Whatever happened to the NASL expansion idea

Wouldn't there be enough of a European/ethnic asian/middle eastern potpourri of culture in Hamilton that could embrace and support a pro soccer team in Hamilton? I'm of Serbian descent and most of my friends and family in Hamilton are big soccer fans first, basketball fans second, then Ticats fans third......

I could be wrong but I believe Bob's company owns the management rights to the stadium an the city gets a cut of additional revenues.

If you go to any park in Hamilton or any school they are playing soccer, it's not just a European/ethnic/asian mid east potpourri. It's Canadian kids playing soccer, there are more kids playing than any other sport including hockey.
It's a matter of a pro-soccer team marketing to the younger generation.
For young kids there is only one football team in the area and they play in a league against teams from all over the region.
In my day the high schools had a junior team and a senior team, these days they have problems trying to field a football team. The kids want to play soccer and the best athletes are playing soccer not football, not only because of the injury aspect but because of the better chances of getting a scholarship to play soccer.

The NASL Fury in Ottawa will be successful because they will market the team and Ottawa is a good soccer market.
Next year is the World Cup and it's a good opportunity to sell soccer, it will have huge TV ratings.
Hamilton should be able to support an NASL franchise.

To be fair, the reason they are playing soccer, is because soccer is cheap and much better suited for pre-puberty. A couple balls and some nets is all that's needed, and there is very little chance of serious injury. That's actually the big problem with hockey is that so many players are eating with the silver spoon since the ice time, equipment costs, registrations, skates etc cost an arm and a leg and while in Canada we teach our kids to skate early, the NHL isn't doing anything to slow down the game, and concussions and injuries are running rampant in the pros, which has a lot of parents scared.

Football, a little less so, but most kids don't get into Football till at least 12 in Canada from what I've seen, or like myself when they get into highschool. Equipment costs are not as bad as hockey, but they are still there. Also once again though, concussions are the plague of the league, but at least both the NFL and CFL seem much more active in their attempts to police the game and stop head shots.

However as kids age, there is a complete gap in soccer development. There isn't a lot of 14-21 development in soccer as far as I can see. My highschool didn't even have a soccer team when I grew up. Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Hockey and Track.

The attitude also of many parents in soccer is pretty much "Well it's somewhere to socialize during the summer, and it keeps the kids active" and that's it. Some parents at that level are "win at all costs" types which hampers the development at that age. Learning technique is far more important young and drilled in for life then focusing on the athelticism that win games at the early age, but is nowhere near as useful in the pros, where everyone is close to being equally athletic. There are parents who literally question coaches who drill fudamentals of soccer into the kids because, why bother? There is no Canadian big league to make, by the time they've reached an older age the parents don't follow it and socilize as much as their children mature and when the kids grow up other sports are available and typically followed at that point.

As far as the best athletes playing soccer, as opposed to football. That's like comparing a weight lifter to a track runner. They are both atheletes, just different kinds. A soccer player doesn't have the strength that a football player has, conversely a football player doesn't have the same cardio. It's apples and oranges.

Good read Hammer. :thup:

So after that long explanation, I assume you agree that soccer is popular and there is enough evidence that Hamilton could support a pro soccer team?

Honestly, it's a maybe in my eyes. It's certainly something Canada needs if it wants to get seirous about soccer development and competing on a world stage, and it's certainly has a lot of potential, espcially with Hamilton's growing population.

The problems I see are three fold, the first is yes there is a large immigrant population, but are they going to support the local Hamilton team, even a fractional amount compared to their Ancestry team, European team, or TFC? It's more then filling the stands with casual fans, and single ticket buyers. You need people buying season tickets, with the kits and the scarves, which leads to second problem.

The second problem is, can you get the right atmosphere? THF's lower stands I'm guesstimating hold around 10,000. That's a lot for a leauge that's averaging just under 5,000 in attendance. I know everyone is quick to point out the success of Vancouver and Montreal, but they are both larger cities then Hamilton and with a much larger immigrant populations then Hamilton. Also, Montreal had the Saputo's spending an arm and a leg keeping the team running out of a labour of love.

Last, but not least is the 2nd tier league attitude so many in Hamilton have. The Bulldogs, despite being a middle of the ground AHL team, don't see anywhere near the support the should because they aren't an NHL team (and partly because they may be Montreal's farm team). Apart from friendlies, you are only going to see two games in the Canadian championship of TFC vs the Hamilton NASL team, and only one at THF.

I think yes, it's possible but it needs commited ownership and atmosphere, and it MUST be able to play TFC at least once a year.

As a side note, price is a huge factor here too. As a Bulldogs fan, nothing frustrates me more then seeing so much of the lower bowl at Copps and the entire upper bowl empty (the curtain hides nothing) and tickets costing $26 as they were at one time. Now the price has come down quite a bit more, and the flex packs make it so it's $12 a game, which is reasonable, but nothing frustrates a fan more then being in an empty stadium with high ticket prices. Hence once of the reasons the Argos are struggling.

