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Major League Rugby

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Fri, 18 May 2018, 10:12

Blurandski wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:
So, it depends on what each facility costs to operate. Starfire is past current maximum capacity, Zions was almost at max this week. The cheapest venue is probably Shaw. The most expensive is SD.

Based on current salary cap some teams will probably break even. Others will be in the hole on their investment. But part of the financial stress tests out there was each team needed to meet minimum capital investments so that they could fund at a loss until year 5.


Yeah, somewhere like Starfire I doubt is very expensive at all, so I wouldn't be surprised to see SS break even, Utah due to their one game pre-season with the 10,000 crowd should break even because of that (assuming they charged, can anyone confirm?), and Houston's long pre-season helps spread the coaching costs out, so they may be much less in the red.

It's good to hear that that is the case, fingers crossed that they all break-even sooner rather than later.

Does anyone have an inkling what Seattle are going to do for next season? Is there a way to up capacity to near 7.5k? Similarly what are Utah's options?


They charged. I think around 7000 of the 9000+ they got through the gates were paid.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby sammo » Fri, 18 May 2018, 10:35

Blurandski wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Costs will surely go down for teams who will have their own stadiums next year wouldn't they? Houston and Nola are both getting purpose built facilities are they not?


Depends how much they're paying currently, stadiums aren't cheap to staff and maintain, the main advantage is that match day revenue should go up, with the teams not having to give venues large cuts of tickets and f&b (at least that is how stadium rental in the UK works, London Irish pay £3 per person in attendance, and get no f&b & pay £300,000 a season). I'd suspect that for Houston & NOLA overall costs will rise slightly, but match day incomes will rise by a significant amount more, but it depends on the deals currently agreed.


The NOLA facility is their own, being developed in conjunction with a HS that I believe the President/Owner is an alumni of. It has simply been put together way too quickly to look good this season, and I believe significant improvements will be made between the end of this season and the start of next.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Blurandski » Fri, 18 May 2018, 10:43

sammo wrote:
Blurandski wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Costs will surely go down for teams who will have their own stadiums next year wouldn't they? Houston and Nola are both getting purpose built facilities are they not?


Depends how much they're paying currently, stadiums aren't cheap to staff and maintain, the main advantage is that match day revenue should go up, with the teams not having to give venues large cuts of tickets and f&b (at least that is how stadium rental in the UK works, London Irish pay £3 per person in attendance, and get no f&b & pay £300,000 a season). I'd suspect that for Houston & NOLA overall costs will rise slightly, but match day incomes will rise by a significant amount more, but it depends on the deals currently agreed.


The NOLA facility is their own, being developed in conjunction with a HS that I believe the President/Owner is an alumni of. It has simply been put together way too quickly to look good this season, and I believe significant improvements will be made between the end of this season and the start of next.


Okay good to hear, that may be a very savvy deal, as they may be able to get all their match day income, while only paying for half of maintenance and building costs. At least that's how I'd set it up, with both sides retaining their own income, while paying 50/50 maintenance, or maintenance according to total use.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Fri, 18 May 2018, 15:01

Blurandski wrote:
Yeah, somewhere like Starfire I doubt is very expensive at all, so I wouldn't be surprised to see SS break even, Utah due to their one game pre-season with the 10,000 crowd should break even because of that (assuming they charged, can anyone confirm?), and Houston's long pre-season helps spread the coaching costs out, so they may be much less in the red.

It's good to hear that that is the case, fingers crossed that they all break-even sooner rather than later.

Does anyone have an inkling what Seattle are going to do for next season? Is there a way to up capacity to near 7.5k? Similarly what are Utah's options?


Starfire with careful planning can add 3500 seats of temporary seating according the only WR Certified site approver employed by USAR. I've mentioned this on reddit a few times. I don't know if Seawolves will go straight to that though. Creating a certain level of scarcity is important for them since they're selling out now.

Utah issued 1500 complimentary tickets for their pre-season opener. But I doubt their rent is crazy. They may have to play some matches at Rio Tinto again though next year.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Blurandski » Fri, 18 May 2018, 18:17

TheStroBro wrote:
Blurandski wrote:
Yeah, somewhere like Starfire I doubt is very expensive at all, so I wouldn't be surprised to see SS break even, Utah due to their one game pre-season with the 10,000 crowd should break even because of that (assuming they charged, can anyone confirm?), and Houston's long pre-season helps spread the coaching costs out, so they may be much less in the red.

