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November 19, 2017, 10:06:42 am
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Author Topic: MLS in Tulsa?  (Read 8881 times)
Laramie
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« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2015, 06:57:48 am »

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.

Kaiser heads a group to support a new phase of the $350 million future addition to the Tulsa river parks.

George Kaiser has the money to invest in an MLS Tulsa franchise if he so chooses.    You won't need GK to fully fund an MLS experience.  Just his stamp of approval along with a modest investment will get the ball rolling.  If Kaiser approves, you'll see more local investors willing to finance.

The exit of the WNBA Shock should free a few more dollars for those who seek sports entertainment.

Tulsa is in a much better position to support an MLS franchise than OKC.  


« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 07:01:46 am by Laramie » Logged

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rdj
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« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2015, 09:27:20 am »

Um, the exit of the Shock is freeing up just a few dollars, as in a few hundred for the entire city.
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Laramie
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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2015, 10:44:50 am »

Um, the exit of the Shock is freeing up just a few dollars, as in a few hundred for the entire city.

True!

The Shock had corporate sponsorships as well; that's where Tulsa would have an advantage without any major league franchise already in the market.
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« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2015, 10:02:30 pm »

According to The Financial Times article, proposed changes have been issued in which to qualify for Division 1, a league would need 16 teams, up from 12 under 2014 rules, per NASL. It would also have to meet a requirement that 75 per cent of its teams be based in cities with a population of more than 2 million people, up from 1 million. It adds that the requirement for all team stadiums is to meet a minimum 15,000 seat capacity for the entire league to qualify for Division I, which NASL argues is “highly unreasonable.”

http://worldsoccertalk.com/2015/08/31/nasl-pursuing-litigation-against-us-soccer-heres-how-it-might-play-out/
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2015, 09:35:35 am »

Under those standards there are only 31 teams POSSIBLE in the entire United States (and that's using combined statistical area: Orlando to Daytona, for example). With ~20 of those occupied by MLS franchises already. So if you have to have 16 teams in large market areas to have a first division franchise, then only MLS can have first division franchises. Hence... the lawsuit.

Why not go to an English system? The best teams move up, the worst teams get bumped down.

I'm afraid MLS has become such a money driven enterprise smaller markets are no longer an option. Tulsa missed the boat.


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Laramie
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« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2015, 08:58:23 am »

Under those standards there are only 31 teams POSSIBLE in the entire United States (and that's using combined statistical area: Orlando to Daytona, for example). With ~20 of those occupied by MLS franchises already. So if you have to have 16 teams in large market areas to have a first division franchise, then only MLS can have first division franchises. Hence... the lawsuit.

Why not go to an English system? The best teams move up, the worst teams get bumped down.

I'm afraid MLS has become such a money driven enterprise smaller markets are no longer an option. Tulsa missed the boat.

Wouldn't be so quick to say that Tulsa missed the boat.  

Build an MLS ready soccer specific stadium or one in the 9,000 - 12,000 seat range with expansion capabilities. Tulsa's geography bodes well in addition to the fact that you have a strong soccer community market without any major league franchises to compete for sports dollars in a market that has an estimated metro population of 1 million with another 1.4 million in the OKC market approximately 100 miles away.

Tulsa Roughnecks FC averaged 4,714 for the 2015 inaugural USL regular season with competition against an established NPSL Tulsa Athletics who averaged 3,439 in 2014.

OKC Energy FC averaged 4,635 for the regular season.  Energy FC's last 4 USL home games exceeded 6,000 at Taft Stadium:

          August 29, Austin 2-0 win. Attendance: 6,089
          September 12, Colorado Springs 3-3 tie. Attendance: 6,847
          October 4, Colorado Springs 3-2 playoff win. Attendance: 6,370
          October 11, Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 playoff lost. Attendance:  7,654 Largest crowd In Energy FC's history.

Source links:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_USL_season

http://www1.nmnathletics.com/SportSelect.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=32800&SPID=177208&SPSID=1054410&DB_OEM_ID=32800

Oklahoma (Tulsa/OKC) is ripe for MLS soccer;  IMHO Tulsa would be the best market to establish an MLS franchise because it has the sports dollars available to support a league of that caliber.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 09:00:19 am by Laramie » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2015, 10:42:50 am »

I hope I'm wrong. I'd be a big supporter of bringing MLS to Tulsa. I know you know more about this than I do...but I'm just talking through what I've looked up in this regard. Not trying to be disrespectful and I really would appreciate an analysis on why Tulsa should win (other markets saturated, demographics, whatever).

But most MLS team average 20k plus. So all the soccer attendance from Tulsa and Oklahoma City times two just to be "average" within the league (the goal of expanding isn't to hold the average).  With ticket prices average in a wild range from $40 (Chicago) to $130 (Seattle), those fans would have to be willing to invest more. Then there is the investment of a $75mil franchise fee plus a soccer specific stadium at around $120mil (if selected for an expansion team). Plan on losing money for the foreseeable future and you easily have to invest $250mil.  Without some really rich person make getting MLS to Tulsa his pet project...it is a very long shot.

They are expanding to Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami and another LA team. Markets Tulsa can't touch for either population, appeal, or disposable income.

Others under consideration that have been mentioned by the league are Austin, Sacramento, San Diego, Vegas and a particular interest in San Antonio and St. Louis. Others thrown around are Phoenix, OKC, San Juan (yes, Puerto Rico), Pittsburgh, the research triangle in NC, and Orlando. Rochester NY, Ottawa, Detroit, Cleveland, and El Paso tried and failed to get expansion teams. Unfortunately, Tulsa isn't even in the conversation as far as I can tell.

