- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 17, 2009
- 2 Comments
- Geoff Reid
Editor’s Note: Geoff Reid appears on WVHooligan.com each week. Today he comes back to discuss the on-going issues in Dallas with FCD. Feel free to leave Geoff a message below with your thoughts.
Twitter seemed to become an overnight phenomenon. Yes, I joined the bandwagon originally to follow football journalists for the breaking news on the beautiful game. I still donít understand the whole concept of it to be perfectly honest. But one thing that has developed certainly in the blogosphere is tweeting Don Garber on Fridays to help improve standards of refereeing in the league. While I fully support this, I have been thinking for a while there is a more pressing issue of why we should be tweeting the Don: the current situation in Texas regarding FC Dallas.
A new tradition I started this season has been digging into the MLS video archives watching highlights of matches from the current week. For example it is now week 14, so I will watch highlights of matches for week 14 during the past five seasons (video archives only go back as far as the 2004 season unfortunately). For someone like myself who only started following the league as closely as I do two years ago it sort of shows me how clubs and the league itself has progressed or not progressed in some cases. One example of where things have seen to have gone backwards since 2004 is everything associated with FC Dallas.
After the 2004 season ended it seemed things were heading in the right direction with the re-branding on the club from Dallas Burn and getting rid of that terrible name for a club in time for a new stadium opening part of the way through the 2005 season, the third soccer specific stadium in the league.† After the first season at Pizza Hut Park, FCD became the second MLS club to operate a profit behind the LA Galaxy. So what has exactly gone wrong? Iíve read countless theories and ideas from people all of which are very good points and I am in no way in a position to say what has gone wrong, especially since Iíve actually never been to Texas. Our own WVHooligan has given his personal take from a front row view as have numerous locals who are associated with the game.
Where do we start? It has to be the ownership and commitment of the group. Iíll be the first to say this league wouldnít still be around today if it wasnít for Phil Anchutz and AEG, the Kraftís and the Hunt Family. Lamar Hunt did so much for the sport in North America going back to the NASL days so we as fans owe them so much gratitude for the countless dollars theyíve lost trying to get the league off and running. However, it does make we wonder if the family now thinks theyíve taken football in the Dallas area as far as they can and possibly pass the torch onto someone else to help grow the brand and market the club similar to whatís made the Sounders successful up to this point?
This leads us to another issue which is the marketing and advertising or lack their of. Iíve read pieces from folks in the local area saying the club has no advertising billboards, no newspaper, radio or television adds and basically nothing anywhere regarding the team or the players. The target seems to have always been families, and while thereís nothing wrong with that, the number one target market should be the local football fans. Of course having a good Designated Player and a good team would help and the DP experiment didnít work out too well previously. The current side isnít much to promote, but that could have been different had the club not got rid of Colin Clark who was doing a fantastic job until his dismissal in 2006.
I donít doubt the folks in the ticket offices arenít working hard because they are. The problem is the marketing plan in place just isnít working. The Texas Rangers donít have a good team and havenít for a while if Iím not mistaken, and yet they seem to do pretty well in attendance considering. We also all know the state is a hotbed for producing good, top level talent such as Clint Dempsey and Jose Torres. Itís not like the game has always been invisible in the area because that couldnít be farther from the truth. I just find it sad when the Houston Dynamo traveling support can be louder then the home crowd. The Dynamo arenít lucky enough to have their own stadium currently and although that should change soon enough hopefully, FC Dallas do have one and should take advantage of that. In order to take advantage of that, FC Dallas has to find a way to get involved in the local community all around Dallas, Fort Worth and Frisco.
I highly recommend to those who do have twitter to tweet the Don regarding this issue, especially folks in the area who are concerned about the situation. It might not do much, but it will let the guy know peopleís feelings and thoughts on this topic. While you’re at it, continue to tweet the Commissioner on the refereeing issue along with our friends from Itís Called Football and Match Fit USA on Fridays.