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National Sports Center Takes Steps to Moves Forward with Pro Soccer Team

2009 December 21
by Brian Quarstad

NSC_MN_LogoThe National Sports Center (NSC) has released a statement today outlining their progress in fielding a pro soccer team for the summer of 2010.

The NSC has released this document to Inside Minnesota Soccer. The NSC hopes soccer fans across Minnesota and the US will understand the seriousness of NSC’s commitment to bring Division II soccer back to the Twin Cities.

12/21/09- Blaine, MN

Authorization
This week the NSCF Board has authorized the acquisition of a Division II Pro soccer team to play in the NSC stadium.

The NSC is moving forward in anticipation of having a Division II soccer team and would be ready to play a 2010 season.  The NSC is waiting for the USSF to make a determination on the details of the national Division II league.  In the meantime, the NSC is making progress on all fronts.

A Pro Team and the NSC Mission
The Mission and purpose of NSCF operating a USSF Division II pro team is to provide high level soccer events featured in the NSC Stadium during the amateur soccer tournaments and events.  In addition, the team operations will support an outreach and teaching program of camps and clinics to promote the sport of soccer to youth.

 

The NSC has developed an interim logo to be used between now and when the final team name and logo is determined.  This interim “NSC Minnesota” logo is an adaption of the current NSC logo.

Naming Contest
The NSC will soon launch a “name the team contest”.  The NSC will utilize its vast database of soccer contacts in Minnesota and sources like Inside Minnesota Soccer to solicit team name suggestions.

Ownership Structure
The NSC has been consulting with legal contacts to explore non profit/public/private ownership models.  The NSC has the ability to move forward without private investors.  However, the NSC encourages all interested private investor parties to contact Kris Bjerkness.

 

Relationship to Youth Soccer
A primary purpose of the NSC to acquire a pro team is to support its youth tournaments with high level soccer games.

The NSC will seek to have a relationship with all youth soccer teams and organizations in Minnesota and the region.  The NSC Minnesota team will not have an exclusive relationship with any specific club.

Facilities are in Place
NSC staff is making plans for the NSC Minnesota team with seating arrangements for the stadium.  Also, practice times for the team are being scheduled for both the indoor and outdoor fields.  Finally, office space has been identified in the main NSC office area for the NSC Minnesota team staff.

Staffing Plan
Existing NSC staff will handle much of the pro team duties.  However, the NSC will be seeking the following:

  1. Coach/Director of Soccer Operations
  2. Assistant Coach
  3. Camp Coordinator
  4. Ticket Sales Coordinator

Interested parties can send their resumes to Kris Bjerkness.  No phone calls please.

Team Announcement
As soon as the national Division II Pro soccer leagues are resolved by the national soccer leadership the NSC will make a formal announcement regarding the new team.

41 Responses
  1. December 21, 2009

    “The Mission and purpose of NSCF operating a USSF Division II pro team is to provide high level soccer events featured in the NSC Stadium during the amateur soccer tournaments and events.”

    Really? Gah. Maybe I’m missing the point, but that sounds weird to me. The whole point of having a pro team is to entertain the kiddies at your tournaments?

    Oh, and that “logo”? Too funny. Nice fonts there.

  2. December 21, 2009

    KJ: Probably not so much ‘entertain the kiddies’ but to provide an additional reason to send the kids to tournaments at that particular site. There are a lot of regional soccer tournaments. Having a pro team on site provides an extra reason for a team to want to attend a major tourney at the NSC rather than, say, in Cedar Rapids or something. Pro team means the kids get to see pro players and coaches can use it as a teaching moment, and it also means the NSC can have the pro players do camps and clinics.

  3. fotbalist permalink
    December 21, 2009

    Thank you NSC! As Brian reported, the logo is interim, and they will launch a campaign find a name and logo. I don’t think there’s any point being critical of the current temporary aspects.

    The mission does sound a little empty, but I trust that the NSC will alow the new Coach/GM/ or whatever the top leadership structure will be to give a raison d’etre to the new team.

