billsportsmaps.com

July 17, 2017

2017-18 Premier League (1st division England, including Wales) – location-map with chart, including 16/17-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./+ the three promoted clubs for 2017-18 (Newcastle Utd, Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town).

2017-18_premier-league_map_w-2017-crowds_all-time-seasons-in-1st-div_titles-listed_post_c_.gif
2017-18 Premier League (1st division England, including Wales) – location-map with chart with: 16/17-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division




By Bill Turianski on 17 July 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-2017–18 Premier League (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…SUMMARY – Premier League [2017-18] (us.soccerway.com).
-theguardian.com/premier-league.
-Kits…Premier League 2017 – 2018 (historicalkits.co.uk).

A brief re-cap of 2016-17…
Champions…Chelsea: under their new manager Antonio Conte, Chelsea won the 2016-17 English title with ease, clinching with 2 games to spare and finishing 7 points above Tottenham.
Teams that qualified for Europe…Champions League Group Stage: Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United (via winning Europa League title). CL GS play-off round: Liverpool. Europa League Group Stage: Arsenal. EL GS 3rd qualifying round: Everton.
Teams that were relegated to the 2nd division…Hull City, Middlesbrough, Sunderland.
Teams that were promoted from the 2nd division to the Premier League…the 3 clubs profiled below…

    Below: illustrated articles for the 3 promoted clubs
    (Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town)

Newcastle bounced straight back to the Premier League as 2016-17 EFL Championship winners. Brighton & Hove Albion finished in second and won the other automatic promotion to the Premier League, meaning Brighton will play in the top flight for the first time in 34 years. Huddersfield Town won the 2017 Championship play-off Final at Wembley, beating Reading 0-0/4-3 in penalties; this means Huddersfield will play in the top flight for the first time in 45 years…

    •Newcastle United FC.

Est. 1892. Nicknames: the Magpies; Geordies; the Toon (or the Toon Army). Colours: Black-&-White [vertically-striped jerseys]. Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, situated (by road) 289 miles (465 km) N of London; and situated (by road) 98 miles (158 km) N of Leeds. Population of Newcastle: metro-area population of around 1.6 million (6th-largest in the UK) {2011 census}.

NUFC, est. 1892: location, colours, nicknames…
Newcastle United are from Newcastle upon Tyne, in the county of Tyne and Wear. Newcastle is the 6th-largest metro-area in the UK (with a population of around 1.6 million). Newcastle is located in the north east of England, a few miles inland from the North Sea, about 30 miles south of the Scottish border, and 15 miles north of their hated rivals, Sunderland AFC. {NUFC and SAFC contest the Tyne and Wear derby/ Newcastle vs Sunderland: Why is the Tyne-Wear derby such a big deal? (by Luke Edwards at telegraph.co.uk/football, from Dec. 2014).}

Newcastle wear Black-&-White [vertically-striped jerseys], and have done so since 1894 {since their 3rd year of existence/see NUFC home-kit-&-crest-history (historicalkits.co.uk)}. Newcastle are nicknamed the Magpies (magpies, a large bird from the Corvid [crow] family, have black-and-white feathers). Newcastle United, and especially their local supporters, also go by the name Geordies (a term dating back to the 18th century, see this, Geordie/Etymology). There is a third moniker for NUFC (and their fans), and that is Toon (or Toon Army)…Toon is how Geordies (Newcastle-area locals) pronounce the word “town”. {See this, quora.com/Why-is-Newcastle-United-called-Toon-Army.}

Newcastle United: a gigantic club, with cobwebs in their trophy cabinet…
‘The club has been owned by Mike Ashley since 2007, succeeding long term chairman and owner Sir John Hall. The club is the seventeenth highest revenue producing club in the world in terms of annual revenue, generating €169.3m in 2015.’ {-excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newcastle_United_F.C.}. Newcastle’s stadium, St James’ Park is the 7th-largest football venue in England (seated capacity: 52,405; last expanded in 1998-2000). Newcastle United have a gigantic fanbase, and usually draw between 49-and-52-K. Newcastle are the sixth-highest-drawing club in England (after Manchester Utd, Arsenal, West Ham Utd, Manchester City, and Liverpool).

Newcastle United have 4 English titles and 5 FA Cup titles to their name, but they have not won a major domestic title in over 60 years…no domestic titles since 1955 (1955 FA Cup title). (Though Newcastle did win an international title in 1969 – the Fairs Cup, which was the predecessor to the UEFA Cup/Europa League.) So, I’m not gonna say it – but this guy will…Newcastle United – Specialists in failure (by Matt North on 13 Feb. 2015 at themag.co.uk [the Independent voice of Newcastle Utd since 1988]).

Newcastle United have been relegated from the Premier League twice in the last 8 years (in 2009 and in 2016)
Newcastle have been relegated twice in the last 8 years, but have immediately bounced back from the 2nd division both times. In 2009-10, they won the 2nd division easily (by 11 points), under current-Brighton-manager Chris Hughton. But then they sacked Hughton half a year later, despite being a just-promoted side which was sitting in 11th place in the Premier League in mid-December of 2010 (see more on this time-period in the Chris Hughton part of the Brighton & Hove Albion section, further below).

Newcastle finishd in 12th that season (2010-11). The following season, under Alan Pardew, Newcastle finished 5th, and it looked like Newcastle were on the cusp of returning to the solid form they had in the early years of the 2000s (when they qualified for the Champions League in 2002 and in 2003, under Sir Bobby Robson). But the next season the bottom fell out, the atmosphere poisoned, and Newcastle finished in 16th place…they went from competing for a Champions League spot to a relegation-scrap in less than 12 months. Newcastle finished in 10th place the following season (2013-14), but it was much worse than it looked on paper, because the team ended the season losing 15 of their last 21 Premier League matches, and the Toon Army heaped further abuse on Pardew. A website called SackPardew.com was created. However, Pardew maintained the support of owner Mike Ashley into the following season (2014-15), but then Pardew jumped ship to Crystal Palace in January 2015…“with assistant manager John Carver taking over until the end of the season. He presided over some of Newcastle’s worst ever league form, including a run of eight consecutive defeats. A win over West Ham on the final day of the season ultimately secured Newcastle survival.” {-excerpt from 2014–15 Newcastle United F.C. season}. Overrated manager Steve McClaren was hired by Newcastle in June 2015. Bad move. By March 2016, Newcastle were in jeopardy of relegation, with only 24 points from 28 Premier League matches (an all-time club low). And this, despite the fact that Newcastle had spent about £100m in the past two transfer windows (Aug. 2015/Jan. 2016).

Enter Rafael Benitez as manager, replacing the sacked McClaren on 11 March 2016. But it was too late, and Newcastle went down to the 2nd division as 19th-place finishers, despite going 3 wins/4 draws/3 losses under Benitez. The one bright spot was that Benitez, who won two Spanish titles with Valencia, the Champions League and the FA Cup with Liverpool, and who could get a top flight job in most any league on the planet, decided to stay with the project at Newcastle. So in 2015-16, under Rafa Benitez, Newcastle won automatic promotion straight back to the top flight by winning the EFL Championship (edging out Chris Hughton’s Brighton, for the 2nd division title, on the last day of the season). Newcastle were in the automatic-promotion-places virtually the entire season. And they actually drew about 1.7-K-per-game higher in the 2nd division last season than they did 2 seasons ago in the Premier League (51.0 K in 16/17 versus 49.7 K in 15/16). Stand-out players for Newcastle in their successful promotion-campaign of 2016-17 were midfielder/playmaker Jonjo Shelvey, and striker Dwight Gayle, both of whom were selected to the EFL Championship Team of the Year {see photos/captions of both Shelvey and Gayle, further below}.

Newcastle United, 1st-place-finishers in the 2016-17 League Championship (automatic-promotion to the 2017-18 Premier League)…
newcastle-utd_st-james-park_promoted-2017_rafa-benitez_jonjo-shelvey_dwight-gayle_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
NUFC 2016-17 jersey, photo from u90soccer.com. Aerial shot of St James’ Park, photo unattributed at pinterest.com. sc. Distant-exterior shot of Newcastle with St James Park in background, photo by Getty Images at gettyimages.com jpg Exterior/panorama shot of St James’ Park, photo unattributed at openbuildings.com. Exterior/close-up shot of St James’ Park, photo by Getty Images via chroniclelive.co.uk. Toon fans outside St James Park, pre-match, photo unattributed at themag.co.uk/the-siege-of-st-james-park.
Jojo Shelvey gives shout-out to cheering Toon fans, photo by Reuters via hitc.com/poll-who-is-the-best-centre-midfielder-in-the-championship jpg. Jonjo Shelvey, photo by Getty Images via express.co.uk/football. Dwight Gayle celebrating goal with teammates, photo unattributed at chroniclelive.co.uk/football. Inset: Dwight Gayle after an away-goal, photo by Reuters via the s*n. Rafael Benitez with players, celebrating away win at Brighton (Feb. 2017), photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Screenshot of image from video in caption-form [chant by Toon fans mocking Mackems/Toon fans as NUFC clinch promotion], image by mirror.co.uk/football. Newcastle players celebrating in dressing room after clinching promotion, photo by Getty Images via the s*n.

    • Brighton & Hove Albion FC.

Est. 1901. Nickname: the Seagulls. Colours: Blue-&-White [vertically-striped jerseys]. Location: As the crow flies, Brighton & Hove is situated 47 miles (76 km) S of central London/By road, Brighton & Hove is situated 77 miles (123 km) S of central London. Population of Brighton & Hove: city pop., around 273,000/ metro-area pop., around 769,000 (15th largest in UK) {2011 census figures}.

-From the Guardian.com/football, Brighton’s long march ends in Chris Hughton’s completion of a job well done
- Twenty years ago it looked all over but an unflappable manager, a sparkling French winger and special team spirit have taken them back to the promised land
(by Nick Miller on 18 April 2017 at theguardian.co.uk/football/blog).

Question: Why is the city (and the club) called Brighton and Hove ?
Answer: “The towns of Brighton and Hove formed a unitary authority in 1997 and in 2001 were granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II. “Brighton” is often referred to synonymously with the official “Brighton and Hove” although many locals still consider the two to be separate towns.” (-excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton_and_Hove). Also, Brighton & Hove Albion’s original ground, the Goldstone Ground (which the club played in from 1902 to 1997), was located in the town of Hove (and not in Brighton), so the club has always gone by the Brighton & Hove moniker.

Brighton & Hove Albion were founded in 1901…
Brighton & Hove Albion played in the Southern League for two decades before they and the rest of the 1919/20 Southern League Division 1 were absorbed into the Football League as the new Third Division, in 1920-21. Since then, overall (and counting 2017-18), Brighton has played 91 seasons of League football, with the vast majority of its Football League seasons as a 3rd division side – 53 seasons in the 3rd division, most recently in 2010-11 {all-time Eng. Div. Movement (1888-2016), here at rsssf.com}. Before 2017-18, Brighton had only played 4 seasons in the 1st division, and that was in one 4-year spell in the early 1980s.

