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York9 - Season Thread 2020


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I live in North York, and I talk Y9 in 5 different online communities at least, here on CSN/Vs, a fb group, a fb group chat, twitter, reddit, discord. In the stands, I usually stand with Gen IX or around them, and I chat Y9 marketing frequently with Ben Z and McNab. 

Everything I've seen since 2018 tells me that this team is first and foremost, and will always likely be, a Vaughan team. Owners are Vaughan/Concord heavyweights, most supporters are from Woodbridge, Maple, etc, the team has heavy connections to Vaughan Azzurri and OSA, which is HQed in Vaughan, and the initial rumoured new stadium location was Kirby, which is an extension of Maple, and a heavy focus of Vaughan municipal politics.

Everything about this team tells you it's a Vaughan team. The only reason they called it York 9 instead of AC Vaughan or something was so that they could offer a marketing olive branch to Richmond Hill, Markham, Aurora, Newmarket, and North York. Brennan being so heavily connected to Newmarket especially always seemed to me like a big reason why the club was so focused on Newmarket last year despite it being a decent far drive away from York Lions Stadium.

I just don't see the club ever moving anywhere south of York Lions, which is literally at the border. I also don't think this club is going to actively try to market that hard to North York or York, even though they should. That's why I think a fair chunk of actual Y9 fans want to see York Region FC, since a fair chunk of them live in Vaughan and want to see the club continue to market to them. York United FC makes sense in many ways, but the Man U connotation is seriously throwing people off, and why you see a lot of fans also against any rebrand.

Any new name has to be compelling for a potential rebrand. To me, York FC definitely doesn't fit that bill. United, probably not either. York Region FC, maybe. 

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I dont care what the reason they signed him is. It is good for York, good for the league, and good for Canada having players move on.

They might have used their one month free trial.

I didn't watch many York9 matches last season, but when I did, Estevez was never a standout. I find this surprising.

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The reason a North York resident like me goes to a Y9FC game instead of a TFC game, though I have seasons to both, is, 

1) I want to support the CPL and Canadian soccer

2) York Lions is far closer to me than BMO

I'd assume those two reasons would be the two main reasons for most Y9FC SSHs in Toronto or anywhere else outside the York Region. In that case, really, whether you name the club York 9, York United, or York Region, none of it would really matter to most CPL fans in Toronto like us. 

But how do you get more soccer fans who aren't as hardcore about the CPL to come out? You have to appeal to city pride in that case. And if you want to appeal to the tons and tons of calcio fans in Vaughan, and I see them and talk to them often because I play soccer weekly in Concord, is you have to make sure the name is appealing to them.

  • York 9, the 9 does throw a lot of new fans off. 
  • York United, you can't go around trying to market to Serie A fans a club that sounds exactly like Man United, you just can't. The Glazers have ensured that Man U will be considered soulless by non-Man U fans for a very long time. 
  • York Region FC, now at least that sounds like a club that a Vaughan Serie A fan might get behind. 
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Overall I think the idea of York9 is great. The execution has been the part that was missed. 

My Main thing is they had to be one of thee most forward thinking CPL clubs, with the reality of Canada's and North America's most elite professional club playing 30mins away, but they were the worst in the CPL in regard to gameday experience, stadium/field arrangement, and general marketing. 

A simple name change won't do anything to attract more people, they need an ideal stadium environmemt that can be the keepsake for when people do come to experience the team. 

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Do agree generally with that. I think we all agree that the Friday night games alone would have been a pretty big boost for attendance, avoiding conflict with TFC and with most youth leagues, which are the two biggest conflict scheduling factors.

Season seat prices were lowered in the midfield seats, which would have eventually made a big difference too, once more people had a chance to try out the Friday night games and become bigger Y9 fans. 

But as McNab said, he wants to leave no stone unturned, so he is most definitely exploring the rebrand along with everything else as well. 

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6 minutes ago, Shway said:

York-1.png

Whatever happened to this?

The food and beer stands were nice during the summer. We did get to see this atmosphere for the Montreal VCup game.

The ticket prices were far too expensive, and turned off a lot of people initially, which was a huge fatal blow that's hard to recover from. 

The marketing budget just doesn't seem enough to compete in this market. The scheduling wasn't great, though that has now been rectified. The track also annoys a lot of fans, though that should be rectified for 2021. 

