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November 18, 2017, 01:46:27 pm
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Author Topic: MLS in Tulsa?  (Read 8880 times)
Laramie
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« on: August 02, 2015, 02:42:47 pm »

 

Is Tulsa's potential underestimated?




Tulsa has 2 minor league soccer franchises (USL, NPSL) in operation within the city's proper.    Although, minor league attendance isn't always the best element to gauge a city's capacity to support major league sports--it shouldn't be ignored or discounted.  Tulsa has a strong soccer history on his resume which would have been stronger had the United States Football League (USFL) upped the ante on competition for area sports dollars which oversaturated the market in the mid 80s.

The Tulsa metropolitan area (969,224 residents) will eclipse 1 million residents soon; that's the safety net number used for many 'break-through' cities that obtained their first major professional franchise (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL).  MLS isn't quite on par with the top 4 major leagues; however, it's the top tier for soccer on the big league level in North America.

Tulsa's demographic numbers are comparable to cities like Memphis, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Raleigh & Salt Lake City when they obtained their first big league franchise.  Tulsa has 3 fortune 500 companies (ONEOK #237, NGL Energy Partners #299 and Williams Cos. #370) more than any of the above individual cities mentioned--along with an overall impressive corporate portfolio.

NBA has a strong hold on the OKC sports market; doubt it would be in any hurry to get on the MLS radar.

The stadium conversation...

Quote
A few of the details mentioned:

     •~10,000 seat capacity initially with expansion capabilities
     •Two potential locations in downtown Tulsa
     •Horseshoe shape
     •Removable sod for other events
     •Sounds like they're aiming for 2020 opening at the latest  

Very exciting for Tulsa as they've been on the shortlist for MLS expansion in the past (not so much recently). Is this the push to get back on that shortlist?
https://www.reddit.com/r/MLS/comments/32p6cw/report_of_soccer_specific_stadium_coming_to_tulsa/

Do you think Tulsa is ripe for Major League Soccer (MLS); should we be on their radar.

Source links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas  

http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/energy/three-tulsa-companies-crack-the-fortune-list/article_ef5d6684-2621-511c-a518-4504736d9439.html
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 04:42:35 pm by Laramie » Logged

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swake
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2015, 07:26:26 pm »

I fully expect an expandable soccer stadium to be part of the next Vision package. Dams on river are positively going to be on the ballot and I think a soccer stadium is a pretty safe bet as well.
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LandArchPoke
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2015, 09:22:50 am »

I think in terms of market size - Tulsa is way under estimated by everyone. It's a quicker drive from Wichita to Tulsa than it is from Wichita to KC. Same with Springfield, MO to Tulsa than to KC or STL. What does that mean?

Well in terms of market capture for an MLS team in Tulsa we are right at the center of 6 million people in a 2 to 2.5 hour drive which is a similar market size to Denver and Portland. More than enough to support an MLS team. MSA is a bad indicator for whether we have enough people to support a team or not, especially considering our MSA doesn't include Washington, Mayes, Muskogee or Cherokee Counties - all of which should be in our MSA and if they were we'd have a population of about 1.2 in our MSA.

BTW - Tulsa ranked 32nd in terms of total attendance average per game of 4,730 fans per game (10 home games). OKC ranked 37th with 4,375 fans per game (9 home games). Top ranking non MLS club was Sacramento FC.

Average MLS attendance is about 21,000 per game.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 09:25:19 am by LandArchPoke » Logged
davideinstein
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2015, 10:44:34 pm »

Who's going to pay the $100M franchise fee?
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rdj
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 12:58:12 pm »

I think in terms of market size - Tulsa is way under estimated by everyone. It's a quicker drive from Wichita to Tulsa than it is from Wichita to KC. Same with Springfield, MO to Tulsa than to KC or STL. What does that mean?

Well in terms of market capture for an MLS team in Tulsa we are right at the center of 6 million people in a 2 to 2.5 hour drive which is a similar market size to Denver and Portland. More than enough to support an MLS team. MSA is a bad indicator for whether we have enough people to support a team or not, especially considering our MSA doesn't include Washington, Mayes, Muskogee or Cherokee Counties - all of which should be in our MSA and if they were we'd have a population of about 1.2 in our MSA.

BTW - Tulsa ranked 32nd in terms of total attendance average per game of 4,730 fans per game (10 home games). OKC ranked 37th with 4,375 fans per game (9 home games). Top ranking non MLS club was Sacramento FC.

Average MLS attendance is about 21,000 per game.

