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Well, I'm a big fan of the indoor game and would love nothing more than to see the game return full time to Edmonton... but every time I hear that these people want to market to kids and soccer associations I shudder. I cannot understand why these people keep chasing the same fallacy.

If you want to cooperate with them… great... throw a few tickets their way every so often and run some soccer camps with them. But just because these people enjoy playing the game doesn't mean they're any more likely to be willing to pay to watch it. I grew up playing baseball and hockey, and the only time I attended a Trapper or Oiler game was when we were given comp tickets. It wasn't because we couldn't afford to go, it's just that when it came to entertainment there was stuff we'd rather do. Just because I played the game, didn't mean I’d go out of my way to watch other people play it.

If you want to be treated like a real sport, you have to act like one. Go after the typical sports crowd. The prior bunch wondered why the media largely ignored them… well, when you only have a few thousand people coming to games, and a lot of them are kids and/or there on comp tickets you’re not exactly giving the media much reason to take you seriously. If you want the media’s attention, you need to deliver their demographic.

Regardless, I’ll be at the game and lovin’ every minute of it… I just hope this doesn’t turn into yet another pro soccer train wreck.

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quote:Originally posted by Kevin McMillan

Well, I'm a big fan of the indoor game and would love nothing more than to see the game return full time to Edmonton... but every time I hear that these people want to market to kids and soccer associations I shudder. I cannot understand why these people keep chasing the same fallacy.

If you want to cooperate with them… great... throw a few tickets their way every so often and run some soccer camps with them. But just because these people enjoy playing the game doesn't mean they're any more likely to be willing to pay to watch it. I grew up playing baseball and hockey, and the only time I attended a Trapper or Oiler game was when we were given comp tickets. It wasn't because we couldn't afford to go, it's just that when it came to entertainment there was stuff we'd rather do. Just because I played the game, didn't mean I’d go out of my way to watch other people play it.

If you want to be treated like a real sport, you have to act like one. Go after the typical sports crowd. The prior bunch wondered why the media largely ignored them… well, when you only have a few thousand people coming to games, and a lot of them are kids and/or there on comp tickets you’re not exactly giving the media much reason to take you seriously. If you want the media’s attention, you need to deliver their demographic.

Regardless, I’ll be at the game and lovin’ every minute of it… I just hope this doesn’t turn into yet another pro soccer train wreck.

The secret to success when it comes to minor pro sports such as the AAA Trappers is to make it an event to be there. That means lots of bell and whistles so to speak. You cant market the the brand ( ie.: team name and tradition) and the players like you do in top flight pro leagues because the players are mostly unknown and are bound to come and go. Fans are not likely to argue or get emotional over who's best or compare stats from one versus the other when it come to triple A baseball or AHL hockey to name a few.

The surge in popularity of AAA baseball is really attributable to this phenomena. The operators who are successful are those who understand that you need great concessions, and entertaining mascot, lots of prizes and gimicks etc. It doesn't matter whether or not anybody pays atention to whats happeing on the field of play. Most people do not and there no emotional attachment to the team. Thats what I dont like about minor pro sports. There was a time when I lived in an area that had a very successfull junior hockey operation for very many years and then decided to get into the AHL. Alot of fans like myself got caught up and started going to games, but after while you really get bored because, save for one or two, players are not recognizable and there is no star power and there is no pride in winning because interest is very localized rather than national or international. Personally, That is what I dont like about Minor pro leagues.

Rochester may be one of the best minor pro cities in North America. You just need to look at the long history of their AHL team as well as being the AAA afiliate for the Orioles. Having had the chance to go see some Rhinos versus Lynx game at their venue, you quickly understand why. They have terrific concesions. You can chow down on wide selection of food and brew to your hearts contents. The atmosphere feels great though I cant put my finger on what it is. Your glad you went even if the game was terrible.

The problem with Canada and minor pro sports is that to many communities fail to accept what and who they are in the bigger picture. Too many tend to think that they are city just like London, Paris, New York or LA. IMO, Edmonton fits perfectly into this discription In part that is due to the Oilers and their success in the eighties. That is why I am sceptical of indoor soccer Having long term success in Edmonton and also why the Trappers disappeared. In that sence the sports scene is actually weaker in Edmonton IMO.

