Sol setting in Los Angeles Part 2: The viability of WPS

Jeff Kassouf January 28, 2010 0

The most obvious question in the larger picture of  Thursday’s announcement involves Women’s Professional Soccer.  How does the fall of the Los Angeles Sol affect the league?

It’s a huge blow, obviously.  Casual fans and faithful alike are wondering if this is WUSA 2.0, but it is not.  As emphasized from the start, this is WPS, a whole new ballgame.

Do not be fooled into thinking that LA ceasing operations spells the end of the league.  While WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci admits that is a natural concern, it is not a legitimate one.

“I think that is a human reaction and you want to try to draw conclusions and you want to anticipate different ways it could go,” she said.  “Some people could conclude that.  What we know, and what we want the public to know, is that we have eight committed ownership groups who are not wavering as a result of this.  In their markets, regionally and locally, they are going forward as they have planned.  They are in it for the long term.”

There are still some great things going on in the league.  As bad as this news is, the fact that so many people are concerned about it is actually silver lining (all be it a small positive).  This would be a lot worse if people (i.e. fans and media) did not care.  But there is uproar; there is emotion.  That is what is needed to keep the WPS ship on path and in the end this could be a rallying point for LA and WPS.

The Atlanta Beat will open their own stadium in May.  Philadelphia will kick off its first season as well.  Ticket sales will continue to rise.  In all, the point is that there are eight solid markets and surely more to come.

“There are eight markets committed to WPS moving forward in 2010,” Antonucci said.  “Two brand new teams in Atlanta and Philly are part of that group of eight, so the ownership groups are very committed.”

Essentially, the message to fans is to be patient and not worry.  I’ve heard this phrase from multiple people involved in the situation, and it really rings true: ‘Have faith.’
Listen to the Set Piece Analysts Women’s Podcast on the subject here.

Follow me at www.Twitter.com/JeffKassouf for all of the latest updates.


8
Comments… read them below or post one
Anonymous said…
I think that you can look to growing sponsorship deals as one major form of evidence. Sponsorships are huge in professional sports, and there are many deals being signed around WPS. We keep seeing news out of Sky Blue FC of different sponsors adding to their 2009 load or new sponsors all together. FC Gold Pride is announcing deals like the one with Gordon Biersch Brewing Company. The Atlanta Beat are about to open up their own stadium (which obviously costs money, but in the long-run means no rent, much more control over revenue, space and time, and a more attractive process. Look at the turnout for draft day by media and fans alike. In no way are things perfect or thriving, but the argument can definitely be made that things are in place for a positive future. – Jeff
Anonymous said…
Define “incredibly healthy” and offer evidence.
Anonymous said…
Maybe we don’t need our playing field leveled if people like you are going to be doing the leveling. Holy cow.
Anonymous said…
To whomever this may be…it is necessary to have your facts straight before attacking somebody. There was no confirmation on Tuesday, simply rumor. Which is precisely why it would have been irresponsible. It was confirmed in the process of talking to Tonya, in which case it actually makes sense to hear the story. Glad to see you are so on top of things, though. -Jeff
Anonymous said…
To whomever this may be…it is necessary to have your facts straight before attacking somebody. There was no confirmation on Tuesday, simply rumor. Which is precisely why it would have been irresponsible. It was confirmed in the process of talking to Tonya, in which case it actually makes sense to hear the story. Glad to see you are so on top of things, though. -Jeff
Anonymous said…
Then this from your twitter account one hour ago “@Allthingsfooty Undeniably. I’m actually trying to bait them into talking. They need to stand up and take this, or at least try to defend it” Journalism ho!
Anonymous said…
And to have all these quotes ready to go from the WPS commish creates even muddier journalistic waters. Did you make a concession to not break the story in exchange for these quotes from Ta.Ta.Ta.Tonya?
Anonymous said…
You actually have a responsibility to the NEWS to break a story once you have confirmed the accuracy of said story. To sit on it for two days as you note….well there is a reason why you write about women’s soccer.