The problem is those 6 million people are split up into multiple media markets.  That means fragmented advertising.  Hurts us from a large retailer standpoint as well.
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2015, 05:53:02 pm »

I think in terms of market size - Tulsa is way under estimated by everyone. It's a quicker drive from Wichita to Tulsa than it is from Wichita to KC. Same with Springfield, MO to Tulsa than to KC or STL. What does that mean?

Well in terms of market capture for an MLS team in Tulsa we are right at the center of 6 million people in a 2 to 2.5 hour drive which is a similar market size to Denver and Portland. More than enough to support an MLS team. MSA is a bad indicator for whether we have enough people to support a team or not, especially considering our MSA doesn't include Washington, Mayes, Muskogee or Cherokee Counties - all of which should be in our MSA and if they were we'd have a population of about 1.2 in our MSA.

BTW - Tulsa ranked 32nd in terms of total attendance average per game of 4,730 fans per game (10 home games). OKC ranked 37th with 4,375 fans per game (9 home games). Top ranking non MLS club was Sacramento FC.

Average MLS attendance is about 21,000 per game.

The other problem is... It is not really true, in any meaningful way, to say that it's a quicker drive from either Wichita or Springfield to Tulsa than it is to KC.  Pretty close to the same drive-time in  both cases.  (Google says Springfield to Sporting Park is 2 Hrs, 49 min; Springfield to Tulsa:  2:45.  Wichita to Sporting Park is 2:46; Wichita to Tulsa:  2:35)  I would imagine that tie-breakers and near-tie-breakers are generally going to favor the city with more amenities.  So a market analysis for MLS is probably going to have to assign the Wichita and Springfield markets to KC, not to Tulsa.  (Especially since KC already has an MLS team... There are even Wichita and Springfield supporters groups for Sporting Kansas City)

And, by the way, to get 6 Million people around Tulsa, you have to draw a radius 170 miles out.  The same radius around Portland gathers a population of more than 8 Million.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 10:48:29 am by Oil Capital » Logged

 
Laramie
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2015, 08:50:50 pm »

Again, the strength of the MLS potential in Tulsa as a state supported team is grossly underestimated.  

Do you think that an MLS franchise in OKC would be more fruitful with an NBA team in their catchment?  Tulsa could take advantage of the strength of Oklahoma's two largest markets.




The combined Metropolitan Area Populations (Tulsa & OKC) are 2,305,991
The combined TV market households (Tulsa & OKC) are 1,237,140

Kept hearing these same arguments in Oklahoma City when in 1997; they made application for an NHL franchise.  OKC exceeded NHL expectations when they acquired an NBA franchise.  

MLS expansion fee is at an all time high; there's also relocation.  Every major league has experienced relocation.

MLS Soccer Specific Stadiums today fall in the $ 80-$220 million range to provide all of the revenue stream amenities that franchises in:

          FC Dallas (Frisco), $80 million - 2005 - Capacity 20,500
          Sporting Kansas City (K.C. Kansas), $200 million - 2011 - Capacity 18,467
          Los Angeles Galaxy-Chivas USA (Carson), $150 million - 2003 - Capacity 27,000
          Real Salt Lake (Sandy), $110 million - 2008 - Capacity 20,213  
          Colorado (Commerce City), $131 million - 2007 - 18,061

enjoy because of their competitiveness.

Tulsa has 1 million in its metropolitan area without any major league sports competition within a 100 mile radius (OKC 101 miles).   Besides, the MLS market within a city for drawing finds that a 40-mile radius is where a good majority of the market potential exist.  A state supported franchise in Tulsa would draw some support from the 1.3 million OKC metropolitan area.

An ownership group (expansion or relocation) will cost.   Local and/or state ownership group would insure that investors have 'skin in the game.'

Nielsen TV market households:  http://www.tvb.org/media/file/Nielsen_2014-2015_DMA_Ranks.pdf

Metropolitan Area Populations:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas
.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 09:23:49 pm by Laramie » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2015, 10:01:48 pm »

I agree that an MLS franchise could work in Tulsa, but as I understand it from the little I've heard OKC has a group that is already sniffing around at that potential. It takes a group with some real backing behind it to get something like this started, and if OKC gets there first I don't think Tulsa has a chance.
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DowntownDan
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2015, 10:33:39 am »

I agree that an MLS franchise could work in Tulsa, but as I understand it from the little I've heard OKC has a group that is already sniffing around at that potential. It takes a group with some real backing behind it to get something like this started, and if OKC gets there first I don't think Tulsa has a chance.