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Strangely enough, even though I am a futbol purist, I am willing to give professional indoor soccer a chance in this city, event if it is just one game a season for the next two years. It seems interesting enough for me to go see this game.

My only concern would be the cost of a ticket. I think if the goal is to get 5000-7000, you cant just charge more then $15 for a ticket for a product that is unknown and wants to get the name out I also wonder if 5000-7000 attendance expectation is a little ambitious.

I would love to see it and it could happen, but realistically I would be aiming for 3000-5000. Remember when an established league, the National Lacrosse League had a preseason exhibition game in Winnipeg in December 2006. I believe on 3500 people came to that same MTS Centre. I thought the game presentation of the NLL was good, but they could have done a better job with souveniers (i.e. Game program/book would have been nice).

If I were the CMISL, I would be hitting the ground running from now until April 1st and ponding the pavement, getting the CMISL into the heads of people, in this city, namely the soccer fans, but also families and people who are looking at something to do on a early spring Sunday afternoon. I think the CMISL already has it's work cut out for them, but I will support it for the time being. I think this is a good start for Winnipeg to get back in the professional soccer. It is far from perfect but will do. I will definately be out at the MTS Centre in full force April 1st. Ole, Ole Ole.

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quote:Originally posted by Jason

I'm not sure exactly how serious you were about this, but let me just say that Edmonton and Calgary residents aren't going to drive 1.5 hours regularly to watch any sports team in Red Deer. Sure people make the whole 3 hour drive to see their home CFL club play in the other club's stadium, or they might make the rare trip for an event (Edmonton Grand Prix for example).

Jason

Trust me, I could not have possibly been any less serious! That is what the "[:P]" is meant to imply. I sometimes have insomnia, so when I have been up all night and I read something as funny as BWA's "Red Deer Town FC", boredom convinces my exhausted brain to take up the challenge and present a "case" or "plan" for it. Under the circumstances, I think I did ok, but I would not really suggest that someone should drop a $12M+USD expansion fee and $65M+CDN for a stadium to bring MLS to Red Deer!

I would like to see a fourth MLS club in Canada (assuming that Vancouver and Montreal get in), but although the three likely candidates (Calgary/Edmonton/Ottawa) all have some positive things about them, they are all saddled with "deal-breakers" at the moment that rule them out. But that is for another thread.

As for this indoor stuff, I am not a fan. There is nothing wrong with building venues to allow outdoor players to train during the winter, but renting hockey arenas for an indoor league does nothing to help Canadian soccer. At best, it is competition for other sports teams. At worst, its' probable failure, or atleast inability to amount to much, will only further discourage and dissuade entrepreneurs from bringing real professional soccer to the region.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

The secret to success when it comes to minor pro sports such as the AAA Trappers is to make it an event to be there. That means lots of bell and whistles so to speak. You cant market the the brand ( ie.: team name and tradition) and the players like you do in top flight pro leagues because the players are mostly unknown and are bound to come and go. Fans are not likely to argue or get emotional over who's best or compare stats from one versus the other when it come to triple A baseball or AHL hockey to name a few.

The surge in popularity of AAA baseball is really attributable to this phenomena. The operators who are successful are those who understand that you need great concessions, and entertaining mascot, lots of prizes and gimicks etc. It doesn't matter whether or not anybody pays atention to whats happeing on the field of play. Most people do not and there no emotional attachment to the team. Thats what I dont like about minor pro sports. There was a time when I lived in an area that had a very successfull junior hockey operation for very many years and then decided to get into the AHL. Alot of fans like myself got caught up and started going to games, but after while you really get bored because, save for one or two, players are not recognizable and there is no star power and there is no pride in winning because interest is very localized rather than national or international. Personally, That is what I dont like about Minor pro leagues.

