This would be awesome for rugby it would make it more world wide and much more fans across the globe
Is anyone going to ask the question where the hell are they going to play? The Collesium is an old relic, 90,000 seat hole, the rose bowl is in a similar state and Dodger stadium is even worse. I suppose there is that all soccer stadium that the Galaxy play in (Home Depot Center?). I'd also like to point out that the NFL has moved out of LA twice and that there's two NBA franchises, two major college football teams, two major college basketball teams, two MLB teams, two hockey teams and the Galaxy. We're talking about a city with effectively ten proffessional sports teams. Assuming the Super 14 keeps a similar schedule there are huge conflicts with major sports. Firstly, the first 5 weeks of the super 14 are dead in the middle of March Madness, a US$1billion industry that is huge for both UCLA allums and USC allums alike. Then the deeper you go in the competition the worse it gets. The Lakers are always a good team and go deep into May and right around now the Dodgers and the Angels start playing baseball. On any given day 80,000 people are going to be attending baseball in Los Angeles. I'm not saying don't go to the US, I'm just saying LA might not be the best place to go as there is only so much disposable cash and sponsorship money going to sports.
Another major problem in my eyes is that a Super 14 franchise undermines the NA4/"super 6". The moment you call it a developmental league or a "minor league" is the moment you kill it as a comercial enterprise. American consumers don't except second best. People will only buy the best or at least what they perceive to be the best. Which may be why a US franchise might be successful as long as you're getting top notch world class sport.
If the added TV revenue you're talking about is coming from Setanta, you're wasting your time. Not only do they have shallow pockets, but they don't have a large TV audience. Keep in mind here that a cable station named Versus payed the NHL $100million for the TV rights of their league and you can't find an NHL game on when you're in the States. Versus is in 70million homes in the States and no one can find an established sport on TV. How do you think rugby and Setanta is going to fare?
Who's going to own and operate the team? Is it going to be run by the USA rugby union and if so where the hell are they going to get the money? In my opinion it has to be owned by a deep pocketed investor who has more money than he knows what to do with. This way the only worry is how successful the team is and not whether or not you can afford to add/keep players.
Which brings me to my next point: how is the team going to be made? If it's a team full of Americans it's going to fail and fail miserably. This will show dramatically in the attendance levels. Americans don't like low quality play and bad teams. There are only four teams that can lose and not be affected by attendance the Boston Redsox, the Chicago Cubs, the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. Everyone is screwed if they lose. So that means you have to allow for foreign imports, which means of course that there is probably going to be quota system similar to that in the Canadian Football League where a certain amount of players on the roster have to be Amercican(or I'm going to say Canadian and make this a joint venture to grow the game). If this is going to happen one more thing has to happen: the players should be allowed to go play where ever they choose and still available for selection for the national teams. If you want to make a compromise and say that you can go to any team so long as you're in the Super 14 than that works fine too. This does a few things. One it allows for guys like Daniel Carter to go overseas and make his dough and be an international superstar but it also effectively keeps him in front of New Zealand audiences. Secondly, it will sell the game. You're going to need these superstar players to sell the game and this will allow for that. Think of a Carter/Giteau mid field combo. That's exciting.
Finally I'd just like to say that inequivically the best rugby market or rugby hungry market is in Vancouver, Canada. Now obviously you don't really want to go there as the only one off franchise because the money's not there and it's not in the United States. However, there is a way you can use this market to your advantage and that is to base a team in Seattle. It may not be as glamorous as LA but to me it seems more practical.
Sure there is a Seattle Mariners baseball team there that when playing well will attract 45,000 a game for 81 games during the summer. But you'd have that problem and more in other cities. Those are my thoughts on the issue.
- The stadia is already in place. A brand new stadium is being built for an MLS team which will seat somwhere between 20-25 thousand, which is the ideal number for a rugby team and with the availablity of an 80,000 seater just down the road if you can somehow turn a finalist team into some circus spectacular.
- The NBA team is moving. No more Seattle Supersonics. That takes away from the drain on ticket buyers during the early part of the Super 14.
- Fans from Canada. Seattle is right next to the border which means that it will attract fans from the best rugby market in North America. They already cross the border to watch the NBA, NFL and MLB in Seattle, they'll do the same for rugby.
- Big Money. Seattle is right in the center of Silicon Valley, which means there are a lot of billion dollar douche bags sitting around with lots of money. And a very good arguement could be made that there is more sponsoship money available in Seattle than in LA.
I'd say Boston, they have a large Irish immigrant population there.....it'd be in thier blood...Awesome post there and agree with you!
But surley New York is a bigger market for rugby?
If they have pretzel nights they'd be sorted...The top down point you make sanzar is very true. I can't help but imagining a yank picking up a pamphet in a mall saying "NEW super duper rugby team opening this Saturday! First 100 people get a FREE soda and a Paris Hilton notepad!"
If they have pretzel nights they'd be sorted...<div class='quotemain'>
The top down point you make sanzar is very true. I can't help but imagining a yank picking up a pamphet in a mall saying "NEW super duper rugby team opening this Saturday! First 100 people get a FREE soda and a Paris Hilton notepad!"
Oh yes, with flashing lights and loud noises when the multi balls come onto the field, now that's good sport!The yanks wouldn't accept Rugby unless they got timeouts and MULTI-BALL EXTRA TIME![/b]
France won against a stunned All Black side after Chabal scored 35 points in multi-ball extra time, carrying five balls over the line.
Post match, Chabal was estatic, stating "CHABAAAAAAAAL!" to his adoring fans...[/b]
Good question. Australia is pushing for Japan, NZ is pushing for the USA, SA is pushing for Argentina (kinda.. a little.. not really), and nobody's mentioned the PI'sWell I think we now all agree that this is a fundamentally flawed idea . Where to from here though?
Good question. Australia is pushing for Japan, NZ is pushing for the USA, SA is pushing for Argentina (kinda.. a little.. not really), and nobody's mentioned the PI's [/b][/quote]<div class='quotemain'>
Well I think we now all agree that this is a fundamentally flawed idea . Where to from here though?
As a rugger from LA and living in Seattle (nice post, Canadian guy), I have to say that this is a dumb idea. It would be good for USA rugby, but terrible for the quality of S14 rugby. It's so out of place (LA? really? I was thinking there was another city in the SH with the initials L.A... I really didn't think this thread was talking about LOS ANGELES at first.)
Now if this were ever to come through, I would be a very happy rugger. But it never will, so I'm just laughing for now. Argentina and the Pacific deserve a S14 spot more than we do right now. I do agree with the post above me though. All internationals would be good, in LA we're used to that though (Becks, Gasol, and Kobe technically...)