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Heimdallr

Gophers, Wolves and Loons, oh my! (MN Sports Thread)

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I'd be fine with the Twins making some moves (Dozier, Santana etc.) we need these prospects to start panning out for us. I'm not saying make a move to make a move but if a deal makes sense...

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Given the recent Irving rumors I think I'd much rather hang onto Wiggins than include him in any package to acquire Irving. 

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3 minutes ago, VikeManDan said:

Given the recent Irving rumors I think I'd much rather hang onto Wiggins than include him in any package to acquire Irving. 

Why? I don't know much about basketball, but it seems like if you have Towns, Butler and Irving you are instantly contenders to win a championship for the foreseeable future. Wiggins is nowhere near the player Irving is.

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7 minutes ago, Heimdallr said:

Why? I don't know much about basketball, but it seems like if you have Towns, Butler and Irving you are instantly contenders to win a championship for the foreseeable future. Wiggins is nowhere near the player Irving is.

Wiggins is also 3 years younger and 6'8". I'm not a big basketball guy either but I've heard that Irving is terrible on D (for that matter I haven't heard good things about Wiggins either) but I also worry about Irving saying he wants to be the guy. This team should run through KAT and I think I'm going to gamble on Wiggins potential to become a better all around player than Irving. 

I know it is a box score stat but...

Irving 2016 PPG: 25.2

Wiggins 2016 PPG: 23.6

I'll bet on Wiggins potential as I think that is what is better for the team down the road. However, if a trade happens so be it. Should be a fun team to watch either way. 

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I love the thought of Irving on this team WITH Wiggins, Butler, and KAT. I think it's a bit of a wash if we trade Wiggins for him. 

That said, we just don't have the assets to make a deal for Irving. 

Then again, we got Butler for pennies on the dollar. Maybe we'll get lucky again. 

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Loons fans....

I heard on the radio a couple days ago that there's rumblings the team was expecting better attendance in the inaugural season. It struck me as odd since there seemed to be at least 10-12,000 a game (I don't know what "good" attendance is for an MLS game) watching the team and when the old team was in Blaine, it was always packed so there seems to be a dedicated fan base to the team.

As someone who hasn't watched a game and more than likely will only watch 1-2 this decade, how do YOU think attendance has been? After the "new team smell" wears off and eventually the new stadium is up for a few years, is the fan base big enough to support the team with good attendance? 

In other words, are we building a new stadium for a team who will be here for the very long term or in 10 years is the team going to be folding due to lack of interest?

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13 minutes ago, wcblack34 said:

I love the thought of Irving on this team WITH Wiggins, Butler, and KAT.

The only hope we have of getting Kyrie without trading Wiggins is if the Cavs hold onto Irving until December when we can trade Teague and a couple others.

But I'd rather have Wiggins simply because the headache seems smaller....

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1 minute ago, Vikes_Bolts1228 said:

Loons fans....

Oh, hello.

The announced attendance has never been below 17k. Generally it ranges from about 18k-19k (except for the first game which was around 35k). The lower bowl at TCF holds about 21k and average MLS attendance is generally ~20k. There are a little over 11k season ticket holders. There is definitely a hardcore fanbase from the Blaine days, but Blaine on held 9k at the very most, so that only goes so far.

With that said, I'd say the actual number of people in the stadium for any game is 1k-2k less than the announced attendance. I would not be shocked if internally they are not happy with their attendance numbers. They have had a ton of promotions to try to get people in (free ticket on Mother's/Father's Day), promotions with Surly, free hot dogs, free merchandise, etc.). 

There are a lot of good reasons why attendance has been lower than what they would like:

1. The team sucks. The roster is terrible. The only "big" (see: not big) money they spent were on some Scandinavian players who were horrendous busts and quickly got benched and never played again. In MLS you are allowed 3 "designated players" which don't count against the salary cap so that teams can bring in big names without killing themselves. We have zero, and probably won't sign any before next season either. We honestly only have maybe 15 players that really deserve to be on an MLS roster. We didn't have a head  coach until less than a month before training camp, and even when training camp started we didn't have a full roster. 3 of our best players are from the NASL team.

