The Monday After: Montreal Musings & More

On Wednesday, the Red Bulls visited Montreal for a friendly against the Impact.  Because I was in town last week, I took the opportunity to review coverage of the match and MLS surrounding the game.  French language television and newspapers provided a fair amount of air time and ink to the game.  Prior to the match, La Presse, a Montreal based paper, devoted the entire sports front page to the match with a focus on Henry.  After the game, the sports pages and sports reports were full of highlights, interviews and discussion of the match.  At the same time, English language of the game was non-existent.  The Globe & Mail provided no coverage of the friendly, nor any pre-game coverage of TFC’s Saturday match with Chicago.  There was also no coverage of the Red Bulls on TSN, however MLS scores were consistently part of the SportsCentre Bottom Line.

On the attendance front, it was a mixed bag for Major League Soccer. The mid-week games included more than 19k in Philly for the Galaxy match, while Dallas announced just over 8k for their Wednesday game.  Vancouver had more than 15,500 for their Wednesday match.  On Saturday, the Revs had more than 14k while DC had 12,500 and TFC had 18,500.  Dallas had just over 12,000 while 16,300 were at Rio Tinto and just under 20k at the HDC.  More than 36k came to Seattle for the Portland/Seattle rivalry. San Jose just crawled over the 9k mark. Finally, Red Bull Arena hosted just over 16k for the Red Bulls Sunday night matchup.

One final attendance note, the US Women hosted Japan at Crew Stadium on Saturday.  The crowd was reported at just over 5k.

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4 Responses

  1. As I’ve said before, the MLS and soccer must do a better job of selling itself. I am still astounded how many column inches sports such as Canadian Football and Baseball receive in the major news papers as compared to soccer. With the lack of coverage soccer receives, one would never imagine that soccer has higher registrations than any other in Canada (and probably in the USA), yet lacks the coverage one would expect. Part of the problem is a lack of knowledge of the game by many of the sports writers in North America. The MLS (and the rest of the minor leagues) really do need to educate these writers and court the media. I remember one evening when I attended the BCRU annual banquet when TSN was just starting up. We had one of their executives at the dinner where he informed us that if we wanted Rugby on the newly formed sports network that we had a lot of lobbying to do. I was astounded. I know realize that they are no different than the rest of the television industry; they will stick with what is tried and tested. Unfortunately, its up to the soccer industry to promote themselves.

  2. Once again,the Seattle Sounders continue to impress with almost 37K at their game against the Timbers,in the pouring rain no less.

  3. i think the great attendance numbers coming out of the NW is due, in part, to the sort of non-interference with the soccer history in that area. By this, i’m saying that the entrance of other sport franchises havent entered to such an extent whereby they cloud the past soccer history. For Seattle, the NBA came and went. With Portland, there’s no baseball or american football. The point I’m making goes beyond simply saying that there’s no other-sport competition in a certain. Think of dallas. Unless I’m wrong, NBA & NHL entered in the 80s. Their success, as well as the success of the Cowboys, have pretty much ensured that the famed Tornados were long forgotten. So I would say to MLS: perhaps take surveys in possible expansion cities and see where there is high recognition of old NASL teams. And if the name recognition is high in Tulsa (roughnecks) and low in Tampa, then maybe that should be taken as an indicator of support.

  4. Re: Montreal, did you get to look at the English-language Montreal Gazette for soccer coverage? The Globe and Mail is a national/Toronto paper, so it would be less likely to cover the Bulls-Impact game.

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