Before 2017-18, Brighton & Hove Albion had only played 4 seasons in the English 1st division (1979-80 to 1982-83).
Brighton drew decent as a First Division team in the 1979-to-’83 time period, averaging 19.1 K per game, in that four year span {source: E-F-S site}. But the Seagulls never reached the top-half of the table in that 4-season stint, and 34 years ago, the frustration of finishing in last place in the First Division in 1982-83 was compounded by the fact that Brighton made it to the FA Cup Final that season, only to lose to Manchester United 2-2/0-4 in the replay {1982-83 FA Cup Final (en.wikipedia.org)}.

In the following 13 seasons, Brighton gradually slid down the divisional ladder, and fell into the 4th division, in 1995-96. The 1996-97 season in the fourth tier was the start of the club’s most difficult period. Not only were the Seagulls in jeopardy of losing their League place, but the club had severe financial problems, and owners that were only looking for profits…profits at the expense of the club itself (see next paragraph). Brighton were at one point 13 points adrift that season, and only avoided relegation out of the 4th division of the Football League by drawing with Hereford United on the final match of 96/97.

But for the Brighton faithful, their troubles were far from over. Because right at this point in time (spring of 1997), ownership sold their home, the Goldstone Ground, to developers (it is now the site of a row of retail outlets including a Toys R Us and a Burger King). In 1997, the mephistophelian owners of Brighton & Hove Albion (Greg Stanley, Bill Archer, and David Bellotti), sold their ground and pocketed the money… despite the team having NOWHERE ELSE TO PLAY. And the local council in Hove did nothing to stop this outrageous act. So Brighton & Hove Albion were made homeless – by their owners. (There was precedent for the local authorities to stop this, because, back in the mid-1980s, the local government in southeast London where Charlton Athletic play effectively saved Charlton Athletic from becoming homeless…“[The local council] told the builders they could build whatever they wished but not until [Charlton Athletic] had played their first league fixture in their new stadium, obviously never built, in the same borough. The ground stood derelict for a number of years while Charlton played at Palace and West Ham, before the developers realised they had been outfoxed and sold the ground back to a now solvent club. So why didn’t Hove Council do the same thing? It was all legal and above board, yet not one local political figure even suggested such a move.”…{-excerpt from Still missing the Goldstone Ground from 2007 at worthingherald.co.uk}.)

Thus began Brighton & Hove Albion’s homeless years – 14 seasons without a ground…
-Here is a youtube video, 20 REMARKABLE YEARS AT BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION (3:43 video uploaded by Official Brighton & Hove Albion FC on 24 April 2017 at youtube.com).
First Brighton played two seasons at Gillingham’s charmless Priestfield Stadium in Kent (from 1997-to-’99), which was an unworkable 75 miles away. Then for 12 long seasons, they found accommodation at a local municipal venue, one that was completely unsuitable. That was the much reviled Withdean Stadium, which was a converted athletics facility that still had a running track, and which seated only 7-K, and which was not at all suitable for a Football League team, let alone any Non-League club worth its salt. The stands at the Withdean were at a shallow incline and were, thanks to the stupid running track, over 50 feet from the touchline {here is a shot of the North Stand at the Withdean}. In 2004, the Withdean was declared, by the Observer, the 4th-worst Football League venue {see this, Simply the worst, by Gemma Clarke on 9 Oct. 2004 at theguardian.com/football)}.

In 1998, the site for Brighton’s new venue at Falmer was identified. (Falmer is located 5 miles north-east of central Brighton.) But delays in getting planning permission kept pushing the start of the construction back. Meanwhile…“Because of the cost of the public enquiry into planning permission for a new stadium, rent on Withdean Stadium, fees paid to use Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium, and a general running deficit due to the low ticket sales inherent with a small ground, the club had an accumulated deficit of £9.5 million in 2004.” {-excerpt from Brighton & Hove Albion F.C./Stadium (en.wikipedia.org)}. This debt was paid up by late 2005, which was also when the planning for the Falmer project was approved. Another delay set the project back even further, when it was revealed that some of the projected venue’s parking lot would be in the adjacent town of Lewes. Finally, construction of the Falmer Stadium began in 2008. A year later, in May 2009, new ownership (and the cash to fuel the ambitious new stadium project), came into Brighton and Hove Albion: Brighton-born property-investor/-pro-poker-player/-bookmaker Tony Bloom. “Since 2009 Bloom has been the chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion…/…He succeeded Dick Knight after securing a 75% shareholding in the club and investing £93 million in the development of the club’s new ground, the American Express Community Stadium at Falmer.” {-excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Bloom}.

So instead of the early-to-mid-2000s, it wasn’t until the summer of 2011 that Falmer Stadium was completed…
As you can see in the illustration further below, Falmer Stadium is breathtaking. The venue, with a 30-K-capacity, is both space-age and fan-friendly. Through some asymmetrical design features (see 3rd stadium-photo below), it avoids the cookie-cutter look that afflicts some modern football stadiums in England (like Bolton’s stadium). And Seagulls fans have responded to the long-sought-after venue by producing some of the largest attendances in England outside of the top flight…
20.0 K in 2011-12,
26.2 K in 2012-13,
27.2 K in 2013-14,
25.6 K in 2014-15,
25.5 K in 2016-17,
27.9 K in 2016-17.
Basically, the only perennially-2nd-division club that has drawn higher than Brighton in the last half-decade (2012-13 to 2016-17) has been Derby County, and even so, Brighton drew highest in the 2nd tier in 12/13 and 13/14. Now that they have a proper football ground again, and after a 34-year absence from the 1st division, Brighton’s return to the top flight in 2017-18 will probably end up producing a percent-capacity figure above 95%.

Manager of Brighton: Chris Hughton (age 58).
Chris Hughton was born in Forest Gate, Essex (which is now situated in East London), the mixed-race son of a Ghanaian postman. Hughton was a left-back, making 361 league appearances (with 12 goals). Because of Irish roots on his mother’s side, Hughton was able to play for the Republic of Ireland (1979-91), with 53 caps (and 1 goal). Hughton’s whole pro playing career was spent with London-based clubs…primarily with Tottenham Hotspur (1977-90), but also with West Ham, and then with Brentford, the latter being where he hung up his boots in 1993. Hughton had always been a bit different than most footballers, and that manifested itself early on in his football career, in the late 1970s, with a sideline as a writer for the Workers Revolutionary Party (UK). These days, as it says in his Wikipedia page, Hughton plays down the Trotskyist aspect of that gig, saying “it’s probably not as dramatic as it sounds. I’ve always had strong views on social issues such as hospitals – I think we should have a good health system – and the education system, too…These days, players can do as many interviews and columns as they want. Back in the day, it wasn’t like that. Anyway, I’m sure I wrote about football and football issues. Nothing else.”. Be that as it may, Hughton has retained his left-wing convictions – he is a member of the Labour Party.

After retiring from the pitch, Hughton got into coaching and returned to Tottenham…
Hughton was in the Spurs coaching set-up for 14 years (June 1993 to October 2007) – first as the U-21 team coach, then the reserves coach, then as first team coach in 2001. Serving under 10 different managers, Hughton also had 2 short stints as caretaker-manager with Spurs back then. He lost his job when Spurs’ boss Daniel Levy sacked both him and manager Martin Jol, after Spurs fell to Spanish minnows Getafe in the UEFA Cup, in October 2007. Hughton then was hired by Newcastle United 5 months later, in February 2008, again as a first team coach. This was during the last reign of Kevin Keegan, who at that point could not hack it, so when Keegan bailed out, in September 2008, Hughton got his third gig as a caretaker-manager. That did not work out, and he was replaced by the bonkers Joe Kinnear (Newcastle were particularly tumultuous back then, and ended up relegated in that 2008-09 season). As the season wore on, in desperation, Newcastle tried out another former-hero-who-ended-up-a-managerial-flop (Alan Shearer), and were relegated to the 2nd division as 18th-place-finisher that season. Then owner Mike Ashley once again went back to Hughton. This time, in the 2nd tier in 2009-10, things clicked for the calm-and-preparation-focused Hughton, and after back-to-back Manager of the Month awards, he was hired as Newcastle’s full-time manager in October 2009. Newcastle easily won promotion straight back to the Premier League on 5 April 2010, finishing 11 points above the 2nd-place-finishers (West Brom). Then in 2010-11, with Hughton as a top-flight manager for the first time, Newcastle did well enough in the first-40-percent of the season. But Ashley and the Newcastle top brass didn’t think so, and after the team lost to West Bromwich 3-1, they sacked Hughton, in December 2010…when Newcastle, a just-promoted-team, were in a respectable 11th place (what?). The move was widely condemned by the vast majority of observers, and by a significant amount of Newcastle fans…“Before the match against Liverpool, on 11 December, campaigners from United For Newcastle organised a protest outside St James’ Park as an opportunity for supporters to thank Hughton and to show their anger towards Ashley’s decision.” {-excerpt from Chris Hughton (en.wikipedia.org)}.

But Hughton landed on his feet, and after being linked to many clubs, he signed on with just-relegated Birmingham City in the summer of 2011. Hughton led Birmingham to a 4th place finish in the 2011-12 League Championship, but the Blues lost to eventual promotion-winners Blackpool, in the play-off semifinals in May 2012. When Birmingham gave him permission to talk to other clubs, Hughton was hired by then-top-flight-side Norwich City, in the summer of 2012. In 2012-13, inheriting a team that finished 12th in the top flight, he kept the Canaries at about the same position, finishing in 11th. That was actually Norwich City’s best finish in 24 years (since 1988-89). But the following season, Norwich reverted to their all-too-frequent relegation-embattled mode, and Norwich dismissed Hughton when the Canaries sat 17th, in early April 2014 (Norwich went down that season as 18th-place finishers).

Brighton hires Hughton after a disastrous start to their 2014-15 season…
Through the 2014 off-season, several upper-division clubs then offered Hughton a job as the second-in-command, but Hughton held out for a gaffer’s role, and 8 months later, in late December 2014, 2nd-division-side Brighton and Hove Albion hired Hughton as their manager. Brighton, who at that point had been back in the 2nd tier for a third season, were in total disarray. They were in the relegation zone, in 21st place, and had won only once in 18 matches under manager Sami Hyypia. This, after Brighton had had a solid 4th-place finish the previous season (in 2013-14). So starting in January 2015, Hughton righted the ship and lead the Seagulls out of danger, and Brighton finished in 17th place. The following season [2015-16], Hughton’s first full seaon at Brighton, they finished agonizingly close to automatic promotion, only losing out to Middlesbrough on a goal difference of just of 2. Then the disheartened Brighton squad flamed out in the 15/16 play-offs semifinals, losing to Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 aggregate.

