Monday, April 23, 2007

Atlanta: Champions League Hotbed?

According to Friday's Wall Street Journal($), Atlanta trails only New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC in terms of its contribution to ESPN's audience for Champions League games:

This stat truly surprised me, as I thought that a city with a heavy ethnic population like Chicago would out-strip Atlanta. And since we've been told by the national media for years that Atlanta is the worst sports city in recorded human history (although Michael Wilbon did carve out an exception for 14th century Florence, which was far too caught up in that Renaissance BS to go to games), I'm doubly shocked that Atlantans do anything sports-related.

On the other hand, maybe I have a Nielsen device and I've been single-handedly skewing the results. Gol TV, this might be a good time to renegotiate with your advertisers.


Anonymous said...

Not surprising @ all - ever been to the Brewhouse for a big match? The only thing we're missing here is a team to bring the fans out.

Silverbacks just don't cut it.

Grandy said...

I've been very bitter that MLS has heretofor passed over expansion in Atlanta.

Michael said...

I've been to Brewhouse for matches a bunch of times, although my attendance has gone down since having a child and getting FSC and GolTV. The last time I went was for the Barca-AC Milan second leg last year when ESPN2 inexplicably showed the Arsenal-Villarreal match instead. The place was packed, even for a game not involving an EPL team. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen Barca lose there. Conversely, I don't think I've ever seen Holland win there.

Grandy, that's one of the reasons why I've never really gotten into MLS. The problem is that we don't have a good facility for it. Grant Field would be perfect, especially because it isn't cavernous, but it's too narrow. Hopefully, the Silverbacks' new stadium is built in such a way that it could expand if MLS wanted to come here.

Grandy said...

I know we have stadium issues. This is the area I've decided to be a completely irrational sports fan about. MLS is crap until they get me a local franchise, and I don't want to hear about why they haven't gotten me a local franchise (though I also hope the new Silverback stadium can help us seal the deal).

joemeek said...

Another great spot for watching champion's league: Georgia State University Recreation Center. The lobby tv gets a great multi-national crowd for all the espn2 afternoon matches.