Will Hartford Athletic ever win a game?

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ZooCougar

Shut Up Carl.
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HA is coming to KC to play the Swope Park Rangers. I may have to check that out.

I really want a green jersey but they are sold out. They have a sharp looking kit.
 
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Someone “in the know” told me HA are playing at the Rent “virtually rent free” due to Dillon not being done.

HA are a much better team than the one that went 0-8 to start the season. They probably deserved a point today.
 

whaler11

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Someone “in the know” told me HA are playing at the Rent “virtually rent free” due to Dillon not being done.

HA are a much better team than the one that went 0-8 to start the season. They probably deserved a point today.
i suspect this is true because if they weren’t they would be belly up already.

someone at uconn should dig into this. ya know cuz they pay full freight
 
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I dunno I didn't expect to like USL soccer as much as I have. I've been to every game so far this season and i've been impressed. Good product and they seem to be drawing a solid crowd.

Solid 5,000+ yesterday w/ the rain. They didn't allow umbrellas into the stadium and a decent number of humans in the parking lot were fired up about that. Also a TON of people hanging out on the concourse most of the game with the rain coming down on and off, but overall - I thought it was a solid crowd. Probably should keep a solid stock of ponchos on hand, too. Pretty good margin on them even when there's limited windows to sell them.

I feel like Dillon will be a good time once they're there. Few friends i've brought to games seem to get a kick out of the supporters groups, so I don't expect atmosphere to be a big issue. The Rent's fine as a temp home, I haven't minded it too much.

As for the team - they def. stink, but at least give you enough of a decent stretch to get you excited. From 60'- on they were packed in their own end defending. Save on the PK was excellent/frustrating. Offensively I like the Dalgaard kid quite a bit. Mads Jorgensen is a guy I go between loving and hating by the minute. I can't believe how badly some of the defenders lose their marks.

My worry about these leagues is the travel has got to be insane. Even if they're selling tickets at $15 a pop - they're probably making what - $80K a game? They've played four home games, so optimistically you're looking at what - around $300k in revenue at home? Maybe $50k in retail and who knows how much in concessions.... you're looking at at least $8-$10k per road game in travel... What's the average wage bill look like in this league? Someone brought up the Bluefish - and basically indy baseball is a great way to light all your money on fire, and that's about it. Between travel, player salaries, etc - you're running a minor league team w/zero subsidies and player salaries... That's why they tanked. They all tank.

Also looking at their corporate partners, i'm kind of meh, here. I'm pretty sure only about 6-7 of these would be actual cash sponsors. Select PT basically trades out with EVERYONE and in most cases, the teams end up paying THEM for PT/AT services. The limo company is probably the bus company. The media partners are probably 100% trade. The Sheraton is probably either preferred rate or full on trade and no cash. LAZ Park is probably preferred parking and shuttle rates on away trips for players, family, etc. Unless they're getting $20k a sponsor, then that's not good - and even if it's $20K - they should be pulling in $4-$500k at least to keep this things moving.

I like the product a lot, just seems like INSANE overhead to run one of them and i'm a little concerned with the lower level of corporate support.
 
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bill6319

i love kemba more then my sister
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I dunno I didn't expect to like USL soccer as much as I have. I've been to every game so far this season and i've been impressed. Good product and they seem to be drawing a solid crowd.

Solid 5,000+ yesterday w/ the rain. They didn't allow umbrellas into the stadium and a decent number of humans in the parking lot were fired up about that. Also a TON of people hanging out on the concourse most of the game with the rain coming down on and off, but overall - I thought it was a solid crowd. Probably should keep a solid stock of ponchos on hand, too. Pretty good margin on them even when there's limited windows to sell them.

I feel like Dillon will be a good time once they're there. Few friends i've brought to games seem to get a kick out of the supporters groups, so I don't expect atmosphere to be a big issue. The Rent's fine as a temp home, I haven't minded it too much.

