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Major League Rugby

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 08:32

thatrugbyguy wrote:Am I the only one who's hesitant about MLR expanding any further? If the league was getting crowds of 9,000 - 10,000 then I wouldn't be as concerned, but the league is still very much in its infancy.


I think this American approach of think big and expand as quickly as possible is the only way to go. Who takes a league of 6 or 8 teams serious? Nobody. An expanding league is a sign for investors that their invests might pay off. In contrast a stagnating or even receding league is a big red sign.
Last edited by RugbyLiebe on Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 09:15, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 09:04

thatrugbyguy wrote:Am I the only one who's hesitant about MLR expanding any further? If the league was getting crowds of 9,000 - 10,000 then I wouldn't be as concerned, but the league is still very much in its infancy.


I feel the same way. I am sure MLR is only costing investors money and will continue to for years to come. The focus should be on schools rugby and raising the profile and standard of university rugby. Invest in that. There are enough MLR teams now. Hawaii is really far from anywhere. Rugby in Hawaii should be treated like other Pacific islands. Try to get a semi pro league going, and maybe involve them in Pacific Nations tournaments.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 09:16

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Am I the only one who's hesitant about MLR expanding any further? If the league was getting crowds of 9,000 - 10,000 then I wouldn't be as concerned, but the league is still very much in its infancy.


I feel the same way. I am sure MLR is only costing investors money and will continue to for years to come. The focus should be on schools rugby and raising the profile and standard of university rugby. Invest in that. There are enough MLR teams now. Hawaii is really far from anywhere. Rugby in Hawaii should be treated like other Pacific islands. Try to get a semi pro league going, and maybe involve them in Pacific Nations tournaments.


Let us think this through: can you guys name one single country, where this strategy brought any growth since 1995?
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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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 12:14

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Am I the only one who's hesitant about MLR expanding any further? If the league was getting crowds of 9,000 - 10,000 then I wouldn't be as concerned, but the league is still very much in its infancy.


I feel the same way. I am sure MLR is only costing investors money and will continue to for years to come. The focus should be on schools rugby and raising the profile and standard of university rugby. Invest in that. There are enough MLR teams now. Hawaii is really far from anywhere. Rugby in Hawaii should be treated like other Pacific islands. Try to get a semi pro league going, and maybe involve them in Pacific Nations tournaments.


Let us think this through: can you guys name one single country, where this strategy brought any growth since 1995?


Can you name any top level national team in any sport that isn't built from the bottom up? A professional league without a strong schools and universities game is a temple built on sand. It will come crashing down.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 12:43

thatrugbyguy wrote:Am I the only one who's hesitant about MLR expanding any further? If the league was getting crowds of 9,000 - 10,000 then I wouldn't be as concerned, but the league is still very much in its infancy.


I don't see why tying your future to the success of a handful of teams no older, really, than the new ones makes sense.

Hawaii or Dallas is just as likely to get good attendances as Houston or Seattle.

My concern is the cost of travelling to Hawaii against the benefit from the size of the market. Chicago, Philadelphia, even Columbus have more people and are much cheaper to get to than Hawaii.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 12:44

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Am I the only one who's hesitant about MLR expanding any further? If the league was getting crowds of 9,000 - 10,000 then I wouldn't be as concerned, but the league is still very much in its infancy.


I feel the same way. I am sure MLR is only costing investors money and will continue to for years to come. The focus should be on schools rugby and raising the profile and standard of university rugby. Invest in that. There are enough MLR teams now. Hawaii is really far from anywhere. Rugby in Hawaii should be treated like other Pacific islands. Try to get a semi pro league going, and maybe involve them in Pacific Nations tournaments.


Let us think this through: can you guys name one single country, where this strategy brought any growth since 1995?


Can you name any top level national team in any sport that isn't built from the bottom up? A professional league without a strong schools and universities game is a temple built on sand. It will come crashing down.


