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Hockey/Soccer in the United States

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
Both these sports have been growing in the United States during the last few years, but they're not close of being on the same level as Football and Baseball.

Few questions for you guys, mostly Americans.

1. Which is more popular in the States to watch; Hockey or Soccer?

2. How comes these Sports are not "popular" in the States? Is it because both of them are dominated in different countries? Hockey(Canada) Soccer(Europe)

Thoughts?
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
Around here it's hockey, but I can't speak to other areas of the country. Hockey has always been popular in Michigan. I think the reason it's not so popular in other areas outside of the Midwest and Northeast is because it's a cold weather sport, and it hasn't been until relatively recently that warmer areas have had ice arenas.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
I'm pretty sure hockey is more popular than soccer, but not even close to the other major sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, college hoops, college football).

I think a major reason why these sports aren't as popular in the States is because they're low-scoring, soccer especially. And with the exception of a few northern states, people just don't grow up playing hockey. It is also very expensive to play.

Soccer has a lot of diehard fans, but it is still mostly a niche following. A lot of them follow the Premier League and other top European leagues since the top players in the world play over there. The MLS has a decent following as well though and it seems like it's continuing to grow.
 

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
In the next 25 years or so do you see these two sports competing with the big boys? I doubt it will ever be able to compete with the NFL or College Basketball or College Football, but what about competing against the Major Leagues or the NBA.

Hockey has made some great strides in the last few years, USA Hockey has really helped with that. I honestly believe that in ten years or so the sports will be booming in the States.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
I can see hockey closing the gap on baseball, maybe. The other sports, I doubt it, unless there was a strike or lockout lasting several years.

I don't see soccer ever reaching the level of football unless two things were to happen:

1. The U.S. wins the World Cup

2. MLS becomes the top league where all of the world's best players are playing.
 

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
Even if those two things happen... I strongly doubt Americans would bite on Soccer. If the US won the world cup I think they might be high on it for a month or two... but come next Cup Series they'll have forgotten and not cared again until the Medal rounds.

TO me, Hockey is bigger. I meet Way more natural hockey fans than I do soccer fans. I can literally count the people on one hand that I know personally who even watch Soccer regularly. Whereas I can drive down a mainstreet here in Fresno and catch maybe one in 20 cars with some sort of NHL or Hockey memorabilia sticker-ed on.

its usually this guy about 30% of the time which signifies the individual plays hockey.;



But other than that guy there are usually a ton of Sharks Logos, along with the Red Wings, Stars, Kings, and Old Falcons.

I know I could compare the Fresno Falcons (hockey) to the Fresno Feugo (soccer) and I'm sure the Falcons always drew bigger crowds even before they went defunct. I know the Monsters, our Major Junior team does pretty darn well, been seeing their logo plastered everywhere to.

But yeah, hell I didnt even know Fresno had a soccer team until someone told me they get Chukchansi Park when the Grizzlies (AAA Baseball) arent using it.

All In all I think what hurts soccer in my area so much is advertisement. I've never seen a Fresno Fuego advertisement in English. Its pretty obvious they have a key demographic and they stick to it. They keep their sponsors from Dos Equis, Telemundo, Bimbo, Tecate, El Mexicano, Que Onda 92.1, and Piolin.... notice a trend? Lets just say someone with my complexion feels incredibly out of place in that crowd and the Fuego marketing does nothing to help that.
 

BigBob

Registered Member
1. Which is more popular in the States to watch; Hockey or Soccer?
Hockey, and I'm sure there won't be too many people who question that. It's more fun to watch and even more fun to play.

2. How comes these Sports are not "popular" in the States? Is it because both of them are dominated in different countries? Hockey(Canada) Soccer(Europe)
I think Hockey is popular in the United States. I guess it's just me because when you live near a big city like Pittsburgh, everyone talks about the Penguins and how much they hate the Flyers and the Red Wings. Soccer is just one of the most boring sports to watch because nothing really goes on. Half the team stands around while the other half is in the offensive zone and vice versa when the other team has it in their zone.
 

Millz

Better Call Saul
Staff member
V.I.P.
When ESPN was carrying the National Hockey League it was tremendously popular in the US. I don't think there's any question that hockey is more popular then soccer is in America.

I think hockey can, over time, reach the level of the "big 3" pro leagues. When I was growing up hockey was as big a deal as anything...if not bigger for me.

Soccer, on the other hand, I'm not sure how much it'll catch on. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of die hard fans and Landon Donovan probably brought in some new fans but we've got a LONG way to go. The Cup in 1994 helped as well...woulda been nice to have gotten the 2018 or 2022 Cups to further push the sport.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
Soccer is just one of the most boring sports to watch because nothing really goes on. Half the team stands around while the other half is in the offensive zone and vice versa when the other team has it in their zone.
A lot of people would disagree with that, including me. The game is constantly moving and has no commercial breaks. Just because it's low scoring doesn't mean there's nothing going on. The tension is always extremely high in important games because one goal can change everything. That's what I like about it. The goals actually mean something and are worth cheering at the top of your lungs. It's not like basketball where your team scores almost every time down the floor.
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When ESPN was carrying the National Hockey League it was tremendously popular in the US. I don't think there's any question that hockey is more popular then soccer is in America.
That's definitely true. I think TV exposure has a lot to do with it. I used to love hockey on ESPN. It doesn't get nearly as much exposure now on Vs and NBC.

Soccer is the same way. The top leagues aren't very accessible to the average fan. Unless you have Fox Soccer Channel, which is usually only available in premium sports packages, you won't see much of the Premier League. I think ESPN shows one game every weekend, but you have to wake up pretty early to see them. Champions League games are played in the afternoon on weekdays when most people are at work. There's only big soccer exposure once every four years during the World Cup, and I think since we're not one of the elite teams not as many people care about it. Plus the World Cup doesn't have the same exciting style of play as the domestic leagues. They're usually way more cautious since there's so much at stake.
 
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Wade8813

Registered Member
Around Seattle, I'm pretty sure soccer is WAY more popular. I'm not entirely sure why. It just caught on, and then people see that others like it, so they're willing to give it a chance.

Also, a lot of "hockey fans" I've met kind of enjoy the sport, but it's the fighting that excites them.

Part of it may have to do with the local teams. For a while we only had the Thunderbirds (hockey) and the Sounders (soccer), and both were semi-pro or whatever. Neither was that popular, but then the Sounders recently became a real team and started doing well almost right away. Suddenly there's Sounders stuff everywhere.
 
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