2016-17: Brighton wins promotion to the Premier League…
But in the following season of 2016-17, there was no letdown on the south coast. Hughton shored up the Brighton squad, bringing back the aging-but-still-effective poacher Glenn Murray (who had scored 53 goals in 118 appearances for the then-3rd-tier Brighton in the 2007-11 time frame, and who had scored 30 goals in 12/13 to help get Crystal Palace promoted to the Premier League). Hughton also signed fullback Shane Duffy (an Ireland international), for Brighton’s highest-ever transfer fee (£4 million). Both have proven to be adept as 2nd division players. Hughton convinced much-in-demand mercurial French winger Anthony Knockaert to keep with the project, rather than opt for a transfer to a bigger club (such as Newcastle). With stellar contributions from both goalkeeper David Stockdale and the 25-year old centre-back/vice-captain Lewis Dunk, Brighton were joint-top-best-defense in the 2nd division last season along with Newcastle (both teams conceded just 40 goals, or 0.86 allowed per game). {See photos/captions further below of both David Stockdale and of the local-born/Brighton-youth-product Lewis Dunk.} The Brighton offense, while not the most prolific (Newcastle, Fulham, Norwich, and Brentford scored more), did enough to get the job done. The Seagulls’ attack featured the 2016-17 Championship Player of the Year, the aforementioned Knockaert, a 25-year-old playmaker with huge potential. Knockaert scored 13 goals, added 8 assists, and generally ran the opposition to distraction. {Knockaert and Murray were also selected by the EFL to the Championship’s best 11/see photos below. There were 4 Brighton players in the official Best 11, which was the most of any team in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th divisions in 2016-17.}

Had Brighton not clinched with 3 matches remaining, they probably would have ended up with an even better record, seeing as how they lost their last 3, and ended up being pipped by Newcastle for the 2016-17 EFL Championship title. But the bottom line is that, come mid-August 2017, Brighton and Hove Albion will be playing in the first division for the first time in 34 years. And in a majestic and state-of-the-art venue to boot.

Brighton & Hove Albion: 2nd-place-finishers in the 2016-17 League Championship (automatic-promotion to the 2017-18 Premier League)…
brighton-and-hove-albion_falmer-stadium_aka-the-amex_chris-hughton_anthony-knockaert_glenn-murray_lewis-dunk_david-stockdale_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
B7HAFC 16/17 jersey, photo unattributed at footyheadlines.com/jpg. Exterior shot of Falmer Stadium, photo by Graeme Rolf via footballgroundguide.com. Falmer Stadium at night, exterior shot by Dominic Alves at File:Falmer Stadium – night.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Interior shot of (empty) Falmer Stadium, photo by Daniel Hambury/Focus Images Ltd. via marcadorint.com. Interior shot of full house at Falmere [ca.2013], unattributed at images.cdn.stuff.tv/jpg. Chris Hughton, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football. David Stockdale (GK), photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Lewis Dunk (CB), photo from seagulls.co.uk jpg. Anthony Knockaert (RW) & Glenn Murray (FW) photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Screenshot of pitch invasion from video uploaded by Official Brighton & Hove Albion FC at youtube.com. Shot of Jiri Skalak and Anthony Knockaert taking a selfie during promotion/pitch invasion celebration, photo unattributed at pressreader.com/uk.

    •Huddersfield Town AFC.

Est. 1908. Nickname: the Terriers. Colours: Blue-and-White [vertically-striped shirts]. Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, situated (by road) 20 miles (33 km) SW of Leeds; and situated (by road) 191 miles (397 km) N of London. Population of Huddersfield: around 168,000 {2015 estimate}.

Huddersfield Town are from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, about 14 miles (as the crow flies) south-west of Leeds. They are nicknamed the Terriers and wear blue-and-white vertically-striped jerseys. They play at the John Smith’s Stadium (aka the Kirklees Stadium), which has a capacity of 24,500. Huddersfield Town has a ground-share with 1st division rugby league club Huddersfield Giants, and have been doing so since the venue opened in 1994. Last season [2016-17] Huddersfield Town drew 20.3 K, which was a whopping 7.5-K-increase over 2015-16. (In case you are wondering, Huddersfield Giants RLFC drew in the 7.0-K-to-7.7-K-range 6 years ago and have lost about 2.5-K of fans since then, now drawing around 5 K.)

Huddersfield Town won 3 straight English First Division football titles in the 1920s.
Counting 2017-18, Huddersfield have played 31 seasons of top flight football (previously in 1971-72). And although they have not played in the 1st division in 45 years, Huddersfield Town have a storied past. In the mid-1920s, Huddersfield Town became the first club to win 3 consecutive English titles (it has since been done by only 3 other clubs: Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United). Under manager Herbert Chapman, and for the third title, under manager Cecil Potter, Huddersfield Town won 3 straight English First Division titles in 1923-24, 1924-25, and 1925-26. Huddersfield also won the 1922 FA Cup title (also under the innovative Chapman). At Huddersfield in the 1920s, Herbert Chapman emphasized a quick, short passing game, and pioneered the use of the counter-attack as a scoring weapon. “The most opportune time for scoring is immediately after repelling an attack, because opponents are then strung out in the wrong half of the field.” – Herbert Chapman. Lured by a doubling of his wages (and no doubt the chance of a larger stage), Chapman joined Arsenal after Huddersfield Town’s second League title (following the 1924-25 season), and there, along with assistant coach Charles Buchan, went on to further tactical innovations {see this, The Question: Did Herbert Chapman really invent the W-M formation?, by Jonathan Wilson at theguardian.com/football}. In London, Chapman was instrumental in helping to turn Arsenal into the giant club they are today, leading Arsenal to their first FA Cup title (1930), and Arsenal’s first two English First Division titles (in 1930-31 and in 1932-33). But at the height of his success, Chapman died suddenly of pneumonia, at age 55, in 1934. The following two links touch on the huge legacy of Herbert Chapman.
-From Football Paradise.com, by Ashree Nande, The Gentleman from Kiveton Park – Herbert Chapman, part 1 (footballparadise.com).
-From the DailyMail.co.uk/football, Huddersfield Town may be the Premier League’s new boys, but they were once the best team in England… they dominated the 1920s during the reign of Herbert Chapman (dailymail.co.uk/sport/football).

Huddersfield Town of the 1920s: the first back-to-back-to-back champions of England…
huddersfield-town_1923-24_1924-25_1925-26_first-3-times-straight-champions-of-england_herbert-chapman_clem-peterson_charlie-wilson_edward-taylor_v_.gif
Image and Photo credits above – HTAFC 1st crest [1920], and HTAFC 1924-25 kit illustration, both images from historicalkits.co.uk/Huddersfield_Town. Arsenal 1932 crest from historicalkits.co.uk/Arsenal. Herbert Chapman, photo by Rex/Mail Pix via dailymail.co.uk/football. 3 players’ trading cards [Clem Stephenson, Edward Taylor, Charlie Wilson], from huddersfieldtowncards.co.uk/1924. 1924-25 Huddersfield team photo, from huddersfieldtowncards.co.uk/1925.

Manager of Huddersfield Town: David Wagner, age 45, born in Trebur, Greater Mainz, Hesse, West Germany. Wagner is the son of an American father and a German mother. Wagner was a striker who had 94 league appearances for Mainz (a then-2nd-division side) and played in 29 league matches (scoring 2 goals) from 1995-97 for Bundesliga side Schalke. Wagner made 8 international appearances for the USA national team (1996-98).

Upon retiring from the pitch, Wagner took up coaching, getting his start with the coaching set-up at then-2nd-division side Hoffenheim in the 2007-09 time frame. Wagner moved on to Borussia Dortmund, and had been coach of Dortmund’s reserves (Dortmund-II) under Jürgen Klopp (from 2011-15). Some thought he would follow Klopp to Liverpool, but Wagner signed on as Huddersfield Town manager in November 2015. Huddersfield finished in 19th place in 2015-16 (Town had finished in 16th place the previous season [2014-15]). {The following 3 sentences are an excerpt from Wagner’s page at Wikipedia.}… “In the summer of 2016, Wagner brought in 13 players from across the continent – with Danny Ward, Chris Löwe and Aaron Mooy amongst these. Wagner took his players on a bonding tour of Sweden, where they had to survive with only basic equipment for a few days. The team’s success in the early 2016–17 season was largely accredited to the squad’s tight bond, something that Wagner claimed was a direct result of this Sweden trip.”

So in his first full season as Huddersfield Town manager, David Wagner got Town promoted to the 1st division for the first time in 45 years (Huddersfield Town were last in the First Division in 1971-72). Wagner did this despite Huddersfield Town having a minus-2 goal difference. And that includes the play-offs, because Huddersfield Town drew all 3 of their 2016-17 play-off games, going to a penalty shoot-out in both the semifinals (v Sheffield Wednesday) and in the Final (v Reading). Making this the first time – ever – that a team has gotten promoted to the 1st division with a negative goal difference (I checked). In fact, this feat has never been done in the English 3rd division or the 4th division either: see this article, Terriers out to prove that points make the difference (by Kevin Pullein at racingpost.com).

Huddersfield Town may have a hard time of it staying in the top flight this season, but they have ensured that two of the key figures in getting them there will remain…Wagner has signed a new contract despite more lucrative offers from Aston Villa and Wolfsburg, and the fan-voted player of the season in 16/17, Australian MF Aaron Mooy (see photo below), has been bought outright from Manchester City. {See this article, David Wagner sticks with Huddersfield Town for Premier League adventure (by Paul Doyle at theguardian.com/football).}

huddersfield-town_promoted-2017_david-wagner_elias-kachunga_aaron-mooy_tommy-smith_christopher-schindler_k_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
16/17 HTAFC home jersey, photo unattributed at uksoccershop.com/blog. 16/17 HTAFC away (neon yellow) jersey, photo unattributed at footballshirtculture.com. Aerial shot of Kirklees Stadium, unattributed at the mag.co.uk. jpg Exterior shot of Kirklees Stadium, photo by tweek at 28dayslater.co.uk. Shot of roof-pylons, photo by Neil Turner at flickr.com. Elias Kachunga, age 25, b. Haan, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany [Rep. Congo national team], photo from htafc.com/news/2017/march/signing-kachunga-joins-htafc-permanently. Tommy Smith (DF), age 25, b. Warrington, Cheshire, photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Aaron Mooy (MF), age 26, b. Sydney, Australia [Australia national team], photo by John Clifton/Reuters via abc.net.au/news/one-way-or-another-aaron-mooy-destined-for-premier-league. Christopher Schindler scoring winning penalty kick, photo by Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley Livepic via thescore.com. David Wagner with trophy, photo unattributed at espnfc.com.
___
Thanks to the following…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-England – First Level All-Time Tables 1888/89-2015/16 (rsssf.com).
-Thanks to the contributors at 2017-18 Premier League & Premier_League/2017-18 season (en.wikipedia.org).

Note on seasons in 1st division:
It is rather hard to pin down how many seasons any given club has been in the top flight, because so few places online seem to want the responsibility of maintaining an accurate and up-to-date list. It is even hard now to actually add up the seasons yourself, now that the Footy-mad sites have dumbed-down their entire network of sites and have scrapped their all-time-seasons lists for each club (you can find most via the Wayback Machine, though, such as this [Huddersfield Town-mad.co.uk/Club/League History from March 2016]).

The only error-free list that I have been able to find that is currently available online has not been updated since 2015-16 (two seasons ago), and that is at RSSSF.com {here}.