It's good to hear that that is the case, fingers crossed that they all break-even sooner rather than later.

Does anyone have an inkling what Seattle are going to do for next season? Is there a way to up capacity to near 7.5k? Similarly what are Utah's options?


Starfire with careful planning can add 3500 seats of temporary seating according the only WR Certified site approver employed by USAR. I've mentioned this on reddit a few times. I don't know if Seawolves will go straight to that though. Creating a certain level of scarcity is important for them since they're selling out now.

Utah issued 1500 complimentary tickets for their pre-season opener. But I doubt their rent is crazy. They may have to play some matches at Rio Tinto again though next year.


Yeah scarcity is a very underrated tool in boosting attendances. It all depends on how much lead time there needs to be for expansion. If I were them I’d increase it by 1,000 for next season (considering that it will be a longer season), with the groundworks in place at the right hand side (from camera) to add in extra bleachers if required.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Suiram » Fri, 18 May 2018, 19:14

Also worth remembering that professional sports franchises do not really need to be highly profitable. They need to seem stable and breakeven with growing awareness interest. They need to then invest and own their own assets like the stadium.

Brand value will grow. Look at major US sports teams, none turn particularly significant profits but can have multi-billion dollar valuations. It becomes a status asset that has value because others see it has value and its not necessarily just what is cashflows.

I mean we are not there with MLR, but my point is, no one should be worried about more than breaking even and covering investments in things like stadiums. Anything more is gravy.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Tobar » Fri, 18 May 2018, 19:44

Important to take into account the fact that Houston's stadium next year will likely be just bleachers (using the term loosely, it could be a nice grandstand like Seattle) and the field. The only upkeep they really have to have is someone to maintain the grass and clean up after the games. Since it will be built at the Houston Sports Complex, then I imagine that they will just use the same service that maintain the park.

As for the stadium itself, it should still look like the original concept design that was released by the Strikers months ago here. If I'm not mistaken, it should be just to the right of the the fields in this picture which means the parking lot in the first picture I posted will be next to the existing fields. If the plan is to have 3500 seats for year one, then it will likely just be the field with one side of the stands, basically the same as Starfire.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby grande » Fri, 18 May 2018, 23:09


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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 30 May 2018, 14:19

Great article. I would say I am basically a Seawolves fan now. Always liked their branding and setup.

https://blog.ridnell.com/2018/05/29/a-m ... n-seattle/

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby 4N » Sun, 03 Jun 2018, 02:48

Who did Houston's recruiting for players and coaches? There was some optimism around them preseason but they are terrible.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Tobar » Sun, 03 Jun 2018, 08:09

No idea what’s going on with houston. They have lots of good players too, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be at the top. I could see them drop to middle of the pack but did not expect them to be dead last.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Thomas » Sun, 03 Jun 2018, 10:15

I like the article, gives a fresh outlook on MLR.

How is MLR Recruiting players and coaches? What is the current setup and support for MLR in the USA?

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 03 Jun 2018, 12:41

Looked a good crowd in Houston today.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Sun, 03 Jun 2018, 16:02

Thomas wrote:I like the article, gives a fresh outlook on MLR.

How is MLR Recruiting players and coaches? What is the current setup and support for MLR in the USA?


Overseas based players come from a variety of sources...but they had agents I think. Most of it has been coaches and GMs scouting leads on players...or in SD's case just signing a third of available Eagles. I'm sure as time goes on the scouting apparatus will probably resemble something similar to the NFL.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Caledor » Tue, 05 Jun 2018, 10:19

Thomas wrote:I like the article, gives a fresh outlook on MLR.

How is MLR Recruiting players and coaches? What is the current setup and support for MLR in the USA?


MLR is using locally based networks amongst the MLR clubs to recruit homegrown US players in the local areas but also from across other states in the top leagues and divisions in applicable states. Additionally, they are also using open combines. The other method MLR clubs are using is tapping into contacts and networks abroad for getting back the US Eagles who have been capped but play abroad. This also applies to quality players who are US Eligible and are semi pro but have the potential to make it ate MLR level. Lastly, most of the foreign players recruited are through international agents of these players. Agents also, in some cases, have US eligible players. I think USA rugby could certainly benefit from a US Qualified program where they actively build a network of "scouts" in places like Argentina, UK, France, Italy, NZ, AUS, SA in order to identify and recruit quality players.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Caledor » Tue, 05 Jun 2018, 10:22

4N wrote:Who did Houston's recruiting for players and coaches? There was some optimism around them preseason but they are terrible.