That's a very narrow view of sports globally. Not a single sport in Germany btw has ANY schools or university games apart from self-organized recreational sports.
Two examples in sports quite comparable in one way or the other: Germany in ice-hockey (20k members of the federation, Olympic silver medalist 2018, two fully and one semi-pro level), Quatar in Handball (vice-world champions 2015).

But that's not the case with the USA anyway. There are 125.000 registered rugby players - if that number I quickly googled is right. How many nations do have more? Sounds like a solid base to begin with. Rugby is the world sport, were the top athletes probably earn the least kind of money.
Judging by what Wild has done in Germany, 20 million over 10 years (the number he says he has invested) are even enough to knock on the world cup. That is a really really low sum for pro sports. Most probably every German 4th division soccer club will have spent more in that time-frame.

I am not saying everything else wouldn't need to grow as well, but a money injection can't hurt at all. Especially in a country like the USA it is essential to show young players a perspective to go pro.
Last edited by RugbyLiebe on Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 12:46, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 12:45

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Am I the only one who's hesitant about MLR expanding any further? If the league was getting crowds of 9,000 - 10,000 then I wouldn't be as concerned, but the league is still very much in its infancy.


I feel the same way. I am sure MLR is only costing investors money and will continue to for years to come. The focus should be on schools rugby and raising the profile and standard of university rugby. Invest in that. There are enough MLR teams now. Hawaii is really far from anywhere. Rugby in Hawaii should be treated like other Pacific islands. Try to get a semi pro league going, and maybe involve them in Pacific Nations tournaments.


Let us think this through: can you guys name one single country, where this strategy brought any growth since 1995?


Can you name any top level national team in any sport that isn't built from the bottom up? A professional league without a strong schools and universities game is a temple built on sand. It will come crashing down.


They aren't trying to build a national team.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Tobar » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 13:07

Chester-Donnelly wrote:I'm sure GRR is finished anyway. Western Force will be in an Australian or trans Tasman league. Fijian Latui will be in one of those competitions. The South China Tigers players will probably leave Hong Kong. China Lions players are Kiwis. Malaysia Valke players are Saffers. And Samoa cannot support a professional team.


Sadly I think this might be right. Without the western force and Twiggy’s support there’s no need for the league.

IMO Twiggy should’ve gotten on board with an MLR team if he really wanted to build up his rugby influence. Imagine backing a lot of US teams similar to what Lamar Hunt did...surely he’d get some of the sway he wants.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 13:34

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Am I the only one who's hesitant about MLR expanding any further? If the league was getting crowds of 9,000 - 10,000 then I wouldn't be as concerned, but the league is still very much in its infancy.


I feel the same way. I am sure MLR is only costing investors money and will continue to for years to come. The focus should be on schools rugby and raising the profile and standard of university rugby. Invest in that. There are enough MLR teams now. Hawaii is really far from anywhere. Rugby in Hawaii should be treated like other Pacific islands. Try to get a semi pro league going, and maybe involve them in Pacific Nations tournaments.


Let us think this through: can you guys name one single country, where this strategy brought any growth since 1995?


Can you name any top level national team in any sport that isn't built from the bottom up? A professional league without a strong schools and universities game is a temple built on sand. It will come crashing down.


That's a very narrow view of sports globally. Not a single sport in Germany btw has ANY schools or university games apart from self-organized recreational sports.
Two examples in sports quite comparable in one way or the other: Germany in ice-hockey (20k members of the federation, Olympic silver medalist 2018, two fully and one semi-pro level), Quatar in Handball (vice-world champions 2015).

But that's not the case with the USA anyway. There are 125.000 registered rugby players - if that number I quickly googled is right. How many nations do have more? Sounds like a solid base to begin with. Rugby is the world sport, were the top athletes probably earn the least kind of money.
Judging by what Wild has done in Germany, 20 million over 10 years (the number he says he has invested) are even enough to knock on the world cup. That is a really really low sum for pro sports. Most probably every German 4th division soccer club will have spent more in that time-frame.