    I am VERY EXCITED about the hint of a non-profit structure or structure where fans can become involved in ownership/leadership. That’s very exciting and forward looking. I’m supporting this. Let’s go MINNESOTA! keep kicking

  4. Super Rookie permalink
    December 21, 2009

    How long will it take for someone to critique the name and logo despite the article saying it is temporary?

  5. Super Rookie permalink
    December 21, 2009

    Whoa! KJ wins!

    I am stoked for this. Personally, I don’t read too much into the mission or reason behind the team. All I care about is a sustainable team at the NSC for me to watch while drinking beer on the North End. If the team has a few focus group meetings to get fan input, all the better.

    THANK YOU NSC FOR STEPPING UP AND SAVING PROFESSIONAL SOCCER IN MINNESOTA.

  6. December 21, 2009

    Remember the purpose of the NSC. As Erickson was quoted in this article I did a month ago:

    “From a public policy point of view, the purpose of owning this team will be to enhance the existing programs of the NSC. One of the State’s goals is to increase sports tourism. For NSC, it’s easier to promote a youth tournament with the ability to experience a high level soccer team when many of the markets like Montana, Wisconsin or the Dakotas don’t have that. Going back to the third goal, I also think it would be appropriate to have this unique model where the NSC would invite select private investors to be part of the direction of the team and also have the opportunity for private citizens and fans, on a smaller entry level point, to also be owners. The team’s finances would be segregated from the rest of NSC so investors and share holders would only own part of the team and not the NSC.”

    http://bit.ly/4f6KST

  7. Cam Stoltz permalink
    December 21, 2009

    Just to make it clear, it sounds like all here, so far, are fine with a state agency having ownership and or stake in a professional sports org. or business? If it keeps pro soccer (sports) in the area serving the fans and kids of Minnesota????? To scale, that sounds like we would all agree it is proper for public support and finance of enterprises and facilities to serve pro teams? What does the “A” stand for in M.A.S.C.? Who holds the bag for $$$ losses? Losses have been part of every pro soccer scenario in MN to date. Being profitable in 2010 seems like a “risk”. I understand the NSC is caught holding the bag of losses for the Plunder, however, that was the risk of doing business and expanding the stadium under current economy. Could thoses stresses be part of the current direction or “need”. I still don’t believe the state government or its auditors are fully aware of this scenario or plan. Imagine the politics vs big screen T.V.s in prison? I say watch it, they can come in and swoop on the smallest of detail. And should.

    I am all for pro soccer and dont want it to leave. Just beware of “the law of unintended consequences”.

    BTW I am against a Vikings stadium and was against a TCF Bank Stadium paid for by the state.

  8. Soccer Boy permalink
    December 21, 2009

    I think that this is going to be a great opportunity for soccer in MN. I am looking forward to many summer evenings up at NSC, drinking a nice cold beer and watching some great professional soccer.

  9. Justin permalink
    December 22, 2009

    @Cam Stoltz The NSCF is a not for profit organization. They’re not a government organization.

  10. Cam Stoltz permalink
    December 22, 2009

    Hi Justin and others,

    Non-profit (key words), mission and role of the state. I am not trying to rain on the parade, I am just trying to open up the possibility that this is not as easy as it sounds. While I stand by my opinion about role of the state in professional or specific entities (Vikings and U of M TCF Bank) let me try to better explain:

    Paul Erickson and others up there are state employees falling under state policy, regs and law. The property at NSC is State Property.

    From Brians earlier story “Erickson explained how the NSC works under the umbrella of the State-run MASC. NSC is a wholly owned non-profit corporation of the MASC and a subsidiary of the state agency, said Erickson. So in a sense it is public. The NSC has a contract with MASC to operate the facility. With that, the NSC has reasonable latitude to create and run programs and contract with others to lease the facilities just as in the case of the Thunder who have leased the facility. From a public policy point of view, the purpose of owning this team will be to enhance the existing programs of the NSC. One of the State’s goals is to increase sports tourism.”

