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I thought I'd mention this. I received an e-mail from a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. It was from Calgary United FC giving a brief rundown of their plans this year and how to get season tickets. I e-mailed them to ask more questions about their message, which was short on specifics. Anyway, it has been a week and I have yet to get a response. I also notice that their site and the CMISL site have yet to be updated in any way since last spring.

I'd really like things to work out for these guys, but all evidence is not pointing to it. I'm going to wait a couple more days to see if I get a response. If not, I think I might post the e-mail that was sent to me originally. Considering its content, I thought it might be unfair to put it up here as it would likely not impress people that read here. But its homespun, begging message suggested that it be passed on to others, so I just might do that if they are unwilling/unable to clarify its contents.

Has anyone else been talking to these guys?

Jason

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Jason, have to agree with you. About a month or five weeks ago, I heard that the Winnipeg Alliance got the MTS centre booked this season. So about three weeks ago, I had called someone at the Winnipeg Alliance office. They said that they would be at the MTS Centre again. When I asked why not something like Max Bell Arena or St. James Civic Centre, they said they ARE AIMING for 4000-7000 PER GAME. They also said tickets would be $15 for adults and $10 for youth. I asked if there was a schedule out. They said no and that in three weeks there would be one. Well Three weeks have passed and no announcement yet. I even game them my email and phone number as I am (or was) considering buying season tickets. Except for the PASL pro announcement that the Winnipeg Alliance would be playing at the MTS Centre November 1st and 2nd against the Denver Dynamite of the PASL Pro, no email, no call, no nothing. The Alliance website has not been updates since August 22nd. Nothing new on the CMISL website. I personally would love to see (and hope that these things get worked out), but I am starting to run out of patience. I would like to see Mel Kowalchuk come on the board and let us ask questions as to why they are leaving the schedule so late, if they plan to start in November. This is no way to run a professional indoor soccer league, let alone an organization. I would not be surprised if the Alliance do not even come close to the expected crowds.

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4-7,000 per game?... that's a pretty lofty goal. I can't imagine they think they'll draw that paid, out of all the games played last year there was maybe only one game that drew even 1,000 actual, and that was the final.

Financially Edmonton was easily their best for paid attendance... and in the 9 games they hosted I don't think they drew 6,000 in total, and a fair number of those were comps

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quote:Originally posted by Kevin McMillan

4-7,000 per game?... that's a pretty lofty goal. I can't imagine they think they'll draw that paid, out of all the games played last year there was maybe only one game that drew even 1,000 actual, and that was the final.

Financially Edmonton was easily their best for paid attendance... and in the 9 games they hosted I don't think they drew 6,000 in total, and a fair number of those were comps

The problem is that you wouldn't be able to tell what's a real comp and what isn't.

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That is the response I got from the Winnipeg Alliance rep. 4000-7000. I think that is really, really lofty, considering that Winnipeg played all there home games on the road, because they could not get a date at the MTS Centre last year because the MTS centre had priority on concerts. It left a bad taste in my mouth. I personally think they would have been better off at the St. James Civic Centre or Max Bell Centre. But still though, the MTS Centre can be a great venue for indoor soccer though. It was fun to watch the Alliance's showcase game there a year and a half ago.

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quote:Originally posted by mrpopulistfutebol

For everyone's information. Max Bell Arena at the University of Manitoba seats 1600, while the St. James Civic Centre seats around 1500. Considering that the CMISL's average attendance was below that last year, I am sure the Alliance would have no trouble doing well at either venue, if they wanted to.

Of course, that's if they get the time booked compared to the MTS Centre.

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quote:Originally posted by mrpopulistfutebol

That is the response I got from the Winnipeg Alliance rep. 4000-7000. I think that is really, really lofty, considering that Winnipeg played all there home games on the road, because they could not get a date at the MTS Centre last year because the MTS centre had priority on concerts. It left a bad taste in my mouth. I personally think they would have been better off at the St. James Civic Centre or Max Bell Centre. But still though, the MTS Centre can be a great venue for indoor soccer though. It was fun to watch the Alliance's showcase game there a year and a half ago.

I know that was the party line that they "couldn't" get dates... I recall Kowalchuk blaming it on the Brier amoung other things. The flaw in that excuse was that the Brier didn't even start until the season had already wrapped up... so I seriously suspect there was something different at play that no one wanted to own up to publicly.

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the problem is the Alliance already booked the MTS Centre. Another problem I guess with Winnipeg, there really is no medium arena. There is either the MTS Centre, which despite as much as a lovely professional indoor soccer venue as it is, it is too big. The Max Bell arena and St. James Civic Centre would be better fits, but could be too small (not likely). Winnipeg needs a medium arena that fits around 3000-5000 people for a CMISL, NBA development, AFL2, NLL type of minor pro sports plus the Western Hockey League, a part of the ameteur CHL.