The thunderstorm and the delayed game fiasco in the home opener was also an awful unluckiness that contributed a bit to the season overall. That experience made it far harder for me all season to convince my family to come. No roof in the stands, for example. 

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You see I think the Friday night games were going to be a toss up. I hoped they had an arrangement to work with the OSA, and YRSA to ensure no member associations would have games scheduled on Friday nights - then it sounds interesting. But without that, a lot of competitive leagues with guys who they would be marketing too, would have games. It would end up being dad's bringing their kids, and university students who aren't really soccer people. 

I've played League 1, and OSL Provincial Elite...there are a lot of York Region teams in OSL PE division, and the ones below... And our game times were primarily 9pm. 

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2 minutes ago, Shway said:

You see I think the Friday night games were going to be a toss up. I hoped they had an arrangement to work with the OSA, and YRSA to ensure no member associations would have games scheduled on Friday nights - then it sounds interesting. But without that, a lot of competitive leagues with guys who they would be marketing too, would have games. It would end up being dad's bringing their kids, and university students who aren't really soccer people. 

I've played League 1, and OSL Provincial Elite...their are a lot of York Region teams in OSL PE division, and the ones below... And our game times were primarily 9pm. 

Nice, that's awesome, and I think that's a huge one, that you'd hope Y9 would be smart enough to coordinate with OSA and YRSA to avoid any overlaps for sure. I think Halifax definitely did that, and CPL clubs in general should always strive for that for sure.

Thought I will say, going from experience, most of the fans in the stands are generally going to be more the family types and the guys looking for a fun night at the game. It's definitely hard sometimes to get guys who are pretty good at soccer themselves to come out to games, when they already play a lot, and probably watch a lot of European soccer on tv. But for sure, you also get these guys to come out cuz they have a friend or a fellow clubmate who plays for Y9 or something. So for sure, I hope Y9 and OSA and YRSA work together for sure. 

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49 minutes ago, ironcub14 said:

The reason a North York resident like me goes to a Y9FC game instead of a TFC game, though I have seasons to both, is, 

1) I want to support the CPL and Canadian soccer

2) York Lions is far closer to me than BMO

I'd assume those two reasons would be the two main reasons for most Y9FC SSHs in Toronto or anywhere else outside the York Region. In that case, really, whether you name the club York 9, York United, or York Region, none of it would really matter to most CPL fans in Toronto like us. 

But how do you get more soccer fans who aren't as hardcore about the CPL to come out? You have to appeal to city pride in that case. And if you want to appeal to the tons and tons of calcio fans in Vaughan, and I see them and talk to them often because I play soccer weekly in Concord, is you have to make sure the name is appealing to them.

  • York 9, the 9 does throw a lot of new fans off. 
  • York United, you can't go around trying to market to Serie A fans a club that sounds exactly like Man United, you just can't. The Glazers have ensured that Man U will be considered soulless by non-Man U fans for a very long time. 
  • York Region FC, now at least that sounds like a club that a Vaughan Serie A fan might get behind. 

Long time no see buddy!

So if York will inevitably end up in Vaughan, would that mean that the new Toronto club Clanachan was talking about could be North York?

I think you and I both know that a Toronto North York team trying to own North of Eglinton would work first at York U but eventually at Downsview Park.

Going back to York 9, You have a point with United, not sure "region" in the name sounds great, too "geographical" for my taste. I think just York is fine

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1 hour ago, Shway said:

York-1.png

Whatever happened to this?

There were people on here pointing out that it was very farfetched at the time and definitely not just me.

The scary thing is that there were people with influence who clearly thought that would be happening regularly, because why put those bleachers in otherwise and sell season tickets for them, and why buy all the tables to go on the track otherwise?

 I'm skeptical on Friday nights making much of a difference but that's maybe because I have a Scottish mentality on what people would typically prefer to do at that time:

It did work for Tranmere Rovers in England as has been pointed out.

Weeknights were looking catastrophic on attendance for Y9 last summer (Impact game excepted), and some of the same issues around how easy it is to get there after work after a GTA commute are still going to be there on a Friday. What works on Merseyside in England won't necessarily work in the GTA.

Also think that any strategy that revolves around the youth soccer crowd is asking for big trouble. Most of them only really care about their own games and dozens of pro soccer teams have gone bust both indoors and outdoors in North America in recent decades chasing that market, so it was mind boggling listening to Carmine Isacco bemoaning the fact that 5000+ youth soccer types were not showing up. There was never the slightest possibility of that happening.