Hey great posts guys, great reads!

As stated above, how long before concussion problems catch up to soccer players who repeatedly head the ball and north american parents scare away from putting their kids in soccer???


In 20 years will putting your kids in tennis or track and field to keep your kids active be the most popular sports due to the low probability of getting concussions in those sports…how long before the highest level of football turns into the Canadian Flag Football League or the National Flag Football League etc, all fighting and body checking in hockey is banned at all levels, all headers in soccer get banned to reduce concussions blah blah blah…

Back on topic,

As you stated -Hammer- with the NASL being a second tier league and how piss poor most southern ontarians treat an think of the non NFL’s and non NHL sport leagues, the more I think of it, the NASL might not float or fly at all with Hamiltonians…

Both my sons played Hockey, High School football and Soccer and the only serious injuries they ever sustained were each a broken arm playing soccer so there you go.

In any team and most individual sports weather or not they're "contact sports" catastrophic injuries are always a possibility I gues. :expressionless:

Well you can get a broken arm from a pretend hit, diving so to speak. :wink:

Or if your 8 years old and you get tripped and break the fall with your arm. I've seen broken teeth, broken legs and torn knees in Timbit soccer. All I'm saying is that if Parents think Soccer is harmless, they aren't too swift.

[url=http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4146864-toronto-team-keen-to-play-soccer-at-new-hortons-field/]http://www.thespec.com/news-story/41468 ... ons-field/[/url]

Lots of soccer news here!

[b]"Two professional soccer teams won't work in Hamilton. We can't make this work without sole use," said Theroux, who wants a five-year deal. "We told them we're ready to go in 2014, but time is getting shorter."

Theroux said ideally he'd like to have a pro team ready for possible exhibition games next August if the stadium is complete. The Lynx would need a temporary field for any earlier matches and the 2015 Pan Am Games, he said.

Via email, Ticats owner Bob Young called the discussion "premature" because his club and the city are still negotiating a stadium usage deal. It's unclear if the city will extend the club's soccer exclusivity deal, but sources have told The Spectator the Ticats want a new 2017 deadline.[/b]

Sounds a bit like a snake oil salesman, not unlike the developers that were trying to pitch the NHL to the city of Markham.

It's best to tell this guy to take a hike...

IMHO we need an NASL franchise so we can play Ottawa, Edmonton,Tier 2 and games against TFC, Impact and Whitecaps.
This Lynx is tier 3 it will never fly in the Hammer

Seems to make sense to me Grover but I’m not familiar with what the real soccer fans in this area want. The few comments on The Spec article seem to say get the Lynx now but don’t know if that represents the majority of what the soccer people want.

Tier 3 soccer, whatever. :roll: Maybe if the dollars make sense, money talks as they say. I’d probably go see some top Tier 2 or a game agains’t MLS and try it out. Tier 3? Is that like a step up from high school soccer? :?

Thanks for posting, and very interesting!

Sounds like Bob is still open to being a part of soccer at TH field, but wants to have the usage deal completed before doing so. What form that takes (Bob owning an NASL team, Bob owning a USL-Pro team, Bob leasing to the Lynx or their TFC sponsors, etc) is still anyone's guess.

If Bob gets full management rights to the stadium, I think we'll see the Lynx and their USL-Pro idea fade into the mist. The stadium's already too big for their team, the Lynx are not and never have been good at drawing fans, the city's asking six figures in rent, and Bob would probably demand even more to keep a competitor out. There's just so many other cheaper and more effective locations for TFC to place their reserve team.

I hope Bob gets his full management rights. It's the only way that the stadium, football, and soccer will succeed.

I'm against full management rights of publicly funded facilities. You end up with situations like BMO.Young has exclusive NASL franchise rights for Hamilton all he has to do is field a team like he said he would just like OSEG is doing in Ottawa. Otherwise what is the city to do ? They paid to build this. MLS is not an option and if Young won't field an NASL team then what is the city to do ?

BMO has worked out well financially for all it's stakeholders (unfortunately, the Argos are not one of them) and OSEG will have full management rights over the Ottawa stadium.

The Cats want exclusive rights to Soccer not all management rights just as the Lynx want the same
OSEG owns all of the rights to Lansdowne, are you saying that is not good and that the City should be booking the Stadium

Hecfi will probably be booking all Stadium activities except CFL and Pro Soccer

The football club signed a tentative deal with the city in 2011 giving the Ticats exclusive rights to bring pro soccer and a training academy to the Pan Am stadium in exchange for $150,000 in annual rent.

The catch is the team won't come unless the city axes the Ticats' exclusivity deal and instead gives the Lynx a pro-soccer monopoly at the $145-million stadium. A decision is needed in November to get the ball rolling in Hamilton next summer, said Lynx president Alain Theroux.