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31 minutes ago, JamboAl said:

Good point.  Don’t know if it’s pessimism or realism.  Professional soccer is still a niche sport in this country and where awareness of the MLS is decent but nowhere near the four other major leagues, the CPL is still a small footnote in most people’s minds if that at all.  This is also a huge country; I travel a lot for work (and vacation) and it’s not cheap.  Grateful as we are for Westjet subsidizing travel (??), the second that ends and there is no replacement, the concerns go up three notches unless there is a hike in revenues.

To cut down on travel you have to grow the league as I think they will have to because if they do not see see an decent uptick in attendance a solution will have to be found. In the long term a a 8-12 team league will not survive in my eyes at 5-6K a game. You have to get to certain level on a few front to really peak the interest of corporate Canada. The Mediapro deal is the saving grace here because without they would have likely been stuck with buying airtime via TSN, Sportsnet etc. Was the media pro deal even a make or break thing for the league to even kickoff. The CPL would have been the perfect programming for The Score back in the day. 

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I can't say it for a fact but I know it's true: the importance of travel expenses in Canadian sport is vastly exaggerated.

I just booked 25 tickets on West Jet for Friday April 17th departure from Victoria to Halifax (via Calgary) for $15,200 and return to Victoria on Sunday, April 19.  We have 13 rooms at the Prince George hotel for two nights for $4,300. Everyone gets a $100 per diem for $7,500. I did this 14 times and it cost $378,000. I need to sell 756 season tickets at 500 a piece to cover this cost.

Edited by youllneverwalkalone

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15 minutes ago, youllneverwalkalone said:

I can't say it for a fact but I know it's true: the importance of travel expenses in Canadian sport is vastly exaggerated.

I just booked 25 tickets on West Jet for Friday April 17th departure from Victoria to Halifax (via Calgary) for $15,200 and return to Victoria on Sunday, April 19.  We have 13 rooms at the Prince George hotel for two nights for $4,300. Everyone gets a $100 per diem for $7,500. I did this 14 times and it cost $378,000. I need to sell 756 season tickets at 500 a piece to cover this cost.

That seems like an amount that matters thought.  It is roughly half of total player salaries (as rumoured). 

Edited by dyslexic nam

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51 minutes ago, youllneverwalkalone said:

I can't say it for a fact but I know it's true: the importance of travel expenses in Canadian sport is vastly exaggerated.

I just booked 25 tickets on West Jet for Friday April 17th departure from Victoria to Halifax (via Calgary) for $15,200 and return to Victoria on Sunday, April 19.  We have 13 rooms at the Prince George hotel for two nights for $4,300. Everyone gets a $100 per diem for $7,500. I did this 14 times and it cost $378,000. I need to sell 756 season tickets at 500 a piece to cover this cost.

I did a similar calculation a while ago and I think I came up with an additional 800 on the gate to cover travel costs, including travel, hotel, and meals.

Whether that is significant or not is another discussion but think of it this way: work out what attendance you need to make the league viable with ZERO travel costs, add 800 and you have CPL.

Unfortunately I no longer have my assumptions as I literally did it on the back of an envelope but I think I assumed a travel party of 25 people (13 hotel rooms as everyone but the manager shares), average plane ticket $500, and an average match ticket price of $20.

My conclusion was certainly what @youllneverwalkalone said above: that travel costs are made out to be a far bigger issue than they actually are. Of course if the club forks out for the entire Board and their family and friends to travel to every match and fly first class and stay in 5 star hotels, that changes things.

Edit: and now that I've read the entirety of YNWA's post, I see we are pretty much on the same page on all counts!

Edited by Lofty

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4 hours ago, Initial B said:

I think a lot of what you see as pessimism is simply PTSD wariness of the Canadian Soccer Fan in general. 

Oh I get that. Despite my general optimism, there is still something lurking deep in my gut that worries it will all collapse.

That's why I am asking if there was anything to base it on. Glad to hear there isn't.

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1 hour ago, dyslexic nam said:

That seems like an amount that matters thought.  It is roughly half of total player salaries (as rumoured). 

I would argue that it doesn't matter enough to have conferences.

throw up stephen colbert GIF

Just because you go to Edmonton from Victoria, instead of Halifax, doesn't mean you save that much. You still need hotels, per diems and pay something for your flight. (Just checked, you save about half on the flight on the same dates).

Also, the salary cap is way too low. 

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@ted, for me the biggest thing that makes me not jump to the conclusion that CPL will live forever is the fact that MLS was a 10 team league that averaged over 17,000 attendance in year 1. That is 4x the level CPL had in year 1. By year 5, after the curiosity faded a bit MLS was averaging under 14,000 and a year later they were shedding teams and the league almost folded. So why exactly should CPL be invincible?

