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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Soccer fever -- hope someone catches it

The announced attendance at last night's Portland Timbers game in Austin, Texas was 3,114. Granted, it wasn't "major league" soccer, even by U.S. standards. But that's a darn weak turnout for a sport that's supposed to become a big hit any day now, and justify spending tens of millions of tax dollars and evicting minor league baseball from Portland.

Comments (19)

Remember that line from Spinal Tap when the Boston gig gets canceled?

Don't worry about soccer attendance in Austin. It's not a big college town.


On April 22nd the announced attendance for the Portland Beavers game in Portland was 1,625 (and eyewitness accounts suggest 250-350). Granted it wasn't "major league" baseball, even by US standards. But that's a darn weak turnout for a sport that's supposed to be America's game, and justify spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars in cities all over the country.

Agreed. We should leave our teams and our building the way they are. If they're not good enough for Litle Lord Paulson, he never should have moved here.

When the Blazers play in Indiana, do you point out that attendance is low and that NBA basketball isn't worth the price we pay for a team here?

Maybe we can all just take up a collection and pay LLP to leave town...
say $31 million???

Wait until they play at Miami on Friday. For their last home game, the Blues drew a crowd (I use the word loosely) of 805.

That said, the league can claim that attendance, while modest, has been growing:


When the Blazers play in Indiana, do you point out that attendance is low and that NBA basketball isn't worth the price we pay for a team here?

No, and for good reason. The Blazers and the NBA aren't asking the city for a handout (at least, not at the moment). And the NBA is by far the best basketball league in the world, with no chance of going out of business during our lifetimes.

"he never should have moved here"
But this is where the money is, Portland the city that gets laid, easily. He learned well from Daddy.

Whadda bet LLP doesn't pick anything?
I'm bettin' on 'Daddy war bucks' Paulson or his minions are doing the pickin'.
LLP probably isn't even allowed to order take out on his own.

Why use Austin as a comparison for how well atended Timbers games will be here against MLS teams when you could use, oh I don't know, actual Timbers games here against MLS teams? 16,400. Sold out 24 hours in advance. Could've been more like 20,000 if allowed.

(Or are you really saying that because nobody attends a Beavers game in Portland then by extension there isn't support for baseball in Boston to attend Red Sox games?)

On a somewhat related topic, are you still in support of spending hundreds of millions in public money to get an MLB team here like you were in recent years? Just curious.

If MLS folds, there are no games.

Yes, as I've explained here before, I support Major League Baseball in Portland, because (among many other reasons) it is the best league in the world at its sport, and it is under no danger of going bankrupt.

Don't know if it's relevant, and the people that live in the region should certainly be used to it, but I heard it was 106 degrees in Austin yesterday.

That's hot.

Seattle in the USL had average attendance of about 3500. MLS Seattle is pushing 30,000 per game. If attendance in Austin for USL is somehow related to the success of MLS in Portland, then the attendance in Seattle probably is as well, don't you think?

If there's a league, Portland will probably be one of the stronger teams.

If there's a league.

The Seattle success proves my point that MLS needs this region badly. Paulson and the city council act like they have zero leverage in dealing with MLS and that's highly doubtful. We probably could keep PGE Park for both sports and MLS would have to go along. Look at the state of the league:

Here's from last month on a site called "The Beautiful Game":

"Only five teams (Toronto, Chivas, N.E., K.C., Columbus) are averaging more fans now than in 2008, and only two of them (Chivas +6.51%, N.E. +11.86%) are greater than 3% hikes.

On the other side, nine teams have less fans in attendance:
FC Dallas -34.78%
San Jose -33.98%
D.C. -28.85%
Chicago -28.67%
Los Angeles -22.42%
New York -18.92%
Colorado -14.65%
Houston -7.51%
Salt Lake -5.91%
League average attendance is down about 1,500 fans per game (about 8.8%) and that includes Seattle's 29K fans a game.

Some commenter said the hit is more like 13% disregarding the Sounders FC faithful.
Not good."

I believe we are being bamboozled here by a rich kid owner who wants a new soccer-only toy and is pretending that he has to have it.

Meanwhile baseball will draw its second huge crowd of the month to PGE Park, later this week for the minor league all-star game, and they are being tossed out for soccer only. It's crazy and expensive especially when you see these attendance numbers.

Who watches soccer?

Actually where did you get your numbers? I was actually at the game in Austin and they announced over 3,900 at the game on their video screen.

What's soccer?


Ask the basketball fans in Seattle and Vancouver how much having the "best basketball league in the world that is not going bankrupt" means? The answer is absolutely nothing!!

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