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quote:Originally posted by Kevin McMillan

I know that was the party line that they "couldn't" get dates... I recall Kowalchuk blaming it on the Brier amoung other things. The flaw in that excuse was that the Brier didn't even start until the season had already wrapped up... so I seriously suspect there was something different at play that no one wanted to own up to publicly.

The Brier start on March 8 yet would've required a great deal of prep time in order to get the arena ready for the event.

MTS Centre needs to learn more about juggling dates.

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quote:Originally posted by DoyleG

The Brier start on March 8 yet would've required a great deal of prep time in order to get the arena ready for the event.

MTS Centre needs to learn more about juggling dates.

Takes less then a week to set up curling, and Winnipeg finished their schedule in February... it was the CMISL's excuse for the Winnipeg owner not wanting to bankroll his team last year... truth is there were several open dates, even on prime nights.

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In my opinion, I think the Alliance and the MTS Centre should be blamed 50/50. For starters, Great point DoyleG, The MTS Centre definately needs to learn more about juggling dates. Here is a scenario that may happen in a few years (unlikely but never know). Right now in Winnipeg there are, if you include the Winnipeg Alliance four professional sports teams (two in the summer: Winnipeg Goldeyes and Winnipeg Blue Bombers) and two in the winter (Manitoba Moose and now the Winnipeg Alliance). Both the Moose and Alliance play at the MTS Centre. Now lets say in 2009, Winnipeg (hypothetically) is announced to get (remember lets pretend) a National Lacrosse League team (very unlikely and remote but you never know) that starts play in winter in 2010. With the MTS Centre hosting (I believe)the 2010 Scott tournament of Hearts, the Manitoba Moose playing their and Winnipeg Alliance, in a pretend scenario it would be very crowded. What would they do in this situation. They would have to juggle very carefully. You obviously would not boot out the Moose all season. The Scotts are a money maker, the pretend NLL team could draw 4000 a night when the moose are not playing and the Alliance could make a good alternative and draw maybe at most 3500.

The thing with the MTS Centre is there is only so many concerts that can go around. The MTS Centre needs to fill dates. They need a second tenant and thus the Alliance could be a perfect fit, if They drew the 4000-7000 they are looking for. Unlikely though. Basically that is what stuff like indoor soccer, indoor lacrosse and arena football are for. To fill up space between when hockey, basketball teams are not playing and when concerts are not playing. It is like eye candy. Fun to watch, but nothing like the real thing.

The MTS Centre could easily juggle sporting events on the same day if they wanted to. Case in point, they could have the Manitoba Moose play in the afternoon and the Alliance play at night, or vice versa. It has been done before in many other arenas in North America. I recall that the Minnesota Wild of the NHL played a game then right after the crew got the area ready for a Minnesota Swarm Indoor lacrosse game, which was played at 11 o'clock at night on a Saturday.

As for the CMISL's and Alliance's part, they are partly to blame, because they did not press for alternatives. I am sure they could have easily found spots at the MTS Centre if they pressed a little harder. I think the Winnipeg Alliance have some work cut out for them in terms of getting good press coverage (please goodness me do not go 0-16. Please win a bunch of games this year and give the fans hope for 2009/2010) and reconnecting with those fans who might have been turned off, when they were forced to play on the road. Like I said, it doesn't hurt if the Alliance are winning a lot of their games, rather then getting toasted every game like they were last season. The Alliance have NEVER one a game YET in the CMISL.

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quote:Originally posted by Kevin McMillan

Takes less then a week to set up curling, and Winnipeg finished their schedule in February... it was the CMISL's excuse for the Winnipeg owner not wanting to bankroll his team last year... truth is there were several open dates, even on prime nights.

I have heard from sources that the Alliance owner has been trying to sell the team or a share of it.

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Just as example of the dates that were available during January and February past.

January 6th thru 16th... wide open, not a thing booked at MTS, including 2 Sundays, a Friday and a Saturday

Other good dates:

Sunday, Jan 20th - between concerts

Sunday, Feb 3rd - Hockey game day before, but nothing until the next Friday

Friday, Feb 15th - Between hockey games

So right there are seven wide open weekend dates... and there were no lack of mid week dates also available. So like I said, it was a B.S. excuse for the CMISL to try to save face.

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quote:Originally posted by Kevin McMillan

Just as example of the dates that were available during January and February past.

January 6th thru 16th... wide open, not a thing booked at MTS, including 2 Sundays, a Friday and a Saturday

Other good dates:

Sunday, Jan 20th - between concerts

Sunday, Feb 3rd - Hockey game day before, but nothing until the next Friday

Friday, Feb 15th - Between hockey games

So right there are seven wide open weekend dates... and there were no lack of mid week dates also available. So like I said, it was a B.S. excuse for the CMISL to try to save face.

Right there, the Alliance could have fit there whole home part of their 2008 schedule. It baffles me to be honest as to why the Alliance said that "they could not get a date at the MTS Centre". Conspiracy theory here.

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I don't know anything about the Winnipeg club, so I can't really comment. I do know that in the e-mail I received, the Calgary matches at the Soccer Centre are going to be able to seat about 900 a game. So I don't know how one team in the league is looking at getting 4000-7000 while another won't even get 1000 if they sell out. What is the financial model?