As for the team - they def. stink, but at least give you enough of a decent stretch to get you excited. From 60'- on they were packed in their own end defending. Save on the PK was excellent/frustrating. Offensively I like the Dalgaard kid quite a bit. Mads Jorgensen is a guy I go between loving and hating by the minute. I can't believe how badly some of the defenders lose their marks.

My worry about these leagues is the travel has got to be insane. Even if they're selling tickets at $15 a pop - they're probably making what - $80K a game? They've played four home games, so optimistically you're looking at what - around $300k in revenue at home? Maybe $50k in retail and who knows how much in concessions.... you're looking at at least $8-$10k per road game in travel... What's the average wage bill look like in this league? Someone brought up the Bluefish - and basically indy baseball is a great way to light all your money on fire, and that's about it. Between travel, player salaries, etc - you're running a minor league team w/zero subsidies and player salaries... That's why they tanked. They all tank.

Also looking at their corporate partners, i'm kind of meh, here. I'm pretty sure only about 6-7 of these would be actual cash sponsors. Select PT basically trades out with EVERYONE and in most cases, the teams end up paying THEM for PT/AT services. The limo company is probably the bus company. The media partners are probably 100% trade. The Sheraton is probably either preferred rate or full on trade and no cash. LAZ Park is probably preferred parking and shuttle rates on away trips for players, family, etc. Unless they're getting $20k a sponsor, then that's not good - and even if it's $20K - they should be pulling in $4-$500k at least to keep this things moving.

I like the product a lot, just seems like INSANE overhead to run one of them and i'm a little concerned with the lower level of corporate support.

This may be the case for expansions teams like Hartford but most USL teams are growing financially, obviosuly this is not the cause for all of them but I believe the league is only going to grow
for example check out this article
http://fcbusiness.co.uk/interviews-features/usl-a-league-on-the-rise/
It gives good insight on how the USl plans to stay stable and grow
 
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This may be the case for expansions teams like Hartford but most USL teams are growing financially, obviosuly this is not the cause for all of them but I believe the league is only going to grow
for example check out this article
http://fcbusiness.co.uk/interviews-features/usl-a-league-on-the-rise/
It gives good insight on how the USl plans to stay stable and grow
Not to be a debbie downer, but that read like a lot of developmental/soccer-related stuff. That's not paying the bills.

Like I said above - anytime you've got an enormous travel budget, lack Major League subsidies and have to pay player salaries, you're basically almost done before you've gotten going. Franchise fees being low is nice, but after you've plunked that cash, you can just line item it up and start to get queasy.

-Front office salaries - if you're doing it right - are like $400-$700k depending on staff size.
-Wage bill at the end of the year is like $250k-$300k. My bet is it increases by double if you're looking at the next tier up.
-Coaching salaries are $100k at least for anyone who's decent.
-Insurance is... literally 30-40% of your operating budget
-Team travel is about $100k plus
-Hotel depends on trade deals and rates, but that's that.
-Game day operations + game day staff runs you around $80k per year
-Marketing can vary wildly, but you should be spending anywhere north of $85k in year-1, but you also can take some edge off with trade, etc.
-You're paying an accountant $30k to cheat like crazy on your taxes if you can.
-Refs will cost you - low end - $12-$15k.
-You have your US Soccer Fed fee i'm sure, and a USL participation fee as well. That's north of $75k alone.
-BS/Misc crap expenses/uh-oh spaghetti-o expenses can be as high as $100k and you shouldn't plan any less than $80k.
-There's administrative travel (your SID dorks), rent/lease (if you have one), broadcasting expenses (gotta pay some dorks to broadcast for you too)...
-Then apartment rentals - you usually have to put players up somewhere if you're not going the host family route. Anticipate $40-$50k there.
-Then for startups you have two, additional one-time startup costs of your franchise acquisition fee and then 5 years of $250k for your performance security

AND ALL THOSE NUMBERS are based off of a USL D3 team. Not at our level. I mean operating budget is easily $1.5-$2 million on the very conservative low end for one of those things. I'm sure it's a slam dunk $2.5-$3 million in this league.

