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2 hours ago, GuillermoDelQuarto said:

yea I think this part is perhaps being downplayed a little bit.  It's Halifax's team for sure, but essentially it's Nova Scotia's team.  I wouldn't rule out the possibility of people within an hour making a weekend of it from time to time.  And if it takes off I would expect some viewership from the entire island(and likely the rest of the maritimes, up until they got a team anyways)

As an Islander (PEI), I would prob be limited to one or two live games per summer, but it would def have local team buy-in for tv viewing.  I would cheer for a Maritime tea first and foremost, and I think it would get a pretty good bump in popularity by being a regional team.

Edited by dyslexic nam
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11 hours ago, grasshopper1917 said:

Wondered the exact same thing Matty. Considering we have basically no info on the league structure/franchises/ownership model/revenue streams/TV deals ect...  I'm not sure where the 8000 break even point comes from?

 
 
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First ever article on Halifax getting a team, which I am sure most of you will have read previously:

https://www.localxpress.ca/local-sports/pro-soccer-league-wants-to-include-halifax-483627

"This gives us an opportunity to play on that stage as national players but in a much more right-sized, reasonable format,” he said. “The plans for this league would be budgets around 6,000 to 8,000 fans per game. I'd always said that's the right size for Halifax. We've proven it for the Mooseheads and with the University Cup. When you start planning for events over 10,000 the numbers don't work. Our population can't sustain that."

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard
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4 hours ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

First ever article on Halifax getting a team, which I am sure most of you will have read previously:

https://www.localxpress.ca/local-sports/pro-soccer-league-wants-to-include-halifax-483627

"This gives us an opportunity to play on that stage as national players but in a much more right-sized, reasonable format,” he said. “The plans for this league would be budgets around 6,000 to 8,000 fans per game. I'd always said that's the right size for Halifax. We've proven it for the Mooseheads and with the University Cup. When you start planning for events over 10,000 the numbers don't work. Our population can't sustain that."

So you read that and went with 8000? Typical of you bending and twisting everything to suit your american storyline...go back across the border.

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A lot of people questioning a small city like Halifax drawing decent crowds. Chattanooga FC, which in in a city that has has a a smaller urban population than Halifax and is well over a 90 minute drive from the closest major cities, tweeted this.

Game A was one of the best drawing US MNT friendlies of the last 3 years and the other saw 12,000 (including 4,000+ locals) turn out to watch an amateur side get smoked by an MLS side. A mini non-traditional and semi-isolated market was able to draw big time (Chattanooga FC actually draw better than USL numbers regularly as well)

If done right, a smaller market like Halifax could draw regularly.

Edited by matty
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On 2/11/2017 at 6:36 PM, GuillermoDelQuarto said:

yea I think this part is perhaps being downplayed a little bit.  It's Halifax's team for sure, but essentially it's Nova Scotia's team.  I wouldn't rule out the possibility of people within an hour making a weekend of it from time to time.  And if it takes off I would expect some viewership from the entire island(and likely the rest of the maritimes, up until they got a team anyways)

Catchment, and the ability to be opportunistic with it is important.  Especially when you're dealing with such tight numbers as CPL franchises will be.  If you can pull in a hundred, or better still a few hundred paying fans each match from the bedroom communities that will add up.  Scheduling and out reach the best tools for that of course but you have to be careful though,  Remember which side your bread is buttered on as it were.  Don't want to hurt the ability to get the locals to the gate 1st and foremost.     

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Peter Wilt's blog from late last year looking at the cities in North America that are ripe for expansion where pro soccer is concerned is worth a look:

https://whatahowler.com/professional-soccer-expansion-in-north-america-45715f7806ec#.nf8h8kgy1

There isn't a single metropolitan area of under 500,000 (Halifax falls into this category) that currently has a pro level team and only five with between 500,000 and 1,000,000. Edmonton is sixth smallest market in North America with pro soccer overall when the older census number is used (so probably a bit higher than that now, but still towards the low end of the scale). It is very ambitious to talk in terms of an 8,000 break even in the context of Hamilton never mind Halifax in other words. Chattanooga that is being touted above (and also rates a mention in the blog) as an example of how it might work is said to be at around 4,000 for a short ten game regular season on announced numbers that may be boosted by comps and discount youth soccer group sales.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard
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4 hours ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

There isn't a single metropolitan area of under 500,000 (Halifax falls into this category) that currently has a pro level team and only five with between 500,000 and 1,000,000.

