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How long until....MLS to CPL


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55 minutes ago, dyslexic nam said:

I am not saying the MLS teams would transition to CPL without missing a beat.   I am quite sure there would be issues during the change and crowds would be impacted (at least at the outset).  But TFC in CPL would still be the highest tier of local soccer available in a city of 10M people and I am confident that they would still get attendance numbers that would be impressive on the CPL bell curve.  And the same thing would happen in the tiger two big cities. The media would cover their local teams and get many more eyes on the league - and it would get stronger as a result.   

Would it be a net gain for Canadian footy over the status quo alternative?  No one can say for sure.  And as I said, I suspect the current situation is better given the trajectory I see MLS on.  But I am quite confident that CPL would be better off if they were the sole source of pro footy in our 3 biggest cities - and I don’t think the teams would need to maintain MLS-level quality, budgets, or attendance for that to be true.  

The highest tier of football (north american version) in Toronto is the CFL, and they're the worst attendance.  Vancouver is right behind them.  People would rather watch NFL than attend a live game.  Likewise, I think rather than go out to a live CPL game people would just turn to the EPL (or La Liga, etc) for their soccer fix.  York has the lowest attendance (outside of the implosion in Edmonton) for a reason, and it's not just "marketing".

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59 minutes ago, Ansem said:

You're neglecting demographics as the big 3 are much more multicultural and relate more to soccer once they arrive here than football.

Also, generational - the sharp increase in soccer interest is mostly due to millenials who represents the biggest generation since around 2015.

Attendance in Vancouver and Toronto didn't jump from 5k/2k in the USL to 20k in MLS because of "demographics".  They jumped because the league was the highest available in Canada/US. I really think you're underestimating peoples desire to now see the best available, especially when it's been easier than ever before.

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33 minutes ago, Watchmen said:

Attendance in Vancouver and Toronto didn't jump from 5k/2k in the USL to 20k in MLS because of "demographics".  They jumped because the league was the highest available in Canada/US. I really think you're underestimating peoples desire to now see the best available, especially when it's been easier than ever before.

Quality ? How long did it took for TFC to stop being an embarrassment on the pitch?

Montreal started to get big crowds while they were in USL, the CCL run definately helped put the club on the media map in the city 

Comparing marketing, location, stadium, scope - night and day compared to USL,  even when sport radio were mocking TFC and MLS that's more publicity that the Lynx or whoever else were there ever got. 

Many reasons explaining the draw towards TFC, quality wasn't it initially while Montreal had good crowds before MLS. You are correct in generalities but we have to consider other factors than just "level and quality".

 

Edited by Ansem
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25 minutes ago, Watchmen said:

The highest tier of football (north american version) in Toronto is the CFL, and they're the worst attendance.  Vancouver is right behind them.  People would rather watch NFL than attend a live game.  Likewise, I think rather than go out to a live CPL game people would just turn to the EPL (or La Liga, etc) for their soccer fix.  York has the lowest attendance (outside of the implosion in Edmonton) for a reason, and it's not just "marketing".

But people go to TFC now when they could watch EPL or La Liga if they wanted to see the best brand of soccer.  I like the league but let’s be honest - MLS is in roughly the third tier of global footy so it isn’t like they are going to the  watch the pinnacle of the sport right now.  TFC play a respectable level of footy but it is closer to CPL than it is to EPL.  I just don’t see that there is a categorical difference between people going to see TFC in MLS while better footy exists elsewhere and people going to see TFCPL while MLS is in the US and  better leagues continue to exist elsewhere.  Either way, if you want to watch the best players on the world, you don’t watch MLS.  For me, that is the big difference between The CFL and NFL comparison - NFL is the best in the world so purists may choose to watch it rather than the local option.  I just don’t see that dynamic in play with MLS   

Maybe there would be some people who would turn their nose up at the perceived downgrade but with 10M people I suspect there would be enough fans wanting to watch D1 footy and enough patriots to support a Canadian league that it would succeed.  

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42 minutes ago, Ansem said:

Quality ? How long did it took for TFC to stop being an embarrassment on the pitch?