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And on the topic of JDG, the weirdest thing is that when he came to Ottawa as a player he was talking about the rumoured new League as a reason he came back to Canada to play. I guess it didn’t fit whatever he had imagined and he couldn’t get past that.

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1 hour ago, Kent said:

@ted, for me the biggest thing that makes me not jump to the conclusion that CPL will live forever is the fact that MLS was a 10 team league that averaged over 17,000 attendance in year 1. That is 4x the level CPL had in year 1. By year 5, after the curiosity faded a bit MLS was averaging under 14,000 and a year later they were shedding teams and the league almost folded. So why exactly should CPL be invincible?

The question should be was does the CPL aspire to be in the long run from a stadium, attendance, salary, revenue etc stand point?Answering those questions will help decide how they move going forward. If you aspire to be a CFL type league where you have 15-20K plus a game in the stands, 16 + teams in my eyes are not realistic, but to do that you are going to be faced with having to get stadiums built which will be no easy task. In the cases of Calgary and Edmonton, if they think they can draw more ie the at least the 15-20K and the league is taking off, moves to McMahon and Commonwealth could be in the cards.

If you are ok with it being a USL type league with 5-10K a game with a few outliers on both ends then a bigger league would work and in many ways would be needed to cut down on travel as revenue could potentially be less from a couple standpoints. It would be interesting to see how corporate Canada would react to it. There is great potential for both paths as they offer you different things.

And yes MLS did actually fold before Lamar Hunt convinced the group to continue. At that point in time I believe the league had three partners, AEG, Lamar Hunt and Bob Kraft. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/04/12/mls-folded-for-a-few-days-in-2001-and-somehow-kept-it-a-secret-until-now/

Edited by Cblake

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2 hours ago, Cblake said:

The question should be was does the CPL aspire to be in the long run from a stadium, attendance, salary, revenue etc stand point?Answering those questions will help decide how they move going forward. If you aspire to be a CFL type league where you have 15-20K plus a game in the stands, 16 + teams in my eyes are not realistic, but to do that you are going to be faced with having to get stadiums built which will be no easy task. In the cases of Calgary and Edmonton, if they think they can draw more ie the at least the 15-20K and the league is taking off, moves to McMahon and Commonwealth could be in the cards.

If you are ok with it being a USL type league with 5-10K a game with a few outliers on both ends then a bigger league would work and in many ways would be needed to cut down on travel as revenue could potentially be less from a couple standpoints. It would be interesting to see how corporate Canada would react to it. There is great potential for both paths as they offer you different things.

And yes MLS did actually fold before Lamar Hunt convinced the group to continue. At that point in time I believe the league had three partners, AEG, Lamar Hunt and Bob Kraft. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/04/12/mls-folded-for-a-few-days-in-2001-and-somehow-kept-it-a-secret-until-now/

In 2019, USL Championship average attendance was 4,476 and median attendance was 4,118, indicating that the average was skewed upwards by a few outliers at the top.

https://soccerstadiumdigest.com/2019-usl-championship-attendance/

CPL average attendance was 4,279 so CPL attendance is already equivalent to USL.

In the long term, I'd like to see the CPL average at least 10,000 which should still allow teams with a 7-8k average to be competitive, so let's call it 7-15k. I think that should open up a lot of potential markets.

Edited by Lofty

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People need to bear in mind that a lot of the announced attendance numbers in both the USL and CanPL are inflated for PR reasons. For the league to be sustainable and undergo growth in team numbers over the next decade or so there can't be too much red ink happening on an average paid attendance of 3000 (bear in mind FCE, Y9 and Pacific were probably well below that last season on average paid attendance). An expense item that needs 800 spectators per game to cover (and that's probably on the optimistic side) is very significant in that sort of context and if conferences could help to halve that for many/most teams it is definitely worth doing.

Edited by Ozzie_the_parrot

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3 hours ago, Ozzie_the_parrot said:

People need to bear in mind that announced attendance numbers in both the USL and CanPL are inflated for PR reasons. For the league to be sustainable and undergo growth in team numbers over the next decade or so there can't be too much red ink happening on an average paid attendance of 3000 (bear in mind FCE, Y9 and Pacific were probably well below that last season on average paid attendance). An expense item that needs 800 spectators per game to cover (and that's probably on the optimistic side) is very significant in that sort of context and if conferences could help to halve that for many/most teams it is definitely worth doing.

No, they don't need to bear it in mind. 

Your obsession with announced attendance versus paid attendance is such wasted energy. You'll never know what actual paid attendance is because you'll never have access to that information but you continually make claims and assumptions based on only the crowd shots from game broadcasts, it's pathetic. 

As you've stated, the announced attendance numbers in the USL, CPL and even major leagues like the NHL and NBA, are inflated so when comparing attendance from team to team in the same league it's perfectly appropriate to take the announced attendance as a metric of success. Perhaps it's not the most accurate metric but because it's the only one the general public and most media have access to, it's acceptable. 

