- 06/13/2012, 03:26AM ET
J-Business said 06/13, 03:26 AM
Will soccer overtake hockey to become the most 4th within 5 years?
Soccer will become more popular over time but it will not replace hockey as the 4th most popular sport?
To put this into context, this is suggesting that in 5 yrs
The Philly Union will be more popular than the Flyers
NY Red Bulls over Rangers and Islanders
Detroit over the Red Wings
Revolution over the Bruins
Galaxy over the Kings
Fire over the Blackhawks
Of course not
It has to be understood that sports is apart of the culture and identity of a city and it's fans
Regardless of how poor the LA Kings were for yrs, they were still more popular than the LA Galaxy and once they won the Stanley Cup, hockey in So Cal will ride that wave for at least another 10 yrs
Demographic wise, soccer may seem more intriguing to the growing Hispanic population but this doesn't take into account the fact that many of their children will probably identify more with American sports such as hockey
Those are the biggest markets and we all know it won't happen anytime soon
Soccer may become more popular but it's still yrs away from overtaking hockey as the 4th most popular sport
JimJ77 Can't make it up said 06/13, 11:41 AM
I don't know if soccer will overtake hockey in the next 5 years but I think it can. And based on the topic being "can" and not "will" let me outline how it can and already has started to.
Now, I will say, I'm not a fan of soccer and most likely never be, but a lot of people are fans and the sport is capturing new fans constantly.
In fact, MLS finally surpassed both the NHL and NBA in average attendance in 2011. I believe the gap will continue to widen as MLS grows in number of teams and as new stadiums open. In 2010 60% of the teams in MLS had an increase in attendance, while the NHL had a 66% decrease.
You state sports is a part of culture and I agree. As the 2010 census showed us, this country has shown a shift in demographics. Hispanics make up a majority of this culture shift as they become the largest minority group in the country. Based on these culture changes and attendance figures, soccer has already risen to a level on par with hockey.
I'd venture to say more children are playing soccer now.
These trends and the fact that soccer is in its infancy stage, we can determine the soccer can of course surpass hockey as the 4th major sport in this country.
J-Business said 06/14, 07:52 AM
The actual numbers show that Hispanics are having more babies than other Americans.
Thus, it will still take another 10 yrs for the kid to become interested enough in soccer to become a fan and then another 10 yrs to be old enough to buy tickets to games and contribute towards the shift.
Many of those children growing up in America will presumably adopt other American sports such as basketball, baseball, football and yes hockey
Also, keep in mind that only a few MLS teams are profitable, so it's quite possible the league may contract in a few yrs
MLS Soccer is the main vehicle pushing the sport in America and it's a 2nd tier (some would say 3rd tier) league in comparison to the EPL, La Liga, and the S. American leagues.
And you know what, American sports fans know this. So why would American sports fans watch a lower quality league, over other leagues w/ the best athletes in the world?
Don't try to present the argument that the MLS will attract the best players because they still won't have the revenue to do so
Today is the parade for the Kings. I'm betting the crowd will be bigger than the Galaxy's
JimJ77 Can't make it up said 06/14, 11:51 AM
MLS is one aspect of soccer coverage in this country.
For instance Euro 2012 which is being covered by ESPN has seen a 214% increase in ratings since Euro 2008. The Italy vs Spain game garnered 2.1 million viewers on ESPN this past Sunday. Meanwhile, the Stanley Cup finals averaged 3 million viewers on NBC. The lowest rated series in years. Obviously NBC is available to many more viewers than ESPN.
Not a huge gap in ratings considering we're talking about Euro 2012 vs the Stanley Cup Finals.
TV execs also agree with soccer's momentum. NBC purchased the TV rights to NHL for $200 million per year. In contrast Fox purchased two World Cup TV rights for a whopping $1 billion.
There is no doubt soccer on TV has hit a bigtime TV trend.
In terms of children playing each sport. Soccer blows hockey out of the water. There are 14 million kids under the age of 18 playing soccer in this country. Hockey has 500,000. Part of this is the cost of playing hockey, but the bigger reason is the explosion of soccer in this country.
Since most of these kids play soccer they will be more drawn to watching the sport on TV. The TV execs agree.
Soccer can overtake hockey in 5 years.
J-Business said 06/14, 04:51 PM
No one is denying that soccer is becoming more popular.
However, the real question is will it overtake hockey in American within 5 yrs?
The MLS as the main soccer brand in America would have to be a top 4 sport in all of the top 7 markets
Another point is that 9 of the 19 MLS teams are in cities that don't have all 4 major sports teams, so at some times of the yr, it's the only show in town.
Soccer may be popular sport to play, but in order for the MLS, to become the 4th most popular in America they'll need:
Top players in the world
Surpass the NHL clubs in NY, Philly, LA, Chicago, NE, etc
USA team reach the semifinal in the World Cup 2 times straight (to prove the first one isn't a fluke)
Sports is a culture and the Flyers, Rangers, Islanders, Bruins, Blackhawks are apart of that culture.
For the Crew, Dynamo, Revolution, Liberty to change that, it would take another 12-15 years.
You have to understand that it's not just the sports, its the culture
JimJ77 Can't make it up said 06/15, 05:31 PM
I agree on your culture point, but as I explained over the past 10-15 years our culture has changed dramatically.
Not only has the Hispanic landscape in these country seen a dramatic shift but soccer in general has surged in terms of people participating and watching the sport.
I have outlined how demographics, viewership, and participation has caught up if not surpassed hockey on a popularity basis. I have shown this through actual numbers and not through opinion.
I understand why people do not like soccer, but numbers never lie and the numbers show that the sport of soccer has gained a tremendous amount of momentum on a national level.
Listing names of hockey and soccer clubs is not the way to defend hockey and bash soccer's popularity in this country. Most of your arguments pertain to these listings and most of it is opinion based.
The real question isn't "will" soccer overtake hockey in 5 years its, "can" soccer overtake hockey in 5 years? Well in 5 years who really knows, but based on current numbers we can without a doubt conclude that soccer has a shot of capturing a wider audience and putting the pressure on hockey as the 4th sport in this country.
- Fantasy baseball Injury Report: Cueto returns, Price hits the DL
- Fantasy baseball Stat Focus: Cabrera's wOBA proves dominance
- Fantasy baseball Trade Tips: It's time to sell Rickie Weeks
- Fantasy baseball Pitching Report: Odorizzi a worthy option
- Fantasy baseball Roundtable: Is Cardinals' pitching slowing?
- Awful Announcing
- Free Darko
- Pro Football Talk
- The Big Lead
- Joe Posnanski
- The Sporting Blog
- Big League Stew
- Bugs and Cranks
- Every day Should Be Saturday
- Mr. Irrelevant
- With Leather
- The Sports Hernia