Of course, you then missed the point of why minor league is so popular. Those cities that have them will be proud to have a team of their own. You don't need the glitz and glamour of the pro leagues to get success.

quote:Originally posted by Free kick

Rochester may be one of the best minor pro cities in North America. You just need to look at the long history of their AHL team as well as being the AAA afiliate for the Orioles. Having had the chance to go see some Rhinos versus Lynx game at their venue, you quickly understand why. They have terrific concesions. You can chow down on wide selection of food and brew to your hearts contents. The atmosphere feels great though I cant put my finger on what it is. Your glad you went even if the game was terrible.

Food won't change a thing unless you can encourage the community to embrace the team.

quote:Originally posted by Free kick

The problem with Canada and minor pro sports is that to many communities fail to accept what and who they are in the bigger picture. Too many tend to think that they are city just like London, Paris, New York or LA. IMO, Edmonton fits perfectly into this discription In part that is due to the Oilers and their success in the eighties. That is why I am sceptical of indoor soccer Having long term success in Edmonton and also why the Trappers disappeared. In that sence the sports scene is actually weaker in Edmonton IMO.

Uh. Wrong again. I've never seen that kind of arrogance in people living in Edmonton. Not like in Toronto where that arrogance stinks to high hell. That never changed from the 80's.

As for the Trappers, the Esks didn't want to shoulder the bill for a team that was taking fans away from them. Hence they sold it and the team for a nice sum to a very interested American owner.

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I cant wait to find out who will be coaching the Winnipeg team as well as what the new team name will be. I hope that they dont pick some corny name.

I saw how much tickets are for the game in Edmonton. I am not sure if $27 for an adult ticket is a fair price. Does that include a youth ticket? If not, then I am not sure people will pay much for the game that is not a soccer fan that might be curious. Does any one know how much it will be for the Winnipeg Game on April 1st? Any one planning on going??

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  • 2 weeks later...

More info on the Winnipeg team...

Baby steps for new loop

Professional league could be boon to local soccer community

It doesn't yet have a name, players or uniforms, but Hector Vergara is already excited about Winnipeg's newest professional franchise.

The city's entry in the new Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League held a press conference yesterday to announce that tickets for its inaugural game will go on sale this morning.

The Winnipeg club will meet the Edmonton Drillers at the MTS Centre on Sunday, April 1, at 2 p.m.

Owner Bill Stewart also revealed that a couple of familiar names from the Winnipeg soccer world, Chic Devenney and Walt McKee, will co-coach the squad during its two-game "showcase schedule" this spring.

Winnipeg's first game is in Saskatoon on March 23.

Vergara, the Manitoba Soccer Association's chief administrative officer who is more famously known for being a World Cup official, hopes Manitobans will get behind the team to support the beautiful game in their province.

"It's important for us, in our community, to have a professional league, whether it's indoor or whether it's outdoor," Vergara said. "Our kids, our youth, our senior players don't have anything to strive for."

The Winnipeg FC, as it was being called yesterday, had hoped to reveal its name, logo, shield and uniforms, but a last-minute check revealed that the name was already taken. Lawyers are working on it, and the team hopes to announce its name within 10 days.

The CMISL consists of four teams -- Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon -- and the inaugural showcase schedule will take place between March 10 and April 1.

League founder Mel Kowalchuk is starting slowly in an effort to gauge fan interest first. If all goes well, there will be a few more games next year and a full schedule in 2009. Teams consisting of 16 players would operate on a $100,000 salary cap to keep expenses under control.

And if the lightning-quick indoor game is popular enough with fans, each team would then move outdoors and play during the summer as well.

"We're trying to take the baby steps," Kowalchuk said.

Stewart, who is from The Pas but lives and works in Denver, has a vision of what would be a successful debut on April 1.

"If we can get that lower bowl pretty much full, that's very successful for us," he said.

Ticket prices, excluding taxes and fees, are $17.50 for adults and $9.50 for children 12 and under. A loonie from each ticket sold will go the Manitoba Soccer Association.

The team, meanwhile, will hold tryouts on Feb. 24 and 25 in Headingley. Three or four out-of-town pros will supplement the Winnipeg roster.

"We have the talent in this province," Vergara said. "What we need is something put together so that you actually make something of that talent. We hope this is it."