Your need to continually try to guess the discrepancy in paid versus actual is old, tired and annoying. Look how much time and effort you've wasted with post after post after post. I'm excited for the upcoming season but seeing you drone on about this for month after month dampens my enthusiasm.

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57 minutes ago, The Real Marc said:

If he’s so wrong it shouldn’t affect your enthusiasm.

Thanks for the tip.

58 minutes ago, The Real Marc said:

That other leagues inflate attendance doesn’t negate the financial margins the Can PL is living on. 

You've missed the point, there's no way to know the financial margins the CPL is living on so continually speculating based on broadcast screencaps while adding the usual negative spin is unproductive, unwelcome and pointless.

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Regarding scale of attendance, any league should be able to handle a fairly large discrepancy between teams. Most leagues in fact do, where the biggest drawing clubs have 5 or 6 times more fans in the stadium than the more modest (in the top European leagues, the spread is about 15 to 80 thousand, mostly because frequently very modest sides promote).

Even in parity leagues like MLS the spread is about 15 to 45 thousand, three times difference. That would suggest that CPL would not be out of balance if some teams were drawing 4000 and others 12, from 5k to 15k. That enables you to have a league in smaller and larger markets and helps avoid having to build larger stadiums.

Though it could mean one difficulty: the stronger clubs wanting to spend part of that extra income. How is that dealt with in CFL, for example? How do you allow extra gate be spent without falsifying a salary cap?

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On 2/13/2020 at 6:43 AM, Unnamed Trialist said:

Where must that come from, was it partially left over from the NASL days?

Alright, I'll stop being a massive dick to you. 

To answer the question, I don't know. I'm not 100% sure but I recall an Edmonton based V back in the day saying the club had a somewhat decent TV audience IIRC. Can any Edmonton bro confirm?

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5 hours ago, Lofty said:

In 2019, USL Championship average attendance was 4,476 and median attendance was 4,118, indicating that the average was skewed upwards by a few outliers at the top.

https://soccerstadiumdigest.com/2019-usl-championship-attendance/

CPL average attendance was 4,279 so CPL attendance is already equivalent to USL.

In the long term, I'd like to see the CPL average at least 10,000 which should still allow teams with a 7-8k average to be competitive, so let's call it 7-15k. I think that should open up a lot of potential markets.

Just as the USL average is skewed upwards by a few really successful franchises, it is also skewed downwards by the reserve teams.

The average attendance for independent, non MLS-owned, USLC teams in 2019 was 5497.

Whether the CPL attendance is equivalent or not is neither here nor there as it appears that the league is divided into three teams that have solid attendance that is a good start to build upon, and the rest that range from middling but with an upper range that is encouraging, to obviously unsustainable and needing attention. It will be interesting to see what happens in Year 2.

Also worth pointing out that Ottawa and Edmonton have shown that you can't just expect attendance to automatically increase because the team has been around and established in the community. It's really hard work to increase attendance with any sport at this level. Montreal managed to accomplish it when they were in the USL and routinely attracting 10K+ but that's the second largest city in the country.

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34 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

Regarding scale of attendance, any league should be able to handle a fairly large discrepancy between teams. Most leagues in fact do, where the biggest drawing clubs have 5 or 6 times more fans in the stadium than the more modest (in the top European leagues, the spread is about 15 to 80 thousand, mostly because frequently very modest sides promote).

Even in parity leagues like MLS the spread is about 15 to 45 thousand, three times difference. That would suggest that CPL would not be out of balance if some teams were drawing 4000 and others 12, from 5k to 15k. That enables you to have a league in smaller and larger markets and helps avoid having to build larger stadiums.

Though it could mean one difficulty: the stronger clubs wanting to spend part of that extra income. How is that dealt with in CFL, for example? How do you allow extra gate be spent without falsifying a salary cap?

My assumption would be on team facilities and staff but very good question

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12 hours ago, Kent said:

@ted...So why exactly should CPL be invincible?

  1. The United States of America has a population and economy 10x bigger than ours so absolute number comparisons are not that concerning to me. The percentage drop year one to year two does, and when we see the year two numbers for CanPL we can compare.
  2. Never said they were invincible and those sort of absolute statements are not appropriate nor welcome. I'm having a civil discussion to find out what factors would lead to being pessimistic today. Today I am reasonably optimistic with nagging worries. Tomorrow the whole thing could collapse.

     

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CPL and CSB have been able to accomplish a few things that suggest sustainability:

1. Net profit does not seem to be entirely or even substantially gate driven.

2. Leveraging the high level amateur game to provide a very watchable product at $750k without having to repatriate that many players from abroad.

3. Finding a few local billionaire investors and high end sponsors.

I was young during the CSL, but is there really any comparison?

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