Montreal started to get big crowds while they were in USL, the CCL run definately helped put the club on the media map in the city 

Comparing marketing, location, stadium, scope - night and day compared to USL,  even when sport radio were mocking TFC and MLS that's more publicity that the Lynx or whoever else were there ever got. 

Many reasons explaining the draw towards TFC, quality wasn't it initially while Montreal had good crowds before MLS. You are correct in generalities but we have to consider other factors than just "level and quality".

 

Oh, the quality of MLS in general at the time was not great.  Not disagreeing.  But the perception of "highest available" mattered, and still does.  Montreal jumped in attendance because they were papering the crowd.

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46 minutes ago, dyslexic nam said:

But people go to TFC now when they could watch EPL or La Liga if they wanted to see the best brand of soccer.  I like the league but let’s be honest - MLS is in roughly the third tier of global footy so it isn’t like they are going to the  watch the pinnacle of the sport right now.  TFC play a respectable level of footy but it is closer to CPL than it is to EPL.  I just don’t see that there is a categorical difference between people going to see TFC in MLS while better footy exists elsewhere and people going to see TFCPL while MLS is in the US and  better leagues continue to exist elsewhere.  Either way, if you want to watch the best players on the world, you don’t watch MLS.  For me, that is the big difference between The CFL and NFL comparison - NFL is the best in the world so purists may choose to watch it rather than the local option.  I just don’t see that dynamic in play with MLS   

Maybe there would be some people who would turn their nose up at the perceived downgrade but with 10M people I suspect there would be enough fans wanting to watch D1 footy and enough patriots to support a Canadian league that it would succeed.  

And MLS is still trying to win over people convinced that only European leagues matter.  There's a reason EPL and La Liga have better TV contracts in the US than MLS.  So it's sort of a cascading effect - soccer fans that won't watch anything but Europe, soccer fans who will go out and watch the best regional league, and soccer fans that will go out and watch anything local, regardless of quality/league.  And I'm just not convinced that "anything local/patriotic" angle is large enough.  We'll just have to agree to disagree here.

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1 minute ago, Watchmen said:

And MLS is still trying to win over people convinced that only European leagues matter.  There's a reason EPL and La Liga have better TV contracts in the US than MLS.  So it's sort of a cascading effect - soccer fans that won't watch anything but Europe, soccer fans who will go out and watch the best regional league, and soccer fans that will go out and watch anything local, regardless of quality/league.  And I'm just not convinced that "anything local/patriotic" angle is large enough.  We'll just have to agree to disagree here.

For sure.   And I am definitely not shitting on MLS - I think it is a good league and will grow.  I just don’t know if it is so categorically better than CPL that soccer fans would patronize one but not the other.  

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14 minutes ago, Watchmen said:

Oh, the quality of MLS in general at the time was not great.  Not disagreeing.  But the perception of "highest available" mattered, and still does.  Montreal jumped in attendance because they were papering the crowd.

With all due respect to both MLS and CPL, club soccer is very niche in this country.

Highest available is EPL, Champions League. If I was wrong, there wouldn't be attendance issues and tv ratings would be much stronger.

MLS clubs have done a far better job at attracting fans than USL/NASL ever dreamed to do. Marketing wasn't perfect but they got results (being on TV helped? Just maybe?)

Again I'm not completely disagreeing with you but clearly, best available quality isnt enough - you need more than that. Look at how Montreal can be the hottest ticket in town with Drogba to people being turned off by the club's foolishness. You even got some of their supporters wanting a CPL club so they could switch allegiance.

We all knows what happened with Vancouver 

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7 minutes ago, dyslexic nam said:

For sure.   And I am definitely not shitting on MLS - I think it is a good league and will grow.  I just don’t know if it is so categorically better than CPL that soccer fans would patronize one but not the other.  

What brought MLS its legitimacy/relevance was the DP rule. It changed its entertainment value. When the CPL adopts such rule to allow “big” names to be drawn it will immediately change the landscape. 

@Ansem that’s the only reason why MLS has done better at attracting fans. The Cosmos and Rowdies were slowly tapping into it with guys like Senna, Raul and Joe Cole but we’re quickly stifled by politics.