The current Wikipedia list of seasons in English 1st division {here: Premier_League/2017-18 season} has several errors…
West Bromwich Albion’s total seasons in 1st division is wrong, by 1 too many seasons (2017-18 will be West Brom’s 80th season in the 1st Div, not their 81st).
And Huddersfield Town’s total seasons in 1st division is wrong, by 1 too many seasons (2017-18 will be Huddersfield’s 31st season in the 1st Div, not their 32nd).
And Watford’s total seasons in 1st division is also wrong, by 4 too many seasons (2017-18 will be Watford’s 11th season in the 1st Div, not their 15th).
And Brighton & Hove Albion’s total seasons in 1st division is also wrong, by 1 too many seasons (2017-18 will be Brighton’s 5th season in the 1st Div, not their 6th).
And Leicester City’s total seasons in 1st division is also wrong, by 1 too few seasons (2017-18 will be Leicester’s 50th season in the 1st Div, not their 49th).

This list at MyFootballFacts.com is really nice {myfootballfacts.com/ClubLeagueHistorySummary}, especially because it doesn’t just show seasons in top flight, it also includes all-time seasons in all 4 divisions of the League…but it looks like this list, like Wikipedia’s list, has both West Brom and Leicester’s numbers also wrong (for Leicester: 50 seasons in top flight, not 49; for West Brom, 80 seasons in top flight, not 81). I’ve counted several times, but if you want to count for yourself, via the Wayback Machine, here is West Brom’s and Leicester’s old pages at Footy-mad, when League History of both clubs was there…
{https://web.archive.org/web/20160323150053/http://www.westbromwichalbion-mad.co.uk/league_history/west_bromwich_albion/index.shtml}
{https://web.archive.org/web/20160506213518/http://www.leicestercity-mad.co.uk:80/league_history/leicester_city/index.shtml}.

…So if you really want to know how many seasons a club has been in the English 1st division, don’t rely on Wikipedia, instead go here {http://www.rsssf.com/tablese/engalltime.html}, then add zero or one or two to that figure (depending on the club in question’s divisional status in 2016-17 and 2017-18).

July 3, 2017

2017-18 [Non-League] National League (aka the Conference) [5th division England], map with 16/17-crowds-&-finishes chart./+ features on the 4 promoted clubs (AFC Fylde, FC Halifax Town, Maidenhead United, Ebbsfleet United).

Filed under: >2017-18 English football,Eng-5th level,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 1:09 pm

2017-18_national-league_aka-conference_map_w-2017-attendances_post_i_.gif
2017-18 [Non-League] National League (aka the Conference) [5th division England], map with 16/17-crowds-&-finishes chart



By Bill Turianski on 3 July 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-2017–18 National League (en.wikipedia.org).
-Official site…thenationalleague.org.uk.
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…SUMMARY – National League [2017-18] (us.soccerway.com).
-5th division/National League page at BBC.com…bbc.com/sport/football/national-league.

-Hartlepool United’s new crest(s): 17/18 white home badge, twitter.com/BLKSportUK;
template badges, twitter.com/Official_HUFC.

-Maidstone United FC’s Gallagher Stadium is getting bigger with a £400k investment (kentlive.news).

-Preview…Michael Triffitt’s National League 2017/18 Preview (by Michael Victor on 25 May 2017 at sports.betvictor.com).

2016-17 brief re-cap…
Promoted…Lincoln City won the 2016-17 National League, winning automatic promotion back to the Football League, after 6 seasons stuck in Non-League. Forest Green Rovers won promotion to the Football League for their first time ever, after they defeated Tranmere Rovers 3-1 at Wembley to win the 2017 National League play-off final.

Now relegated down to Non-League/5th division/National League are…Leyton Orient and Hartlepool United. Both will be playing in Non-League football for the first time in many decades, with Leyton Orient in Non-League football for the first time since 1905; and Hartlepool Utd in Non-League football for the first time since 1921…

Promoted up from the 6th division and into the National League/5th division are the four clubs profiled below…

    Clubs promoted to National League for 2017-18, from National League North (2 teams) & promoted from National League South (2 teams)…
    (promoted from National League North: AFC Fylde & FC Halifax Town / promoted from National League South: Maidenhead United & Ebbsfleet United)
    AFC Fylde.

(Est. 1988, as Kirkham & Wesham FC, following a merger of Kirkham Town FC and Wesham FC; name changed to AFC Fylde in 2008.) Location: Wesham (in the Borough of Fylde), Lancashire (population: around 3,500/2011 figure). Wesham, Lancashire is located, by road, 7 miles (11 km) SE of Blackpool. Wesham is located, by road, 49 miles (79 km) N of Liverpool. Colours: White jerseys and pants, Blue trim. Nickname: the Coasters. Manager: Dave Challinor (age 41).

-From The Set Pieces.com, The Rise and Rise of AFC Fylde (by David Cowlishaw on 30 Jan. 2017 at thesetpieces.com).

AFC Fylde are from western Lancashire, just south-east of Blackpool, in an area known as the Fylde. Their opulent new stadium is in the very small town of Wesham (population of just 3,500 or so). AFC Fylde are owned by Lancashire-based businessman David Haythornthwaite, who made his considerable fortune in the animal feed business {see this interview, from the Lancashire Post, from 2015}. Haythornthwaite had twice tried to buy Blackpool FC, first in the late 1990s, and later around 2006. But he then decided to just take over a small Non-League club nearby: the then 10th-level side Kirkham & Wesham FC. Haythornthwaite took over the club in 2007, when Kirkham and Wesham were in the North West Counties League. The following year [2008], he changed the club’s name to AFC Fylde, and stated his intention for the club to achieve Football League status by 2022 – a proclamation the club have been wearing ever since, on the sleeves of their home jerseys {see photo below, of their 2008-09 jersey, as well as their 2016-17 jerseys, with the “2022” shoulder-patch}. Since 2007-08, AFC Fylde have won 5 promotions, and now draw 1.9 K per game. And it is starting to look like their 2022 target for promotion to the Football League will be attained ahead of schedule. In 2017-18, AFC Fylde won the league and the sole automatic promotion, beating out Kidderminster by 8 points. Led by Chester-born manager Dave Challinor (age 41), Fylde finished with a plus-46 goal difference, a number that was bulked up by the league’s top scorer, the local-born Tommy Rowe (age 27, born in nearby Blackpool), who netted an astounding 48 goals in 42 league appearances {see photo and caption below}.

AFC Fylde have benefited from the fan unrest at Blackpool FC (which is about 13 km, or 8 miles, up the road). There, the ownership (the Oystons) have so polarized Tangerines supporters, that the Blackpool average gate has plummeted over twelve thousand per game in 6 seasons (from 15.7 K in 2010-11, to 3.4 K in 2016-17). And it looks like AFC Fylde have picked up some of those disaffected Blackpool supporters. But nevertheless, AFC Fylde did not really start building a sizable fanbase until their swank new stadium opened. Their third-most recent promotion (in 2011-12, going up from the 8th level to the 7th level), saw only a tiny attendance increase of a couple dozen or so (from 322 to 345 per game). Their second-most-recent promotion did see a decent crowd-size-increase (a 200-odd-increase, going from 318 per game in 2013-14, to 531 per game when they went up to the National League North in 2014-15). But the minute Mill Farm opened [in August 2016], AFC Fylde saw crowds, for the first time, well above one thousand-per-game (they drew 1.9 K in 2016-17). (Below, in the illustration, there is a small chart showing AFC Fylde’s finishes-and-crowd-sizes for the past 6 seasons.) Now that they are in the 5th division, I think AFC Fylde’s crowds will certainly increase some more. But I think Fylde will soon end up hitting a ceiling with respect to their crowd-size growth.

A few years ago, we saw another tiny western Lancashire club, with a Sugar-daddy owner (Fleetwood Town), rise the ranks and build a thousands-strong fanbase. But even though the now-3rd-division-side Fleetwood Town continue to excel on the pitch (with a 4th place/playoffs-qualifying season in 2016-17), their crowd-size has plateaued at about 3.2-K-per-game. Actually, despite a very solid season, Fleetwood’s attendance actually dipped slightly in 2016-17, from 3.3 to 3.2 K. I think that this is what very well might happen with AFC Fylde. They almost certainly will get into the Football League, and probably before their 2022 target. But then I think they’ll stop being able to increase their crowd-size much more than to 3 K or 4 K or maybe 5 K per game. There is simply an overwhelming glut of Football-League/Premier-League-cailbre clubs in this northwestern corner of England, and there is, perhaps, not enough willing customers to fuel the continued rise of once small clubs like Fleetwood and Fylde. But I could be wrong. The one thing that Fylde has over Fleetwood is a more central location (Fleetwood is on a dead-end spit of land north of Blackpool, while Fylde [in Wesham] is situated more inland, right between Blackpool and Preston. That means Fylde, in Wesham, is smack between two 100-thousand-plus cities, each less than 15 minutes away by road {see that on a map, here}. At the following link there are photos of that new venue in Wesham, Fylde, Lancashire……{Gallery: Mill Farm Sports Village / AFC Fylde} (fwgroup.co.uk)}.
afc-fylde_mill-farm_dave-challinor_danny-rowe_f_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Aerial shot of Mill Farm and surrounding countryside, photo by Mill Farm Sports Village at mfsv.co.uk. Mill Farm, aerial shot by AFC Fylde at afcfylde.co.uk/mill-farm. Interior/match-day shot of Mill Farm from touch-line, photo by fwpgroup.co.uk/job/mill-farm-sports-village-afc-fylde. Football-League-by-2022 patch on jersey [since 2007], photo unattributed at timetoast.com/timelines/the-history-of-afc-fyldes-2022-campaign; 2022. 2016-17 AFC Fylde Jerseys, photos by afcfylde.co.uk/official-online-store/replica-kits. Dave Challinor, photo from afcfylde.co.uk. Danny Rowe, photo from afcfylde.co.uk/rowey-eyes-records.

    FC Halifax Town.

(Est. 2008/Phoenix-club of Halifax Town AFC [1911-2008].) Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire (population: around 90,000 /2015 estimate). Halifax is located, by road, 14 miles (22 km) W of Leeds. Halifax is located, by road, 205 miles (331 km) N of London. Colours: Blue (jerseys and pants) with white trim. Nickname: the Shaymen. Manager: Billy Heath.

From the Yorkshire Post, FC Halifax Town 2 Chorley 1 (AET) – Garner’s strike extra special as Shaymen earn return at first attempt (by Leon Wobschall on 13 May 2017 at yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/football).

Halifax is, by road, 22 miles west of Leeds, in West Yorkshire. FC Halifax Town play at the Shay Stadium (opened 1921; capacity 14,000). FC Halifax Town share the ground with 2nd-division rugby league side Halifax Town RLFC (see caption in illustration below). The Halifax Town rugby league team has played at the Shay for 20 years now [since 1998], while the Halifax Town association football club has played at the ground since they were formed as a Phoenix-club in 2008.

FC Halifax Town are the Phoenix-club of Halifax Town AFC (1921-2008), who were dissolved in 2008 due to massive debts (with over £800,000 owed to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs). Halifax Town had played in the Football League from 1921 to 1993, and from 1998 to 2002. The old club’s best finish was in 3rd place in the Third Division in 1970-71. Halifax Town were drawing in the 5-K-range back then in the late-60s/early-70s {historical attendance at european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn}. And the old Halifax Town drew as high as 6.9 K in the late 1940s. The original club’s peak-attendance in modern times was in 1998-99, at 3.0 K per game (which was the season after they had won promotion back to the Football League). But the original Halifax Town folded a decade later, in 2008.

