I expect decent games this weekend. Maybe not a great crowd, but probably not too bad given short notice.
The PFL actually has a lot of marketing going on and bringing in a team representing FC Barcelona's system is not bad.
Outside of the three potential sports leagues out there (PFL, Futbol USA, and the NAFL), this PFL seems to have the most veracity. Don't know if they'll get a league started next year or not, but they do have a federation behind them, some money, and some thought.
Edit: Futbol USA is going nowhere. It's obvious.
Here's a rebroadcast: http://espn.go.com/watchespn/player/_/i ... condensed/
They're on espn3 today at 3 EDT for Barcelona v. Mexico.
First off, I'd make a bet that MASL (and maybe whatever breakaway league ends up being formed among the big dogs) loses 33% of their franchises from last year's FINISHING number. At what point do you really consider rink soccer capable of growth?
Consider that the NFL lost a considerable amount of goodwill this last year, not to mention Pop Warner numbers are on a downward trajectory. That doesn't mean that I'm basing a plan of drawing crowds from disaffected NFL fans. What that means is that, with their uncertain future, time to freaking compete for attention. The chances of it paying off are half-decent if you're willing to institute a realistic 25-year strategy. Stop planning as if this isn't a niche. It is. Own that and prepare to build something from the ground up. Heck, I believe you know this.
Go where you're wanted first, build from there.
Now remember the comments about rink soccer. We've seen minor pro hockey go from crazy expansion to contraction. Some of the cities with former minor pro teams cycled into junior hockey, and some of the lower levels of that took a hit this year. In all reality, the number of hockey teams is going down, too. What you think is a crowded marketplace is really developing something of a void. Try to fill it.
The NFL, with all of the negative press, actually earned another extra $billion in revenue.
[quote=""SignGuyDino""]Futsal is different than indoor soccer. The bigger threat from indoor soccer won't be the pro teams, it'll be all the indoor soccer centers that won't convert to Futsal despite Futsal being the official version according to FIFA. Hell, some guy wants to build an indoor soccer center in my hometown (I think he's underfunded and we already have one in nearby Asheville).[/quote]
So here's the thing: former warehouse near I-84 in Portland- in the city limits- has converted to a Futsal facility. http://rosecityfutsal.com/
Three courts. Two are a foot short of basketball court dimensions, one is large enough for, say, the entire wood floor of a basketball court. More on that significance later. Other point being that some of the facilities are inadequate to convert, and you can't worry about that. OTHERS might find a greater capacity for play by converting, and that will eventually be a selling point IMO. HOWEVER, that will take time.
[quote=""SignGuyDino""]Realistic 25 year strategy" sounds like corporatism, not grassroots, ground-up planning.[/quote]
Why should a grass-roots effort necessarily NOT involve millionaires?
Mind you, I'm talking Futsal. I know how MLS got into this discussion. Try to put it out of your mind for a bit. The truth is that there may be a dozen people with money in this country who even believe that pro/rel could be viable, and 2/3rds of them are too smart to own a franchise in any sport anyway. That's America for you.
So not only are we talking about a converted warehouse... there's now at least three tennis courts in town and 1-2 other play areas that have converted to Futsal courts. The Timbers paid for converting 2 of the tennis courts (and that should tell you how tennis is doing around here). The other work was done by Timbers Army based on donations of money and time (and plenty of time at that). Yes, all outdoors, and so what. Just because we have an owner who really doesn't know the sport, participates in "The MLS," stays attached at the hip to a dodgy GM, and is generally tight with his money doesn't mean even he hasn't helped lay groundwork for something else to take hold.
I know... you want access. You want "grass roots" to mean everyone has a shot at this... and you know damn well that's not going to happen. In this case, that's not my definition of grass roots. First comes the idea, then a little education and infrastructure, THEN you can start building stuff. My mention of that dealt specifically with Futsal for a reason.
SignGuyDino;177907 wrote:I have received indication that the proposed PFL will not pursue an open pyramid, they'll be as closed as "The MLS." That just ends it for me.SignGuyDino;177907 wrote:
And while this could end up being repetitive, let's take this another direction. It's a 95% chance PFL will fail regardless of structure. People will make the wrong decisions, other interests will drag the league down, assumptions that are made are wrong... but without PFL or whatever actually starts up starting up, you can't make the next step. You couldn't have MLS without NASL. The NBL pre-dated the NBA. Someone has to make the mistake before someone else can pick up the slack. So no matter what I think about starting up a league right now, no matter what you think about how it's structured... this is a case where someone needs to step up and make the mistake in order to move the conversation forward. (Yes, I'm sure this is splendid reading for the potential PFL investor )
This, BTW, instead of focusing on your next paragraph, is to underline an American sporting truth. It's top-down, not bottom-up... until you can really get the bottom to bubble up. The bottom rarely bubbles up. It threatens to do this with the outdoor game, and that's unfortunately beyond the comprehension of the average American sports owner (some of whom find themselves divesting from their English investments lately).
(That's another thing: track record of foreign ownership in MLS, and elsewhere in the Big 4 here... generally dismal. There's too many structural differences.)
So one last: back to the reference I made about RCF and the size of the courts. If there's an opportunity in professionalizing this to a better degree than MASL (and the leagues before it) aren't doing: you don't need a hockey rink. So many newer basketball arenas (not just NBA... D-League, too) either don't have a rink or are really structured to feature basketball first. You can still play Futsal in those arenas, generally. In among all the impediments to ANYTHING working, that's at least an opportunity.
Futsal has a lot of things wrong with it and there are a lot of reasons to pay it no mind. It's not going to fly here, so whether it has your precious promotion and relegation is really of no consequence.
Yet, you want a D-League team in Asheville, which means you have some interest in basketball, which also doesn't have promotion and relegation. Curious.