

_______________________________________________________________________

Interesting view on many points. My own personal opinion is I think Winnipeg could very well see a USL division one team within a few years for a few reasons:

1. The WSC II complex once up and running will definately help with regards to a decent stadium for a team to play. Glad to hear that some footy is being played at WSC now, less dressing rooms.

2. While the USL head honchos "Only" say that they "Only" want 16 teams in USL division 1, thus leaving room for "Only" 4 more, my feeling is teams move around and thus if MLS expands to one or two of the USL division 1/2 cities, I think that there is a very good chance that that teams in those cities would most likely move, and Winnipeg could easily be a prime candidate.

Here is what has to happen with regards to a USL team in Winnipeg:

Find good solid ownership.

Market the team properly in this city. Once that is done a team would be supported well enough to surive and flurish. I would easily buy season tickets.

As well, it couldnt hurt to bring some exhibition pro soccer games with either European teams doing pre-season training here during their off season or 1 or 2 USL division 1 exhibition games as well. Get the interest going.

Winnipeg, while it might not look like it right now, within the next few years will see a massive shakeup on the pro sports scene. I predict a lot of movement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't the family who owns Global TV based in Winnipeg? Someone should approach them (if it hasn't already been done) about getting a USL 1st division side there.

From my point of view, the CSA should hire a consultant or do it themselves but they really should attempt to identify various potential ownership groups across the country and try to get them interested in not only MLS sides but USL sides. Canada now has both the Impact and the Whitecaps as models in this regard, so they really should with the provincial associations look at identifying local groups that have money to look at investing and supporting soccer locally. Bob Young in Hamilton is another one that springs to mine but there has to be many others that can be approached.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember when Tim Holt was on the half-time show earlier in the season. He was specifically asked about Canadian expansion. Victoria has been brought up by the Duze numerous times because of its proximity to SEA POR and VCR, and because it would draw as well as Atlanta and Minnesota are now.

Since Tim took over, they're getting picky with expansion teams because of the Edmonton fiasco, and the fact that there are some serious owners in the league now, like Kerfoot and Saputo. He said that Hamilton and Winnipeg were decent markets, but without suitable venues.

Quebec may be the most likely to be added because of the popularity of the team in Montreal, the fact they have a stadium (PEPS) creating an instant rivalry.

Soccer Steve said the other day that someone may be sniffing around Edmonton with ideas of spending big dollars to establish a club. I'm not getting excited.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for interests sake, here is a list of the super rich winnipeggers...not sure how many of them would be interested in owning a team....they are being bugged about bringing the jets back all the time, i am sure.

the number indicates where they rank in canada:

24. Richardson family: $1.25 billion

Grain, real estate, oil and gas, investments For more than a century,the Richardson family has been known for its Pioneer grain elevators,scattered across the Prairies.

31. Asper family: $1.09 billion

Owners of CanWest Global Communications

62. Peter Nygård: $552 million

Nygard made Tan Jay clothing an instant success in the wash-and-wear polyester category; he steadily expanded the company,moving it into upscale lines that now appear at Saks Fifth Avenue. Today, Nygard International Ltd. sells about $300 million worth of women's clothes a year.

83. DeFehr family $384 million

Owners of Palliser furniture, the largest furniture manufacturer in Canada and second largest in North America.

92. Randall Moffat: $358 million

The former president of Moffat Communications and one-time co-owner of the Winnipeg Jets.

a few people worth $250-300 million

john buhler: buhler indusries

marty weiberg: assante corp.

albert cohen: gendis (SAAN and previously sony canada)

also, some major companies (great west life, investors group, cargill, agricore, wawanesa, newflyer, northwest company, standard aero, gendis, kitchen craft...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you probably would need to look for an owner who has a minimum of $100m and possibly more. Based on your list above, you could probably find about 10 such persons/family in most of the largest Canadian cities. I would then suggest the CSA approaches them market by market especially where there is a current facility such as Quebec and Victoria I think. Hamilton I believe will soon have the new McMaster stadium so they are a logical choice as well. And if Winnipeg will have a suitable facility soon, then try to identify a group there as well. Put these possible owners in touch with Saputo and Kerfoot and let them see that with proper marketing, growing grassroots support, and a suitable facility, professional (or semi-professional) soccer is a good bet.

To me, this is something the CSA should be doing. Even if they hire PWC, KPMG or someone like that to produce a document (with the input from the Impact and the Whitecaps) outlining wht it takes to launch and grow a succesful soccer franchise in USL 1st divion...they could then do a roadshow now to these various ownership groups in these cities pushing the idea that now is the time as the 2007 World Youth Cup will give soccer an impetus here. Perhaps after about 30 or 40 meetings with various groups across the country, they may actually get 3 or 4 interested in doing something.

To me, that is the best way forward (of course, in addition to supporting the MLS expansion into Canada).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you probably would need to look for an owner who has a minimum of $100m and possibly more. Based on your list above, you could probably find about 10 such persons/family in most of the largest Canadian cities. I would then suggest the CSA approaches them market by market especially where there is a current facility such as Quebec and Victoria I think. Hamilton I believe will soon have the new McMaster stadium so they are a logical choice as well. And if Winnipeg will have a suitable facility soon, then try to identify a group there as well. Put these possible owners in touch with Saputo and Kerfoot and let them see that with proper marketing, growing grassroots support, and a suitable facility, professional (or semi-professional) soccer is a good bet.

To me, this is something the CSA should be doing. Even if they hire PWC, KPMG or someone like that to produce a document (with the input from the Impact and the Whitecaps) outlining wht it takes to launch and grow a succesful soccer franchise in USL 1st divion...they could then do a roadshow now to these various ownership groups in these cities pushing the idea that now is the time as the 2007 World Youth Cup will give soccer an impetus here. Perhaps after about 30 or 40 meetings with various groups across the country, they may actually get 3 or 4 interested in doing something.

To me, that is the best way forward (of course, in addition to supporting the MLS expansion into Canada).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phillipe Germain of CKAC radio was talking about future USL expansion.He said that he talked to someone from the USL's head office and they said that the league wanted to grow to 16 teams and keep the 28 game schedule. He also said that the league was thinking about expanding to a couple of Canadian cities but he wouldn't name the cities. He did however mention that they might get a team in Raleigh N.C., and a team in Southern Florida to help reduce all the travelling the Puerto Rico Islanders have had to do. He also said that Syracuse will probably not be returning to D-1 because of their stadium, but said they might go to D-2 next year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...