A new club to take its place was formed that same year (2008), and the new FC Halifax Town were assigned to the 8th level, in the Northern Premier League Division One North. Since then, the new club has won 4 promotions and suffered one relegation (in 2016). And after one season back in the 6th tier, and under former North Ferriby United manager Billy Heath (age 46), FC Halifax Town have now returned to the 5th division, after winning the 2017 National League North play-offs. The Shaymen won promotion with a 2-1 aet victory over Lancashire side Chorley, in front of a 6th-division attendance record of 7,920 at The Shay {see photos below}.

Since re-forming, Halifax has averaged between 1.1 K [in their first season, in the 8th division] to 1.8 K [last season, in the 6th division]. The Shay is owned by the local authority in this part of West Yorkshire, the Calderdale Metropolitan Council. The Shay has been in a constant state of redevelopment since 2008 {the ongoing development of which you can see in the background of the last photo below}. The Shay was built into the side of a somewhat steep hill, a quarter-mile south of the town centre. The Shay currently features 4 largish roofed stands, two of which were built into the side of the hill. It is frankly too large for Non-League, but it must be pointed out again that Halifax just recorded the largest-ever crowd in the 6th tier, when they won that play-off final in May 2017. Granted, one needs to factor in the short travel-distance to that match for the traveling Chorley supporters (distance between Chorley and Halifax is about 49 miles by road). But still, that 7.9 K figure points to the fact that this Non-League club from West Yorkshire definitely has the potential to draw much higher than the 1.8 K they drew in 2016-17. {Here is a video…2017 National League North play-off final at Halifax, W Yorkshire, video uploaded by FC Halifax Town at We’re On Our Way ! Behind The Scenes-Play-Off Special vs Chorley (12:31 video at youtube.com).}
fc-halifax-town_promoted-2017_the-shay_scott-garner_billy-heath_k_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Shot of Halifax (from Beacon Hill), photo by Mr Barndoor at File:Halifax view from Beacon Hill.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). The Shay (rugby-league-configuration), photo unattributed a totalrl.com jpg. The Shay (w/ large crowd for football match), photo by Pliny Harris at onefootballforum.co.uk/threads/the-shay-halifax-town-ground-guide. Screenshot of crowd at 2017 NL-N play-off final, from video uploaded by FC Halifax Town at We’re On Our Way ! Behind The Scenes-Play-Off Special vs Chorley [12:31 video at youtube.com]. Scott Garner scores winner in extra time v Chorley (National League North 2017 play-off final), photo by Tony Johnson at yorkshirepost.co.uk. Billy Heath, photo from yorkshirepost.co.uk/football. Halifax Town fans’ pitch invasion following promotion (play-off win), screenshot from video uploaded by twitter.com/ThomasFeaheny.

    Maidenhead United FC.

(Est. 1870.) Location: Maidenhead, Berkshire (population: around 73,000 /2011 figure). Maidenhead is located, by road, 30 miles (47 km) W of central London. Colours: Black-and-White [vertical stripes]. Nickname: the Magpies. Manager: Alan Devonshire (age 61).

Maidenhead United are from Berkshire, on the River Thames, located, by road, 7 miles north-west of Windsor Castle, and 30 miles west of central London. They play at York Road, and have done so since their second year of existence, all the way back in 1871 (146 years ago). Maidenhead’s York Road has now been officially acknowledged as the “oldest senior football ground continuously used by the same club” {see this, Country’s ‘oldest’ football ground in Maidenhead gets plaque (bbc.com, from Oct. 2012)}. You can see a photo of the English Heritage blue-plaque displayed at Maidenhead’s York Road, in the illustration below.

Manager of Maidenhead United is Alan Devonshire (age 61), who was a midfielder at West Ham United (with 370 league appearances and 30 goals, from 1976 to 1990). In his second spell as Maidenhead manager, Devonshire has just led the club to to their highest level, with automatic promotion, to the 5th division, as the 2016-17 National League South champions. Maidenhead United were the leaders of the National League South for most of the 2016-17 season, but almost lost that lead to Ebbsfleet United down the stretch. Ebbsfleet had beaten beat Maidenhead 1-2 in front of 3.3 K at York Road in Maidenhead, in the penultimate match. But, the following week, thanks to a final-match-fixture versus an already-relegated Margate, Maidenhead won 0-4 and sealed promotion to the National League automatically.

In the process, Maidenhead saw their crowd-size more than double – from 482 per game in 2015-16, to 1,012 per game in 2016-17. Further below, you can see a photo of their manager, Devonshire, as well as a photo-and-caption of the 2016-17 National League South top scorer, Dave Tarpey, who ended up with an incredible 1.07-goals-per-game work-rate (44 goals in 41 league matches). The photo of Tarpey is of him celebrating with teammates and fans, after a spectacular goal in December 2016. Here is a video of Tarpey scoring that sweet goal…{Maidenhead United’s Dave Tarpey scores wondergoal (0:22 video uploaded by Proper Sport at youtube.com)}.
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Photo and image credits above –
Maidenhead Bridge, photo by Tom Bastin at File:Maidenhead Bridge (1).jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Action-shot [2011] of match at York Road, photo by Paul Paxford at flickr.com/paxie via pitchinvasion.net/a-year-in-non-league-football-photos [Jan. 2012]. Photo of UK historical plaque, by ChrisTheDude at File:YorkRoadplaque.jpg (en.wikipedia.org). Bell Street End, photo by Antti’s Football Scarves at saturday3.com/[york_road_maidenhead_united_18.08.2012]. Railway Stand (opened 2014), photo by Maidenhead United FC at footballgroundguide.com/leagues/conference/conference-south/maidenhead-united-york-road. Action-shot [April 2017], photo by Marc Keinch at pitchero.com/clubs/maidenheadunited/photos/[14 Apr. 2017 Maidenhead Utd 2-0 Concord Rangers]. Alan Devonshire, photo by PA at dailymail.co.uk/football. David Tarpey, photo unattributed at twitter.com/toptargets.

    Ebbsfleet United FC.

(Est. 1946 (as Gravesend & Northfleet FC). Northfleet, Kent (population: around 29,000/2011 figure). Northfleet is 25 miles (40 km) E of central London. Colours: Red shirts and White pants. Nickname: the Fleet. Manager: Daryl McMahon (age 33; born in Dublin, Ireland).

-From Kent Online.co.uk, Ebbsfleet United 2 Chelmsford City 1 National League South play-off final match report (by Steve Tervet on 13 May 2017 at kentonline.co.uk).
-Also from Kent Online.co.uk, Ebbsfleet United unveil further plans for Stonebridge Road as owners prepare for a Football League future (by Tom Acres on 14 March 2017 at kentonline.co.uk).

Ebbsfleet United are from Northfleet in northwestern Kent, which is on the south side of the Thames Estuary. Northfleet is located 25 miles east of central London, and just east of Dartford, Kent and the busy Dartford bridge/tunnel crossing there. This part of Kent is part of the High Speed 1 rail link to the Channel Tunnel and to Europe (at the Ebbsfleet International Railway Station/ see photos below).

This season [2017-18] will be Ebbsfleet’s 14th season in the 5th division. Previously Ebbsfleet had spent 13 seasons in the 5th division in three separate spells (1979-82 [the first 3 seasons of the 5th division], 2002-10 [an 8-season spell], and 2012-14 [a 2-season-spell]). They were relegated to the Conference South (now called the National League South) in April 2013. That point in time (early 2013) was right when the failed club-ownership venture known as MyFootballClub.com was winding down. Excerpt from Wikipedia…“Between 2008 and 2013, the club was owned by the web-based venture MyFootballClub, whose members voted on player transfers, budgets and ticket prices among other things instead of those decisions being made exclusively by the club’s management and staff as at most other clubs.” {excerpt from Ebbsfleet United F.C.}

Ebbsfleet United was established in 1946, from a merger between Gravesend United (est. 1893) and Northfleet United (est. 1890). They are known as the Fleet and wear red jerseys with white pants and trim. They play at Stonebridge Road, which abuts heavy industry (a shipping terminal and a metal refinery are nearby). Four years ago in 2013, following the end of the aforementioned web-based ownership experiment, Ebbsfleet United were bought by Kuwaiti investors fronted by new owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi (who is now Chairman of the club).

Now, with the new (and deep-pocketed) ownership, Ebbsfleet’s Stonebridge Road is currently under a comprehensive renovation and expansion, and all 4 sides of the ground are planned to be re-built. The first rebuilt stand, the new Main Stand (see it below in mid-construction), is slated for an opening at the start of the 2017-18 season, with the other 3 sides all set for similar refurbishment. The region is also seeing a regeneration, {see this: Green light for major Ebbsfleet redevelopment scheme (by Muhammad Aldalou on 22 May 2017 at insidermedia.com)}.

Ebbsfleet just missed out on promotion two seasons ago, losing the 2016 National League South play-off final to fellow Kent side Maidstone United. But in 2016-17, after narrowly missing out on automatic promotion, the 2nd-place-finishing Ebbsfleet went the extra step and won promotion in the play-offs, with a 2-1 win over Chelmsford City, on 13th May 2017. Before a solid 3.1-K-crowd at Stonebridge Road, in the 75th minute, Ebbsfleet MF Darren McQueen took an Andy Drury volleyed cross, and bundled the ball into the net, for the promotion-winning goal (see photos below).

Ebbsfleet had been drawing in the 1.1-K-range the last time they were competitive at this level (in 2011-12, when they finished in 14th place in the 5th division). The season they were last relegated (2012-13), they drew .8 K. Then they drew .9 K in the 6th division in both 2013-14 and in 2014-15, then drew a decent 1.2 K in 2015-16, and then Ebbsfleet increased their crowd-size a bit more to 1.3 K last season. Now, back in the 5th tier for 2017-18, and owing to the revitalisation of their ground, the Fleet will probably see their average attendance continue to incrementally rise, maybe to near 1.5 K (or maybe even higher, if they start the season well). I can’t confirm it, owing to the hard-to-find status of Non-League attendance figures from the 1979-to-2010 era, but if Ebbsfleet United do draw above 1.5 K this season, it will probably be their best-ever average attendance.
ebbsfleet-utd_promoted-2017_stonebridge-road_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Northfleet/Gravesend shoreline at Thames Estuary, photo by Clem Rutter at File:NorthfleetThames8810.JPG (commons.wikimedia.org). Ebbsfleet International Railway Station, photo by eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/stations/ebbsfleet-international. Train, photo by mattbuck at File:Ebbsfleet International railway station MMB 08 395004.jpg. Exterior of Stonebridge Road ground, photo by Clem Rutter at File:NorthfleetStadium8833.JPG (commons.wikimedia.org). New Main Stand [photo from early 2017], photo by Alan Woods at footballgroundguide.com/ebbsfleet-united-stonebridge-road. Interior shot of round [from 2014], photo by Joseph Gibbons at gibbos92.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/ebbsfleet-united-fc-stonebridge-road. Screenshots of 2nd goal in final (Darren McQueen from an assist by Andy Drury, images from Highlights – Ebbsfleet United vs Chelmsford City – Play-Off Final (video uploaded by Clarets TV at youtube.com). Darren McQueen winning goal, photo from TSG Photoshelter at tgsphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery/Ebbsfleet-United-vs-Chelmsford-City-13-05-17. Ebbsfleet captain Danny Kedwell and manager Daryl McMahon lift trophy, photo by Andy Payton at kentonline.co.uk.
___

-Thanks to the contributors at 2016–17 National League (en.wikipedia.org).
-Thanks to Nilfanion…Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org). Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Thanks to Soccerway for upper-division-Non-League attendance figures, uk.soccerway.com/national/england/conference-national.

