Thursday, March 01, 2012

Like the re-design of the Silverdome, but not sure if MLS soccer will fly in this area

The concept sounds great. Taking the roof off the Silverdome, cutting the stadium essentially in half and making it an outdoor stadium with natural grass. (see story: http://bit.ly/xxPJPK)
The one concept I don't know if it would work is the part about an MLS soccer team in this area.
Look, I bash soccer a lot, but much of it is done tongue-in-cheek because the people who are really into it tend to exaggerate its scope compared other sports in this country, and particularly in Southeastern Michigan. It is not going to take over for baseball in this nation, or hockey in this area. It's huge world wide, but a relatively small niche sport here. It's like once a year there is a some soccer moment that happens that is allegedly going to set it off in this nation. It never really does.
The game does have appeal, but it's limited and it's not the MLS. It's more the international game. The World Cup. The European Championship. The elite leagues in Europe. The MLS is a dud in comparison.
I did go to the AC Milan game at Silverdome in 2010. It was an excellent game. I enjoyed it. It was surreal at the Silverdome - like being dropped back into the early 1990s or something. The facility is badly outdated. They also didn't do a good job that night getting people into the stadium because the lines for security were incredibly slow.
But it's a good thing somebody owns it. It's a good thing they have interest in doing something with other than tearing it down. I wish them luck, but...

8 Comments:

Anonymous David Conrad said...

Soccer isn't as big in the US as it is around the world, it's true. Still, after watching the women's world cup on cable, I was interested to see more. I saw some friends on Twitter talking about some of the women's professional soccer games, so I checked my TV. None of the sports channels I get were carrying the games -- including the same ones that carried the world cup games. At some point, doesn't it become a self-fulfilling prophecy? They don't put soccer on television because nobody watches soccer, and nobody watches soccer because they don't put soccer on television!

2:25 PM 
Blogger Bryan Everson said...

In response to David, I get part of what you're saying. There's a lot of games on Fox Sports Soccer (FSC), which is in the 700's for most on Comcast. I don't pay any extra for it, but it's got a lot of really good games on there.

NBC Sports, or what used to be Versus, will be picking up more games this season, and they do air games on the ESPN family of networks. Coverage is increasing.

I won't argue against what Pat's saying, but the market is growing. Those who are doubters can believe it or not, but a few years ago, I couldn't care less about soccer and a number of my friends didn't, and that's changed. I see the proof, and I'm part of it myself. People are investing in it because they can see the same thing. I don't believe it will ever hit the level of the "Big 4," but I think it could rival the popularity of something like MMA/UFC, and I think we know how big that business has become.

5:35 PM 
Blogger Bryan Everson said...

In response to David, I get part of what you're saying. There's a lot of games on Fox Sports Soccer (FSC), which is in the 700's for most on Comcast. I don't pay any extra for it, but it's got a lot of really good games on there.

NBC Sports, or what used to be Versus, will be picking up more games this season, and they do air games on the ESPN family of networks. Coverage is increasing.

I won't argue against what Pat's saying, but the market is growing. Those who are doubters can believe it or not, but a few years ago, I couldn't care less about soccer and a number of my friends didn't, and that's changed. I see the proof, and I'm part of it myself. People are investing in it because they can see the same thing. I don't believe it will ever hit the level of the "Big 4," but I think it could rival the popularity of something like MMA/UFC, and I think we know how big that business has become.

5:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With digital cable and a subscription to the Sports Package there is about 50 soccer games a weekend that air on TV here in the States. ESPN 2 shows the EPL on Saturday Mornings at 7:30a. Fox Soccer and Fox Soccer Plus show the 7 or 8 other EPL games live and on tape delay on Saturday and Sunday's and replay the games during the week. Fox Soccer/Fox Soccer Plus also airs 4 to 5 Italian Serie A games a weekend. Gol TV and ESPN 2/ESPN 3 share Spanish La Liga rights where we see about 4 to 5 games a weekend. Gol TV also has the rights to the German Bundesliga. During the week Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, and Fox Sports Net show the UEFA Champions League when that tournament is going on. ESPN and NBC share the rights to the MLS. Not to mention ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports Deportes, Univision, GOL TV and Telefutura all cover Mexican League Soccer as well as other South American leagues like the league in Brazil and Argentina.