    Key words “reasonable latitude” which begs me to think: what is reasonable under the “A” in M.A.S.C., owning a professional soccer team, hiring players and using state resources to operate such a franchise and SPORTS TOURISM – seriously???? Any youth tournament squashed by the NSC tournaments created more “tourism” than the Thunder ever braught in. (not you thunderheads – you are all great).

    The state, its crawlers and teh leg. have a history of flexing their muscle on state agencies. An example would be when Mankato State decieded to go Division I in Ice hockey in the mid 90’s. When the State found out they were never asked, they spanked the college system and demoted the team to Division II status for a few more years until Herb Brooks became involved. Similar reason why Bemidji took so long to get bonding for a new DI ice arena. Still not sure that is done yet.

    I love soccer as much as anyone, I am just saying be prepared for a bite back. Its 2009 and many, many, many people dont care for the concept of pro sports sponsored by tax payer and that would include the “public-private” concept Erickson speaks of like a politician.

    The fact is, the market is tight for a pro soccer team. The NSC gambled the last time they invested into pro soccer (facility) upgrades. Their tournaments probably want to get back to where they were. The cash doesent flow, nor the beer sales. I think the #1 motive for the NSCF and MASC is revenue to replace missed cash for the last few years and the investment made to change NSC Stadium.

    Creativity is good. I am just saying this pushes the limit a bit.

    Good luck if it comes through. I will attend games if so.

  11. Neal aka Lightning Striker permalink
    December 22, 2009

    Aaargh!
    Mission: ‘entertainment’ for youth tournaments? !!!!!
    This is NOT what I want to see replace our Thunder.
    NSCF: what is this ‘F’ stand for? F: is NOT for football, probably for Foundation.
    Say goodbye to the frosty malt beverages on the north terraces, if the focus is on tournament enterprises … yes I am cynic ale, regarding this development.
    This dark cloud is raining on this parade; bring us REAL professional soccer, not some Disneyfied abomination.

  12. Neal aka Lightning Striker permalink
    December 22, 2009

    National Sports Center Foundation:
    http://www.nscsports.org/news-info/about_nscf/index.htm

  13. Fuggle permalink
    December 22, 2009

    As a policy wonk who’s admittedly unfamiliar with the structural details of the MASC/NSC relationship, at first blush it doesn’t sound to me like they’re doing anything dodgy. Remember that “non-profit” and “professional” are not contradictory. While I agree that there are always risks that a legislator might get a bee in his or her bonnet about one thing or another, I have to think this is an unlikely source of controversy. As I see it, NSC is using their (apparently fairly broad) discretion to use the facilities at their disposal to promote the goals the state has contracted with them to promote. I’m certain they’ve done all their due diligence; the slow pace of detailed information (relative to other soccer developments in the last few months) indicates responsible prudence to me. I’m extremely doubtful that they’re setting up a model where taxpayer funds would be paying player salaries – I think it would probably be tough to do that even if they wanted to (since they contract with MASC, rather than being part of the legislative budgeting process – I’m speculating here), in addition to the fact that that’s just not a sustainable business model. So while there’s always a possibility of political blowback, in my estimate it’s not a huge risk in this case.

    That, and what Super Rookie said.

  14. bruce permalink
    December 22, 2009

    Until proven otherwise i will remain strongly pessimistic about all of this.

    And like others I am very against kids being the focal point of any soccer marketing plan. If that is your focus you will lose the financial game. But I will assume that there is a lot more to the NSC plan than what BQ got to print yesterday. At least I hope there is.

  15. Jorey permalink
    December 22, 2009

    The NSC has been around for a long time and I am sure they already know what they can or cant do. I am also sure they have researched owning a pro franchise for a long time or at least for 3 or 4 years. If they decide to follow through it will be a great pro soccer team for the state of Minnesota and yes malt beverages will be served.

  16. fotbalist permalink
    December 22, 2009

    As someone who has worked in non-profits for nearly 20 years, I can safely say that NSC is not engaging in anything questionable. While I’m not very familiar with details of MASC/NSC contractual agreement, I am not concerned about the NSC operating a professional sports team. Almost all non-profits in MN (throughout the country and the world in fact) hire professionals who offer their services.