There are no easy answers, but being the cheaper and rowdier Toronto branded extra fix for hardcore GTA soccer addicts over and above TFC would be how I would go about it. Any hint of being a bitter rival needs to be knocked on the head as that will turn a lot of TFC fans off in a big way and relatively few people will choose CanPL in preference to MLS if they have easy access to both as Y9 found out the hard way last year. Lots of soccer people support two teams at different levels in other countries. There's scope for that mentality in Canada as well now.

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36 minutes ago, Ansem said:

Long time no see buddy!

So if York will inevitably end up in Vaughan, would that mean that the new Toronto club Clanachan was talking about could be North York?

I think you and I both know that a Toronto North York team trying to own North of Eglinton would work first at York U but eventually at Downsview Park.

Going back to York 9, You have a point with United, not sure "region" in the name sounds great, too "geographical" for my taste. I think just York is fine

Hey whats up man~

I said this in the Toronto CPL thread as well, but my gut feeling is that Sauga is a safer bet than North York at this point. There's a good reason why there's so much support for Sauga SG, they have the demographics, density, and a distinct community feel all on their side. North York, especially around North York Centre and Mel Lastman Square, also has the demographics and density, but I wouldn't say we have a distinct community feel in the same way that Sauga does. I don't really know if we'd have a proper North York SG around, to take a quick easy example.

The area around Downsview is also super spread out, with little density, a very car-driven area distinct from North York Centre, so it doesn't stand out to me as one of the better options either. I think what works is stadiums being around pedestrian-friendly dense neighbourhoods. 

That's my view at the moment, but hey, things change so quickly, so who knows? 

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19 minutes ago, Ozzie_the_parrot said:

There were people on here pointing out that it was very farfetched at the time and definitely not just me.

The scary thing is that there were people with influence who clearly thought that would be happening regularly, because why put those bleachers in otherwise and sell season tickets for them, and why buy all the tables to go on the track otherwise?

 I'm skeptical on Friday nights making much of a difference but that's maybe because I have a Scottish mentality on what people would typically prefer to do at that time:

It did work for Tranmere Rovers in England though as has been pointed out.

Weeknights were looking catastrophic on attendance for Y9 last summer,  however (Impact game excepted), and some of the same issues around how easy it is to get there after work after a GTA commute are still going to be there on a Friday. What works on Merseyside in England won't necessarily work in the GTA.

Also think that any strategy that revolves around the youth soccer crowd is asking for big trouble. Most of them only really care about their own games and dozens of pro soccer teams have gone bust both indoors and outdoors in North America in recent decades chasing that market, so it was mind boggling listening to Carmine Isacco bemoaning the fact that 5000+ youth soccer types were not showing up. There was never the slightest possibility of that happening.

There are no easy answers, but being the cheaper and rowdier Toronto branded extra fix for hardcore GTA soccer addicts over and above TFC would be how I would go about it. Any hint of being a bitter rival needs to be knocked on the head as that will turn a lot of TFC fans off in a big way and relatively few people will choose CanPL in preference to MLS if they have easy access to both as Y9 found out the hard way last year. Lots of soccer people support two teams at different levels in other countries. There's scope for that mentality in Canada as well now.

All good points, but the demographics of Vaughan is just so different from downtown TO, you know? Just far more family-oriented, which is why the family market still is the one being chased when they have a club that is basically a Vaughan club. 

You'd have to be pretty soccer-crazy to attend home matches for two different clubs if you live far away from York Lions. 

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There is a virtual press conference next Thursday to announce a new League 1 Ontario team for the 2021 season.  It will be in Barrie.   And the name (only posted here to annoy the 'numbers-in-team-names' haters  will be...….

1812 FC Barrie   

Ha.  Now I can hear all them googling what part Barrie played in the War of 1812.   

(actually an important supply-line city for the British army)  

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30 minutes ago, Rocket Robin said:

There is a virtual press conference next Thursday to announce a new League 1 Ontario team for the 2021 season.  It will be in Barrie.   And the name (only posted here to annoy the 'numbers-in-team-names' haters  will be...….

1812 FC Barrie   

Ha.  Now I can hear all them googling what part Barrie played in the War of 1812.   

(actually an important supply-line city for the British army)  

I love it!

