After a couple of years at a minor league baseball stadium, the men's College Cup is returning to soccer-specific grounds.
PPL Park will host the 2013 men's College Cup, the NCAA announced on Wednesday. This past year's tournament was held at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., the stadium for the Chicago White Sox Double-A affiliate Birmingham Barons. The 2012 event will be held there as well.
The 2013 tournament, which will be hosted by Villanova University, will mark the fifth time that the event will be held at an MLS soccer-specific stadium. The College Cup was hosted by Crew Stadium in 2001 and 2003, the Home Depot Center in 2004 and Pizza Hut Park in 2008.
WakeMed Park in Cary, N.C., was selected to host the 2013 women's College Cup.
There’s the number one issue, ownership. Who has the money, and if so who’s going to invest the minimum required asset of 1 million. (Traffic Sports controls NASL, Soccer Division Soccer)
Most of the owners of second division soccer in America really don’t care about the sport and will drop ship in a heart beat if they lose too much revenue. There in it for the business benefit only. Most have no love for the game itself. Until owners love the game, support the game, make it a part of their psyche and ingrain their product into the souls of the community, we will continue to have fly by night ownership and second division soccer will continue it’s flaky existence.
This has happen to the Carolina RailHawks in Cary, North Carolina. The owner abandon the club, the fans and North Carolina soccer scene, which has a rich soccer tradition when he lost too much revenue. Reports indicated the owner rarely attended games, didn’t understand the sport and really didn’t care if they won or lost. He was only interested in one thing, how much revenue was his investment producing. Taffic Sports owns the majority of the second division clubs in NASL and they’re holding on by the skin of their teeth, because they truly love soccer first, then money last. Owners have to love the game to really meet the demands of successful clubs in division two soccer. Simple truth, but paramount for success.
That was the point of my article. Birmingham has a venue that is ready to go. A minor league baseball stadium that can easily be converted to a SSS, has already hosted NCAA soccer championships, and which is about to be vacated by the current baseball tenant for a stadium downtown.
Hoover has a recently remodeled stadium on a site that can’t be used for much other than a stadium without a tenant. It’s a stadium with a history of showcasing big time soccer in a city that has shown great support for the USMNT in the past.
Yes, quality ownership is priority number one but the combo of a quality soon-to-be vacant stadium, a history of hosting USMNT games, and a history of hosting NCAA College Cup games is a pretty good set of assets for a potential 2nd division owner to look at. Not to mention WorldSoccerShop is based in Birmingham and the infrastructure of BUSA.
None of it can happen without an owner. My point is this is a better opportunity for an owner than most.
Serious study of the market and sustainable ownership who’s committed to the core has to be paramount. Too many fly by night owners have existed in NASL. Stability of second division clubs has to be the focus, otherwise what good is it to have a club which only last a few years due to the demise of piss poor ownership and unstable market to support the club and the league. Is Birmingham ready for second division soccer, player/staff salaries, soccer specific stadium, adverting and a rock solid ownership?
I like the idea, but let’s hope it’s not snowed out. Either way, it’s gonna be a cold one!
It’s an understandable decision – and I’m not sure why it hasn’t been made previously – but Regions with a little TLC could be an excellent soccer venue in an excellent soccer market with very little money expended.
They are losing their permanent tenant (the Barons) in a couple years to a new downtown stadium in Birmingham. Hoover should work to find an ownership group and should invest the relative pittance it would take to convert Regions Park into a SSS and go for an NASL team.
Good move, should always be at soccer venues imo