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2 hours ago, Watchmen said:

And MLS is still trying to win over people convinced that only European leagues matter.  There's a reason EPL and La Liga have better TV contracts in the US than MLS.  So it's sort of a cascading effect - soccer fans that won't watch anything but Europe, soccer fans who will go out and watch the best regional league, and soccer fans that will go out and watch anything local, regardless of quality/league.  And I'm just not convinced that "anything local/patriotic" angle is large enough.  We'll just have to agree to disagree here.

I think the tide has been and continues to be slowly turning though in Canada, and Canada qualifying for a World Cup via a lot of MLS players (or players that had been in MLS) will I think only help in that regard. There seems to be a lot of genuine excitement and support for all the young Canadian guns that TFC are currently playing, for example. And the interesting (if not ironic) thing about TFC is that they (or rather MLSE) are shelling out bajillions for what they thought would be an Italian World Cup star so that they could continue to draw in the "Euro-snob" fans you mention that they have yet to win over. Of course, Italy (much to my personal chagrin) didn't make the World Cup again but as it turns out TFC already has a World Cup player in their ranks - one who plays for Canada.

I've a feeling that the Insigne signing may turn a bit sour for TFC and won't be a "Giovinco mk II" effect, but I guess that's a thought for the TFC thread rather than this one.

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It will only happen one of two ways. Either an MLS owner is cashing out and sees a windfall in selling and relocating his franchise, but maintaining the franchise branding to make a much similar profitable investment in the CanPL or an MLS owner is desperate for cash and does the same thing, but still wants to run a soccer club.

It's doubtful to ever happen in our lifetime as the MLS TV contract simply pays out too well. Unless the CanPL can drastically expand it's attendance and viewership and sees a lucrative CFL style TV contract.

The CSA will never force this upon the MLS clubs as they know it will become a legal debacle and FIFA will side with whoever has the money, which will almost certainly be the MLS. 

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It Took MLS a Few years to really star making a dent in the Sporting World in North America . I think when TFC came on board things started to move  forward then came Seattle then we saw it really begin to change. CPL will never be to the level MLS is unless some real major investments were to come in which I dont see ever happening .

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13 hours ago, narduch said:

ZBG, Bassong and Kone aren't from MLS academies.

Peruzza is but he also did 4 years in Italy.

True, but that wasn't my point.  I was showing that a lot of young Canadian talent is getting a place to play at a higher level than the CPL because of our MLS teams.  They might have found that chance elsewhere in the absence of those teams, but probably not as easily (or, based on past history, at all).

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12 hours ago, dyslexic nam said:

I am not saying the MLS teams would transition to CPL without missing a beat.   I am quite sure there would be issues during the change and crowds would be impacted (at least at the outset).  But TFC in CPL would still be the highest tier of local soccer available in a city of 10M people and I am confident that they would still get attendance numbers that would be impressive on the CPL bell curve. 

I don't think you can assume that.  If that was the case, then the Lynx would have done well back in their A-League/USL days (and arguably York should be doing well today).  I think fans would see that you've replaced their Porsche with a Honda Civic and stay away in droves.  Put another way, I don't think there's a core of 15 000 fans who are going to come out for club soccer at whatever the highest available level happens to be.

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4 hours ago, Kingston said:

I don't think you can assume that.  If that was the case, then the Lynx would have done well back in their A-League/USL days (and arguably York should be doing well today).  I think fans would see that you've replaced their Porsche with a Honda Civic and stay away in droves.  Put another way, I don't think there's a core of 15 000 fans who are going to come out for club soccer at whatever the highest available level happens to be.

And maybe I am wrong.  But in your analogy you aren’t replacing a Porsche with a Civic - you are replacing a Corolla with a Civic (or something).  That is the part that I get hung up on - TFC is not some luxury model that people would miss because they are used to the best. It is the best game in town, and that matters, but if MLS is exited the scene the CPL would fill that space.

And I definitely wouldn’t take the Lynx-era support levels as indicative of anything that would happen today  the context had changed dramatically.  Even the York example isn’t really instructive IMO because they are still playing in the shadow of an MLS team.  If TFCPL. And into existence, they would be the top level of footy available.   I still think that would attract enough fans to make it quite successful.     
 