We could look at American/Canadian football and talk about the same thing. There are only 2 professional teams in North America playing in markets under 500k - Green Bay and Regina. The Roughriders lead the CFL in attendance (31,000) while the Packers are top 5 (78,000). 

Sure I understand soccer is a different beast BUT the point is the size of the market does not always determine the level of fan support. In fact if we look at the CFL it seems quite the opposite. Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver struggle badly while the smaller markets are more solid.

5 hours ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

It is very ambitious to talk in terms of an 8,000 break even in the context of Hamilton never mind Halifax in other words. 

First of all nobody except you said there is an 8000 fan break even point. You quoted and article with the Halifax group that stated the league would be budgeting for 6000-8000 fans. So it is possible the break even point could be 6000 for the league. Is it ambitious? Sure starting a new National professional league is an ambitious project. The Key is having good people involved. So far it looks positive with both Hamilton and Halifax looking to have solid management groups in place. 

 

5 hours ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

Chattanooga that is being touted above (and also rates a mention in the blog) as an example of how it might work is said to be at around 4,000 for a short ten game regular season on announced numbers that may be boosted by comps and discount youth soccer group sales.

Not sure what your point is here? They draw thousands for semi pro soccer. Last weekend they drew 12,500 fans to watch Atlanta's expansion club. They seem to be a successful club from anything I have read and there is no reason in my mind Halifax cant be just as successful.

I mean I dont think we can go much further with this discussion. You seem hell bent on insisting Canada will not support professional soccer. I just disagree and think the time is now for a league in Canada. We can argue back and forth to why you feel the league will fail and why I hope it can be a success. In reality though until play starts and numbers roll in none of us know how things will shake out.

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5 minutes ago, grasshopper1917 said:

First of all nobody except you said there is an 8000 fan break even point...

I was asked to provide a source and I did so from a Halifax newspaper. My recollection is that there have been other sources on that as well and I will try to track them down at some point. Beyond that the problem with aiming for NASL level budgets (Edmonton and Ottawa have been quoted as having break evens at the 7,000 to 8,000 sort of level, so it should be no surprise when the rhetoric from Duane Rollins and co has been to match or exceed NASL in player budget terms that break even would be in that sort of ballpark) when Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are already taken by MLS and even Edmonton and Ottawa might be steering clear and sticking to their USSF sanctioned D2 level leagues, is that you are looking for an unprecedented level of paid fan support for soccer in North America not just in one relatively small market, but somewhere in the five to seven range when there is a very limited list of possibilities available in a Canadian context.

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8 hours ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

Peter Wilt's blog from late last year looking at the cities in North America that are ripe for expansion where pro soccer is concerned is worth a look:

https://whatahowler.com/professional-soccer-expansion-in-north-america-45715f7806ec#.nf8h8kgy1

There isn't a single metropolitan area of under 500,000 (Halifax falls into this category) that currently has a pro level team and only five with between 500,000 and 1,000,000. Edmonton is sixth smallest market in North America with pro soccer overall when the older census number is used (so probably a bit higher than that now, but still towards the low end of the scale). It is very ambitious to talk in terms of an 8,000 break even in the context of Hamilton never mind Halifax in other words. Chattanooga that is being touted above (and also rates a mention in the blog) as an example of how it might work is said to be at around 4,000 for a short ten game regular season on announced numbers that may be boosted by comps and discount youth soccer group sales.

Wilt didn't look at markets below 500,000 in his article. When asked I recall him saying on Twitter (I'm not going to go dig it up) that it would be a worthwhile exercise to look at markets that were viable below that point and he said he thought there were many but that it would require different criteria than he used in the article above. Just fyi as it was a very interesting Twitter exchange. 