They have 6-7 cash sponsors and again - unless they're getting $20-$25k a pop, then that's not very good.

And none of this pays for your $7 million expansion fee.


Now in terms of income you're looking at:

-High end - $75k in revenue per game, so you're looking at $1.275 million IF you do 5,000 fans per game at $15/ticket - which at this level - is probably asking a lot.
-Retail will park right in around $150k.
-Ballpark/Concessions revenue depends entirely on what your deal is. It could be as much as $500k, but as low as $100.

SO - assuming you're selling out every night, your retail revenue is at $150k (remember, you're probably buying it all and having it made for $30-$40k, so revenue isn't your profit) and you've got a good concessions deal, you MIGHT be lucky - to break even ASSUMING you have strong sponsorship revenue.

You're GOING TO 100% take a loss in year-1 and likely will take losses in your first 3 years. Just depends on the stomach these guys have. Owners could also be using it essentially is a tax write off, so who knows.

Like that's great that they want to use VAR in an interesting way, increase development, do secret handshakes in the good game line and all, but there's a financial reality to this. And while it's nice they keep adding expansion franchises, they've also lost TWENTY TEAMS in the last 9 years. That just scares me.

There's an old saying with sports execs that your league is only as good as your worst franchise - and to me it just seems like they keep filling in the floor. They just seem too big.

Like I said - LOVE this product, i've been to every home game, I'm a season ticket holder, etc - but this is a brutal model to make good money doing and at the end of the day even if the team is profiting a few $100,000 - investors are looking for more.

Some of these teams owners don't care if they're breaking even or not - so there'll always be an appetite for this stuff, but yeah to me... I get nervous when I see six-seven potential cash sponsors.


Also the travel realities here in the states is another reason why you probably won't ever see promotion/relegation here. Imagine being East Dingleberry United in North Carolina and Goof Park Rangers in Long Beach gets relegated and now you get punished in the pocketbook for them sucking. This isn't like driving from Crystal Palace to Brighton in England. Or Dortmund to Leverkussen or something.
 

whaler11

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Not to be a debbie downer, but that read like a lot of developmental/soccer-related stuff. That's not paying the bills.

Like I said above - anytime you've got an enormous travel budget, lack Major League subsidies and have to pay player salaries, you're basically almost done before you've gotten going. Franchise fees being low is nice, but after you've plunked that cash, you can just line item it up and start to get queasy.

-Front office salaries - if you're doing it right - are like $400-$700k depending on staff size.
-Wage bill at the end of the year is like $250k-$300k. My bet is it increases by double if you're looking at the next tier up.
-Coaching salaries are $100k at least for anyone who's decent.
-Insurance is... literally 30-40% of your operating budget
-Team travel is about $100k plus
-Hotel depends on trade deals and rates, but that's that.
-Game day operations + game day staff runs you around $80k per year
-Marketing can vary wildly, but you should be spending anywhere north of $85k in year-1, but you also can take some edge off with trade, etc.
-You're paying an accountant $30k to cheat like crazy on your taxes if you can.
-Refs will cost you - low end - $12-$15k.
-You have your US Soccer Fed fee i'm sure, and a USL participation fee as well. That's north of $75k alone.
-BS/Misc crap expenses/uh-oh spaghetti-o expenses can be as high as $100k and you shouldn't plan any less than $80k.
-There's administrative travel (your SID dorks), rent/lease (if you have one), broadcasting expenses (gotta pay some dorks to broadcast for you too)...
-Then apartment rentals - you usually have to put players up somewhere if you're not going the host family route. Anticipate $40-$50k there.
-Then for startups you have two, additional one-time startup costs of your franchise acquisition fee and then 5 years of $250k for your performance security

AND ALL THOSE NUMBERS are based off of a USL D3 team. Not at our level. I mean operating budget is easily $1.5-$2 million on the very conservative low end for one of those things. I'm sure it's a slam dunk $2.5-$3 million in this league.