I am not saying everything else wouldn't need to grow as well, but a money injection can't hurt at all. Especially in a country like the USA it is essential to show young players a perspective to go pro.


You're right about ice hockey. Ice hockey in Britain is also somewhat of a success story so far. We have a professional league and Great Britain is in the world championship top division. This is in a country with hardly any ice rinks, and hardly any ice. Hardly anyone can skate but people like watching ice hockey. I am a fan of many sports I've never played. If the sport is good to watch that doesn't matter. What's more important is the population likes to watch sport and have some money to spend. The Hawaii team could consist entirely of players from the South Pacific.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby nick511 » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 14:08

Reading the letter from the CEO of the bid clearly states the bid has lofty goals:

"The ownership team is excited to have secured a spot in the MLR and have already set their sights on making a bid to participate in the Oceania based Super Rugby competition and other global competitions moving forward."

They clearly see MLR as the stepping stone for some role in a Super Rugby competition that is looking increasingly likely to be excluding Argentina and South Africa. Will they actually stay in MLR in the long run? Hawaii definitely seems like a good place financially but would it be right if Hawaii took a potential Pacific Island spot from Fiji in Super Rugby. I think overall its great that the group is investing directly in Pacific rugby and I hope it pans out well.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby victorsra » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 14:51

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Am I the only one who's hesitant about MLR expanding any further? If the league was getting crowds of 9,000 - 10,000 then I wouldn't be as concerned, but the league is still very much in its infancy.


I feel the same way. I am sure MLR is only costing investors money and will continue to for years to come. The focus should be on schools rugby and raising the profile and standard of university rugby. Invest in that. There are enough MLR teams now. Hawaii is really far from anywhere. Rugby in Hawaii should be treated like other Pacific islands. Try to get a semi pro league going, and maybe involve them in Pacific Nations tournaments.


Let us think this through: can you guys name one single country, where this strategy brought any growth since 1995?


Can you name any top level national team in any sport that isn't built from the bottom up? A professional league without a strong schools and universities game is a temple built on sand. It will come crashing down.


That's a very narrow view of sports globally. Not a single sport in Germany btw has ANY schools or university games apart from self-organized recreational sports.
Two examples in sports quite comparable in one way or the other: Germany in ice-hockey (20k members of the federation, Olympic silver medalist 2018, two fully and one semi-pro level), Quatar in Handball (vice-world champions 2015).

But that's not the case with the USA anyway. There are 125.000 registered rugby players - if that number I quickly googled is right. How many nations do have more? Sounds like a solid base to begin with. Rugby is the world sport, were the top athletes probably earn the least kind of money.
Judging by what Wild has done in Germany, 20 million over 10 years (the number he says he has invested) are even enough to knock on the world cup. That is a really really low sum for pro sports. Most probably every German 4th division soccer club will have spent more in that time-frame.

I am not saying everything else wouldn't need to grow as well, but a money injection can't hurt at all. Especially in a country like the USA it is essential to show young players a perspective to go pro.


You don't need schools or universities, you need junior teams (U20s massification), no matter if they are built on schools/universities or clubs. The answer for the question what is better depends on how are sports structures in your country. If USA has a solid base of contact team sport (American Football) and solid university foundations for their rugby, there you are, they can say they have a model - one that can feed franchises with players and also with fans.

What is clear is these are two processes that need to walk hand to hand. You can grow investing on a pro team, but you need at least at the same time to work development, otherwise it is a castle of sand. If someone injects money in the top of the pyramid, you need quickly a solid strategy for the bottom of the pyramid.
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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 16:01

nick511 wrote:Reading the letter from the CEO of the bid clearly states the bid has lofty goals:

"The ownership team is excited to have secured a spot in the MLR and have already set their sights on making a bid to participate in the Oceania based Super Rugby competition and other global competitions moving forward."

