World Cup Soccer might be in the news right now…but Syracuse’s professional soccer team has news this week of a new league and expanded schedule.
The Syracuse Silver Knights will be part of the new Major Arena Soccer League. Coach and Team President Tommy Tanner is expecting to see more fans in the seats with the 24-team international league.
“I think attendance is the key thing and I think obviously financially keeping all the tams stable and making sure travel is not a burden. I think that’s why most of the leagues have failed in soccer because it’s very expensive to fly 18 players across the country.”
That’s something the new league will have to manage closely, with teams in Washington State, California, and Mexico, as well as Texas and the Midwest.
Tanner says they could make trips to play multiple teams in a region. Now this isn’t outdoor soccer like scholastic or world cup. Player Nate Boudreau is from right here in Baldwinsville.
"It’s different. A lot of kids, I’ll tell them I play professionally indoor, they’ll say I played indoor growing up. But even from indoor soccer watching it here, it’s completely different. It’s faster, a lot more physical, definitely a lot more exciting and more fan friendly.”
Sales and Marketing V-P Allen Laventure is ready to appeal to a different crowd than might go to an S-U game or watch the Crunch or Chiefs.
“I don’t see us competing against those other sports. I compete against X-box and a comfy couch. It’s more about getting families out to have fun together. Since it’s a little bit of a non-traditional variation of soccer, you’re not looking at as a pro-league being at the top level. So we really engage our fans; we bring the kids out on the field, our promotions are all interactive.”
The Silver Knights are in their third year…and get about three-thousand fans a game. They’re expecting that to increase with more interest in the expanded league. Their new 20-game schedule starts in November.