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To be fair to BBTB, I recall a few people doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation a hundred pages or so back which came up with the 8000 number.

The only assumption I distinctly recall was a $1.5m (player?) budget.  Might have also included travel/FO expenses, assumptions for ticket prices, concession purchases, and revenue-neutral TV deal.

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8000 people paying an average of $15 for 15 games gives you $1.8 million, which would be on the low side to sustain a $1.5 million player budget plus off-field expenses, marketing and air travel, so the average ticket price might have to be $20 which would start to scare a lot of people away. Think it realistically has to be around the price of a movie ticket for the cheaper general admission seats if you are aiming for a younger university student crowd as a core target demographic. Bear in mind that Ottawa are practically giving away tickets to youth soccer players, so an overall average of $15-20 paid probably isn't even close to happening on the 5000 or so announced numbers there. Edmonton's average of just over 2000 is a more realistic base point for where things are currently at and might give you 600k or so on ticket revenue, which explains why they and Ottawa are said to be losing north of $1 million per season.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard
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Being realistic about the challenges this new league will face is essential. However, being realistic and becoming cynical can toe a fine line.  Anyone who is a Canadian soccer supporter is an optimist in my view. A more interesting discussion might be on how we build this league up. How to get bums in the seats. How will these teams be accepted by the community. Is there even a unified community? and if not maybe how can these teams strengthen that sense of identity just a thought

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Since I have a snow day today - one more point   lol

The American Hockey League. A 30 team pro minor league circuit operating mostly in American cities, a variety of markets sizes and a real mix of geographical locations. This minor league ice hockey team operating in places like like Rockford IL, Utica NY, Tuscon AZ, and Stockton CA. Many of the markets in the AHL are below 500,000.

Despite being a minor league Ice Hockey league in America playing in many small and unconventional markets (some with little history in ice hockey history) they manage to draw an average of 6000 fans to their games. The team payrolls in the AHL run from about 1.5 million per year to 3 million a year on the high end. 

The way I look at it if America can have a successful minor league Ice hockey circuit drawing 6000 fans per game why cant we have a successful pro soccer league in Canada drawing 6000 fans a game? I have a strong belief that if this league is operated properly, marketed properly and there is a real will to make this a long term thing it is not impossible to eventually see a coast to coast league with 10 teams drawing an average of 6000 people. Is it going to be easy? No. Is it achievable if run properly? Absolutely - no question in my mind!
 

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14 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

8000 people paying an average of $15 for 15 games gives you $1.8 million, which would be on the low side to sustain a $1.5 million player budget plus off-field expenses, marketing and air travel, so the average ticket price might have to be $20 which would start to scare a lot of people away. Think it realistically has to be around the price of a movie ticket for the cheaper general admission seats if you are aiming for a younger university student crowd as a core target demographic. Bear in mind that Ottawa are practically giving away tickets to youth soccer players, so an overall average of $15-20 paid probably isn't even close to happening on the 5000 or so announced numbers there. Edmonton's average of just over 2000 is a more realistic base point for where things are currently at and might give you 600k or so on ticket revenue, which explains why they and Ottawa are said to be losing north of $1 million per season.

While that's true, there are two things to note.

1) There are various other revenue streams for a professional team to get revenues to cover those costs. Gate revenue will likely be the primary source of revenue, but not the only source. You also have a TV deal (that may pay little to none at first, but should provide a moderate amount per team if the league establishes itself), shirt sponsors, merchandise revenue, etc. On the flip side, there is probably lots more costs than the 1.5 million, so it will of course be tight.

2) Nobody expects it to hit that break-even point early on. If a new league expects to make money any time in the first 5-10 years, it is bound to fail. Owners starting up teams in this league will be expecting to not hit that break-even point for a long time.