They clearly see MLR as the stepping stone for some role in a Super Rugby competition that is looking increasingly likely to be excluding Argentina and South Africa. Will they actually stay in MLR in the long run? Hawaii definitely seems like a good place financially but would it be right if Hawaii took a potential Pacific Island spot from Fiji in Super Rugby. I think overall its great that the group is investing directly in Pacific rugby and I hope it pans out well.


Hawaii could be a potential location for a Pacific Super Rugby team. The owners obviously think so. I think the ideal situation would be to have both Fijian Latui and a Hawaii based Polynesia team in Super Rugby, consisting of players of Polynesian heritage.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby vino_93 » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 16:16

You're right about ice hockey. Ice hockey in Britain is also somewhat of a success story so far. We have a professional league and Great Britain is in the world championship top division. This is in a country with hardly any ice rinks, and hardly any ice. Hardly anyone can skate but people like watching ice hockey. I am a fan of many sports I've never played. If the sport is good to watch that doesn't matter. What's more important is the population likes to watch sport and have some money to spend. The Hawaii team could consist entirely of players from the South Pacific.


Your national team is mostly north American players, naturalized by ancestry or time spend in your pro league. That's not really a success... It has grown quickly to reach elite, and will probably not stay very long there, being back in the second or third worldwide level where you were all the time. You have basically no roots, your junior are nowhere, your clubs don't invest in youth ice hockey.... Good for you to have some highlights, but that's not a pace I would follow to develop my sport as a federation.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 17:16

vino_93 wrote:
You're right about ice hockey. Ice hockey in Britain is also somewhat of a success story so far. We have a professional league and Great Britain is in the world championship top division. This is in a country with hardly any ice rinks, and hardly any ice. Hardly anyone can skate but people like watching ice hockey. I am a fan of many sports I've never played. If the sport is good to watch that doesn't matter. What's more important is the population likes to watch sport and have some money to spend. The Hawaii team could consist entirely of players from the South Pacific.


Your national team is mostly north American players, naturalized by ancestry or time spend in your pro league. That's not really a success... It has grown quickly to reach elite, and will probably not stay very long there, being back in the second or third worldwide level where you were all the time. You have basically no roots, your junior are nowhere, your clubs don't invest in youth ice hockey.... Good for you to have some highlights, but that's not a pace I would follow to develop my sport as a federation.


It is a success, like the Jamaican bobsleigh team at the Winter Olympics. But it remains to be seen whether it's a stepping stone, or a high water mark. I think unless there is more investment it will be the latter.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby victorsra » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 17:25

theDarky wrote:sounds good finally

http://www.americasrugbynews.com/2020/0 ... team-2021/

the university of hawaii stadium after redevelopment (which could accept only some gridiron football matches) could be used and I like the name based on a local god called Kanaloa

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanaloa

Do we have a stat of how many rugby players/clubs there are in Hawaii?
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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Rebus » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 17:59

Can see the Hawaiin team play in the MLR and a separate team play in Super Rugby , but with both supporting each other as a combined organisation. If both take off , I can see the MLR team acting as a feeder team for the Super Rugby team

Its quite ambitious to have both and be putting themselves forward as a location for for PI national teams to play. It would be expensive and I can understand the altruistic approach to this but it can work particularly as there is a conveyor belt of talent to be had from the PI nations

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby theDarky » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 21:00

victorsra wrote:
theDarky wrote:sounds good finally

http://www.americasrugbynews.com/2020/0 ... team-2021/

the university of hawaii stadium after redevelopment (which could accept only some gridiron football matches) could be used and I like the name based on a local god called Kanaloa

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanaloa

Do we have a stat of how many rugby players/clubs there are in Hawaii?


the website of the hawaii rugby union gives 5 clubs ...

https://www.hawaiirugbyunion.org/clubs/

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 21:13

Interesting, it looks like they're all Polynesian.
Last edited by Chester-Donnelly on Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 21:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby victorsra » Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 21:38

I saw 10% of the Hawaii population is Native Hawaiian + Pacific Islanders (mainly Samoans).
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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Figaro » Sat, 11 Jul 2020, 21:24

The best case scenario is this could be a real opportunity for the Pacific Islands sides to get their players in a supportive environment that has the one thing they don't have - $$$.