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There was a report on the CTV Calgary news last night saying that the Calgary club held tryouts, with about 40 players attending. They did a brief interview with Konrad Paszkowski, who some might remember playing for the Calgary and Ottawa PDL clubs and was on scholorship at St. Bonaventure in the NCAA.

Jason

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An article from todays Calgary Herald:

United takes look at locals

Published: Monday, February 19, 2007

Calgary United Football Club held its first turf wars Sunday.

Field general Dave Randall liked what he saw.

"We had about 65 players total over three sessions, and the standard got better every session," said Randall, head coach of the fledgling Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League club, following open tryouts at the Canadian Sports Development Centre.

"The last session, with the (Alberta) Major (Soccer) League players, was very entertaining, very quick, very skilful.

"There were a couple of surprises -- a couple of guys out of CUSA Division Two, one or two more from CUSA Premier" Division, added Randall. "I'm not saying they've made the team, but they'll certainly get another shot at the big boys."

United FC is one of four charter members of the CMISL, which won't officially get off the ground until the winter of 2008-09.

This season, Randall's squad is limited to a doubleheader against the Edmonton Drillers -- March 10 at the Corral, March 18 up in the provincial capital. Technically, it's a quadruple-header, since each date features two games spaced about an hour apart.

And after trimming the roster to 34 players for an intrasquad game this weekend, Randall expects to have an official lineup of 21 players -- 17 in the lineup, plus four alternates -- ready for battle by early next week.

"Things went very well today," said Randall. "We'll hopefully have a good team coming out of this."

Since they unveiled the CMISL on Feb. 7 with Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Saskatoon, league architects have received interest from clubs in Vancouver, Victoria, the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec.

If things get serious enough, the CMISL may kick off one season earlier than planned.

Tickets for the March 10 game are available through TicketMaster.

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quote:Originally posted by mrpopulistfutebol

Any one going to the April 1st Winnipeg game @ the MTS Centre with Winnipeg against Edmonton? I hope the name for the Winnipeg team is not dorky. I am planning on buying my ticket in March.

Unless something out of the blue screws up my schedule I'll be checking it out with the kids (at least). Fellow at work is trying to swing the company suit for the event for my beer league team but it's all early days yet so I'm going to wait and see.

Not a big fan of indoor. Playing it is fun but watching? Mehhh... Rather watch indoor than futsal though.

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Having spoke to a couple of people around town that are in the know, this league is a complete joke.

Teams were purchased for $100,000, and these matches are simply an attempt to recoup the money.

The teams are simply fielding local players, paying them a $100 a match, calling it 'professional', charging ridiculous prices in the hope to make big money. Why would someone pay $15 to watch a local player play arena-ball, when they can go watch the same local guys play soccer for $2 on any of our local teams ?

There is absolutely NO plan to take these teams outdoor, to actually play soccer.

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I sure hope they bought new turf for this circuit and not just using that old crap the NPSL Drillers played on... that stuff was garbage when they were got it in '96 (it had been used in Wichita for MANY years before that). If that wasn't bad enough, going into the 2000 season it was infested with mice.

Gawd only knows what's happened to that since.

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quote:Originally posted by Kevin McMillan

I sure hope they bought new turf for this circuit and not just using that old crap the NPSL Drillers played on... that stuff was garbage when they were got it in '96 (it had been used in Wichita for MANY years before that). If that wasn't bad enough, going into the 2000 season it was infested with mice.

Gawd only knows what's happened to that since.

Kowalchuk has stated that he would buy a new carpet and use it in all the venues as a cost reduction.

Certainly would be in contact with the people who make the turf for the NLL.

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quote:Originally posted by Winnipeg Fury

Having spoke to a couple of people around town that are in the know, this league is a complete joke.

Teams were purchased for $100,000, and these matches are simply an attempt to recoup the money.

The teams are simply fielding local players, paying them a $100 a match, calling it 'professional', charging ridiculous prices in the hope to make big money. Why would someone pay $15 to watch a local player play arena-ball, when they can go watch the same local guys play soccer for $2 on any of our local teams ?

There is absolutely NO plan to take these teams outdoor, to actually play soccer.

Seem your people in the know aren't being honest about their intentions.

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