Friday, March 14, 2008

Olympic update

This one for SI.com.

I didn't get to it in my column but the crowds in Tampa have been pathetic. I wonder if it would have been better for the entire tournament to have taken place in one venue, perhaps all the games out here at Home Depot Center or Pizza Hut Park or some other MLS town.

I know the criteria for tournaments such as these is not necessarily to play them in MLS towns but why Tampa? If it wasn't going to be held in a city that hosts an MLS team, why not a place like Portland or St. Louis? At least there might have been a chance to have more than 250 people there.

Tournament organizers probably did not want to saturate one market with so many games, which to an extent is true. Six consecutive matchdays at HDC may have put a strain on resources. Still, I wonder if there would have been more crowds for Group A games right here at HDC than there have been at Raymond James Stadium.

3 comments:

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

l.b., I think a lot of it has to do with travel expenses for many of the teams. Cuba, Honduras and Panama aren't exactly the richest countries in the world, and Tampa is closer than practically any other site, save Miami. Also, CONCACAF assumes that those three countries have strong fan bases in Florida (why do you think Mexico and Guatemala are playing out here?)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for throwing Portland out there!! PGE park holds just under 20k in the Rose City and we do very well during USL games w/the Timbers..

I see the travel expenses being a problem but soccer fans in portland would have easily supported this. With guys like Adu, and Edu playing we would come close to selling out atleast the US games !!

Check back on us after the home opening on April 17th.. Timber Jims last game.. The Army has set the goal at a sell-out to show the cities appreciation.

Bring the Timbers to the MLS

papa bear said...

the 'crowds' there are an abomination.
Further proof to me that Florida simply isn't interested in soccer.
Oh I'm sorry, Miami FC averages under 1K/game, they are ready. /sarcasm