    Secondly, I’ve read in various places that non-profits are public institutions. That’s incorrect, a non-profit simply does not produce organizational profit. The public component is in respect to the financial (and other) records which must be made available to the public for inspection if requested.

    Any 3 people with mailing addresses can set up a non-profit institution in MN. Again, I’m excited about the possibility of this option.

  17. December 22, 2009

    To those complaining about the details of NSC ownership of a team, or those just pathologically pessimistic, I ask you to ponder the following question:

    If not the NSC, who will bring us professional soccer next summer?

    Getting a team, ANY TEAM, is the first step. Theory, ideas, and philosophy do not a team make.

    The glass is half-full (of beer).

  18. Super Rookie permalink
    December 22, 2009

    I can’t believe the negativity and worrying by ex-thunder fans about all of this. I count everyone of you among my fans, but to think for a second that their won’t be beer in the north end and that the NSC hasn’t done due-diligence about their ability to own a pro-soccer team is asinine!

    Finally, for once can soccer fans not be so pessimistic about anything? Why do we always create a worrying scenario? The NSC has a proven track record, lets allow them to run a team for a few weeks before we start thinking about end-of-the-world scenarios (i.e. kiss malt beverages goodbye!).

  19. Super Rookie permalink
    December 22, 2009

    *among my FRIENDS!

    Ha, none of you are my fans, nor would you want to be. I can assure you.

    See you tonight at the Town Hall so you all can make fun of me for a little while before I roll to Real United City FC’s big playoff game!

  20. Cam Stoltz permalink
    December 22, 2009

    I don’t question the ethics or efforts of the NSC folk. All good people. I am speaking of experiences working with Foundations, non-profits and yes the report-ability and directorship to and from state agencies. My career in the last decade has specialized in that so I feel I have a reasonable grip. I spose my negativity lies in what is a muddled and constant uphill respect factor adult and pro soccer here in Minnesota. I think a traditional ownership model will produce a better scenario. I don’t want to be a pessimist. I am also not paranoid, it’s just everybody hates soccer!

    I hope it works out. I will be the first to buy a beer on that deck like place, during the USA Cup watching the Minnesota Whatever’s vs some quasi-champion from a third world Latin American pro league.

  21. Super Rookie permalink
    December 22, 2009

    Cam-

    You won’t be buying the first beer, I will be buying it for you so we can scream in unison, “we are the champions of Guatemala!” after winning the game.

  22. December 22, 2009

    Yes, that reminds me of 2005 when we defeated both Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids. We then laid stake to our claim on Wiki of the Rock Mountain Cup. The members of those two teams were none to happy with our claim or our tampering with the Wiki. But man, was that funny!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_Cup

  23. Super Rookie permalink
    December 22, 2009

    FWIW- I like the “temporary” logo. The fonts could definitely use some fine tuning, but when it is all said and done it is fairly nice looking.

  24. Andy permalink
    December 22, 2009

    NSCF is a corporation, not a state agency. Here is the corporate filing: http://tr.im/nscfx

    With that corporate structure, the finances of NSCF are deliberately separate from those of its owner, MASC, which IS a state agency. The fact that it is an independent corporation protects the MASC from the liabilities of the NSCF, INCLUDING losses and possible bankruptcy. It is the same as with a big publicly traded corporation. If the corporation loses money, the shareholders cannot be forced to pay the debts.

    Furthermore, the formation of a team will without a doubt include the filing of a new corporation to operate the team, and that will be in part owned by the NSCF. The only thing would be at risk for the NSCF is their ownership share of the team. There is no way tax dollars would be at risk to prop it up after the initial incorporation.

  25. Cam Stoltz permalink
    December 23, 2009

    I just wonder if the the general public, Gov., legst or the A.G. will see a state agency owning a pro sports team as part of it purpose, intent or mission. Go back to the “reasonable latitude to create and run programs”. What do you think the average Joe, anti sports dude or even soccer hater will think? Does anyone between Erickson and the Gov know this plan?

