Philadelphoa Kixx are Philly's "True" Soccer Team

Here's an ad for Philadelphia's long-running indoor team, the Kixx. I'm told it's for the 2010 season and in it they claim to be "Philadelphia's true professional soccer club". Is that a swipe at the Union or am I reading too much into that? Now I've got nothing but respect for that organization for keeping the lights on for pro soccer in that market for ages but any claim by an indoor team that they are a city's "true" soccer team when there a real, live 11v11 1st division team coming to town is a little rich.

If anyone out there has a good read on the indoor world I'd love to hear how the few teams that occupy the same city as an outdoor team (Chicago Storm is the only one I can think of) have fared. Ken Tomasch, hook us up.


AEK Baltimore said...

It's a stretch but I understand the claim they are making here. North American style indoor has served a very important role in the development of soccer in the US in general and in the preservation of professional soccer specifically. From 1984, the date of the demise of the outdoor NASL, until 1993, the date the MLS started official matches, the Original MISL (the original MISL was in existence from 1978 to 1992) served as the official first tear of the US Soccer pyramid (and was affiliated with both FIFA and USASA.

Now the Kixx were not in the original MISL. They were in the "other" indoor league, the NPSL. The NPSL folded in 1991 or something and the new MISL (1992 to 2008) served as the descendant league for both the original MISL and the NPSL. So, the Kixx can claim to have the heritage of being in a league that is the descendant of the league that at one time was THE professional soccer league in the US. Like I said, its a stretch, but to some of the old-timers who value the history and contribution of these indoor teams, the newfangled Union with their fancy stadium must seem like late-to-the-party interlopers indeed.

Mr. Will said...

Technically I think they are Philly's true team. I mean, isn't the Union's stadium actually outside of Philly, much like the Dallas Cowboys actually play in Arlington, TX???

Freddy said...

I followed the Chicago Storm hardcore. In my opinion, they failed do to a lack of marketing. They were hardly ever mentioned in the newspapers, no billboards advertising that they even exist, hardly anything at all really. At first they played at the UIC Pavilion in south side Chicago. I think they always had respectable crowds there. Then they moved to Hoffman Estates about 25 or so miles away, and they never really got a good fan base over there except for the little kids in soccer camps that paid next to nothing for their tickets. And the fans that they made in Chicago, well very few of them wanted to travel that far (especially in the brutal winter) to continue supporting the team. Not to mention the price of admission during the last season was outrageous. $16.00 was the cheapest ticket. How's the average family man supposed to be able to afford that week in and week out. At UIC admission for the first and I think second season was only $8.00.

Kenn Tomasch said...

What are you asking me? Whether the KiXX are trying to say "We've been here, these guys are newbies" or whether they have the right to do it or what?

There's no question it's a not-even-thinly-veiled swipe at the Union (along the lines of the Freedom poking DC United, which was silly).

There is a schism between indoor and outdoor fan bases, for the most part. I'm one of those who loves both versions, but I know there are fans of both who can't stand the other.

At the end of the day, it's just bluster and doing what you can to try to promote your product. I guess it's fair enough in love and war, even though Union will draw more people to its opener than the KiXX will draw all season, very likely (8 home games because they couldn't get 10 dates - nice planning there).

Some might say don't poke the bear. That's fair, too.

But that's only a problem if the bear knows you're there. And the Union doesn't really ever have to acknowledge that the KiXX exist. They won't be hurt at all, I don't think, if they never draw one KiXX fan to their new stadium. For the good of the order, it's probably best not to be a jerk about it and to work together, but I don't think they necessarily have to.

As for the Storm, no, they never had respectable crowds anywhere. And ownership panicked during home game two. The move to Hoffman Estates, while trading an old building for a new one, did cut them off from a section of people and, by that point, they had lost so much money that they didn't spend what it would have taken to properly market the team. And, yes, the ticket prices were outlandish for that product. Ownership made about every miscalculation you can make over the course of the life of that team.

But you can say that about pretty much any soccer team in this country (with exceptions). Almost definitely any indoor team. Marketing is a line-item expense. To do the kind of marketing that would result in the kinds of crowds the KiXX got (announced, I should say) in their first few years would be prohibitively expensive.

Wolfie said...
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Wolfie said...

I live in Philadelphia. The Kixx are invisible to the soccer community here. Conversely, there is a huge buzz about the Union, even from Eurosnob types that up to now wanted nothing to do with MLS.

Eric said...

i wouldn't say that the kixx are necessarily invisible to the soccer community here. they are most definitely a non-entity to the general population, but i enjoy a game or two each season. this is just a ridiculous boast though (see what i did there?). they'll never be at the magnitude that the Union is and was even when only the sons of ben were around. just the idea of having an outdoor soccer team (which most would agree is the "real soccer") put the kixx away. they've been struggling the past couple seasons and it's probably not coincidence that the it has been coupled with the rise of the Union, even if they haven't been playing.