2. The marketing presence has been just pathetic. I didn't hear or see a single ad until the week before the season started, and even now there is almost nothing out there. MLS is the fastest growing sport/league in the world; it should not be hard to get a fanbase in a major city. For an inaugural city there should have been billboards, newspaper ads, radio ads, TV ads, bus banners, and anything else you can think of to get the word out and build hype. None of that happened. 

3. You need to pay for MLS Live if you want to watch most games outside of the Cities. About 1/3 of the games are on FS1/ESPN, but the rest are on My29 which is only locally broadcast. Also the radio broadcast is a simulcast of the TV commentary so it is horrible (and on AM). Really pathetic if you are trying to build any kind of following in the rest of the state.

4. TCF Bank just really is not a good soccer stadium. It is too big, ugly, and everything is really expensive. It is positioned so most people are either baking in the sun or staring right into the setting sun. It was designed for daytime games in the fall, not evening games in the spring and summer. 

5. The entire season feels like a dress rehearsal. We don't have a proper stadium, we don't have real uniforms (we didn't submit designs to Adidas in time to get real, custom jerseys so we are just using generic/temporary ones),  the front office clearly wasn't ready, and the roster sucks. A lot of that is due to them having to go straight from a NASL season into a MLS season with only a few months to prepare, where most expansion teams are starting from scratch with a couple of years to prepare.

 

With all that said, there IS a strong and growing fanbase, the ownership group is strong (Bill McGuire, the Pohlads, Glen Taylor), soccer is growing exponentially in the US, they have a good brand, and the new stadium is going to be amazing. There is no reason to worry about the team not being here in 10 years.

I think within the next 10 years, MLS will be pushing the NFL as the biggest and most popular pro sports league in the country. They have grown from about 20 teams, to 28 within the last 5-10 years, and are adding 1-2 teams per year recently. Every year there are 5+ cities putting in bids trying to get in. I think they will cap it at 32 teams, but even outside of MLS there are over 100 2nd/3rd division teams in the US and Canada. More and more talent is coming over from Europe or Mexico/South America. 

The roster will get better. It is pretty obvious was that their plan was to start slow and see where their holes were before spending big money, and I don't disagree with that strategy. We do have 8-9 really good players, we just need more depth and 1-2 stars to get to the next level. Most teams have an affiliated 2nd-division team where they can send young players to learn, and an academy where the start training players from 12-13 years old . We don't have that funnel of talent yet, but it is in progress. With the salary cap and the way MLS rules allow signings they should be able to turn things around pretty quick. It isn't like baseball where the big money teams have clear advantages. 

Games are still very fun, and if you have never been to a big soccer game you should check it out.The supporter culture in soccer is unlike anything else in American sports. If you think Vikings fans are passionate or get rowdy, you haven't seen anything yet. Once the new stadium gets built it will be incredible. 

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On 7/28/2017 at 10:04 AM, Heimdallr said:

With all that said, there IS a strong and growing fanbase, the ownership group is strong (Bill McGuire, the Pohlads, Glen Taylor), soccer is growing exponentially in the US, they have a good brand, and the new stadium is going to be amazing. There is no reason to worry about the team not being here in 10 years.

So the team is doomed....

Thanks for the write up...that was awesome to read!

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If anyone has been thinking about checking out a United game, today is the day.

1. Free food trucks outside the stadium before the game, along with games for kids, etc.

2. We are playing the only team in the league with a worse record than us.

3. We are getting some of our best players back from international duty, so we will field a strong team.

4. We've had a week off, so most starters will be rested and not too injured. 

5. Great weather without being too hot. 

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Went to my first MNUFC game tonight, had a great time.

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Not a big fan of their beer though. Might actually end up going to next weekends game too if everything works out right. 

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49 minutes ago, skywindO2 said:

Went to my first MNUFC game tonight, had a great time.

Not a big fan of their beer though. Might actually end up going to next weekends game too if everything works out right. 

Awesome! Hard not to enjoy a 4-0 win!

I agree with the Surly Rising North though. Not a big fan. Town Hall Brewery also has a Loons themed beer which is a little better.

My season tickets used to actually be directly in front of where you were (in row 3 of that section) before I switched to the supporter's section.

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