June 19, 2017

Canadian Football League: CFL location-map for 2017, with 2016 attendance & titles-listed-by-team + photo of each of the 9 CFL venues.

Filed under: Canada,Canadian Football League — admin @ 12:28 pm

canadian-football-league_2017-map_attendance_titles-by-team_stadiums_post_d_.gif
Canadian Football League: CFL location-map for 2017, with 2016 attendance & titles-listed-by-team + photo of each of the 9 venues



By Bill Turianski on 19 June 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Teams…Canadian Football League/Teams;
-2017 CFL season (en.wikipedia.org).
-Official site…cfl.ca.
-Schedule, scores, standings, etc…flashscores.co.uk/american-football/canada/cfl/.
-Here is a great blog, Collecting Canadian Football (collectingcanadianfootball.blogspot.com).

The 2017 CFL season will be the 60th season since the CFL was founded, but the competition predates that by many decades, and teams in Canada have been competing for the Grey Cup title since 1909. As it says in Wikipedia, “The CFL was officially founded on January 19, 1958. The league was formed from a merger between the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union [Eastern Canada] founded in 1907 and the Western Interprovincial Football Union [Western Canada] founded in 1936.” {Excerpt from Canadian Football League (en.wikipedia.org).}

For most of its existence, and still today, the CFL has been comprised of 9 teams…
West Division: the BC Lions, the Calgary Stampeders, the Edmonton Eskimos, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
East Division: the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Toronto Argonauts, the Ottawa RedBlacks, the Montreal Alouettes.
The teams play a 20-game regular season, which spans from late June to mid-November; and the playoffs sees 6 of the teams compete for the Grey Cup title, which is held in a different venue each year. Last season saw the relatively new team the Ottawa RedBlacks (est. 2014) win their first Grey Cup title, defeating Calgary 39-33 at BMO Field in Toronto, on Sunday November 27, 2016. Ottawa will host the 2017 Grey Cup, to be played on Sunday the 26th of November.

In 2016, the CFL, overall, averaged 24,691 per game…
That 24,691 per game figure was almost exactly the same as in 2015 (just 46 per game lower than the 2015 overall average attendance of 24,737). The highest-drawing team in the CFL is usually the Edmonton Eskimos, with average crowds in the 30-32-K-range most seasons, but they never have a decent percent-capacity figure because the Eskimos play in the much too large Commonwealth Stadium (which was built for the Commonwealth Games in 1978, and was expanded in 1982, and currently has a capacity of 56.2 K, meaning the Eskimos play to over 24 thousand empty seats most games). But last year, the Saskatchewan Roughriders had the highest attendance, at 31.1 K. And because the Roughriders are about to move into their brand-new purpose-built stadium (Mosaic Stadium, capacity 33,000), Saskatchewan will probably have the highest attendance in 2017 as well. {See this, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_CFL_season#Saskatchewan_Roughriders_new_stadium.}

Toronto: the largest city in Canada, yet the home of the worst-drawing CFL team…
The CFL draws pretty well. Most teams draw easily above 20 K, the glaring exception being Toronto. And last season [2016], two teams – Ottawa and Hamilton – played to above 100-percent-capacity, while two other teams played to near-full-house-capacities (Saskatchewan at 93%, and Montreal at 87%). If you are new to the CFL, and are wondering why Toronto, the largest city by far in Canada, is home to the worst-drawing CFL team, well that is because a vast amount of sports fans in Toronto consider the CFL to be a bush-league organization that is beneath them. And a significant amount of people in Toronto think that a major World-Class city, such as Toronto, deserves major-league things…things like NFL franchises. They don’t know what they are missing, because, having attended CFL games myself, I am here to tell you that the CFL is a great league, with exciting games, offense-friendly rules, passionate fans, cool logos and uniforms, and, by-and-large, excellent venues that host affordable outings. But that is ignored by the majority of Toronto sports fans, and to many in Canada’s largest city, the priority is in attaining an NFL franchise, whether by hook or crook…Toronto has been trying to steal the NFL’s Buffalo Bills for years now. Hey Toronto: you are in Canada, not the United States. And your country already HAS a major-league pro football league. So get over yourselves and live with it. ‘Cuz the Buffalo Bills ain’t moving to Toronto. Maybe you should be more concerned with the major-league teams you already have, Toronto…because that hockey team you got, the one with the idiotic misspelling in their name – the ‘Leafs’ [sic] – they haven’t won a Stanley Cup title in over half a century. That doesn’t sound very major league to me.


Note on CFL titles… The CFL pretends that the Montreal Alouettes (II), who folded on June 24 1987, actually went into dormancy. They say this today, after the fact, even though the CFL front office back then didn’t say so at the time, when it was announced that the Montreal Alouettes franchise had folded, at a press conference, organized by the CFL itself. But now the CFL pretends that the CFL team the Baltimore Stallions, who, nine-and-a-half years later, moved to Montreal in 1996 and adopted the Alouettes name (right after the Stallions had became the first team ever from the USA to win a Grey Cup title, in 1995). What really happened was that the Baltimore Stallions ownership and front office and coaching staff and many Stallions players moved to Montreal as the organization which adopted the Alouettes name. And magically this franchise morphs into the original Montreal Alouettes. You know, like how the NFL’s Cleveland Browns of today, who were formed and stocked by an expansion draft in 1999, pretend they are the same franchise as the Cleveland Browns of 1995 who moved the whole squad to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Ravens of 1996. Historical revisionism, arbitrarily changing things after the fact to serve selfish and sentimental reasons, must be opposed. How come there are 3 seperate Ottawa CFL franchises, but Montreal gets to revive a dead franchise? Montreal gets to revive a dead franchise and that organization gets to pretend they never won a Grey Cup title in the US. This, after that franchise was pronounced dead, by the CFL itself, two days before the start of the 1987 CFL season. You can read more on this subject in my previous post on the CFL, which includes an editorial on the present-day Montreal Alouettes’ bogus claim to the 4 CFL titles won by the original Montreal Alouettes (I) (1961-81)…
(click on the following link)…
Canadian Football League: CFL location-map for 2015, with 2014 attendances, percent-capacities, and titles-listed-by-team./ Plus illustrations for the 3 new stadiums in the CFL (Ottawa, Hamilton, Winnipeg)./ Plus an editorial on the present-day Montreal Alouettes’ bogus claim to the 4 CFL titles won by the original Montreal Alouettes (I) (1961-81).
___
Photo and Image credits on map page -
-BC Lions/BC Place, photo from infrasave.com/case-studies/case-study-bc-place. jpg.
-Calgary Stampeders/McMahon Stadium, photo from stampeders.com/mcmahon. jpg.
-Edmonton Eskimos/The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium, photo unattributed from stockaerialphotos.com.
-Saskatchewan Roughriders/Mosaic Stadium, photo from leaderpost.com.
-Winnipeg Blue Bombers/Investors Group Field, image from screenshot of video at Ranking CFL Stadiums (video uploaded by WorldWideSportsStadiums at youtube.com).
-Hamilton Tiger-Cats/Tim Horton’s Field, photo by Moe Masoudi/Moetion Picture for The Globe and Mail at theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/the-high-cost-of-pan-am-what-legacy-will-hamiltons-new-stadium-leave-behind.
-Toronto Argonauts/BMO Field, photo by Thomas Makacek Photography via gensler.com/projects/bmo-field.
-Ottawa RedBlacks/TD Place Stadium, photo from Front Page Media Group via skyscrapercity.com/[thread: Ottawa - TD Place Stadium].
-Montreal Alouettes/Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, photo from en.montrealalouettes.com.

Thanks to all at the following links…
-Globe-map of Canada by: Aquarius.geomar.de at File:Canada (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank map of Canada by: S Tyx and Sémhur and Riba, at File:Blank map of Canada.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Provinces-map of Canada by E Pluribus Anthony at File:Political map of Canada.png.

-CLF teams’ helmet-illustrations from MG’s Helmets.com (8 ofthe 9 teams); new BC Lions helmet-illustrations from MG Helmets’ template, with new logo drawn in by NY_CFL_fan at boards.sportslogos.net/topic/108075-my-personal-continental-football-league-more-recent-champs. Thank you NY_CFL_fan, you saved me a big headache with that illustration!
-Helmet-and-dark-uniforms illustrations on lower-centre-of-map-page by: Cmm3 at each CFL team’s page at en.wikipedia, such as File:CFL MTL Jersey with alternate.png.
-Several CFL team logos were found at sportslogos.net/Canadian_Football_League.
-Updated Montreal helmet, texashelmets.com. jpg
-2015 & 2016 CFL teams’ attendance figures from stats.cfldb.ca/league/cfl/attendance/2016.

June 3, 2017

Independent leagues (unaffiliated minor league baseball): map and chart of the 38 Independent leagues teams in USA & Canada from the top 4 Independent leagues which reported attendance figures (American Association, Atlantic League, Frontier League, Can-Am League)./ +CHS Field, the home of the St. Paul Saints, the best-drawing Independent baseball club in North America.

Filed under: Baseball,Baseball: Independent Leagues — admin @ 2:00 pm

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Independent leagues: 2016 attendance-map, 38 Independent leagues teams in USA & Canada (American Association, Atlantic League, Can-Am League, Frontier League)



By Bill Turianski on 23 April 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-2016 Independent Attendance by Average (by Kevin Reichard on September 19, 2016 at ballparkdigest.com).
-Independent baseball league/Current_leagues (en.wikipedia.org).
-independentbaseball.net.
-twitter.com/independentball.

    Major League Baseball, and by extension, Organized Baseball, has an antitrust exemption…

Organized Baseball is: the 30 Major League Baseball teams {2016 MLB paid-atttendance map}, plus all the 234 affiliated minor league baseball teams [aka MiLB teams], which the MLB teams co-fund and use as developmental teams for their rosters; plus the 16 unaffiliated Mexican League teams / {my latest map of the Mexican League}.

Independent leagues are, by definition, completely comprised of pro baseball teams which operate outside of Organized Baseball.
The Independent leagues are technically not even really minor leagues…but everybody considers them as such, and most observers within the world of pro baseball consider them to be equivalent to a caliber of play between Double-A and Advanced-A level minor league ball [ie, a caliber of skill between two and three levels below the Major Leagues]).