Worst case scenario is the team is just a bunch of new Zealanders, but that's not exactly harmful to the Pacific islanders either. I suppose the team might funnel some islander players to the US national team (if they stay in Hawaii they will become eligible), but that's better for T2 than having them play for Australia or New Zealand, and if the owners are trying to promote the national sides they will probably expect and encourage players to play for the national teams rather than push for US residency.

They could be a very strong team in MLR though they might struggle in Super Rugby.

Quite exciting!

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 11 Jul 2020, 22:23

You guys are missing out on the fact that the squad would only field 10 Foreign players. And they all will have to be high level players to qualify for a visa. So 25-30 other players will need to be American or Canadian.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby victorsra » Sun, 12 Jul 2020, 01:18

American Samoans would qualify as Americans, right?

What can we expect of the conferences? 2 of 7 or 3 of 4/5?

2 conferences would be:
West - Hawaii, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Utah and 2 Texans (Austin/Dallas/Houston)
East - Toronto, New England, New York, DC, Atlanta, New Orleans and 1 Texas (Austin/Dallas/Houston)
Maybe Austin (that doesn't have direct flights to Hawaii) going to East, to have Houston-Dallas rivalry in the West?

3 conferences could be:
West - Hawaii, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Utah
South - Dallas, Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta
North - Toronto, New England, New York, DC

And just checked, Honolulu has direct flights to: Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Salt Lake, Atlanta, Washington, Boston and New York. Seasonal flights to Toronto. No direct flights to Austin and New Orleans.
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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Figaro » Sun, 12 Jul 2020, 07:36

TheStroBro wrote:You guys are missing out on the fact that the squad would only field 10 Foreign players. And they all will have to be high level players to qualify for a visa. So 25-30 other players will need to be American or Canadian.


Yeah I hadn't really realised this when I quoted above. If they really want to push the Polynesian thing I imagine they will lean heavily on American Samoans and Hawaiian natives. But there are a lot of Polynesian heritage Americans in other teams. Though yeah, it does make it difficult for them to effectively feed the Pacific national teams - unless they end up in Super Rugby of course.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 12 Jul 2020, 08:15

victorsra wrote:American Samoans would qualify as Americans, right?

What can we expect of the conferences? 2 of 7 or 3 of 4/5?

2 conferences would be:
West - Hawaii, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Utah and 2 Texans (Austin/Dallas/Houston)
East - Toronto, New England, New York, DC, Atlanta, New Orleans and 1 Texas (Austin/Dallas/Houston)
Maybe Austin (that doesn't have direct flights to Hawaii) going to East, to have Houston-Dallas rivalry in the West?

3 conferences could be:
West - Hawaii, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Utah
South - Dallas, Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta
North - Toronto, New England, New York, DC

And just checked, Honolulu has direct flights to: Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Salt Lake, Atlanta, Washington, Boston and New York. Seasonal flights to Toronto. No direct flights to Austin and New Orleans.


I think the 3 conference structure is the best. Texas isn't very far west once you bring Hawaii in. Ideally there would be another east team. Columbus, Ohio and Halifax, Nova Scotia are both options.

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Re: Major League Rugby

Postby theDarky » Sun, 12 Jul 2020, 08:37

We mustn't forget that it's a application bid.

they are in an exclusive negotiation with the league but I don't know if they can still be refused by the other franchises.

If this franchise exists just to be a polynesian one it will be a disaster.

They need to have a grassroot program too.

5 clubs for one million people it's nothing event if the potential for development is huge.

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