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Old 10-25-2012, 06:59 AM  
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Mellinger: Sporting looks like KCís most successful franchise

Hard to argue.

Do we need to start having a Sporting KC thread prefix icon?




This isnít about the soccer. Some of you canít make that leap. Some of you never will. Some of you donít want to, donít care, and of course thatís your choice.
Your choice to miss out.

Because even if youíre stuck in the 1980s and refuse to think of soccer as anything more than orange slices and Capri Suns, you must at least wish your team could model the thorough, smart, and fan-first success of Sporting KC ó MLS Eastern Conference champions after a 2-1 season-ending win over Philadelphia in front of another sellout crowd at Livestrong Sporting Park.

The Royals have the sorriest last two decades in the American League and the Chiefs have a case as the NFLís worst team, so why not invest a bit in a winner?

Sporting KC is a serious threat to win the MLS Cup in its second consecutive playoff appearance, something the Chiefs havenít done since 1995 (when Bill Self coached at Oral Roberts) and the Royals since 1985 (when Bill Snyder coached at Iowa).

Technically, this is the 17th season of the MLS in Kansas City but in reality it is the second season anyone outside a devoted but small demographic of hardcore soccer fans has paid much attention.

And what weíve seen is remarkable.

Think about this: Sporting KC is not only on its way to joining the mainstream local sports scene Ö the franchise is changing it.

You would need a wild imagination and perhaps an opiate to believe Sporting will overtake the Chiefs or Royals in local importance, but thatís neither the goal nor the point. Why canít Sporting turn Kansas City from a two-sport town to a three?

So maybe we didnít need AEGís non-promises after all. Maybe we just needed the rich guys at Cerner to buy an afterthought team and turn it into something much more.

You mightíve dismissed the first season of the franchise rebranding and the gorgeous new stadium as novelty, but what now? Every game but one was a sellout this year, and the teamís revenue is actually up across the board. The average (non-premium) season ticket holder is 27 years old. Disposable income is now being spent on professional soccer in a way Kansas City has perhaps never seen, certainly not since the Comets fad of the 1980s.
Sporting is not plotting world domination here, just a bigger chunk of the local sports market and two seasons in the plan is going off almost flawlessly. They are winning, and the management group is putting on a virtual clinic on how to connect with a community and make fans feel part of the process.

The $200 million stadium comes alive in large part thanks to the maniacs in the Cauldron ó who have regular interaction with the ownership group, by the way ó and the result is the leagueís fourth-youngest roster playing with one of the strongest homefield advantages and a fan experience thatís increasing season ticket demand.

The only hiccup surrounds the name on the stadium, an ancillary fallout from Lance Armstrongís chemically enhanced career finally coming into undeniable focus. But Sporting named its stadium after an organization that provides hope for cancer victims, not the fraudulent cyclist who started it, so backtracking now would be somewhere between counterproductive and cowardly.

Meanwhile, the team for which the stadium exists continues to elbow its way closer to mainstream. Soccer interest and participation continues to rise nationally, with Kansas City an emerging hotbed. Parents reading football concussion stories might give that an extra boost.

Look at this with an open mind, and the franchise that commissioner Don Garber calls the MLSí greatest success story is perfectly positioned to take advantage of market conditions both in and out of its own control. So this is about much more than just soccer, but if thatís not your thing, then fine.

Itís just that youíll be missing the best part of Kansas Cityís current professional sports scene.


http://www.kansascity.com/2012/10/24.../sporting.html
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:01 AM   #2
blaise blaise is offline
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I've come around a lot on soccer, but it's hard for me to care much about MLS play. I get though that seeing the Sporting live is supposed to be a good time.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:02 AM   #3
theelusiveeightrop theelusiveeightrop is offline
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Can't figure out whether I care less about soccer or what Mellinger has to say.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:05 AM   #4
KCUnited KCUnited is offline
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Not my bag but props to Sporting for bringing something positive to KC.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:09 AM   #5
Saulbadguy Saulbadguy is offline
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I don't know much about soccer but the game last night was very entertaining.