No major league franchise in the US has ever been successful with more than 32 teams. Assuming that's the cap, only half of the cities mentioned above that are trying to get a franchise will succeed. I hope Tulsa can beat them. But it will be a tough sell.

Hence, an English system that lets Tulsa "play in" to a premier league might be our best bet.
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Laramie
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« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2015, 02:24:05 pm »

There are more Oklahoma & Tulsa fans that don't attend the lower level USL games that would fully support an MLS experience.   It's easy to look at this MSL in Tulsa through the minor league scope because that is our experience from which to gauge.

Recall the NBA which got its test run in OKC under the guise of the New Orleans-Oklahoma City Hornets. Many OKC fans doubted if the city would support the NBA with the $45 average ticket price. The early research indicated that the Hornets would draw 12,500 fans per game which was the NBA break-even.  That mark was shattered when the Hornets (current Pelicans) drew 18,168 in 2005-06 &  17,833 in 2006-07.  The Hornets made a profit in OKC.   The Thunder have been profitable since as they average 18,203 with 209 consecutive sellouts (2010-15) at the conclusion of last season:  http://www.nba.com/thunder/video/200thsellout_150323

Oklahoma (Pop: 3,751,351/Land: 69,898.19 sq. mi) possesses a larger population than Utah (Pop:  2,763,885/Land: 84,898.83 sq. mi) who also has more land area (less density) than Oklahoma with two metro areas that sandwich the size of Salt Lake City (metro 1,153,340), Tulsa (965,974) & OKC (1,336,767).  SLC with similar demographics as Tulsa support:

          NBA:  Utah Jazz (SLC) Energy Solutions Arena capacity 19,911 average attendance 18,830 (2015)
          MLS:  Real Salt Lake  (Sandy, Utah) Stadium capacity Rio Tinto 20,213  average attendance 20,224 (2015)

Source Links:

MSA Populations:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas 
State Populations:  http://www.ipl.org/div/stateknow/popchart.html#statesbypop
NBA - http://espn.go.com/nba/attendance/_/year/2015
MLS stadiums - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Major_League_Soccer_stadiums
MLS 2015 attendance - http://soccerstadiumdigest.com/mls-attendance-2015/
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« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2015, 03:00:31 pm »

Great points. I never really considered the Thunder example - more people will pay more to support major league sports. Also, if OKC would get behind our bid (and put in a train!!!!) we would have a much better shot. Tons of people from Tulsa support the Thunder.

And SLC is a good example. Our MSA is nearly identical (965K  people) but they cover 9500 miles and Tulsa only covers 6300 square miles. WE have the edge on that.

They have 2.4mil in the CSA, of which 85+% is within 60 miles (Provo area [500k+] and Ogden area (500K+) make up most of it. The overall area is large, but most of the people actually live within an hour of downtown SLC. Call it 2mil+. Tulsa and Oklahoma City count as separate media markets, Salt Lake City sucks all that population into one.

If we include OKC, we top that number away. But we have to expand the area to ~125 miles to make that happen. And while we strongly supported OKCs bid for the Thunder (our mayor even made trips for it, and we still got screwed) I don't see OKC doing the same for Tulsa. Frankly, they'd rather have the MLS team. I serious doubt they would help our bid or, at best, we'd end up with the Oklahoma Whatever (and everyone would assume it was in OKC).

Finally, Utah has more middle class people that Oklahoma. The average household makes 25% more than the average Oklahoman household and we have 50% more people below the poverty line. Its all about the dollars.

I understand your perspective, and again, I hope you're right. I don't know exactly the numbers they are looking for. But based on the cities that are getting expansion teams and the cities they are talking too - I'm not hopeful.

Thanks for the discussion.
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Laramie
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« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2015, 08:38:35 pm »

Some of the more popular cities the MLS have on their radar are oversaturated markets which would be more risker than putting a team in a virgin market like Tulsa.

Oklahoma City fans supported the Roughnecks in the late 70s & early 80s.  It was the USFL football league that brought both sports down.  

OKC has  about an estimated 2,000 Dallas Cowboys regulars who drive to the Metroplex to support the NFL.

True, Utah has a great base of disposal income; however, if they can support the NBA & the MLS; then, the MLS (one sport) should be an easy sell in a market like Tulsa which has about $2,000 more per capita income than OKC.  If your concern is the name 'Tulsa' vs. Oklahoma 'whatever' then, Tulsa should follow OKC's playbook when they put their arena on MAPS I; stress that if a team is obtained by expansion or relocation that it bears the city's name.  Vision 2025 is set to expire soon, it could be a vehicle by which you get some kind of stadium financed.

My point; Tulsa is a market that is ripe.  If you provide more entertainment for the area; the quality of life aspect will grow.  The Tulsa area has made a number of investments in the last 10 years with more on the horizon.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 09:12:15 pm by Laramie » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2015, 08:29:55 am »

First, let me state that I am not a soccer fan, nor do I pretend to understand the excitement of watching a game where only the refs know how much time is really left and scores so little.

That being said, if some money were set aside (say $10-15M) on the Vision 2025 ballot for a stadium in which MLS could be played/concerts/etc, contingent on getting a soccer team franchise without any other public money....    I could get behind that.

Could the stadium go just north of I-244 in the flight path of the Tulsa airport?  
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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2015, 10:37:50 pm »

Less than 30 minutes left on a Throwback Thursday... 36 years ago today....

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