There are also teams in various sports in established leagues that lose money every single year and continue on well. Billionare owners are willing to lose money on teams often because they view it as a hobby that they are willing to pay for. Sports teams face value also price grows at a rate far greater than the losses they make year-to year, so they usually end up making a profit anyways despite the operating losses just on selling the franchise when they're done with it. (Sure this bubble will pop one day with sports franchise values, but it's still a notable aspect until then)

Edited by Diamondium
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My main question if I ever could direct one to the principals in all of this would be what's the fixation with competing with the NASL financially all about when that league has proven to be a pretty disastrous model financially with no obvious huge upside in playing standard terms (nothing particularly special any time I have watched a webstream)? They are going to be well short of MLS either way, so why not keep the budget to original CSL levels (that was a 350k salary cap in late 1980s dollars)? That means having a core of seasoned experienced pros with a few imports to try to hit a watchable standard by having a strong spine to the team and fill out the rosters with younger Canadians looking to be the next latter day Fernando Aguiar, Geoff Aunger or Jason Devos type talents to use a low budget domestic pro league as a stepping stone to the big time. Instead they are talking about a quota of three or four Canadians initially which seems crazy to me when all the rhetoric initially was  about Canadians needing more opportunities. The CSL approach didn't work in the late 80s, but things have moved on enough since then that I think there would be a fighting chance for it now.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard
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5 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

My main question if I ever could direct one to the principals in all of this would be what's the fixation with competing with the NASL financially all about when that league has proven to be a pretty disastrous model financially with no obvious huge upside in playing standard terms (nothing particularly special any time I have watched a webstream)? They are going to be well short of MLS either way, so why not keep the budget to original CSL levels (that was a 350k salary cap in late 1980s dollars)? That means having a core of seasoned experienced pros with a few imports to try to hit a watchable standard by having a strong spine to the team and fill out the rosters with younger Canadians looking to be the next latter day Geoff Aunger or Jason Devos type talents to lose a low budget domestic pro league as a stepping stone to the big time. Instead they are talking about a quota of three or four Canadians initially which seems crazy to me when all the rhetoric initially was  about Canadians needing more opportunities. The CSL approach didn't work in the late 80s, but things have moved on enough since then that I think there would be a fighting chance for it now.

Just on the quota piece, because it has been discussed a bit.

The PDL has no quota for domestics, yet United consistently fielded about 50% of the squad from Canada. London was a little lower and originally the Toronto Lynx in the PDL basically didn't even play Canadians. The quota is the base, but based on salary and need many of these teams will play many more Canadians.

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11 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

My main question if I ever could direct one to the principals in all of this would be what's the fixation with competing with the NASL financially all about when that league has proven to be a pretty disastrous model financially with no obvious huge upside in playing standard terms (nothing particularly special any time I have watched a webstream)? They are going to be well short of MLS either way, so why not keep the budget to original CSL levels (that was a 350k salary cap in late 1980s dollars)? That means having a core of seasoned experienced pros with a few imports to try to hit a watchable standard by having a strong spine to the team and fill out the rosters with younger Canadians looking to be the next latter day Geoff Aunger or Jason Devos type talents to lose a low budget domestic pro league as a stepping stone to the big time. Instead they are talking about a quota of three or four Canadians initially which seems crazy to me when all the rhetoric initially was  about Canadians needing more opportunities. The CSL approach didn't work in the late 80s, but things have moved on enough since then that I think there would be a fighting chance for it now.

A $1.5 million salary budget in 2017 is far lower on a relative scale than a $350,000 1980s budget though. Salaries in sports have jumped by massive factors since the 80s. I have posted some links below of articles showing some 80s salaries of NHL and NBA players/teams. These salary budgets have jumped by more than 10x since then. A $350k budget in the 80s translates to at least $2-3 million now.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-03-10/sports/8501130917_1_murray-bannerman-pension-fund-black-hawk

https://www.eskimo.com/~pbender/misc/salaries86.txt

 

A $1.5 million budget is exactly what you're asking for, if not lower.