They have 6-7 cash sponsors and again - unless they're getting $20-$25k a pop, then that's not very good.

And none of this pays for your $7 million expansion fee.


Now in terms of income you're looking at:

-High end - $75k in revenue per game, so you're looking at $1.275 million IF you do 5,000 fans per game at $15/ticket - which at this level - is probably asking a lot.
-Retail will park right in around $150k.
-Ballpark/Concessions revenue depends entirely on what your deal is. It could be as much as $500k, but as low as $100.

SO - assuming you're selling out every night, your retail revenue is at $150k (remember, you're probably buying it all and having it made for $30-$40k, so revenue isn't your profit) and you've got a good concessions deal, you MIGHT be lucky - to break even ASSUMING you have strong sponsorship revenue.

You're GOING TO 100% take a loss in year-1 and likely will take losses in your first 3 years. Just depends on the stomach these guys have. Owners could also be using it essentially is a tax write off, so who knows.

Like that's great that they want to use VAR in an interesting way, increase development, do secret handshakes in the good game line and all, but there's a financial reality to this. And while it's nice they keep adding expansion franchises, they've also lost TWENTY TEAMS in the last 9 years. That just scares me.

There's an old saying with sports execs that your league is only as good as your worst franchise - and to me it just seems like they keep filling in the floor. They just seem too big.

Like I said - LOVE this product, i've been to every home game, I'm a season ticket holder, etc - but this is a brutal model to make good money doing and at the end of the day even if the team is profiting a few $100,000 - investors are looking for more.

Some of these teams owners don't care if they're breaking even or not - so there'll always be an appetite for this stuff, but yeah to me... I get nervous when I see six-seven potential cash sponsors.


Also the travel realities here in the states is another reason why you probably won't ever see promotion/relegation here. Imagine being East Dingleberry United in North Carolina and Goof Park Rangers in Long Beach gets relegated and now you get punished in the pocketbook for them sucking. This isn't like driving from Crystal Palace to Brighton in England. Or Dortmund to Leverkussen or something.
If anything would guess you’ve underclubbed most of the expenses - especially travel.
 
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If anything would guess you’ve underclubbed most of the expenses - especially travel.
For sure. Again - that's a USL D3 team or whatever it is.

24 guys time an average plane ticket of $350 = $8,400.00 per game times 17 games is $142,800 just to cart the players around. Then staff/trainers, you're probably looking at another $30,000. Hotels will vary wildly. Like I said - some teams have entirely traded blocks of rooms for free. Some just negotiate a preferred room rate for some stupidly low price a night. Others have no deal at all and you're on the hook for the hotels. Then food, etc.

So if you're slumming it - it's about 14 rooms per night around $85 a night on a discounted room rate which is $1190 per game. Times 17 road games = that's another $20,230.00. Food at $250 a team meal and let's say you let them starve and feed them once... that's another $4,250.00 onto the tab.

Player transportation: $142,800
Staff/Trainers: $30,000
Hotels: $20,230
Food: $4,250
Admin travel - $16-$20k

So.... around $215,280 on the low end for travel.

Yay.
 
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How about merchandising, seems like they have moved a lot of gear?
Merch is nice, but overhead can be high.

Scarf probably runs them $9-$10 per unit, even bulk. Basically whatever they move, you can count that they lose a 1/3 of it upfront.

What i'm most interested in would be their concessions deal. We used to buy tallboy cans for 0.66 cents a can and then sell them for $5-$6 and you don't have all the waste you get with draft beer. Hot dogs were like... 0.16 cents a dog and we were selling them at $3.00. So big margin there.

If their concessions deal is good, they could be in a really good position. If it's outsourced and they're paying some clowns like Aramark or Centerplate a zillion dollars to sell food, not so much.
 

whaler11

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Merch is nice, but overhead can be high.

Scarf probably runs them $9-$10 per unit, even bulk. Basically whatever they move, you can count that they lose a 1/3 of it upfront.

