Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Where in the world is IFAF '11?

Not even a week has yet passed by, nor has the dust yet settled on World Cup 2007, yet here I am to discuss potential sites for the next one. Europe hosted the first two events (Italy '99, Germany '03), and Japan hosted the most recent tournament. Who should host IFAF WC2011? Let's look at it by region:

Kawasaki just hosted the 2007 World Cup. It would be unlikely that Asia would get to host consecutive events, especially considering fan turnout was poor.

The expense of travel to The Land Down Under alone probably precludes this from being an option just yet.

No offense to Canada, but if the World Cup is going to be hosted in Canada, it would probably be done in a split effort with the United States. It doesn't make much sense to have teams travel to North America and then not take advantage of the American fanbase, which seems never to be able to satiate its lust for football. That said, Canada would be a fine place to host the event, but hosting it in the United States would be more practical. Conversely, there is really no good argument at the moment for hosting the event in Mexico.

A strategically selected city in Europe would make a lot of sense, as the football-crazy (the roundball kind) continent has the greatest potential for growth of the American sport. European economies by and large are strong, which should allow for an appropriate affair to be hosted. Soccer pitches are easily transformed into gridirons, which means facilities for the even will not be a problem anyway on the continent. Furthermore, fifty percent of the participants in the first three World Cups have been from Europe (Finland, France twice, Germany twice, Italy and Sweden twice).

Since Germany and Italy have already hosted the event, I'll leave them out of consideration for host country for WC2011. There are still plenty of viable candidates: Barcelona, Dublin (Croke Park has hosted American football before, and Lansdowne Road is also a viable option), London (Wembley will get a taste of American football when the NFL comes to visit in a couple of months), Paris, Stockholm ... there's no need to go on. The point is, there are plenty of options.

Like Europe, there are many reasons it would make sense to host WC2011 in the United States. For starters, it would generate huge revenues - much moreso than any other site. Typical American football stadiums hold 80,000-100,000 fans, and usually sell every seat. This event could be hosted in any city -- whether large like New York or Los Angeles, or small like Tuscaloosa, Alabama -- and be virtually guaranteed to be a cash cow. A terrible turnout in an American city would draw ten times as many fans as the previous World Cup in Kawasaki did. If the IFAF can figure out a stipulation within the organization of the event for part of the profits to augment the travel expenses and other costs of operation for the participants in the event, then that should allow for the greatest turnout yet for a World Cup.


Anonymous said...

Although i know hosting it in the US would bring in more profits something inside me wants to see som huge english soccer field temporarily turned in a football field.

Gerry said...

You won't have to wait long ... Wembley will host the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants this fall.

Aaron said...

Unfortunately I still think this event is 'not ready for prime time' in the US. I say alternate between Europe and Asia until it really gets on the map as an important competition.

The only thing that would happen in the USA is you would get the media to notice and in turn ridicule it for being irrelevant.

Gerry said...

Any publicity trumps no publicity, Aaron. Playing this thing in the USA would at least get Americans to notice it. By and large, America is oblivious to this event.

Aaron said...

It will take a US team with recognizable names to lose in this tournament before anyone in the US takes it seriously.

Hopefully I will get to see it taken seriously in my lifetime, I am 33 years old.

Michael said...

I disagree with aaron, and I agree with the statement that any publicity is better than none. Seriously if this event isn't even noticed in the United States where American football is king, then IFAF World Cup is just a waist of time and money. It's like the Hockey World Cup being completely ignored by Canadians.

I also disagree with the statement of it only being noticed in the United States if there are recognizable names. This is untrue, football is huge here and it is just not about recognizable names but the passion that people have for football. American Football is to Americans as what Soccer is to Europeans. This is why it football is not just popular when it comes to the NFL, it is popular with Colleges, it is even extremely popular in High Schools. Even proffessional spin offs, such as the Arena Football league have found some success.

The reason why the IFAF isn't bigger in the states is because honestly not many people in America even know about the IFAF World Cup. Honestly before I stumbled upon it on accident two months ago, I knew nothing of this World Cup and I absolutely love American Football. With out a doubt, for this World Cup to ever be taken somewhat seriously it needs to be held in the United States. Because if Americans don't even support or care about it, then how in the world can the organizers to expect the rest of the world to give a damn.

Maxtremus said...

It should be in the US. The football is very popular there, but the World Cup not...

Anonymous said...

I think Canada would make a great host. We love our football just a lot. The American version is also followed. If we have a good showing in 2011 in Europe and there is domestic television coverage, Canada hosting the 2015 version might be a big seller.

It is also good for the US tv market, since we're in the same time zones. It might be a real good first step at peaking American interest in the IFAF world cup.

Anonymous said...

I really dont support ifaf. I just want America to keep a sport we can really just call our own.

Anonymous said...

Mexico has the record of the biggest attendance in a NFL match in all the history. what does this argument look like to you?

Matt said...

As an American, I disagree with your sentiments on Canada hosting a World Championship in a way.

I believe Canada will host before the US does.

I think Canada will probably get the 2015 FWC because I think IFAF has been working hard to try and take the spotlight away from the USA. Also, everyone thinks and expects the Americans to win, so the USA doesn't need any home field advantage.

It would serve the sport well to see the USA defeated actually. Canada is our hardest opponent and the most likely to defeat us so giving them home field advantage makes sense.

Also, Canadians are pretty Football crazy, especially out west.

Hold it in Vancouver and they'll be able to draw LARGE crowds (40,000 TOTAL is the attendence record for IFAF, they'd probably be able to draw that in one game between the USA and Canada). As it is now, the majority of Americans don't even know this competition exists. If it were held in Canada it would serve as a good coming out party, a preview. Then, they'd have to send it overseas to Europe/Australia/Japan or South Korea for 2019 and in 2023,It'll come to the USA. The competition by then will be much more fierce, the tournament itself will probably be much larger (16 teams) and the welcome they'll get in America will be off the scales.

It just makes sense.