Is the Montreal Impact a threat to the Alouettes?

It is the off-season, slow news days, here goes.

The Montreal Impact kicked-off their first ever MLS home game this afternoon. While the Montreal Impact of the NASL was such a minor team, it is now in the MLS, the top of North American soccer pyramid. With its 19 teams in major cities (and expanding) and big-ticket names like David Beckham and Thierry Henri, I dare to say that the MLS is significantly bigger than the CFL.

What impact will the new Montreal Impact have on the Montreal Alouettes in terms of fan base? Last season was definitely not the one to be desired, with the team having difficulty to sell out the smallest - albeit the most expensive - venue in the CFL. Will the attendance get even worse with fans' budget now needs to be shared with the Impact?

There has been plenty of football news. This the best you can come up with in four months ? If you want to talk football fine but this is pure troll post to give you an excuse to take a stab at the Als.

Me? Troll? Why do you not just see my other posts to see who or what I am.

I am not here to start a flame war. All I can see is that in terms of business 2011 is a lousy year for the Alouettes. Now that the Impact is surging I fear that the Alouettes will get even smaller slice of Montreal's fandom pie.

Do you have an intelligent response for that?

I said "troll post" did not call you a troll, you've made great posts but this one is a lemon. Let me ask you questions. No news ? What is four new coach, 3 Free Agent signings, 2 of the 2010 all star selections. 23 new players on the roster a new online store since you last posted. Not one comment about that but you want to start a discussion about the soccer team ! kind of strange and the first thing you post is about possible doom to the football team and a lousy year for the alouettes Is the sky falling post.

Then you make a claim that the MLS is bigger than the CFL because a couple has been international players are playing in the league ? The Manic drew almost 60k once too what happened to that ? If the Alouettes gave away 20 to 30 000 free tickets they would fill the big O too.

I'm glad Montreal soccer fans have some soccer to watch. Does not take anything away from the Alouettes.

If a new vegetarian restaurant opens up in Montreal, does the Steakhouse next door lose customers ?

MLS is a 5th division type league with the vast majority of the teams losing big money as hemorrhaging big time.
I don't know exactly the climate in Montreal other than the Als are a solid second, but here in Toronto the FC are absolutely no competition to the Argos.

Same here. Als is downtown chic, Impact is East end ugly. The place was papered with free tickets. Distributors, retailers,restaurants, sponsors. they plastered the place to get the hype, that's fine marketing but that's all it is.

Well, I will make it easier to you then.

With the new climate of Montreal professional sports, what do you think the Alouettes will do in terms of business? Will they do better or worse in 2012 than in 2011?

What new climate? I’m not sure how things are radically different just because the Impact gave away tickets to pack Olympic Stadium for one game. Als can’t worry about other Montreal teams. They just have to take care of their own business, restart the marketing side, and expand their fanbase.

I think there is plenty of corporate activity in Montreal to support both summer pro teams but tough to say how long it will take for the Als to take the next step. The economy is very soft so it may take some time to bring back corporate partnership to what they once were. But I think they will start trending up instead of down that we've seen since they Prince years. I think the 24 000 core paying fans are not going anywhere. But this team still relies on everything going perfectly on the field to make a buck. The new TV contract should resolve that to some extent.

As for the media coverage. I don't see it changing anytime soon. Montreal media is obsessed with the Habs and reporters are looking for free trips to the US and you can see that in the coverage of the MLS as well. Reporters get paid the same no matter what team they cover and the name recognition and the free trips that comes with covering the Habs. There are still some encouraging signs. Herb, Moffat and Moe Khan are great supporters of the team and there has been a lot of progress between Herb and Popp. I think a guy like Sam Giguere would help get some media attention but Hamilton seems determined to not let that happen despite Wetenhaul subsidizing them. Real head shaker there. Someone needs to be the friendly face of this franchise...

Boulay and Brouillette can be the faces of the franchise if they step up their game this season.

??? Are you basing your "fan base" theory off of one home game, their first as an MLS team?! Which by thw way, many seats were filled with "freebie" tickets and not actual paying fans.
No doubt that they will draw many this season as it is there first season in the MLS. Will they draw 58k and change at their next home game which I believe is at the Big O?
Did the team sell out all their home games last season?

Als will continue to have success with the fan base even while the Impact are now playing in the MLS.

Thanks for the insight H.
Out of the announced near 59,000, how many do you figure were freebies?

I have no idea the total but family owns a downtown restaurant and got 10. So my guess is many,many thousands...

re Impact game freebies, many youth soccer associations were provided with freebies. So yes, many thousands would be a good guesstimate.

Will be interesting to see how many will be at their next home game at the Big O.

Hardly! I’m extremely glad to see nearly 60,000 fans in the Big Owe anytime and while Impact played well, they didn’t win! Football (aka CFL) in Canada has been a hard sell, but soccer in North America has always been an even harder sell! The Manic drew some good crowds back in the 80’s, but the league folded!

So, I hope for all soccer fans (of which I am one!) that the Impact acquit themselves well in their first season in MLS, and that they continue to draw good crowds, both at the Big Owe and at Saputo Stadium. Further, I hope soccer really catches on this time.

But, back to our football - I hope the Als do well this year, and I hope they draw 60,000 fans, too!

Je ne suis pas l'Impact. J'aime pas le sucker.

The Impact also might be faced with the same snobism that the Als face when certain NFL followers turn their nose up at the CFL.

Friends of mine who are soccer followers but used to the European brand, respect what Saputo is doing but find the North American brand of soccer inferior to what they are used to following.

Montreal is plenty large enough to support all teams. Soccer isn’t a threat to football in Canada. Never has been, likely never will be. But the two sports can cohabitate no problem. What will likely happen in your case is as the novelty of the new league wears off, the “new” stadium and people get sick of watching an expansion team, you will see the buzz fade away. The same thing happened in Toronto and is happening to some extent in Vancouver.

Either way, I don’t think it’s bad for a city to have multiple successful sports teams.

While you are probably right with regards to the "novelty" of the Impact wearing off, but they will get their 10-12k (if not more) at Saputo stadium even if they are losing. There is a strong soccer following in Montreal that will at least give them that many fans at a game. The casual fan will stop going if they have losing seasons.

Je ne suis pas certain que les mordus de soccer de Montréal suivraient les Alouettes de toute façon.