I know that the Calgary group is doing everything small. As I mentioned, the e-mail I received sounds more like a plea/asking for a charitable donation. There is talk of (loose quote), "We don't have money for marketing so we're relying on word of mouth." Also, it said that the move to the Soccer Centre is driven by keeping costs low. I'm all in favour of keeping costs down, but if you make it so small in every way of the experience, how can you expect to charge pro prices? I assume if the special season ticket price is $135 + GST for 8 games (about $18 per game), I would expect individual tickets are going to be well in the $25 range by the time GST is paid. This is not exactly a low cost ticket. You can go to WHL, lacrosse, and baseball for less in Calgary. I think you can even get Stampeder tickets (at at deal) for a comparable amount.

Jason

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Winnipeg drew over 7,000 to their show case games 2 years ago. They promoted promoted promoted. They sold tickets to the youth clubs, senior clubs etc. There was a big push and the event was a huge success.

The club has a cumulative record of 0 - 14. Will the support still be there from Winnipeg's knowledgeable soccer community?

I assume they will have good support again should a league actually materialize because there was so little exposure to the club's losing record in the press last year and hopefully people have short memories. However, with a month left before the season begins, we have heard nothing here in Winnipeg. Is that the level of promotion you would expect from a truly professional league/team? The Moose? Goldeyes? Bombers?

Unfortunately, while I think Winnipeg has the opportunity to attract 3,000 - 5,000 on a regular basis, the marketing effort and poor on field performance will hold them back.

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I am hoping they can get 3000-5000/ a game. However, I have already read that some PASL pro clubs have already began training camp. It is almost frustrating that the CMISL has not come out with a schedule, outside the four PASL inter league games.

It is true that the media did not cover the horrible 0-14 record. However, I am wondering if they are 0-8 to start where the support will be. I am hoping so, but people want to see results to.

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I seem to recall people saying there was a lot of papering done to get that big crowd in '06 (tying in with mrpopulistfutebol's hearing about Stewart wanting to sell, or flip the team).

Granted, at least they got the people to show up... last year Saskatoon distributed 10,000 freebies for a pair of weekend games, and still drew less than 1,000 per.

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Guest Soccrman
quote:Originally posted by Jason

I don't know anything about the Winnipeg club, so I can't really comment. I do know that in the e-mail I received, the Calgary matches at the Soccer Centre are going to be able to seat about 900 a game. So I don't know how one team in the league is looking at getting 4000-7000 while another won't even get 1000 if they sell out. What is the financial model?

I know that the Calgary group is doing everything small. As I mentioned, the e-mail I received sounds more like a plea/asking for a charitable donation. There is talk of (loose quote), "We don't have money for marketing so we're relying on word of mouth." Also, it said that the move to the Soccer Centre is driven by keeping costs low. I'm all in favour of keeping costs down, but if you make it so small in every way of the experience, how can you expect to charge pro prices? I assume if the special season ticket price is $135 + GST for 8 games (about $18 per game), I would expect individual tickets are going to be well in the $25 range by the time GST is paid. This is not exactly a low cost ticket. You can go to WHL, lacrosse, and baseball for less in Calgary. I think you can even get Stampeder tickets (at at deal) for a comparable amount.

Jason

Jason - w/out wishing to cause any issues here can you post the original email you rec'd? According to the CUFC OWNER they haven't sent any emails out and is very suprised at what you are posting, although I think most of what you write is correct. The owner maintains they haven't started an email campaign yet. He's curious as to how you know what you know!!!

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Well it looks like somebody forgot to tell Bob Dylan that the Winnipeg Alliance were playing against the Denver Dynamite on November 2nd. The PASL schedule says Denver plays Winnipeg at the MTS Centre at 6 pm on that date. The MTS Centre website says Bob Dylan is playing the MTS Centre at 7:30 pm.

Just a slight conflict / oversight.

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quote:Originally posted by wpgscrfan

Well it looks like somebody forgot to tell Bob Dylan that the Winnipeg Alliance were playing against the Denver Dynamite on November 2nd. The PASL schedule says Denver plays Winnipeg at the MTS Centre at 6 pm on that date. The MTS Centre website says Bob Dylan is playing the MTS Centre at 7:30 pm.

Just a slight conflict / oversight.

I noticed this as well on the MTS Centre website. I swear only a few days ago that the Bob Dylan concert was not advertised on the MTS website. Now it is. I think I am going to call the alliance and see what is going on. This gets stranger and stranger every day.

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Well I called the Winnipeg Alliance. All I got was an answering machine. I have also called a representative at the MTS Centre. It looks like that Bob Dylan HAS BEEN BOOKED for the MTS CENTRE November 2nd, while NOTHING HAS BEEN BOOKED FOR NOVEMBER 1st. I Hope they can get their act together, but it looks like The Alliance are going to be the butt of jokes for the CMISL, yet again. I hope not.

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