  26. Missed Mission permalink
    December 23, 2009

    Adding the Thunder is a feature, not a benefit to incoming teams at an NSC Tournament.

    What is the difference? A feature of your car is that it is red, the benefit is that it allows you to get from point A to point B rather quickly and as you choose.

    The concern I have is that if this strategy is costly and if it does not bring in more tournament teams or tournament revenues, the NSC “Blue Jackets” are history.

    Here is the downer for you loyal supporters: you’ll have 8 games of 3,000-7,000 fans who are always different. When the time comes for true support, like playoffs, 1,500 show up. Why? You’re part of a resort community where you sit next to a different person every game and hear the same question over and over and over.

    In my mind, NSC will experience difficulty in a building a fan base and creating tourism at the same time. Specifically, why buy a season ticket when you can get a deep discounted ticket through a connection in the tournaments? Markets are impossible to predict other than consumers act like water – they find the easiest path to flow (cheapest route); but more disheartening is that this confuses your market data – who does your salesforce call to upgrade to premium seating or season ticket? Their ticket database will be filled with groups from Montana and NSSA, not individuals. The only way this thing grows (and get more money for player salaries) is if their tournaments grow. Yikes.

    Cam is right. If this thing backfires and NSC can’t balance their books, State money pays the delinquent accounts. And it will only happen once… and who knows what happens to Super Rink, NSC, USA CUP, etc. at that time. The State does their annual audit.

  27. thesuperrookie permalink
    December 23, 2009

    Cam and Missed Mission-

    I am willing to bet that the AG’s office has looked this entire thing over. I don’t believe for a second that the proper due diligence wasn’t completed at higher levels to ensure legality and transperency.

    Lets allow the ship to leave the dock before we start running to the lifeboats!

    Pro soccer is being saved in our state.

  28. December 23, 2009

    Carlos Rivas should definitely be considered. He’s an icon in Chile, Canada and Mexico. He actually played in the world cup…

    Carlos Rivas, an 18yr veteran of professional soccer. Carlos was a finalist in Copa America in 1979 and reached the pinnacle of soccer heights when he played for Chile in the 1982 World Cup.

    Carlos brought his skills to Canada when he played for the Edmonton Eagles (CPSL) where he was accorded with the Champion M.V.P. Award.

    His professional career continued with the Toronto Blizzard and since then he has devoted his immeasurable talents to training young athletes aspiring to follow in his footsteps. Carlos has been appointed 2001-2006 Assistant Coach for the Canadian Soccer Association National East Centre. Not only does he hold his “B” Class Coaching License but his incomparable teaching methods are known throughout.

    Developing players for over a decade, his credentials speak for themselves as he has countless players who have either obtained Athletic Scholarships or are playing abroad.

    Carlos has connections with the largest clubs in the world, for example, Manuel Pellegrini of Real Madrid, he has contacts throughout the world and especially the professional clubs in South America. He was recently in a two week Chilean soccer sports television segment as his coaching methods and success has captured many people throughout and has maintained his stature in Canada.

    Please feel free to contact me directly as he is interested in this position.

    Not only does he have the ability to make exhibition matches against big clubs to prepare the team but he has access to a large database of professional players. With his impeccable reputation and great success, he can guarantee a top notch team.

    http://www.carlosrivassoccer.com

  29. Lady Blogga permalink
    December 23, 2009

    Organizational technicalities aside, this is great news for soccer in Minnesota. The mission statement may sound a bit unusual, but it does suggest that they are hoping to rebuild a youth fan base for professional soccer in Minnesota. Without parsing the unfortunate reasons why, MTA did lose the youth/family fan base for the Thunder professional team, and now this is a chance to get things started again positively. LET’S DO THINK POSITIVELY, GANG!