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5 hours ago, Big_M said:

Boom..zayandehroudi messed up big time in year 1 and hes gone..huge mistakes in the pricing..bye bye

Preben Ganzhorn seems to have been viewed as the main culprit judging from the way he didn't make it into Year 2. Ben Zayandehroudi being let go right now might be related in part to having nothing to sell in ticket terms for the next few months given the way that the island tournament will run past the expected start of the York Lions stadium renovation.

The failure of Y9 to draw significant numbers of paying spectators last summer probably didn't help Paul Beirne's cause either towards the end of last season, if he had a significant level of involvement with Y9's launch, given the way pro soccer launches in the GTA would have been viewed as a big part of his area of expertise.

The reality is that it would have been very difficult for him to fail with the TFC launch especially after the Beckham signing, while the reverse is true with Y9 no matter who was in charge. To be fair to Paul B the overall strategy for the league he was outlining on podcasts was a reasonably sensible one that avoided many of the most obvious pitfalls.

Think the whole idea that Y9 is a Vaughan team is being actively reexamined by Angus McNab judging from his comments about how many members are from across the GTA rather than just York Region and about how a new stadium elsewhere won't be happening until York Lions stadium can be filled regularly.

When something fails as spectacularly as Y9 did last year on paid ticket sales, while the same product was working very well elsewhere in Halifax, you have to reexamine all of the basic assumptions that were being made by the ancien regime in front office terms.

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On ‎6‎/‎13‎/‎2020 at 3:45 AM, Ozzie_the_parrot said:

Preben Ganzhorn seems to have been viewed as the main culprit judging from the way he didn't make it into Year 2. Ben Zayandehroudi being let go right now might be related in part to having nothing to sell in ticket terms for the next few months given the way that the island tournament will run past the expected start of the York Lions stadium renovation.

The failure of Y9 to draw significant numbers of paying spectators last summer probably didn't help Paul Beirne's cause either towards the end of last season, if he had a significant level of involvement with Y9's launch, given the way pro soccer launches in the GTA would have been viewed as a big part of his area of expertise.

The reality is that it would have been very difficult for him to fail with the TFC launch especially after the Beckham signing, while the reverse is true with Y9 no matter who was in charge. To be fair to Paul B the overall strategy for the league he was outlining on podcasts was a reasonably sensible one that avoided many of the most obvious pitfalls.

Think the whole idea that Y9 is a Vaughan team is being actively reexamined by Angus McNab judging from his comments about how many members are from across the GTA rather than just York Region and about how a new stadium elsewhere won't be happening until York Lions stadium can be filled regularly.

When something fails as spectacularly as Y9 did last year on paid ticket sales, while the same product was working very well elsewhere in Halifax, you have to reexamine all of the basic assumptions that were being made by the ancien regime in front office terms.

We agree that Y9 failed in terms of paid ticket sales, all obvious for sure. I also agree with you that McNab is actively re-examining Y9 in whole, including whether it should be a Vaughan team, a York Region team, a GTA team, or a Toronto team.

There's some things I've heard through the grapevine that I haven't shared, but the one thing I can guess reasonably is that the club, whatever the branding and marketing may be, will be a Vaughan-based club in the medium and long-term. Just taking some quick easy examples, Y9 and McNab were happy to announce that they just opened or will open a club store in Maple, on Major Mackenzie Drive, in addition to the partnership they already have with Evangelista Sports, near Vaughan Mills. 

Halifax's success, along with other clubs we've seen, owe lots to a well-placed stadium, near the downtown core. For a Vaughan club, the only locations that could come anywhere close to replicating that proximity to a downtown core and density would be Woodbridge or the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. I think the Y9 ownership is highly conscious of that as well. 

Until that day though, the key to making York Lions Stadium anything of a success is cheap ticket prices and big marketing blasts where relevant. And the Friday nights, and getting rid of the track. Because the location might be convenient for the fans taking the subway over, but it really isn't close to density or pedestrian traffic whatsoever. 

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York9 trying to be like Halifax would be a mistake. It's a completely different market, I went on vacation last summer and stayed in and airbnb and pretty much everyone in the house knew who the wanderers were. 

Today on tinder I matched with a hardcore football fan from England and she's been here for two years going to multiple TFC games and playing in a league and she hasn't heard of York 9 and said the name was rubbish like half of the names in the cpl. She mentioned forge as another silly name. 

They need to try and make sure at least TFC fans know there's an alternative in North York. 

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