This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Soccer Beating Baseball to Ticket-Buyers

Stocks in this article: CTL DIS NWS

"We have 20-year-olds who don't know life without Major League Soccer because they were 4 when the league started," Courtemanche says. "It's a generational aspect that's starting to change for us."

The size and scope of MLS is continuing to change as well. When the league adds a franchise in Montreal next year and the Houston Dynamos move off the University of Houston campus, 15 of its 19 teams will be playing in soccer-specific stadiums with a capacity of 27,000 or less. The downsizing keeps fans from being dwarfed by half-empty football facilities, keeps teams from losing control of scheduling or revenue from parking or concessions and moves teams toward profitability. There are notable exceptions to this rule, as the Sounders have a more equitable agreement with the Seahawks than teams including D.C. United and the New England Revolution have with their NFL landlords.

"It's a combination of the appropriate-sized stadium to produce an environment where fans can celebrate soccer vs. being maybe the third tenant in an American football stadium where an MLS team maybe isn't in charge of the revenue streams," Courtemanche says. "CenturyLink field is not soccer-specific, but it's downtown and part of the ownership group is the Seahawks organization, so the Sounders are on even par -- but in a place like RFK Stadium, DC United is just renting, has very little control over dates and revenue and isn't ever going to be successful from an economic standpoint until they have their own facility."

Much like in baseball, however, a new stadium isn't a guarantee people will actually show up. The Columbus Crew built the league's first soccer-specific stadium in 1999, but the 20,455-seat Columbus Crew stadium is drawing slightly fewer than 10,500 per game this year even as the team holds on to third place in the Eastern Conference. By comparison, Vancouver draws nearly twice as many and is dead last in the league.

FC Dallas is in third place in the Western Conference, but regularly plays to a half-full house at Pizza Hut (YUM) Park. The Chicago Fire moved from Soldier Field in downtown Chicago to 20,000-seat Toyota (TM) Park in the suburb of Bridgeview five years ago and still draws only 14,000 per game. It takes more than small stadiums to hang with the big leagues.

"With any professional sports league, it's not a case of 'If you build it, they will come,'" Courtemanche says. "You have to build the appropriate stadium in a location that appeals to your fan base and you need to continue to produce a product that's compelling on the field and market it appropriately to increase demand."

-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

RELATED STORIES:







Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
4 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,642.82 +285.95 1.65%
S&P 500 2,047.43 +34.54 1.72%
NASDAQ 4,730.1960 +85.8840 1.85%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs