Jump to content

Travel Distances: 2011 vs. 2012


Recommended Posts

Out of curiosity I thought I'd do a little investigation about travel distances and whether or not the new conference-based schedule is actually making a dent in them. Before the results, here are a couple of disclaimers:

1) I used Google Earth to calculate.

2) I measured from community centre to community centre and factored in only straight-line distance.

3) I tried to be somewhat accurate going from point to point, but was probably off a few kms each time.

4) I did not factor in distances to stadiums or when teams put two games together in one trip as I couldn't remember/didn't feel like looking up the information.

So for what it's worth, here it is:


2011 - 34560kms

2012 - 23480kms

Difference: -11080kms

Percentage Decrease: ~32%


2011 - 42175kms

2012 - 33930kms

Difference: -8245kms

Percentage Decrease: ~20%


Had no 2011 season to compare to but their 2012 distance was 29740kms

I would say that is a more than significant decrease, especially in Toronto's distance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The travel issue appears to be a sticking point with European players who are coming to North America. Remember the published reports regarding Freddy Ljunberg? He claims that he couldnt take it anymore. They are just not used to this kind of travel over there.

Another point that has been raised in some books that I have read on MLS is that the travel is exacerbated in MLS becasue of the league imposed restrictions on not only salaries, but also club expenditures (which includes flights and accomodation options). These standards (set in MLS) are quite distinctly below those are are enjoyed by professional athletes in other north american team sports. MLS teams cant do private charters, players (unless your David beckham) cant fly in and class higher than ecomomy and hotels cant be higher than a ceratin number of stars. Whereas the europeans are used to nothing but First class in everything when they they travels. There are some funny anectdotes on this that I have read.

MLS soccer has an immense disproportion of home team wins or draws in comparaison to other sports. Maybe even higher than NBA Basket ball and i'll bet that travel distances and travel accmodations have a lot to do with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

European teams often talk about avoiding travel to more distant locations like Russia as well. I believe I remember hearing the Barcelona brass talking about being happy they weren't going to play Moscow because of the long travel (about 3000kms 700kms less than Montreal to Vancouver and 1000km less than Montreal to LA, and these are trips that you will likely have to do at least one of each season).

Your European player comment also gave me another idea. The entire away fixture distance in the premier league for Newcastle (reasonably geographically isolated from other premiership teams) is around 5000km (measured the same way as above except between stadiums not airports) and for Fulham (significantly less geographically isolated) is fewer than 4000km total. I realize that this does not include FA/Carling cup and European competitions (imagine if you included CCL matches for Toronto), but 5000km compared to 23480km is a massive difference. Not surprising that this would be daunting to a player who grew up going across the road and down the street for an away match.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Free Kick;

Regarding travel expenses, are you sure about that? Can players top up on their own dime?

I won't fly Chicago in economy so for a club not to shell out for it's players (by choice or not) Well that sucks!

Its in Grant Wahl's book titled "The Beckham Experiment". There is a anectdote there about how David beckham was the only guy on the LA Galaxy who was getting Business class and one guy (forget who it was) was former star in Europe and played at the World cup for Portugal (i think) but, upon boarding a plane for the first team trip, found out that he was sandwiched in a middle seat in economy amongst the average Joe's. He was so uncomfortable in that seat that he promptly got off the plane and walked away and never returned to the team. Then there is a story about how players got sick from the food in some hotel in outskirks of Boston and that the hotel had gained a league wide reputation amongst players for being quite substandard.

As for your question if " Can players top up on their own dime?". I am sure they probably could but who would do that? you travel to perform your work so its no different if we were traveling as part of our job. How many of us would pay out of our own pockets to upgrade if it meant not getting reimboursed?

Edit.: I dot believe that the same rules and restrictions apply in regards to travel for Concacaf/ V-Cup play. pretty sure I saw something last year that stated that TFC players got the corporate/charter flight and standard that other pro teams get.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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

  • Create New...