  30. MIAC Fan permalink
    December 23, 2009

    If…and I mean if….people actually quit attending Thunder games because of the pro team’s link to MTA that is really small minded. If…if and I mean if…that in turn contributed to the downfall of our professional soccer team you have to wonder what kind of soccer fans are these people?
    It sounds rather petty and short sighted from my vantage point.
    Now we’ve apparently lost the Thunder and face the possibility of no pro soccer here in Minnesota. How sad.

  31. December 23, 2009

    I guarantee they did MIAC fan but its much more complicated than that. It’s been explained many a time here but had to do with the MTA coming in with not one select team of player at each age level but 2600 of the top kids pulled from clubs across the Twin Cities and then it frustrated clubs so they no longer had Thunder camps. The Thunder made a lot of money off of their camps. On the other side of that was MYSA saying they could not continue to support MTA and they therefore last their financial support of a ticket purchased for every kid in traveling soccer programs across the state. Now I’m simplifying things but it is even more complicated and it a combination of a lot of mistakes from a lot of organizations including the Thunder.

  32. MIAC Fan permalink
    December 23, 2009

    BQ,
    I understand what you’re saying but it’s terribly shortsighted for all those clubs to look at the players as property and then willingly attempt sabotage the only pro soccer team in town.
    This is a free society…and a free market society and parents will do whatever they think is best for their kids.
    For other clubs or adults to think those players are their possessions is really backwards thinking. Other top clubs in other states have been doing what MTA is trying to do for years without this type of backlash, at least that I’m aware of and I’ve been involved in soccer for over 20 years.
    We’ll remain very backwards in the region and national level in US if we continue to treat players like they are a club’s “property” and do everything we can to undermine professional soccer and the top youth clubs in the state.
    Just my opinion for what it’s worth.

  33. December 23, 2009

    MIAC Fan –
    I doubt there was an organized or even active attempt to “sabotage” the Thunder pro team due to the MTA. The word sabotage is too sinister for what I think probably happened. It was as simple as people thinking the Thunder and the MTA were one-and-the-same, and choosing not to be involved with or support something they thought was undermining “community” based soccer clubs. (This thread is not about an analysis of the community club v. MTA debate.)

    A professional team that has a completely separate identity from a “MTA” type organization is probably better for the professional team’s marketing to the entire soccer community.

    People did not GO to Thunder games BECAUSE of the MTA, but they may have decided NOT TO GO based on the MTA. Fair or unfair.

  34. Demolition Man permalink
    December 27, 2009

    Chris A –
    No. The main reason why people did not go to Thunder games is simply because most people never even knew who the Thunder were. Its hard to get people to even go when you never heard about the team on KFAN, barely got a sentence write up in the Star Tribune, and at best would get 10 seconds of (marginal) coverage every once in a blue moon on KARE 11. Compare that to, say, if Brett Favre farted on field while throwing a touchdown to Sidney Rice would be on the front page of every paper, be talked about endlessly on KFAN, and all local news sports segments would show multi angles of Favre on the field taking said fart.

  35. December 28, 2009

    Demolition Man –
    You are entirely right about *one* of the “main” reasons why the Thunder were (I originally typed “are”) not supported by the so-called mainstream sports fan. I was referencing a specific segment of the population that already knew about the Thunder. I know people who could not disassociate supporting the Thunder with somehow supporting the MTA. Not me. I had two Thunder season tickets last Summer.

    It would take a seismic shift in American attitudes to ever get the type of coverage you reference. I am not going to hold my breath for it.

  36. Chrös permalink
    December 28, 2009

    Oh come on. The team plays in the center of one of the largest youth soccer complexes in the country, and people think they shouldn’t market their games to the 1000s of kids who play games there each summer?

    Talk about a poor business model.

    The biggest problem that NSC and in turn pro soccer in this state face is geography, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. The NSC is on the fringe northern part of the Twin Cities, when the bulk of the population is on the south and western sides. Just a simple sampling from Google shows how far most people would have to drive to sit in a mostly empty stadium watching mostly unknown second-division soccer players: Downtown Minneapolis (17.5 miles, 22 minutes); Downtown St. Paul (20.6 miles, 24 minutes); Burnsville (33 miles, 35 minutes); Eden Prairie (34.5 miles, 36 minutes); Woodbury (27.5 miles, 29 minutes); Lakeville (42 miles, 48 minutes).

