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  • 12/29/2008, 02:39PM ET

March Madness: Round 1: Will Soccer Ever Be a Major Sport in the US.

Gu3: Hip Hip .... PIE (434-333-58) vs Joe Dew (359-228-49)
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I say no.

The major sports are baseball, football, basketball.

There is no way that soccer can overtake any of those to become a major sport in the United States.

1) In order for soccer to be a major sport in the US, they would have to have superstar players like Christiano Ronaldo or Ronaldinho come over the MLS and put on shows. THEN, the MLS would be a gold mine for young players and with that comes viewership. Well, that won't happen. The MLS will have to become big BEFORE that. They would have to buy all thise players from Europe Teams who can gaurantee more money.

2) With the major sports, we have baseball in the spring/summer; basketball in the winter/spring; and we have football in the fall/winter. All of the viewership is covered. Let's face it, the same people who watch these sports will be the same ones who watch soccer. There is simple no place to put it on there. TV sports channels will be covered by NFL, NCAAF, NBA, NCAAB, and the MLB. Let's not forget about the NASCAR, hockey, and golf sprinkled in there. And we have lacrosse up and coming.

The term "ever" is a infinite term, but in the foreseeable future, soccer is not a major US sport.


It depends on how you define major.

No it will not overtake Football, Basketball or Baseball but yes it can hold its own next to the big 3. Thats why Hockey stays successful in those terms as well. DID YOU FORGET ABOUT HOCKEY. Then you go on to define College Sports as Major as well.

If we look at average attendance we can actually see that MLS or Soccer in the USA is not far behind the big 3.

"Through December 8, NBA teams are averaging 17,064 fans per game"

http://sportsmediawatch.blogspot.com/2008/12/nba-attendance-up-slightly.html

"average attendance with the 2008 Marlins averaging just 16,688 over 80 games this season."

http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article& id=2510:inside-the-numbers-2008-mlb-attendance&catid=29:articles-a-opinion&a mp;Itemid=41

So the MLB's Marlins average only 16,688 fans a game while the NBA this season average 17,064 fans per game. THE NBA AND MLB ARE MAJOR BY YOUR STANDARDS.

THE MLS AVERAGE ATTENDANCE IS 16,459 fans a game.

http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/60481

So if the MLS gets 16 thousand fans a game and so does the MLB, i dont think we are far behind.


You mention the average attendence of those sports, but you forget the capacity. Its like saying Shaq has made 5536 free throws in his career but not mentioning the attempts (10538).


The average capacity for a NBA arena is 19,201. If they are stuffing 17K+ in there, thats 89% of seats filled on average. That is a pretty good number.


Before i go to the back-breaker, let me talk MLB with you. You mentioned the Marlins' attendance. However, there is no mention of the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, or Phillies? Hell, not even a mention of the average attendence. Well, let me get that for you. 78,624,324 paid to watch a game at a MLB stadium last year. That is the 2nd highest EVER! The NL alone averaged 34,201 per game.


Now, for the kicker. In 2000, the average capacity of a MLS stadium was 60K. They are drawing only around 17k! That is only 28%! And for another kicker, it is going down. In 2007, it was 16,703 per game. Now, its 16,460. A steady decline can only lead to bad things.


You argue me not mentioning the capacity but that only helps me. Because the MLS has a lot more seats to fill and can go up.

See you say the word Major but dont really understand the concept of it.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL - MLB
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER - MLS

Then you mention a few major sports but miss the NHL, BOXING, Arena Football, and numerous others.

You have to define MAJOR and you failed to do it again.

See some of the cities have MLS teams that dont have another major sport to compete with. Thats SUPPLY AND DEMAND. Take for example Salt Lake City in UTAH. They have the NBA's Utah Jazz and then they also have the MLS Real Salt Lake Team. SO there are only 2 major teams to compete for fans.

Just because baseball, football and basketball exist doesnt mean that Hockey, Soccer, and other sports cant exist. MLS is doing fine for being young and unpopular. They are staying in business, they have fans, and they draw media now. David Beckham has even come over and it only helped make soccer bigger in the USA. No MLS is not going to compete with Europe but it can have a fanbase in America.


So you change your tune from "MLS having more fans" to "MLS has room to grow because they sit so much"? Alright....

Should i give you a gold star for guessing what the acronyms mean?

Yeah, i didnt mention boxing or AFL. So you might want to get that check out..

For argument sake, let's call "major" a top 5 sport in the United States. Right now, major is baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and NASCAR.

You mention supply and demand. Of the 14 MLS teams, Utah is the only one that fits your supply and demand theory. I don't think that works for just ONE team.

If you haven't noticed, European and soccer from around the world is on television alot. They have the better players and are more enjoyable to watch than a hurt David Beckham and an underachieving Freddy Adu. They EASILY steal ratings away from the MLS.

Not only do they steal ratings, they would also steal players. If the MLS somehow gets a superstar like Ronaldo or Ronaldinho, European teams would swoop in with the money and the more attractive offer to play soccer in Europe. Soccer in Europe sounds more attractive than soccer in the US.

Hockey has got the fanbase back and NASCAR has always had it.


I never said anything about the MLS having more fans. The MLS has Fans which you are trying to lead people to believe that it does not. THEY DO HAVE FANS.

Now you finally defined major. But you exlude MLS. ITS CALLED MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER!

How can Major League Soccer not be Major when it has the word MAJOR in the NAME!!!

Anyways the greatest soccer is not in the USA its overseas but that doesnt mean that the MLS cant be the top tier level of soccer in America.

I am not saying that Soccer is going to overtake Football or Basketball in the States because that would never happen. But it can be a Major Sport. It Can be the top level of Soccer Talent in the states and that would make it a Major Sport. Therefore MLS is the perfect name for that league of talent.

See some people just dont like soccer, dont want to like soccer, and want people to feel that it's a lower level sport. Thats not true. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Soccer is sucessful in America as well. So it can be a MAJOR SPORT. It already is. It just depends on your view of the term Major.

THE MLS IS NOT GOING AWAY!

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