Friday, February 09, 2007

You Can't Polish A Turd (Rapids Name Change)

It's an old saying in America (at least the midwest). And it's one that KSE, the owner of the Colorado Rapids have sadly not taken to heart. Reports out of England have it that the Colorado Rapids and Arsenal FC (London, England) have signed a "partnership" (i.e. KSE and Arsenal came to an agreement over the Arsenal name which is copyrighted in the USA by Arsenal FC). The Rapids will be holding a new conference tomorrow (Friday) to make this announcement. As for the title, it sums up with Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE) are doing with this. KSE owns several teams in Denver including the Denver Nuggets (NBA) and the Colorado Avalanche (NHL). One thing they haven't done since buying the Colorado Rapids (MLS) 3 years ago is run the team well. The Rapids performance on the pitch has been mediocre. In the 3 seasons they've played, they've lost more games than they've won (34-35-25). While spending money on big players doesn't in itself bring success on the field or off of it, the organization has yet to spend even the league maximum on a player since KSE's purchase. What about the $400,000 that Clint Mathis makes for driving the team's golf cart around at practice? Well, last year Real Salt Lake picked up a major portion of that paycheck. Props to Clavijo for taking the risk on the player, but the organization wasn't doing the same with their pocket book. Worse, attendance at games is down 15% since KSE purchased the team. In fact, in 2006 the Rapids set the league's all-time worst attendance record for a single game. The dropping attendance and lack of results are the turd I'm speaking of. Changing the teams name is not going to change this. A name change didn't save San Jose. A new stadium and name change have not turned around FC Dallas' so-so attendance. The same likely will hold true for the Colorado Rapids. Instead of investing resources into finding ways to market to an over crowded entertainment market in Denver (Broncos, Rockies, skiing, mountain biking, Rapids, Avalanche, movies, hiking, theater, Nuggets, national parks, Outlaws, et al.), KSE has spent it's off season yet again changing the teams uniforms and it's logo and name. Instead of putting these resources into selling tickets or landing a big name player for the team, they've put resources into changing the teams' name and put out press releases touting other teams players to sell tickets. Note : Colorado TV Station KUSA is reporting that the MLS has a rule stating that a team must notify the league 18 months in advance of such a change. I've never heard of this before. In fact, seeing San Jose move to Houston after winning the MLS championship, picking the name Houston 1836 and quickly dropping it for Houston Dynamo brings the claim of such a rule into question.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Real Salt Lake Gets Their Stadium Today

Sports Capital Partners (SCP), the group of investors Dave Checketts fronts that owns Real Salt Lake (RSL), has said that they'll be making their decision tomorrow on whether to keep the team in Utah or sell to a group of investors in St. Louis. It did not look good for RSL a week ago. Salt Lake County had decided against passing bonding funded by a hotel tax to help finance the stadium / hotel / office project in Sandy for the team and their development partners. But the state once again looks as though they'll be weighing in on the project with the Utah legislature expected to pass a funding bill for the team today. Even if that happens it's not entirely clear that Sports Capital Partners will not sell the team. The final decision by SCP is expected by announced by the end of the business day Friday.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Conor Casey Coming To the MLS

But he's not going to be buying a house in Gilpin, Colorado. Well, Conor could but it won't do him much good while he's playing for Major League Soccer expansion team Toronto FC. Next to Jim Brennan and getting RSL and DCU to give up partial allocations to get players back, Conor Casey looks to be the best signing by Mo Johnston so far. No, it's not official but at this point it's looking like he'll end up playing north of the border.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Real Sandy Afterall?

Salt Lake's KUTV is reporting that a deal providing funding for the new Real Salt Lake stadium is imminent. The Utah state legislature is pressuring the Salt Lake County board into paying for the stadium by threatening to take away funding for other projects. This despite 70% of voters in Salt Lake county opposing funding the project.

Weird World Of Soccer Story

I wonder if Comercial's ball boy, who decided to attack the opposing goalkeeper with an iron bar, has hired by Tonya Harding. It's funny because from the wording of the story, it sounds like even though the kid was using an iron bar it wasn't affecting Botafogo-Riberao's goalkeeper. To read the entire story, click here.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Loan Window?

In this article on Colin Healy's contract at Barnsley being canceled I noticed that a loan window was mentioned. Does anyone know the details on this? I did a quick look on the internet but didn't find anything detailing this. Is this loan window dependent on FIFA's rules? Or is this something England's FA has implemented?