Monday, October 23, 2017

What Would Be A Better Soccer League?

By: Vidda Grubin


Serious question: Is this soccer league better?

Set up and criteria: 15,000 seat minimum stadiums, natural grass only. Mandatory 51%  ownership of each club by club members/fans. Promotion and relegation written into league constitution. Pro/Rel to begin 10 years after the establishment of League A first division, plus 16 viable teams, within league boundaries, meeting all criteria, competing in a second division.

Play each team home and away for total of 30 games. Mid August--Christmas, 16 games. Mid February--end of May, 14 games. First two weeks of August played in Northern Tier cities. First two weeks of February played in Southern Tier cities. Once pro/rel starts, two teams relegated, last place automatically, next to last in home and away playoff with second place in lower league.

Initial League A, First Division:

Southern Tier---Charlotte, NC, Knoxville, TN, Nashville, TN, Memphis, TN, Charleston, WV, Louisville, KY, St. Louis, MO, Cincinnati, OH.

Northern Tier---Milwaukee, WI, Chicago, IL, Indianapolis, IN, Grand Rapids, MI, Detroit, MI, Columbus, OH, Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, OH.

Or, is this soccer league better?

MLS


Each of the cities in the mythical League A is unique: Music, Great Lakes, Mountains, Beer and Spirits, Rivers, Forests, Art, Etc. While these cities each occupy a distinctive locale, they are close enough to create multiple rivalries and see large groups of traveling away fans.

As soccer fans in Columbus continue to agonize over the possible/probable loss of their Columbus Crew franchise, there is, I think, a better option, a much better option lurking in the millions of soccer fans living in the United States' Heartland. It's a better option for the fans, it's a better option for the players, it's a better option for the cities and it's a better option of the local economies and businesses.

Only a small fraction of the cities listed above will have a chance at being granted an MLS franchise, and each city's franchise will be little more than the fly-by-night, possibly gone tomorrow, carpetbagger, MLS owned carnival we see today. The National Football League is no different. Current top league professional sports in the United States is no different.

Many people talk about the area encompassing the cities above as "fly-over" territory. This could not be farther from the truth. Look at population statistics. Tens of millions of people live and work in this area. True flyover country begins west of St. Louis.

Ultimately, a league like this, in this geographic area, could easily accommodate three divisions of 16 teams. The proposed league will probably never happen, but damn, it would be frick'n awesome. 







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