Seriously if you're a soccer fan you're getting served in spades compared to 10 years ago when all we got was the EPL Highlight Show on Fox Sports Net and a PPV game that cost 20 bucks a pop on Saturday and Sunday or 30 years when PBS showed Soccer Made in Germany.

I know this is crazy to think about but outside of maybe China and the Middle East due to government ran TV stations no country in the World has more live soccer on the TV than the USA.

6:23 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a list of all the soccer that can be watched on TV/Online this weekend. 63 games in total!

All times are Eastern

FRIDAY

England, Blackpool vs. Hull City 2:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Plus, foxsoccer2go.com

Portugal, Benfica vs. Porto 3:15 p.m. ESPN3.com

Argentina, River Plate vs. Quilmes 5 p.m. GolTV

Mexico, Tecos vs. Tijuana 9 p.m. Galavision

SATURDAY

England, Liverpool vs. Arsenal 7:30 a.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com

Germany, Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich 9:30 a.m. GolTV

Germany, Hertha Berlin vs. Werder Bremen 9:30 a.m. ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com

England, Manchester City vs. Bolton 10 a.m. Fox Soccer Channel

England, West Brom vs. Chelsea 10 a.m. FSP, foxsoccer2go.com

England, Birmingham vs. Derby 10 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com

England, Blackburn vs. Aston Villa 10 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com (tape at 2:30 p.m. on FSP)

England, QPR vs. Everton 10 a.m. on foxsoccer2go.com (tape at 5 p.m. on FSC)

England, Stoke vs. Norwich 10 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com (tape at 4:30 p.m. on FSP)

England, Wigan vs. Swansea 10 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com

Spain, Mallorca vs. Osasuna noon GolTV

Italy, Palermo vs. AC Milan noon FSC, ESPN3.com, foxsoccer2go.com

England, Leeds vs. Southampton noon FSP, foxsoccer2go.com

Spain, Getafe vs. Malaga noon DirecTV (477)

Spain, Rayo Vallecano vs. Racing Santander noon DirecTV (478)

Germany, Borussia Dortmund vs. Mainz 12:30 p.m. ESPN3.com

France, Dijon vs. Montpellier 1 p.m. foxsoccer2go.com

France, Lille vs. Auxerre 1 p.m. foxsoccer2go.com

France, Marseille vs. Toulouse 1 p.m. foxsoccer2go.com

France, Nancy vs. Lyon 1 p.m. foxsoccer2go.com

France, Saint-Etienne vs. Evian 1 p.m. foxsoccer2go.com

France, Sochaux vs. Valenciennes 1 p.m. foxsoccer2go.com

Spain, Barcelona vs. Sporting Gijon 2 p.m. GolTV

Italy, Juventus vs. Chievo 2:30 p.m. FSC, ESPN3.com

France, Bordeaux vs. Nice 3 p.m. foxsoccer2go.com

Spain, Sevilla vs. Atletico Madrid 4 p.m. GolTV

MLS preseason, D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew 5 p.m. dcunited.com

MLS preseason, Disney Pro Classic third place 6 p.m. ESPN3.com

Mexico, Queretaro vs. Morelia 6 p.m. Telefutura

Mexico, Cruz Azul vs. Monterrey 6 p.m. ESPN Deportes, Azteca America

Brazil, Portuguesa vs. Catanduvense 6 p.m. GolTV

MLS preseason, Chicago Fire vs. Charleston Battery 7:15 p.m. chicago-fire.com

MLS preseason, Real Salt Lake vs. New York 8 p.m. mlssoccer.com

Mexico, Santos Laguna vs. San Luis 8 p.m. Telefutura

Mexico, Tigres vs. Atlante 8 p.m. Galavision

MLS preseason, Disney Pro Classic final 9 p.m. ESPN3.com

MLS preseason, New England vs. Los Angeles 10 p.m. mlssoccer.com

Mexico, Atlas vs. Pachuca 10 p.m. Galavision

Australia, Wellington vs. Gold Coast 11 p.m. FSC

SUNDAY

Italy, Parma vs. Napoli 6:30 a.m. ESPN3.com (tape at 11 a.m. on FSP)

