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The Hype: Will the Yankees be able to bring more fans to MLS?

May 22, 2013, 5:26 PM EDT

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Sometimes we’re so busy starting at trees in this soccer forest, we miss the broader, more general impact of news – impacts that likely mean more for the growth of Major League Soccer than minutiae like whether Manchester City will be able to loan players to New York City FC.

Thankfully, Michele Beadle and friends have us covered, using The Crossover segment on The Hype to talk about the bigger picture. For example, will that huge pinstriped monolith in the Bronx be able to move new butts into seats? Take some of the millions they draw to Yankee Stadium each year and get them to see an MLS game?

As the panel discusses, Major League Soccer is a much more affordable ticket than most sports entertainment. Take your family to see the Giants, Jets, or even the Knicks or Nets? Casseroles for weeks. At a Major League Soccer game, however, you get professional sports atmosphere at reasonable rates. While some might not consider MLS a big four sport yet, at least you can afford to buy your kids a hot dog  before kickoff.

It’s something MLS prides itself on: the game day experience. Television ratings are struggling, and the big money from broadcasters has yet to roll in. But one thing the league can do (or, at least strongly encourages its franchises to do) is to make good on match day.

The big question is whether the Yankees will get more people to the park … and whether those people are new fans, or ones being drawn from New Jersey?

  1. BDazzle - May 22, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Reblogged this on Owen Goal and commented:
    Possibly… most Yankee fans don’t follow baseball.

  2. dws110 - May 22, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    I thought there were all these millions of soccer fans in NYC just braying and clamoring for a team to call their very own? Isn’t that the Don’s big argument for NY2?

  3. bobinkc - May 22, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    “While some might not consider MLS a big four sport yet, at least you can afford to buy your kids a hot dog before kickoff.” I don’t know about that one, Richard. In Kansas City, the Sporting Park food franchise seems to be run by the same folks who infest Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals) with high-priced fare. Prices are marginally lower at Sporting Park, but not by much. At least the parking is free here.

  4. mdac1012 - May 22, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    The benefit of having the Yankees involved may be the teams exposure on the YES Network, that’s about it. Yankee fans who are not soccer fans are not going to start following soccer because the Yankees are minority owners. Several years ago the Yankees had a partnership with the then NJ Nets, that partnership did not help the Nets rating or attendance.

  5. clarenceoveur - May 22, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Yeah, I don’t know if its so much that the Yankee tie in will help as much as its just having a team in NY. My sense is not many New Yorkers make it out to Harrison to watch the Red Bulls, so they’ll probably just add new fans more than anything else. Some loaners from City would help draw fans more than anything Yankee would.

    • nikodmus - May 22, 2013 at 11:51 PM

      The point that is being glossed over is that “New Yorkers” are not going to go to Queens to watch a game either. For many, the trip to Harrison would take the same amount of time (or near enough) as a trip out to flushing would.

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