Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Soccernomics: The Kids Love the Soccer

A new study show that kids 12-17 are avidly interested in Major League Soccer as much as Major League Baseball. What is most interesting to me in this study is how, in the last few years, baseball has really fallen off while MLS has picked up.  Given youth participation rates in soccer and the sudden expansion of European football on US television, it is not surprising that MLS has caught the wave.  Plus the level of play int he MLS has steadily improved over the life of the league and while it is still far below the big European leagues it is no longer panful to watch as it was ten years ago.    

And pity the poor NHL: I love hockey but it never made sense to me the sudden rise of the NHL and its expansion into warm winter cities.  I figured it would all unravel, and so it has.  But it is still very viable due to the economics of arenas and the additional programming the sport offers.   For a while that is what NFL owners thought about MLS - which was a disaster.  Seattle is the only place where MLS has worked in an NFL stadium and even there, the quality of the games on that horrible artificial surface is going to be a problem moving forward.

But looking at this is seems like bets made recently by young entrepreneurs like Merritt Paulson look pretty good, eh?  These kiddos don't have a lot of money to spend, but they are growing up fast...

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