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Victoria CPL


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It would be awesome to have a few teams in CPL like Okanagan FC (even the name is fantastic!) but a lot of things have to come together perfectly for a team like that to work.  You need an ownership group with deep pockets willing to take the risk.  You need said ownership group and the city on board with building the stadium.  You need enough sponsorship money in that limited metropolitan area.  You need to overcome the challenge that outside that metropolitan area the population density is quite sparse.  You need to make spending money on soccer a priority in an area where a lot of the economy is seasonal and where although the population increases greatly in summer, people are also generally there to do things like boating, hunting, fishing, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, etc.  In other words, even though there are no other major sports teams, there are still a lot of other options competing for people's money.  You need a much bigger % of neutrals (ie not hardcore soccer fans) to come on boards than in a city with twice or three times the available population.  

Going forward some of this will also depend on the level of ambition of CPL.  If it wants to exist going forward as a slightly higher quality USL type league I could see teams like this thriving.  If it wants to become a legitimate competitor with MLS going forward the level of investment and support needed will eliminate some of these smaller teams.  

Just for the sake of interest here is a list of Canadian metro areas (2017 #s, understanding these figures are not the be all and all of who might support a team, and that some of these figures just depend on where you draw the lines):

Toronto                                         6,346,088

Montreal                                       4,138,254

Vancouver                                    2,571,262

Calgary                                          1,488,841 

Edmonton                                     1,411,945

Ottawa-Gatineau                         1,377,016

Winnipeg                                          825,713

Quebec City                                     812,205

Hamilton                                          787,195

Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge   527,765

London                                             521,756

Halifax                                              431,701

St. Catharines - Niagara                 416,539

Oshawa                                             402,399

Victoria                                              377,414

Windsor                                             344,747

Saskatoon                                         323,809

Regina                                                253,220

St. John's                                           219,207

Sherbrooke                                        218,633

Barrie                                                  209,081

Kelowna                                             202,208

Abbotsford-Mission                         190,714

Kingston                                             173,862

Greater Sudbury                                165,270

 

Apologies if a list like this is already on here somewhere.  I just thought it might be interesting to note that there are still a number of options with significantly larger population bases for the early expansion phase.  And this is not even taking into account major suburbs like Surrey, Mississauga, Brampton, Laval, etc.  .  Quebec City, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, Saskatoon, London, Mississauga,  whichever of Victoria or Surrey is not Port City FC, and a suburb of Montreal are my 7 bets to be the 6 or so earliest additions to the league.  

I have family in Penticton so I'd be over the moon about a road trip to see Hamilton play Kelowna, but I do feel a little skeptical about everything coming together for that to happen.  On the other hand, if the league really catches fire you might see communities like Kelowna wanting to jump on board.

 

Edited by Shortdutchcanuck
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19 minutes ago, mpg_29 said:

It's a single table....what "balancing" is needed?

I was reading so much this morning, I thought someone was talking about a regional split, maybe it was the early rounds of the VCup. #morecoffeeneeded #prematureposting?

Also was thinking about the potential CPL2 being an east/west split.  The population is skewed to the east.

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What we are hearing argued is that there is in fact a statistical proportion, which I had no idea existed. And if you don't have enough people, you will have an empty stadium. And then the opposite is true too, folks are saying they know why some stadiums are full, that is great how they figured it out. And people are actually posting demographic stats from Wikipedia, which shows great research skills.

I mean, just think of it. By your reasoning, Green Bay, Wisconsin actually has a huge population that hides during the week and in the off season, like hibernating bears or something, and then comes out and fills that stadium 8 or ten times a year. Amazing.

Then, by the same reasoning, watching Dallas' stadium empty the other night hosting Whitecaps. My god, there must have been a terrible apocalypse in Dallas-Fort Worth, it's terrible, they've lost 70% of their population. And what is worse: no one is talking about it, they just make these silly excuses about the stadium being empty and don't tell you that all those people are dead. Or left. I think it is just terrible how they are in denial and go on as if everything was alright. 

And here I was always thinking that people went to see soccer games because there was some narrative going on they were hooking into.

 

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People don't realize there is going to be a team in Estevan, Saskatchewan. They are building a stadium big enough for everyone in the town, and making it obligatory to go. You get fined if you don't go, except if you are in emergency services, you can get an exception.

They'll have over 11,000 a game, it will be the most successful team in CPL. 

The Estevan Riot.