What i'm most interested in would be their concessions deal. We used to buy tallboy cans for 0.66 cents a can and then sell them for $5-$6 and you don't have all the waste you get with draft beer. Hot dogs were like... 0.16 cents a dog and we were selling them at $3.00. So big margin there.

If their concessions deal is good, they could be in a really good position. If it's outsourced and they're paying some clowns like Aramark or Centerplate a zillion dollars to sell food, not so much.
Spectra
 

ZooCougar

Shut Up Carl.
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There is just no way they are profitable.

Minor league soccer teams in the USA have an average lifespan of 3-5 years.
Scarf probably runs them $9-$10 per unit, even bulk. Basically whatever they move, you can count that they lose a 1/3 of it upfront.

What i'm most interested in would be their concessions deal. We used to buy tallboy cans for 0.66 cents a can and then sell them for $5-$6 and you don't have all the waste you get with draft beer. Hot dogs were like... 0.16 cents a dog and we were selling them at $3.00. So big margin there.

If their concessions deal is good, they could be in a really good position. If it's outsourced and they're paying some clowns like Aramark or Centerplate a zillion dollars to sell food, not so much.
There is no way they are making money yet. I think the owner said his plan involved being profitable in year.

I think you are doing a good job at projecting P&L but I think there are some big costs that you might have not mentioned, like workmen’s comp and stuff like that.

minor league soccer in the USA is basically setting piles of cash on fire. I wonder how many teams actually have shirt sponsor that gives them at least $1M a year. Being on ESPN+ helps, being on My 9 is good. That alone should help attract better sponsors in the future because that exposure probably gives a decent ROI.

They just need to endure and convince everyone that they are here to stay.
 
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There is just no way they are profitable.

Minor league soccer teams in the USA have an average lifespan of 3-5 years.


There is no way they are making money yet. I think the owner said his plan involved being profitable in year.

I think you are doing a good job at projecting P&L but I think there are some big costs that you might have not mentioned, like workmen’s comp and stuff like that.

minor league soccer in the USA is basically setting piles of cash on fire. I wonder how many teams actually have shirt sponsor that gives them at least $1M a year. Being on ESPN+ helps, being on My 9 is good. That alone should help attract better sponsors in the future because that exposure probably gives a decent ROI.

They just need to endure and convince everyone that they are here to stay.
I did mention insurance in my first post. It’s usually half your overhead. It’s a total killer - especially if the league policies aren’t good.

But even projecting being profitable in a year is a total, absolute, complete pipe dream. The fact they’re even saying that publicly makes me worry they don’t know what they’re getting into.

Again I don’t wanna be the negative guy. Really want it to take off. It’s jist a rough model.
 
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Since losing to Hartford Athletic, St. Louis FC has gone on to beat both the Chicago Fire and Cincinnati FC in the US Open Cup.
 
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Hartford currently at 25th (out of 36) in the latest power rankings. That's up from 36th where they started but down from the 22nd spot they hit two weeks ago. Last game at The Rent on Friday. I'm gonna miss the place, $5 Headway's will ease the pain.
 
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They have actually looked pretty good since they started their home slate. They put Nashville on the ropes and Nashville is 3rd in the league.

They got some good players on loan from MLS and I think adding the new technical director Paul Buckle was a big upgrade.

Excited for the opening of Dillon. For the finances, they have a lot of staff and a lot of good coaches so no idea how they are making money. Having a rent free stadium and controlling concessions will probably be a big boost.

As for the team - they def. stink, but at least give you enough of a decent stretch to get you excited. From 60'- on they were packed in their own end defending. Save on the PK was excellent/frustrating. Offensively I like the Dalgaard kid quite a bit. Mads Jorgensen is a guy I go between loving and hating by the minute. I can't believe how badly some of the defenders lose their marks
 
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For the finances, they have a lot of staff and a lot of good coaches so no idea how they are making money.
they are not. nor will they for quite some time. owners know this though and are prepared to fund regardless.
 

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