Major League Baseball (MLB) has antitrust exemption, dating back to a 1922 ruling that centered on the suit brought about by the owners of the defunct 1914 Federal League team the Baltimore Terrapins {see this article, Baseball’s Con Game – How did America’s pastime get an antitrust exemption?, from 2002 by David Greenberg at slate.com}. Basically, in 1922, the Supreme Court justices maintained – naively – that Major League Baseball is a game, not a business. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that “personal effort, not related to production, is not a subject of commerce”. What? Personal effort (ie, major league baseball players competing against each other) sure is related to production…just look at all that ticket revenue that MLB produces. Just look at those lucrative television contracts that MLB gets. Where did all that revenue come from? It came from personal effort (major league baseball players competing against each other). As Kavitha Dividson remarked at Bloomberg.com, “Nine decades later, the notion that professional baseball wouldn’t be considered commerce seems rather quaint. Not only is the “personal effort” of Major Leaguers an $8 billion product in and of itself, the lucrative national broadcast deals and growing audience for online streaming clearly place a significant chunk of business operations across state lines. Professional baseball can no longer be considered a local business, if it really ever could have been.” {Quote from, Antitrust Exemption Holds Baseball Back a Century (by Kavitha Davidson on April 8 2014 at bloomberg.com).}

There are many ways that this antitrust exemption affects things in the world of pro baseball. One is how the Oakland A’s franchise continues to get screwed by MLB and the San Francisco Giants…because the SF franchise owns the territory of San Jose, and MLB and the Giants have succeeded – in courts – from preventing the A’s from moving to San Jose. {See this: U.S. Supreme Court rejects San Jose’s bid to lure Oakland A’s (by Bob Egelko from Oct. 2015 at sfgate.com).} One of the latest ways the MLB antitrust exemption affects people within Organized Baseball is this: MLB scouts maintaining that they are being exploited {see this, Scouts Tell 2nd Circ. MLB Antitrust Exemption Doesn’t Apply (by Zachary Zagger on Jan. 23 2017 at law360.com)}. But here, I am only going to talk about how MLB’s antitrust exemption has inadvertently led to the success of most of the highest-drawing Independent leagues teams.

    Independent leagues (unaffiliated minor league baseball)…

Independent leagues have no affiliation with Major League Baseball – no player development contracts means the Independent leagues teams must pay for personnel and equipment. On the other hand, affiliated minor league teams have their WHOLE PAYROLL paid for them, by the Major League team…as it says in Wikipedia’s page on affiliated minor league baseball…“Generally, the parent major league club pays the salaries and benefits of uniformed personnel (players and coaches) and bats and balls, while the minor league club pays for in-season travel and other operational expenses…” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor League Baseball/Current system).

Independent leagues exist because MLB/Organized Baseball can actually ignore market forces…
There is essentially one reason why an Independent leagues team springs up in any given place. That is because the the ownership group in the municipality in question was unable to to secure an affiliated minor league team within Organized Baseball. With a few exceptions (the most prominent exception being the Sugar Land Skeeters of Greater Houston, TX), the highest-drawing of these Independent teams are located in the Upper Midwest and in the Northeast (and to a lesser extent, in Canada). Generally, here and there, in Organized Baseball, there are poorly-drawing teams within the affiliated leagues above the Short-Season-A and the Rookie levels (like two A-level teams in the Midwest League, in Burlington, Iowa and in Beloit, Wisconsin, both of whom draw below 1.2 K in a league which drew 3.8 overall in 2016). But the real dead weight with respect to bad drawing mid-and-upper-level-MiLB teams can be found in two warm-weather locales. You see, MLB/MiLB/Organized Baseball has two leagues that are, attendance-wise, real under-performers. Two leagues that are, to put it bluntly, a waste of space. I am speaking of two of the three Advanced-A-level leagues: the California League and the Florida State League. Year in, year out, these two leagues are chock full of teams that draw abysmally, especially since both regions have considerable populations. Last season [2016], 7 of the 10 California League teams drew below 2.5 K. And last season, 11 of the 12 Florida State League teams drew below the even lower bar of just 2.0 K. That is really bad attendance for a product that is just 3 levels below the Major Leagues. And this is happening in regions where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people live nearby. Actually, most of those bad drawing teams in the California and Florida Advance-A-level leagues have over a million people within an hours’ drive. And they still draw poorly.

How pathetic is the attendance in the California League and Florida State League?
Look at it this way…
-California League overall average attendance in 2016 was 2.1 K…worse than 23 Independent leagues teams.
-Florida State League overall average attendance in 2016 was 1.3 K…worse than 34 Independent leagues teams.
{Source of figures in last two paragraphs: 2016 Affiliated Attendance by League (ballparkdigest.com).}

Meanwhile, there are municipalities all over the Upper Midwest and the Northeast that could EASILY maintain successful affiliated minor league teams. But for one legitimate reason (Spring training ballparks/facilities in Florida that are already there anyways), and one bogus reason (the hidebound notion that California deserves an affiliated minor league of its own), MLB/Organized Baseball – thanks to its antitrust exemption – can afford to ignore market forces. And ignore the fact that there are scores of minor league franchises which would have far better support…if they relocated out of Florida and California. And into Midwestern and Northeastern towns which are dying for affiliated minor league ball.

So, though ignored by Organized Baseball, Independent leagues teams, located in places off-the-beaten-track, thrive. Like in Winnipeg, Manitoba; and in Fargo, North Dakota; and in Lincoln, Nebraska; and in Marion, southern Illinois. And Independent leagues teams located very near to MLB franchises? They really thrive (see next 3 paragraphs). If the vast majority of the fine folks of Florida and California could not give a rat’s ass about a great and affordable product (affiliated minor league baseball), then why the heck don’t these dead-weight teams move to where people would appreciate such a great product? Successful Independent leagues teams prove that there are an abundance of locales which Organized Baseball has ignored, thanks to its de-facto-monopoly status. And don’t forget, these are Independent teams with basically no brand-name drawing-power. Yet they are outdrawing teams – affiliated minor league ball clubs – that are part of world-renowned brand-names (the Major League teams).

The positive side of no MLB affiliation…
The positive side of no MLB affiliation means Independent leagues franchises are not bound to abide by MLB’s onerous territorial mandates. Mandates which MLB/Organized Baseball can only enforce because of their antitrust exemption. For example, MLB allows no affiliated minor league baseball teams to be located in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, NY (ie, Long Island) [to protect the NY Mets]; as well as no other affiliated teams in southeast-central-Pennsylvania [to protect the Philadelphia Phillies as well as the affiliated minor league baseball teams the Reading Fightin Phils and the Harrisburg Senators]. So Independent leagues teams have sprung up in those 2 areas and have done very well drawing customers [the Long Island Ducks in Nassau County, New York; the York Revolution and the Lancaster Barnstormers in south-eastern Pennsylvania].

Basically, Organized Baseball usually does not put its affiliated minor league teams within the 75-mile-radius territory of the 30 MLB teams – with a few exceptions such as in: Tacoma, WA; Reading, PA; Toledo, OH; San Jose, CA; Tampa and Clearwater, FL; and, recently (in the last 20 years), in Dayton, OH; and in Bridgewater Township, NJ; and in Brooklyn, NY and in Staten Island, NY. But Independent leagues teams, again, can ignore MLB’s territorial edicts. Hence the (successful) Independent leagues teams such as…the St. Paul Saints of St. Paul, MN (right next to MLB’s Minnesota Twins); and the Kansas City T-Bones of Kansas City, KS (right next to MLB’s Kansas City Royals); and the Sugar Land Skeeters of Greater Houston, TX (right next to MLB’s Houston Astros); and the Somerset Patriots of Somerset County, NJ (relatively close by to MLB’s New York Yankees and New York Mets).

It is no coincidence that 5 of the 6 the top-drawing Independent teams would not be allowed to exist within Organized Baseball…
Five of the six highest-drawing Independent leagues teams (which all draw above 4-K-per-game) are located in places very near to MLB teams (ie, well within the 75-mile-radius protected areas [thanks to their antitrust exemption], which MLB/Organized Baseball can only enforce with respect to affiliated minor league teams):
1). St. Paul Saints: drawing 8.4 K/ St. Paul, MN [Minnesota Twins' territory].
2). Long Island Ducks: 5.2 K/ Nassau County, Long Island, NY [NY Mets' territory].
3). Somerset Patriots: 5.2 K/ Somerset County, NJ. [NY Yankees'/NY Mets' territory].
4). Winnipeg Goldeyes: 4.8 K/ Winnipeg, MB, Canada [no MLB team nearby].
5). Sugar Land Skeeters: 4.4 K/ Sugar Land, TX [Houston Astros' territory].
6). Kansas City T-Bones: 4.2 K/ Kansas City, KS [Kansas City Royals' territory].

The biggest problem Independent leagues teams face is overhead…
Again, Independent leagues teams get zero support from MLB/Organized Baseball, whereas affiliated minor league teams (being part of MLB/Organized Baseball) basically get their whole teams’ salaries (and some of their gear) paid for. So Independent leagues teams live a precarious financial existence, and are very prone to becoming defunct, and are almost completely reliant on ticket revenue and concessions to remain in business. In fact, last season [2016], the two lowest-drawing teams, of the four Independent leagues featured on the map here, both went out of business (Joplin and Laredo/see next section below). The following article from the Wall Street Journal explores just how precarious Independent baseball teams’ finances are…
-{How Independent Baseball Teams Make Money. Or Don’t. For unaffiliated teams, it takes gimmicks, cost cutting and a lot of luck (by Andrew Beaton on Aug. 24 2105 from wsj.com)}.

    What the map-and-chart of Independent ball clubs shows…

The main map is of USA and Canada; the inset-map is of the Northeast of the US. The two maps show the 38 Independent leagues teams in the USA & Canada which reported attendances figures (from home regular season games) in 2016, and which drew over 500-per-game…plus 2 new teams (see next paragraph). The 500-per-game cut-off is why I did not include the 4 teams from the Pacific Association, whose 4 teams only drew between 437 and 69 per game. The fact that some Independent league do not report attendance figures is why the map-and-chart does not feature teams from 3 other Independent leagues…the Empire League, the Pecos League, and the United Shore League {for info on those leagues, see this, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_baseball_league#Current_leagues}. If you are wondering why those three Independent leagues don’t report attendance figures, well, it is almost certainly because those teams in those leagues do not draw very well.

On the map, two of the teams [from the American Association] are now defunct: the Joplin Blasters, and the Laredo Lemurs. It is no coincidence that those two teams happened to be the two worst-drawing teams in the 4 leagues that the map depicts. Because, as mentioned earlier, Independent leagues teams basically live or die by their attendance figures, that being their only real source of revenue. Those two teams have been replaced in the American Association by one expansion team and one team that has moved over from the aforementioned Pecos League. The brand-new franchise for 2017 is the Cleburne Railroaders of Greater Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX. The franchise that has jumped over from the Pecos League to the American Association is the Salina Stockade (of Salina, Kansas). And finally, there is one franchise, in the Atlantic League, that has been recently relocated – the New Britain Bees (est. 2016) [of Greater Hartford, CT], who were the Camden Riversharks previously, but moved from Camden, NJ [Greater Philadelphia, PA] to Connecticut after the 2015 season. Here is an example of an Independent team filling the gap left by the lack of an affiliated MiLB team, because New Britain, CT had a Double-A MiLB team (the New Britain Rock Cats), until that franchise moved 12 miles up the road to Hartford, as the Hartford YardGoats, in 2016 {here’s a Double-A [affiliated MiLB] map I made in 2016, which mentions the new Hartford ball club}. That Camden-NJ-to-New-Britain-CT-franchise-move is shown on the map-page in the inset-map of the Northeast US.