This is my fear.  OKC has been talking about it for a while and I've heard nothing serious here in Tulsa, just idle chatter.  If they're on it and we're not, they'll get it before we're even considered.  I really wish I were rich.  I'd lead the charge.
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Laramie
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2015, 08:17:30 pm »

Who's going to pay the $100M franchise fee?

MLS is not on the same level as the NBA or the NHL; a $100 million franchise is a modest investment for a league that has shown more promise & potential than the previous NASL of the 80s.

    
     NBA expansion franchise fee $300 million in 2004 (Charlotte Bobcats); NBA predicted to have a $1 billion franchise fee next expansion (2017-2020).
     NHL expansion franchise fee $500 million in 2015
     MLS expansion franchise fee $100 million in 2015


This is my fear.  OKC has been talking about it for a while and I've heard nothing serious here in Tulsa, just idle chatter.  If they're on it and we're not, they'll get it before we're even considered.  I really wish I were rich.  I'd lead the charge.

Tulsa is in a better position to support MLS (potential sports dollars available) than OKC.  It's obvious that the MLS would like to penetrate all the larger 2 million population markets for their next wave of expansion (4 teams); however, there will be expansion following 2020.  An Oklahoma franchise would be great for travel (central U. S.); also, the proximity of existing team (Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas, Colorado Rapids, Houston Dynamo):

Expansion front runners (2015-2020):  Orlando in, Atlanta, Miami, Minnesota (Minneapolis-St. Paul):
Next wave of expansion (2020-2025):  Sacramento, San Antonio, St. Louis & Indianapolis are in the mix, along with a host of others like.


MLS appears to go ahead with plans to cherry-pick the NASL as they look at potential markets like Minnesota, San Antonio, Indianapolis & Raleigh.

Tulsa should set its sights on the MLS (top tier soccer) instead of a return to the NASL.  MLS may go into the NASL's prized markets.  As the MLS expands; an MLS relocation or two could be a real possibility.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 08:20:03 pm by Laramie » Logged

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davideinstein
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2015, 06:03:48 pm »

You all need to stop using OKC and the Thunder in this discussion. They have two of the best players in the world. Also, no one in Springfield is going to chose a Tulsa MLS club over Sporting. That club is way too established.
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2015, 07:56:50 am »


While I like the idea of bringing sports to Tulsa, $100 Million franchise fee plus another $100 Million for a stadium seems a little cost prohibitive...

Considering Dallas (which I think we can all agree is a bigger draw than Tulsa) only averages 16,816 fans per game.   In 2003 they played in a high school stadium in 2003 to save money.


With only 18 home games a year, if you could propose a way to use and make the facility cash flow the other 347 days of the year, I could get behind you. 
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rdj
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2015, 09:09:53 am »

While I like the idea of bringing sports to Tulsa, $100 Million franchise fee plus another $100 Million for a stadium seems a little cost prohibitive...

Considering Dallas (which I think we can all agree is a bigger draw than Tulsa) only averages 16,816 fans per game.   In 2003 they played in a high school stadium in 2003 to save money.


With only 18 home games a year, if you could propose a way to use and make the facility cash flow the other 347 days of the year, I could get behind you. 


If Kaiser sells his stake in the Thunder, which is probably valued at $150-200MM, then he could pay for both the franchise and the stadium.
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2015, 08:41:12 pm »

While I like the idea of bringing sports to Tulsa, $100 Million franchise fee plus another $100 Million for a stadium seems a little cost prohibitive...

Considering Dallas (which I think we can all agree is a bigger draw than Tulsa) only averages 16,816 fans per game.   In 2003 they played in a high school stadium in 2003 to save money.


With only 18 home games a year, if you could propose a way to use and make the facility cash flow the other 347 days of the year, I could get behind you. 


MLS
Minor-league soccer
Football games  (like Jenks-Union or college tournaments)
outdoor concerts/center of universe festival
x-games/motocross
bike racing
track/field tournaments
Youth soccer tournaments

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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2015, 12:45:57 pm »

MLS
Minor-league soccer
Football games  (like Jenks-Union or college tournaments)
outdoor concerts/center of universe festival
x-games/motocross
bike racing
track/field tournaments
Youth soccer tournaments



I guess I just have a problem with the "if you build it, they will come" budget theory.   Sometimes it doesn't work out very well.   Then again, how do you get commitments on a pie-in-the-sky development?
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