Author Topic: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?  (Read 33694 times)

Tacachale

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Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« on: December 07, 2016, 03:09:34 PM »
It appears the Armada's league, the NASL, is about to collapse. Some teams are jumping ship to the rival USL, which is currently Division III behind MLS and the NASL, and others are about to fold.

The Armada, after having an average attendance of nearly 8k in their first year, dropped down to 3,499 this year. The news has been reporting for weeks that they're laying off staff, and they fired many of their front office people well before that. Sports Illustrated reported that "The Jacksonville Armada have financial concerns, according to sources," while Fourfourtwo.com says that "The Jacksonville Armada, also reportedly cutting back its permanent staff, currently planning to downgrade to a high school facility for the 2017 season, have stayed committed to the NASL..."

Doesn't sound too good. Leaving downtown, let alone playing at a high school, is usually a nail in the coffin for Jacksonville sports teams.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Downtown Osprey

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2016, 03:34:57 PM »
Bummer but not at the least surprised

pierre

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2016, 03:51:48 PM »
The NASL is toast.

Unfortunately, it appears the Armada are going down with the ship.

I doubt we see the franchise survive and that is sad.

KenFSU

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2016, 03:54:27 PM »
^Ditto. Love the team, love the logo, glad they are here. That said, it's hard to justify spending major league money for minor league sports, particularly for a bad, boring team in a wonky stadium never intended for soccer. Plus, it feels like Jacksonville's love affair with soccer fell off dramatically in the last 18 months.

That said, I hope they find a new home when the NASL collapses, and I hope they stick around long enough to build a solid fanbase and construct a soccer specific stadium.
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Tacachale

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2016, 04:15:37 PM »
^Ditto. Love the team, love the logo, glad they are here. That said, it's hard to justify spending major league money for minor league sports, particularly for a bad, boring team in a wonky stadium never intended for soccer. Plus, it feels like Jacksonville's love affair with soccer fell off dramatically in the last 18 months.

That said, I hope they find a new home when the NASL collapses, and I hope they stick around long enough to build a solid fanbase and construct a soccer specific stadium.

I don't know that Jacksonville's love affair with soccer has declined. Nearly 20k still showed up to the USMNT game in September. The Armada's attendance likely has more to do with their much lower presence and marketing this year compared to last, which coincided with the firing of much of their top staff and apparent reduction in their budget. It doesn't help that the team's been pretty bad.

I hope they turn it around and either make it work in the Baseball Grounds, or build their own stadium. I can't imagine they'll survive long playing on a high school field if they really do that. Moving to cheaper but worse digs is what killed the Cyclones back in the day, as well as both the Barracudas and Bullets in hockey and about 80 basketball teams. However, at this point it's hard to picture the owners pumping in enough money for a soccer stadium, at least not in an area that will really attract fans. But we shall see. I've really enjoyed going to their games and I know a lot of other people have too.

I was kind of hoping the new Jaguars field would be built in a way to host soccer, high school football and such. Oh well.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Downtown Osprey

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2016, 04:48:46 PM »
It's dumb to compare a one off USMNT game to a year round semi-professional club. We've never historically been able to support these types of teams in the past and that trend looks to be continuing with the Armada. I doubt soccer will ever work in our city.

Tacachale

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2016, 04:57:42 PM »
It's dumb to compare a one off USMNT game to a year round semi-professional club. We've never historically been able to support these types of teams in the past and that trend looks to be continuing with the Armada. I doubt soccer will ever work in our city.

They worked the first year. No one has tried pro soccer in many years, so there's really nothing to compare it to.

One consistent problem has been the lack of a place to play. No really good, accessible soccer fields.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

remc86007

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2016, 07:25:32 PM »
Is there some reason that they haven't contracted to play at UNF's stadium? It seems like a good size stadium and might be more convenient for a lot of "soccer families" to attend.

Also, at the baseball grounds, on armada game nights does the city charge for parking? Going to baseball games, I often had to pay more for parking than tickets; perhaps that is a factor keeping people away.

JaxAvondale

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2016, 11:52:46 PM »
US soccer and MLS need to get on board with relegation and clearer division standards.

fsquid

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2016, 09:42:30 AM »
tickets were a bit pricey for D2 soccer.

Adam White

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2016, 09:52:48 AM »
I didn't realize the NASL was in such bad shape. That's a real shame and it doesn't look to good for the Armada, to be honest - especially if they move their games to a school or something.
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FlaBoy

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2016, 10:34:16 AM »
What about holding their games at the new IPF for the Jags in the future?

spuwho

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2016, 12:15:25 PM »
USMNT is a special event and contains players people are willing to drive to, pay to park, and buy concessions for.

The Armada is a team people are willing to drive to, not willing to pay to park and not willing to purchase the same level of concession for.

That means you need a less expensive venue that is easily accessible and has free parking.

While many kids are into soccer, many local dads arent, hence the term soccer moms.

Most dads would rather spend the $100 on something more special in their minds with their kids. 

The USMNT friendly against Scotland at EB Field was the most fun I have ever had at a soccer game since I moved here.  But its very hard to duplicate that experience on a regular basis.

Adam White

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2016, 12:24:18 PM »
USMNT is a special event and contains players people are willing to drive to, pay to park, and buy concessions for.

The Armada is a team people are willing to drive to, not willing to pay to park and not willing to purchase the same level of concession for.

That means you need a less expensive venue that is easily accessible and has free parking.

While many kids are into soccer, many local dads arent, hence the term soccer moms.

Most dads would rather spend the $100 on something more special in their minds with their kids. 

The USMNT friendly against Scotland at EB Field was the most fun I have ever had at a soccer game since I moved here.  But its very hard to duplicate that experience on a regular basis.

And international soccer brings out a lot of the casual fans who don't really follow soccer in general (alongside those who do, of course).
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

TimmyB

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Re: Jacksonville Armada in trouble?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2016, 12:29:21 PM »
This really disappoints me.  One thing I was planning on for sure was getting behind them and being a regular.  I even bought a shirt, already!  Hopefully, they can tough it out and keep their franchise going in another league. 

As for playing in a HS stadium, I guess it depends on which stadium.  I know a lot of high schools that have a stadium that would be the envy of many small colleges.  Are there any like that in the area which would not be considered a huge step down?