 

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2 hours ago, dyslexic nam said:

Even the York example isn’t really instructive IMO because they are still playing in the shadow of an MLS team.  If TFCPL. And into existence, they would be the top level of footy available.   I still think that would attract enough fans to make it quite successful.     

I think York is very instructive.  Here we have both MLS and CPL available in one metro area; a literal experiment to see how fans feel about the options.  The result?  For their last home games, TFC drew almost 22 000 and York drew 1800.

Would TFCPL draw enough to be successful in the absence of TFC?  Maybe enough to be successful by CPL standards but it would be a huge drop from what Canadian soccer has now.

Anyway, I don't think the CSA or FIFA is going to force the issue, so I'll let it rest.

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16 hours ago, Kingston said:

I think York is very instructive.  Here we have both MLS and CPL available in one metro area; a literal experiment to see how fans feel about the options.  The result?  For their last home games, TFC drew almost 22 000 and York drew 1800.

Would TFCPL draw enough to be successful in the absence of TFC?  Maybe enough to be successful by CPL standards but it would be a huge drop from what Canadian soccer has now.

Anyway, I don't think the CSA or FIFA is going to force the issue, so I'll let it rest.

Again though, it isn’t an experiment that translates into the hypothetical situation of only TFCPL being in the city.   In the current situation, York suffers because it. Is the 2nd tier of available options.   That wouldn’t be the case in the scenario being discussed so I don’t see how you can extrapolate what would happen under very different circumstances.  

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The original NASL folded in early 1985 when most of the American investors decided that their future lay with the indoor version of the sport with the MISL rather than being the Washington Generals to the New York Cosmos. This wasn't an assessment that was shared by the remaining Canadian franchises given that meant competing with the Leafs and Canucks for attention in the winter months.

The Toronto Blizzard soon reemerged first in the NSL after buying a team called Dinamo Latino and then in the CSL when it launched as a coast-to-coast D1 domestic league in 1987. To say fan interest plummeted at that point would be an understatement. The Whitecaps to 86ers trajectory wasn't quite so bad in lower mainland BC but still resulted in a large drop from where things had been to a level of operations that often came close to folding by still usually being under Kingston's 5000 crowd level.

Once players like Insigne, Ibrahimovic or Beckham in the present era or Pele, Eusebio and Cruyff in the earlier one are no longer part of the equation a lot of people lose interest in domestic pro soccer to the extent that it's no longer a given that full-time professionalism is actually sustainable. Pointing out these realities does not mean that the people who do so wouldn't want a domestic pro league to do well, it only means that they see the main priority as being to have soccer actually work as a professional level sport in Canada even if that means putting up with some irritating roster rules.

Edited by Ozzie_the_parrot
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What bothers me about this whole MLS to CPL thing is that between the old NASL that folded in 1984 and TFC joining the MLS in 2007 and the other Canadian MLS teams joining a few years later, we had other leagues between those years . We had an all Canadian league that came and went, we had a couple of North American leagues that came and went , and not any of those leagues drew anywhere near the attendances that these Canadian MLS teams have had so far. We had many people in and outside the Canadian soccer world say that TFC for example would be lucky to get 3000 a game . Moreover, why wouldn’t they think this ? The only time crowds were actually decent was back in the old NASL days before 1984. Everything after that League folded the crowds were never breaking the 5000 on average mark or most times lower.  We now have three teams that are actually pulling in decent attendances and proving the soccer naysayers wrong , but let’s throw that all away . Nothing wrong with the present system. Players can develop in the CPL and either go to the MLS or Europe . If they go to MLS from the CPL they can hopefully develop further in the MLS and then hopefully go to Europe . We need to be careful what we wish for because I’ve seen more pro soccer leagues and pro soccer clubs come and go and going back to having nothing again if we tinker too much is a place I don’t want to go again.

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Isnt this a straw man argument?? How many posters have actually said the MLS squads should switch over to the CPL in the near future?  The only change I can see happening quickly would be one of the MLS teams posting big losses and getting priced out of that league.  If MLS continues to grow and (lets day VAN) cant keep up and the ownership doesnt have such deep pockets I could see a sort of "self-regulation" happen.  Sell the MLS team, have a sort of rebrand in CPL, and instantly go from the brokest MLS team to the big fish in the CPL.  Other than that MLS isnt going anywhere.  