Edited by Diamondium
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22 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

My main question if I ever could direct one to the principals in all of this would be what's the fixation with competing with the NASL financially all about when that league has proven to be a pretty disastrous model financially with no obvious huge upside in playing standard terms (nothing particularly special any time I have watched a webstream)? They are going to be well short of MLS either way, so why not keep the budget to original CSL levels (that was a 350k salary cap in late 1980s dollars)? That means having a core of seasoned experienced pros with a few imports to try to hit a watchable standard by having a strong spine to the team and fill out the rosters with younger Canadians looking to be the next latter day Fernando Aguiar, Geoff Aunger or Jason Devos type talents to use a low budget domestic pro league as a stepping stone to the big time. Instead they are talking about a quota of three or four Canadians initially which seems crazy to me when all the rhetoric initially was  about Canadians needing more opportunities. The CSL approach didn't work in the late 80s, but things have moved on enough since then that I think there would be a fighting chance for it now.

Because these owners know the cities in question can support MLS level crowds (which is the longterm goal) without being in MLS. 

The first few paragraphs of that article is all about Cincinnati and the great crowds it gets. 

You keep harping on about if it's not MLS, all North American cities can only realistically expect 2000 paid tickets is laughable and not a standard.

Edited by Macksam
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It would be about 630k in inflation rate adjusted terms according to the Bank of Canada website and 4000 tended to be quoted as the ideal budget break even back then, which only the 86ers ever really got close to unfortunately, but from what I was told teams could still find a way to get it done on 2000 or so paid by scaling it back a bit. To put it in Chattanooga terms, since that seems to be in vogue, would the NPSL team there suddenly get hugely more than 4000 spectators per game if they were paying NASL level salaries? I suspect the only difference would be that they would lose a lot more money and go bankrupt.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard
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9 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

It would be about 630k in inflation rate adjusted terms according to the Bank of Canada website and 4000 tended to be quoted as the ideal budget break even back then, which only the 86ers ever really got close to unfortunately, but from what I was told teams could still find away to get it done on 2000 or so paid by scaling it back a bit. To put it in Chattanooga terms, since that seems to be in vogue, would the NPSL team there suddenly get hugely more than 4000 spectators per game if they were paying NASL level salaries? I suspect the only difference would be that they would lose a lot more money and go bankrupt.

The world of sports salaries has not abided by Bank of Canada inflation rate though. You simply cannot apply regular inflation rates to an environment that has inflated at a massively larger rate. That is as unreasonable as trying to budget your next house purchase based on applying national inflation rate to an 80s house price.

There is context to these things, and like I said before, $350,000 in 80s sports salaries is far more relatively than $1.5 million in sports salaries in 2017. There is simply no arguing that.

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1 hour ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

8000 people paying an average of $15 for 15 games gives you $1.8 million, which would be on the low side to sustain a $1.5 million player budget plus off-field expenses, marketing and air travel, so the average ticket price might have to be $20 which would start to scare a lot of people away. Think it realistically has to be around the price of a movie ticket for the cheaper general admission seats if you are aiming for a younger university student crowd as a core target demographic. Bear in mind that Ottawa are practically giving away tickets to youth soccer players, so an overall average of $15-20 paid probably isn't even close to happening on the 5000 or so announced numbers there. Edmonton's average of just over 2000 is a more realistic base point for where things are currently at and might give you 600k or so on ticket revenue, which explains why they and Ottawa are said to be losing north of $1 million per season.

Can you link the article where, I think it was Vic, said the league would not be dependant on butts in seats. IIRC you posted it here in early Jan. It was from like last may

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3 minutes ago, Diamondium said:

There is context to these things, and like I said before, $350,000 in 80s sports salaries is far more relatively than $1.5 million in sports salaries in 2017. There is simply no arguing that.

We are talking soccer here and even most salaries in MLS are far from sky high. You can easily get experienced players to play soccer to a very decent standard for $50 to 70k, because otherwise they would have to get a real job, be on a construction site in Central America or the former Yugoslavia etc. Around six of those to have a strong spine and pay USL reserve team level wages to the rest with the emphasis on Canadian kids.

2 minutes ago, matty said:

Can you link the article where, I think it was Vic, said the league would not be dependant on butts in seats. IIRC you posted it here in early Jan. It was from like last may

We are talking "CPL" budgets at the moment rather than Montagliani's mysterious league with no name.

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