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Old 10-25-2012, 07:26 AM   #6
Nickel D Nickel D is offline
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:34 AM   #7
Molitoth Molitoth is offline
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This isn’t about the soccer. Some of you can’t make that leap. Some of you never will. Some of you don’t want to, don’t care, and of course that’s your choice.
Your choice to miss out.
It's really nice that Sporting is a good local team. I REALLY WANT to like soccer and enjoy riding on this teams wagon, but for some reason low scoring soccer games just bore me to do other things. I DO however root for them to win and check the scores after the games. I went to the Wizards vs ManU game at Arrowhead a couple years ago and that was semi-fun. I Imagine going to a game at Livestrong would be a ton more fun and I'm willing to go as soon as I find someone to offer me tix.

Hopefully I can start to watch the games and enjoy them, but so far I just haven't been able to do it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:39 AM   #8
blaise blaise is offline
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One thing I do like about MLS is that it doesn't seem like they do the fake injury thing anywhere near as much as some of the international games. The World Cup gets unwatchable sometimes because it's so ridiculous.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:43 AM   #9
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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These guys are like a breathe of fresh air compared to Royals and Chiefs ownership and their decades of "Comittiment to Excrement"
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:51 AM   #10
the Talking Can the Talking Can is offline
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whether or not you like soccer is irrelevant, Clark should be taking lessons from these guys on how engage the fanbase....

Pioli has only accomplished one thing since arriving: making the town hate him, and by extension the team...meanwhile Sporting is a clinic on managing a franchise
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:19 AM   #11
tredadda tredadda is offline
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Good to see Sporting do well and represent the city well. At least they don't bring shame on KC like the Royals and Chiefs. Too bad more KC sports fans don't follow the only winner in town.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:21 AM   #12
GloryDayz GloryDayz is offline
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I agree that the anti-soccer mentality is pretty lame. It's much like the anti-NASCAR mindset, pretty silly to hate just to hate. But alas, folks are folks, and you can't change that.

I guess now that the Hunts sold the team it has allowed for their success - not that they weren't already "successful," but I'm assuming that it must have been dumb luck because Hunts were at the top of the Org. chart. So I might just go and catch a game. I went years ago and it was a bit of a let-down compared to the atmosphere I enjoyed watching the Roma-Lazio and Juve-Milan games of my own childhood, but I think SKC has come a long way and perhaps it's time to line the pockets of an ownership group that cares and doesn't hate their fan base - well not if it means they'd have to make slightly less profit at least. Obviously the whole Hunt herd hates KC, its people, and above all missing out on a dime, so this team might be worth some dimes...

Thanks...
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:23 AM   #13
Zeke Zeke is offline
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The Royals should take note at how KC supports their teams when managment puts forth a little effort. They could make some money.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:33 AM   #14
MIAdragon MIAdragon is offline
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Originally Posted by GloryDayz View Post
I agree that the anti-soccer mentality is pretty lame. It's much like the anti-NASCAR mindset, pretty silly to hate just to hate. But alas, folks are folks, and you can't change that.
Im not sure its an "anti-soccer" mindset. Its probably more to do with the fact that watching paint dry is on the same excitement plane however its a notch above watching golf so it has that going for it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:35 AM   #15
tredadda tredadda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryDayz View Post
I agree that the anti-soccer mentality is pretty lame. It's much like the anti-NASCAR mindset, pretty silly to hate just to hate. But alas, folks are folks, and you can't change that.

I guess now that the Hunts sold the team it has allowed for their success - not that they weren't already "successful," but I'm assuming that it must have been dumb luck because Hunts were at the top of the Org. chart. So I might just go and catch a game. I went years ago and it was a bit of a let-down compared to the atmosphere I enjoyed watching the Roma-Lazio and Juve-Milan games of my own childhood, but I think SKC has come a long way and perhaps it's time to line the pockets of an ownership group that cares and doesn't hate their fan base - well not if it means they'd have to make slightly less profit at least. Obviously the whole Hunt herd hates KC, its people, and above all missing out on a dime, so this team might be worth some dimes...

Thanks...
I agree with everything you said there. I love how SKC ownership cares about the fans AND wants to win. Neither the Royals nor Chiefs need to be small market teams if we just had ownership dedicated to building a winner. Look at Pittsburgh. In football they are not considered small market because of the huge national fan base they have. In baseball though the Pirates are. Why? The Steelers are winners and the Pirates are not. As a result one thrives while one struggles. Owners who care about winning can turn both KC franchises around much like new ownership did it for SKC. Now I also think we are about 20-30 years away from seeing soccer matches similar to the ones you remember as a child as it will take time to change the minds and culture of people here towards liking soccer.
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