Friday, April 27, 2007

Weather wears on fans

I laugh every time someone from Los Angeles launches into an argument about why Major League Soccer should switch to a schedule that involves more games closer to winter. Though this is my home now, I've lived elsewhere in the country, and I haven't forgotten the weather conditions there.

Which is not to say that the move doesn't have appeal, in particular easing the fixture congestion for international matches and MLS games. But the weather remains a mighty big, cold obstacle.

It's a bit of a conundrum.


Anonymous said...

Come on A.C. we play American Football outdoors all the way until 3 week of January. If Americans don't mind the weather in cities such as Denver, Green Bay, Cleveland, Chicago, Buffalo, Boston, New York City... you get my point. Why can't people open up to idea of watching soccer in December, January, or mid to late March in those same cities. I assume its because deep down many American still see soccer as a summer sport and whimpy. I'm not saying play soccer in Feb. but if other sports are playing in outdoor stadiums and fans are coming out to watch. Then surely soccer fans can suck it up and watch a soccer match during those same months.

A.C. said...

Except they don't. What a lot of people don't realize and often disparage, though their money is as good as anyones, is that a lot of kids come out to see soccer games. Soccer moms generally don't want to expose their children to freezing temperatures or to a bunch of guys drinking alchohol to keep warm.
Bad weather has been responsible for some off the worst MLS attendance and biggest financial losses per game. Why would the league set itself up for more of that?

Frankly, one reason NFL fans come out is because the season is so short. There are a very limited amount of NFL home games. There are far more MLS games, and most fans will skip the cold ones.

Anonymous said...

The point is is that people do come out to see games in cold weather because they have the mindset that the product is worth their time. MLS is notorious for not being worth going out in the cold for. MLS has to continue to change the minds of the public as it relates to being a good product. American soccer also has to learn to get away from marketing so heavily to kids. Frankly after NASL and 12yrs of MLS it doesn't work and as you stated soccer moms only want to take their kids out to games on nice sunny days. No wonder why MLS playoffs games are so badly attended. Part of this thinking goes back to soccer not being for the tough while gridiron football is for the strong at heart.