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12 hours ago, Shortdutchcanuck said:

It would be awesome to have a few teams in CPL like Okanagan FC (even the name is fantastic!) but a lot of things have to come together perfectly for a team like that to work.  You need an ownership group with deep pockets willing to take the risk.  You need said ownership group and the city on board with building the stadium.  You need enough sponsorship money in that limited metropolitan area.  You need to overcome the challenge that outside that metropolitan area the population density is quite sparse.  You need to make spending money on soccer a priority in an area where a lot of the economy is seasonal and where although the population increases greatly in summer, people are also generally there to do things like boating, hunting, fishing, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, etc.  In other words, even though there are no other major sports teams, there are still a lot of other options competing for people's money.  You need a much bigger % of neutrals (ie not hardcore soccer fans) to come on boards than in a city with twice or three times the available population.  

Going forward some of this will also depend on the level of ambition of CPL.  If it wants to exist going forward as a slightly higher quality USL type league I could see teams like this thriving.  If it wants to become a legitimate competitor with MLS going forward the level of investment and support needed will eliminate some of these smaller teams.  

 

I have family in Penticton so I'd be over the moon about a road trip to see Hamilton play Kelowna, but I do feel a little skeptical about everything coming together for that to happen. 

 

I have spent many a summer in Penticton and surrounding areas visiting family, too, and yeah, if this league is going to depend on a market like Penticton to make a go of first division pro soccer in Canada, then we are doomed from the start.

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6 hours ago, nolando said:

I have spent many a summer in Penticton and surrounding areas visiting family, too, and yeah, if this league is going to depend on a market like Penticton to make a go of first division pro soccer in Canada, then we are doomed from the start.

Yes, but leagues actually do not depend on markets, they depend on marketing. For half a century people have been talking about the Chinese market, or the Indian market. Because all they do is look at the numbers, and don't think about the marketing. Which has to be centred on creating a narrative that people can latch onto, so that the fan is part of a story, and the game and its stadium is a setting where it gets told. Whether they are in fact fans or not (plenty of 30-something people at MLS games, as you all know, who will tell you "I just started coming to the end and chanting last year, before that I didn't follow soccer at all".)

All I am saying is that it depends: how many people here remember high school basketball games vs a local rival where you had over 500 in the gym watching. What exactly was the demographics for those 500? The equivalent demographic for the Okanagan Valley would get you more people out to a game than in Dortmund. Of course, that is not going to happen, because places like Green Bay actually do not exist. Or Villareal, which has a population of 50,000 and the area just over 200,000.

IMO you simply cannot look at the demographics and stop there. If any club is smart enough to build a narrative around a team that the locals can get into, and the stadium experience is positive, you could fulfill CPL numbers in a modest market.

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14 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

People don't realize there is going to be a team in Estevan, Saskatchewan. They are building a stadium big enough for everyone in the town, and making it obligatory to go. You get fined if you don't go, except if you are in emergency services, you can get an exception.

They'll have over 11,000 a game, it will be the most successful team in CPL. 

The Estevan Riot.

It speaks to the sophistication of Saskatchewan that the town of Bienfait, where the striking miners worked, is pronounced Beanfate. I don’t know if it was always so, but has been the case for 40+ years. Of course the true lessons of Estevan, Winnipeg, Kent State and any number more modern examples around the world Is that there will never be a shortage of young men willing to beat up and/or kill to put a meal on their table. 

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7 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

 

IMO you simply cannot look at the demographics and stop there. If any club is smart enough to build a narrative around a team that the locals can get into, and the stadium experience is positive, you could fulfill CPL numbers in a modest market.

This is very true.  But population and demographics do play a role.  And successful small market teams in big leagues are the exception rather than the rule.  One great example of what you are saying is Roughriders vs Argos in CFL.  One has a whole province behind it and one struggles to be noticed at all in our biggest city.  I've been to a Raptors game in Orlando and there were Canadian fans there wearing Roughriders jerseys!  Roughrider fans travel like footie fans, I'll say that for them!

If an Okanagan team could conjure that kind of vibe/narrative with the right owner, sure it could work.  And teams in bigger centres could be managed poorly and go horribly wrong like Dallas.  I just think the league is trying to play it safe in year 1 with the markets it chooses.  If the league takes off you may see potential owners willing to take the risk in places like Kelowna.