It was the coaches at Sabercats. I think they will certainly need some reinforcements next season in the front row, a lock, back row, no9, no10 and midfield. Then also keep most of the current squad and they will be much improved ad operate as a team better next year.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Tobar » Mon, 11 Jun 2018, 18:18

MLR season 2 confirmed to run from January to May with playoffs in June

http://kutv.com/features/person-2-perso ... wes-season

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby iul » Mon, 11 Jun 2018, 18:33

Tobar wrote:MLR season 2 confirmed to run from January to May with playoffs in June

http://kutv.com/features/person-2-perso ... wes-season

How are they going to play in Canada or in NY in January? This makes no sense.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 11 Jun 2018, 18:37

Maybe not playing there until Spring arrives.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Buffalo » Mon, 11 Jun 2018, 18:41

iul wrote:
Tobar wrote:MLR season 2 confirmed to run from January to May with playoffs in June

http://kutv.com/features/person-2-perso ... wes-season

How are they going to play in Canada or in NY in January? This makes no sense.


Cities like Vancouver, Seattle, San Diego, Houston, Austin and New Orleans will be more than able to host games in winter. The Northern and Mountain cities would just need to go on a bunch of road trips to start the season which would suck for them but would still be doable.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Mon, 11 Jun 2018, 19:32

Buffalo wrote:
iul wrote:
Tobar wrote:MLR season 2 confirmed to run from January to May with playoffs in June

http://kutv.com/features/person-2-perso ... wes-season

How are they going to play in Canada or in NY in January? This makes no sense.


Cities like Vancouver, Seattle, San Diego, Houston, Austin and New Orleans will be more than able to host games in winter. The Northern and Mountain cities would just need to go on a bunch of road trips to start the season which would suck for them but would still be doable.


Snow plows exist...winter in NYC isn't full of snowdrifts. Pretty sure not Canadian teams for year 2 atm, need to make some calls to get some info to build a better picture.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 12 Jun 2018, 08:55

TheStroBro wrote:Snow plows exist...winter in NYC isn't full of snowdrifts. Pretty sure not Canadian teams for year 2 atm, need to make some calls to get some info to build a better picture.


Okay, so apparently you've never lived anywhere with regular cold winter weather. Snow is not the problem. Actually you are better off if you have snow on the surface, because the pitch won't freeze that easily. And here comes the problem. If the pitch is frozen you can also play on the nearest parking lot available. Surface feels like the same.
So you might be lucky once, but if you take the snow away and the cold continues you can forget about the pitch.

You could still have undersoil heating but do you have this in the USA in a 10k stadium? And even this won't work if you have -10°C which should be a regular occurence in January, who is normally the coldest month together with February. So how much is undersoil heating. In German soccer clubs estimate it around 3000 Euro (3,5k USD per day, so realistically 6-9k per game. New York averages -3 to 4°C in January and -2 to 5°C in February (hint for the ones not familiar with proper temperature measurements: if you have under 0°C you have a problem with outdoor sports which don't involve snow or ice.).

But the move still makes a lot sense even with all the problems involved. Starting when the NFL season is close to its climax but already has only a few games left to be played and the College Football season already over. So try to get those fans wanting to see more involved in rugby. Actually a smart move.


Btw. how are the tv ratings for the MLR.
Last edited by RugbyLiebe on Tue, 12 Jun 2018, 13:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Thomas » Tue, 12 Jun 2018, 09:08

What's the setup in New Orleans? Aside from winning their 2 games against the same opposition they had 4 blow outs.. I thought they would be higher up the table.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby sammo » Tue, 12 Jun 2018, 09:19

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Btw. how are the tv ratings for the MLR.


This (https://i.imgur.com/7UIumVB.jpg) was handed out at a recent game (thanks to cr4yol4 on Reddit for the image). The bottom number in particular seems insanely high, but I'm encouraged nonetheless

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 12 Jun 2018, 09:22

sammo wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Btw. how are the tv ratings for the MLR.


This (https://i.imgur.com/7UIumVB.jpg) was handed out at a recent game (thanks to cr4yol4 on Reddit for the image). The bottom number in particular seems insanely high, but I'm encouraged nonetheless



Looks like the typicial marketing estimation. But if this holds up, those are indeed great numbers.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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