    I think we just have to accept that Blaine, Minn. is not Manchester, England. The number of people willing to drive to Blaine for a youth soccer tournament is vastly larger than the number of people willing to drive there for a second-division soccer team. Even the Los Angeles Galaxy had to appeal to youth teams to sell tickets to watch David Beckham and Landon Donovan play their same-city rivals in a playoff game, so it’s not the end of the world if a decent chunk of marketing goes toward youth teams.

    Youth team attendance is a necessary evil in order for us to have a pro team here, but like others have said, it’s highly doubtful that the team would turn its back on the adult fans who most passionately follow it.

  37. Super Rookie permalink
    December 28, 2009

    I think Chros has some great points. This also seems to be the plan of attack for the team as they market the squad for the future.

  38. Cam Stoltz permalink
    December 29, 2009

    Chrös – Great points and so well said about what the NSC really provides. They cant move the facility, so if the “team” has to be there, it comes with baggage. Don’t get me wrong, its a wonderful asset for teh state and has driven the history of the youth game to where it is today. But how many soccer families had season tickets or packages and where did they drive from? Did the Thunder sort their data by zip code? How will they market bread and butter attendance? Again, largetst professional athletic event outside the metrodome (was not the Vikings or teh Twins) was………………………. Minnesota Kicks at Met Stadium in the 70’s (Bloomington) and they didnt rely on youth players (MJSA) or their parents. The Kicks did everything right including 20,000 plus per home game. But they failed to secure T.V. revenue as the rest of the original NASL struggled and sank from.

    Location, Location, Location and and good business model.

  39. Scott Kerssen permalink
    December 29, 2009

    The biggest problem is not geography.

    The two biggest problems that the Thunder had in raising attendance were that, in their latter years, they were generally not successful on the pitch. And during the years they were successful on the pitch, they did not market themselves to the general public very well.

    If the new team plays well, the NSC upgrades it’s facilities and they market the team correctly (which indirectly includes marketing the often-mentioned “sports-themed commercial development project” supposedly in the works,), plenty of people will come.

    Attendance figure analysis, time and again, shows that the number one factor that drives attendance in professional sports is on the field performance.

    To simplify it into an aphorism, “If you put on a great show and let everybody know, they will come.”

  40. Super Rookie permalink
    December 29, 2009

    Scott, how would the NSC need to upgrade their facility?

  41. Scott Kerssen permalink
    December 29, 2009

    In the short term, alot of the amenities that are frequently mentioned in the boards already; new scoreboard, more concession stands, more restroom facilities, more entries into stadium. Also, the main stands are in need of cosmetic upgrade, as there are areas where finishing concrete is crumbling.

    In the longer term, a proper stadium. Nothing fancy, but a three or four-sided permanent structure stadium that would seat between 15,000 and 20,000 people. As it is, the place looks like a second level Texas high school stadium. Here are a few upper level Texas H.S. stadiums, just for comparison:

    http://www.texasbob.com/stadium/stadium.php?id=392

    http://www.texasbob.com/stadium/stadium.php?id=1044

    http://www.texasbob.com/stadium/stadium.php?id=1292

    I’m also tossing in Morrison Stadium, Creighton U’s venue, as a scaled-down example of what I have in mind. Be sure to go through the picture gallery. Lightning Striker and I went to Thunder pre-season training camp just as the stadium was nearing completion and was first being used. We were both impressed.

    http://www.gocreighton.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=1000&ATCLID=1150414

    Frankly, the current NSC stadium looks like small potatoes. Again, not looking for big-league frills. Just an actual stadium with permanent sides.

    Also, although it’s not technically part of the facility, the aforementioned “Sports-Themed Commercial Development Project” could, if done right, be a major draw for the far-flung fans that would enable them and their families to “make a day of it”.

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