I put up the metro population list not to entirely discount Kelowna but for general comparison and to highlight a couple other cities I think will be fantastic options in Kitchener and London.  Both in pretty big and growing metro areas, both with a history in PDL, and both with distinct identities well outside the shadow of Toronto.

Back to Victoria, not itself a huge metro area but with a soccer history and the potential to get the whole island on boars and forge a rivalry with Surrey or elsewhere on mainland.  I would love to have the city involved in year one but I agree with other posters it would best involve Highlanders as opposed to some completely other group coming in.  If it takes another year I'd rather play with 6 or 7 in year 1 and get Victoria and Surrey right in year 2.  Getting the ownership groups (and the narrative) right is way more important to me than having 8 teams out of the gate.

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58 minutes ago, Shortdutchcanuck said:

This is very true.  But population and demographics do play a role.  And successful small market teams in big leagues are the exception rather than the rule.  One great example of what you are saying is Roughriders vs Argos in CFL.  One has a whole province behind it and one struggles to be noticed at all in our biggest city.  I've been to a Raptors game in Orlando and there were Canadian fans there wearing Roughriders jerseys!  Roughrider fans travel like footie fans, I'll say that for them!

If an Okanagan team could conjure that kind of vibe/narrative with the right owner, sure it could work.  And teams in bigger centres could be managed poorly and go horribly wrong like Dallas.  I just think the league is trying to play it safe in year 1 with the markets it chooses.  If the league takes off you may see potential owners willing to take the risk in places like Kelowna.

I put up the metro population list not to entirely discount Kelowna but for general comparison and to highlight a couple other cities I think will be fantastic options in Kitchener and London.  Both in pretty big and growing metro areas, both with a history in PDL, and both with distinct identities well outside the shadow of Toronto.

Back to Victoria, not itself a huge metro area but with a soccer history and the potential to get the whole island on boars and forge a rivalry with Surrey or elsewhere on mainland.  I would love to have the city involved in year one but I agree with other posters it would best involve Highlanders as opposed to some completely other group coming in.  If it takes another year I'd rather play with 6 or 7 in year 1 and get Victoria and Surrey right in year 2.  Getting the ownership groups (and the narrative) right is way more important to me than having 8 teams out of the gate.

I quite agree with your post, but Dallas is not badly managed, it's their stadium that is way out of town. You see the same with Chicago, a stadium in or near the metropolitan centre would probably be full. 

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On 5/20/2018 at 5:58 PM, Unnamed Trialist said:

People don't realize there is going to be a team in Estevan, Saskatchewan. They are building a stadium big enough for everyone in the town, and making it obligatory to go. You get fined if you don't go, except if you are in emergency services, you can get an exception.

Much of pre-J-League soccer in Japan's old industrial leagues was exactly like this.

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22 hours ago, nolando said:

I have spent many a summer in Penticton and surrounding areas visiting family, too, and yeah, if this league is going to depend on a market like Penticton to make a go of first division pro soccer in Canada, then we are doomed from the start.

I'm curious, when was the last time you were in Kelowna?

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2 hours ago, SpursFlu said:

I'm curious, when was the last time you were in Kelowna?

August. I go every year at least once or twice. I've had family in the Okanagan continuously for many decades, from Penticton to Vernon and most places in between. There's a bit of a Florida/Arizona element to the city of Kelowna at the moment which worries me as a (anything but hockey) sports town, where there are certainly more young people and more professionals than ever before but it's still clearly a vacation and retirement community first, budding urban centre second. It looks on paper that they should support pro or semi pro sports, but my gut tells me otherwise.

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Latest from Victoria:

http://www.iheartradio.ca/cfax-1070/news/future-of-professional-soccer-in-the-westshore-up-in-the-air-due-to-hydro-pole-1.3834928

...He says talks are underway with the province and BC Hydro, but time is running out.

“I’d say we’ve probably got about 10 days left to figure out how to get hydro to approve those stands in there at least, and then maybe the pole later,” Young said. “We’ve got 10 days left on the M.O.U. and so if we don’t get that done and it’s not solved then unfortunately we won’t be getting soccer here.”

Can see why this hydro pole thing makes the extra seating tricky to do:

Google Maps streetview

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14 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

People just don't understand that if Horgan gets that pole moved in his hometown in 10 days but continues to block diluted bitumen coming in triple the quantity before May 30, reelection will be lost.

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for political coherence. And Victoria CPL is one of those.

Are you suggesting he should allow the bitumen in at triple the amount? 

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