But I know that if a lot of guys didnt do a shit pile of work, CPL wouldnt be going and I for one would never have gotten to see pro soccer again (long time since the old Fury days).  And even with CPL opening up new/oldmarkets and new audiences there are still guys on here that are 10hr drives away from games. We cant even get MLS to square up roster rules and they werent going to expand into canada anymore now that they had cherry picked our juiciest markets.  So for the game to grow in the rest of the country we needed the CPL.    And its funny how the same guys who gloss over MLS douchbaggery sure can rip on all the things wrong with the CPL.

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1 hour ago, Bison44 said:

Isnt this a straw man argument?? How many posters have actually said the MLS squads should switch over to the CPL in the near future? 

You're literally responding to this in a thread someone just started and in which posters are hoping the MLS teams moving to the CPL.

1 hour ago, Bison44 said:

But I know that if a lot of guys didnt do a shit pile of work, CPL wouldnt be going and I for one would never have gotten to see pro soccer again (long time since the old Fury days).  And even with CPL opening up new/oldmarkets and new audiences there are still guys on here that are 10hr drives away from games. We cant even get MLS to square up roster rules and they werent going to expand into canada anymore now that they had cherry picked our juiciest markets.  So for the game to grow in the rest of the country we needed the CPL.    And its funny how the same guys who gloss over MLS douchbaggery sure can rip on all the things wrong with the CPL.

I think (or at least hope) that everyone on this forum understands the incredible amount of hard work that has gone in to the CPL, even if the CPL isn't perfect and even if your advocating (like me) for the co-existence of MLS and CPL.  The expansion in to markets that had no hope of an MLS team and are too far away from the current ones is my favourite thing about the CPL - that more fans in this country have access to a local team to support.

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35 minutes ago, Watchmen said:

...that more fans in this country have access to a local team to support.

Let's not forget that the CSA's moratorium on further expansion of USSF sanctioned D2 and D3 leagues was the main obstacle to that happening between 2010-18.

The success of MLS could have been used as an engine for helping to build CanPL if a way could have been found to have suitably branded affiliates involved but to say there was bitterness and vitriol from the usual suspects on here and from people like Scott Mitchell and Bob Young towards that concept would be an understatement.

CanPL's whole marketing strategy at the outset was antagonistic towards MLS when it really didn't need to be and when being so was seriously out of tune with how the mainstream of the soccer community view things.

This thread being started is symptomatic of an ongoing antagonism that quite simply doesn't have to be there. I'd be just fine with following the fortunes of a London CanPL team and TFC. There's a niche and a market for both just as there is for the Knights and the Maple Leafs.

Edited by Ozzie_the_parrot
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3 hours ago, SoccMan said:

What bothers me about this whole MLS to CPL thing is that between the old NASL that folded in 1984 and TFC joining the MLS in 2007 and the other Canadian MLS teams joining a few years later, we had other leagues between those years . We had an all Canadian league that came and went, we had a couple of North American leagues that came and went , and not any of those leagues drew anywhere near the attendances that these Canadian MLS teams have had so far. We had many people in and outside the Canadian soccer world say that TFC for example would be lucky to get 3000 a game . Moreover, why wouldn’t they think this ? The only time crowds were actually decent was back in the old NASL days before 1984. Everything after that League folded the crowds were never breaking the 5000 on average mark or most times lower.  We now have three teams that are actually pulling in decent attendances and proving the soccer naysayers wrong , but let’s throw that all away . Nothing wrong with the present system. Players can develop in the CPL and either go to the MLS or Europe . If they go to MLS from the CPL they can hopefully develop further in the MLS and then hopefully go to Europe . We need to be careful what we wish for because I’ve seen more pro soccer leagues and pro soccer clubs come and go and going back to having nothing again if we tinker too much is a place I don’t want to go again.

People are just discussing a hypothetical situation.

Not sure why all the pro-MLSers on here get so damn upset about. Like its so personal for you.

I am in favour of it happening in the long run and even I don`t even expect it to. Not saying it should happen tomorrow though.

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