England, Newcastle vs. Sunderland 7 a.m. FSP, foxsoccer2go.com

England, Cardiff City vs. West Ham 7:45 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com (tape at 1 p.m. on FSP)

Italy, Roma vs. Lazio 9 a.m. FSC, ESPN3.com

England, Fulham vs. Wolves 9 a.m. FSP, foxsoccer2go.com

Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven vs. Twente 10:30 a.m. ESPN3.com

England, Spurs vs. Manchester United 11 a.m. FSC

France, Caen vs. Brest 11 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com

France, PSG vs. Ajaccio 11 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com

Germany, Hoffenheim vs. Cologne 11:30 a.m. GolTV

Spain, Valencia vs. Granada noon ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com

Mexico, Toluca vs. Pumas 1 p.m. Univision

Mexico, Toros Neza vs. Leones Negros 1 p.m. Azteca America

Italy, Inter Milan vs. Catania 2:30 p.m. FSC, ESPN3.com

France, Lorient vs. Rennes 3 p.m. FSP, foxsoccer2go.com

Argentina, San Lorenzo vs. Boca Juniors 3 p.m. GolTV

Spain, Real Madrid vs. Espanyol 3:30 p.m. ESPN3.com (tape at 5 p.m. on ESPN Deportes)

Mexico, Club America vs. Jaguares 5 p.m. Univision

Mexico, Puebla vs. Chivas 5 p.m. Fox Deportes, Azteca America

MLS preseason, Portland vs. AIK (Sweden) 8 p.m. portlandtimbers.com

8:02 PM 
Blogger Vaudiophile said...

I feel jealous that everyone here seems to get FSC on their Comcast without paying extra. I'm not so lucky.

I don't want to rehash the argument for the presence or absence of soccer fans, and I don't want to make the MLS out to be any more than it is, but I would go to games quite often if the team was run properly. I've actually held off on making allegiance to Chicago or Columbus in hopes we'd get a team. So I'm ready for it.

I think there are enough people with the interest in it, personally. You just have to market it right. The other thing is, there are a lot of people, like myself, that have become pretty disenchanted with the major sports in this country.

I'm feeling slowly priced out of professional sports, and with the growing attitude athletes give us when they're criticized, why should I put myself out to help owners pay for their expensive human toys? I have plenty of other places to spend my money, and there are always things our home needs.

I think if MLS comes here and gives us a reasonable night out with our friends or family, they'll draw just fine. They'll do especially well if they listen to their potential fanbase and give us some input in the process. Also, the owners need to remember this is Detroit, and we're going to to want a hard-nosed, blue-collar team. Don't recruit players that play like sissies. Every time a player takes a dive, you're going to lose fans.

11:46 AM 
Blogger DetroitTFC said...

I agree that it has to be marketed the right way. Interestingly MLS is getting that right more often than not nowadays. Toronto, Seattle, Philly, Portland and Vancouver have had big success in their team launches. Kansas City was doing a really poor job of marketing, then the ownership changed hands, they build a state of the art stadium sized right for their attendance, now it is a hot ticket. Problem is it is hard to generate that level of interest unless there is a team in the market. There are some of us working on trying to get a team for Detroit. Problem is, so are a number of other places. It is a bit of a chicken and the egg situation, need a top level team to pull the big numbers but can't get the team unless you show you are a good market for the league.

3:43 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

The NFL and the English Premeir League are the exact same beasts on their own side of 'the pond'.

But when one tries to export thdeir product to the other side - it plays weakly - because the history of soccer in the US is so weak - and the history of (american) football in eurpoe is weak.

Don't you think the Premeir League would love to have a team in New York and in LA - why do you think Beckham came over - and decades before Pele - Best - Marsh - the list goes on and on of great names that most Americans never heard of.

Changing the Superdome to hold an MSL franchise is a short-term deal - and the Lion's fanbase is safe.

3:44 PM 

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