Follow the bouncing ball here:
- Americans don’t really love soccer.
- Millennials are moving to cities in droves.
- That’s changing the nature of cities and how they’re designed/organized.
- MLS is the only sport where the largest percentage of its base is 18-to-34 year-olds.
- Young people seem to really like soccer in general.
- Many stadiums, though, are built in the suburbs.
- For every mile from an urban core that a MLS Stadium is built, the team loses 260 fans.
- MLS is courting new opportunities in urban markets.
- People are starting to come around and say they don’t want their sons to play football.
Alright, so track all that together and here’s what you get:
- Young people are increasingly living in cities.
- The MLS needs to put more franchises in cities.
- Those young people will eventually have children.
- They will follow soccer and perhaps also play it (possibly as an alternative to football).
- If the city handles its association with soccer the right way, it will look like this:
And now, here we have a situation where maybe, just maybe, soccer becomes “the” sport for the new generation of America. A long shot? Perhaps. But as generational habits about where to reside start to shift, and attitudes on football start to shift, maybe soccer becomes as big here as it is in other parts of the world.