The teams on the map have their primary cap-logo shown, as well as a circle in their team-colors.
The team-color-circles are sized to depict each team’s drawing-power (the higher their average attendance is, the larger their team-colors-circle is).

At the right-hand side of the map page is a chart that lists 5 things:
A). Teams’ attendance-rank within Independent leagues baseball.
B). The Independent league which each team is in.
C). The teams’ 2016 average attendance…regular season home games/ source: 2016 Independent Attendance by Average (ballparkdigest.com).
D). Teams’ year-of-establishment [first season they played].
E). Teams’ City-and-State-location (plus County-location, if that is part of any given team’s name).

The teams on the map are from the following 4 Independent leagues…
-American Association [American Association of Independent Professional Baseball], all 12 teams, including 2 defunct teams (see 3 paragraphs above), and including 2 new teams: the Cleburne Railroaders (est. 2017) [of Greater Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX], and the Salina Stockade (est. 2016/former Pecos League team) [of Salina, KS]). (American Association est. 2006/ 12 teams in 2017/ range: Plains States (Dakotas to Texas); one team from Indiana; one team from Manitoba, Canada.) 2016 overall average attendance: 3,156.
-Atlantic League [Atlantic League Professional Baseball], all 8 teams (including the 2016-relocated-team the New Britain Bees [of Greater Hartford, CT]). (Atlantic League est. 1998/ 8 teams in 2017/ range: Northeast; and Greater Houston, Texas.) 2016 overall average attendance: 3,939 [best-drawing Independent league].
-Frontier League, all 12 teams. (Frontier League est. 1993/ 12 teams in 2017/ range: half the teams [6 teams] from Illinois; one team each from: Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, western Pennsylvania.) 2016 overall average attendance: 2,390.
-Can-Am League [Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball], all 6 teams. (Can-Am League est. 2005, but from 2012-15 it played an interlocking schedule with the American Association/ 6 teams in 2017/ range: 2 teams in New Jersey, one team in New York; 2 teams in Quebec, Canada, one team in Ontario, Canada. 2016 overall average attendance: 2,241.

[Note: to see other high-drawing Independent leagues teams (illustrations for 5 other teams), see my earlier post on Independent leagues baseball (from 2014).]

    The St. Paul Saints – the highest-drawing Independent baseball team (in 2015 and in 2016)…

In 2015, after 22 years at the inadequate Midway Stadium, the St. Paul Saints moved into CHS Field in the Lowerton district of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, in area once full of industrial warehouses. The ballpark was opened on May 21, 2015. It was built with state funding of $25 million, combined with a $47.5 million outlay shared by the city of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Saints. The venue is owned by the city of Saint Paul, and is operated by the St. Paul Saints. It has a fixed-seating-capacity of 7,210. Plus, there is around another 1,000-or-so extra-capacity seating: on both a grass berm behind the left-field fence (see second-to-last photo below), and in bar-style seats all along the sprawling street-level concourse which makes up the main part of the stadium-structure (see 4th, 5th, and 6th photos, below). The stadium is breathtaking in a very understated way, with its light-steel-frame pavilion, its open-air layout, and its stunning full-length red-cedar-ceiling-canopy. The architect, Julie Snow, intended for the ballpark’s design to take a warehouse and “turn it inside-out” (see article linked to at the end of this paragraph, for more on that). The new venue is a remarkable step up from the ramshackle Midway Stadium, which co-owner Mike Veeck used to “boast” was “the ugliest ballpark in America!” {quote from the Wikipedia page, here}. Mike Veeck, son of legendary baseball-owner-and-maverick Bill Veeck, Jr., is co-owner of the St. Paul Saints, along with actor/comedian Bill Murray, and others who make up the The Goldklang Group, a consortium who have a controlling interest in 4 minor league teams. Mike Veeck’s motto is “Fun is Good”, which is a sentiment I think very few could argue with. Here is an article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, on the opening day in May 2015 at the CHS Field in St. Paul, If ‘Fun is good,’ opening a new ballpark’s way better (by Jim Souhan at startribune.com).

The St. Paul Saints had long been a top-draw in Independent leagues baseball, and in their last season at Midway Stadium (in 2014), the Saints had the third-best average attendance in the Independent leagues, at 5.2 K, behind fellow-American-Association team the Winnipeg Goldeyes (at 5.6 K), and the Atlantic League team the Sugar Land Skeeters (at 5.5 K). {2014 Independent attendances, baseballpilgrimages.com/ [2014 Independent leagues].} But since their new ballpark opened, the St. Paul Saints have now become the best-drawing Independent ball club, by a considerable margin, of over 3 thousand per game. The Saints drew 8.0 K in the ballpark’s first year (in 2015). That meant they played to over eight-hundred-standing-room-only each game (8.0 K in a 7.2-K-seated-capacity stadium). {2015 Independent leagues attendance, ballparkdigest.com [2015 Independent leagues].} Then last year, word-of-mouth must have spread through the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, about the sweet new venue in town…because the Saints drew even better in 2016, at 8.4 K (which is an astounding 1.2-K-above-seated-capacity).

The second-best and third-best-drawing Independent leagues teams in 2016 were two Atlantic League teams from Greater New York City…the Long Island Ducks (est. 2000), of Central Islip, NY, at 5.2 K, and the Somerset Patriots (est. 1998), of Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, NJ, who also drew 5.2 K. {2016 Independent leagues attendance, ballparkdigest.com/ [2015 Independent leagues].} {Again, if you would like to see illustrations for the Long Island Ducks and the Somerset Patriots (and 3 of the other best-drawing Independent leagues teams, click here.}

Below: CHS Field, home of the St. Paul Saints, the best-drawing Independent baseball club in North America…
independent-leagues_highest-drawing-team-2016_st-paul-saints_chs-field_st-paul_mn_r_.gif"
Photo and Image credits above –
Saints ball cap, photo from St. Paul Saints team store, saints-crossing.com. Aerial shot of ballpark, photo by John Autey/Pioneer Prees via twincities.com/2016/05/07/photos-the-twin-cities-from-the-air. Exterior shot of main entrance, photo by snowkreilich.com/work/chs-field. Photo of main entrance on opening day, photo by St Paul Saints at saintsbaseball.com/the-saints-experience/2017-schedule. Interior shot of concourse (empty), photo by Paul Crosby via aia-mn.org/chs-field. Interior shots of concourse during a game-day, photos by hsnowkreilich.com/work/chs-field. Shot of Saints players warming up with main stand in background, photo by snowkreilich.com/work/chs-field. Photo of outfield lawn seating, photo by CHS Field via postbulletin.com/chs-field-combines-art-baseball-in-st-paul. Shot of full-capacity-crowd at sunset, photo by Paul Crosby at archdaily.com/chs-field-snow-kreilich-architects.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
Some logos on the map page are from photos…
-Schaumburg Boomers cap logo, from photo at: boomersbaseball.com/fanzone/news/2013/288/boomers-end-of-season-clearance-sale/.
-Sugar Land Skeeters cap logo, from photo at: cdn3.volusion.com/zvscs.sfcdt/v/vspfiles/photos/OC100-1.jpg.
-Winnipeg Goldeyes cap logo, from photo at: pinterest.com/pin/384987468116306796/.

-Thanks to NuclearVacuum, at Wikimedia Commons, for the base map (blank map) of North America, at ‘File:BlankMap-North America-Subdivisions.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Thanks to the contributors at Independent baseball/Current leagues (en.wikipedia.org).

May 27, 2017

Canadian Hockey League: 2017-18 CHL location-map, including 2016-17 attendance chart with titles listed.

chl_2017-18_location-map_2016-17_attendance-chart_for_whl_ohl_qmjhl_60-teams_w-titles_post_e_.gif
CHL location-map with 2016-17 attendance chart





By Bill Turianski on 27 May 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-CHL official site, chl.ca [live scores at top banner]
-Canadian Hockey League (en.wikipedia.org),

Links for 2016-17 attendances (home regular season) (from HockeyDatabase.com)…
-Ontario Hockey League 2016-17 Attendance Graph.
-Quebec Major Junior Hockey League 2016-17 Attendance Graph.
-Western Hockey League 2016-17 Attendance Graph.


Best percent-capacity figures in the CHL in 2016-17…
Below are the 12 teams in the CHL that were best at filling their arena, in 2016-17. (Best Percent-Capacity, or: Average Attendance divided-by Seated Capacity.) 7 of these teams are in the OHL. 3 of these teams are in the WHL. 2 of these teams are in the QMJHL. The top 2 played to SRO (standing-room-only)…the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL, and the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.
#1). Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL): 103.6 percent-capacity (2,228 per game in their 2,150-capacity arena [ie, 78-standing-room-only-customers-per-game]).
#2). Oshawa Generals (OHL): 100.5 percent-capacity (5,209 per game in their 5,180-capacity arena [ie, 29-standing-room-only-customers-per-game]).
#3). London Knights (OHL): 99.5 percent-capacity (9,003 per game in their 9,046-capacity arena).
#4). Kitchener Rangers (OHL): 98.3 percent-capacity (7,015 per game in their 7,131-capacity arena).
#5). Kelowna Rockets (WHL): 93.7 percent-capacity (5,162 per game in their 5,507-capacity arena).
#6). Niagara IceDogs (OHL): 90.6 percent-capacity (4,804 per game in their 5,300-capacity arena).
#7). Barrie Colts (OHL): 88.4 percent-capacity (3,709 per game in their 4,195-capacity arena).
#8). Guelph Storm (OHL): 86.1 percent-capacity (4,063 per game in their 4,715-capacity arena).
#9). Shawingan Cataractes (QMJHL): 85.9 percent-capacity (3,545 per game in their 4,125-capacity arena).
#10). Regina Pats (WHL): 84.1 percent-capacity (5,456 per game in their 6,484-capacity arena).
#11). Owen Sound Attack (OHL): 82.8 percent-capacity (2,898 per game in their 3,500-capacity arena).
#12). Prince Albert Raiders (WHL): 82.6 percent-capacity (2,133 per game in their 2,580-capacity arena).
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-List of Memorial Cup champions/Tournament appearances by current CHL teams.
-WHL/ Ed Chynoweth Cup.
-OHL/ J. Ross Robertson Cup.
-QMJHL/ President’s Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-Hockey Data Base.com.

May 17, 2017

2017 CHL Memorial Cup tournament (in Windsor, Ontario/ May 19 to May 28) – the 4 teams: Windsor Spitfires (host team), Erie Otters (OHL), Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL), Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL): photo-illustrations with standout players in 2016-17.

Filed under: Canada,Hockey — admin @ 7:39 pm

By Bill Turianski on 17 May 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-2017 CHL Memorial Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-CHL official site, chl.ca.

Windsor, Ontario will host the 2017 Memorial Cup…
The 2017 Memorial Cup tournament will be held at the 6,450-capacity WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario, with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires the host-team. Windsor is just across the border from Detroit, Michigan {see illustration below}. The tournament will run from May 19th to May 28th, 2017. Here is a preview, from the Hockey Writers.com,
2017 Memorial Cup Teams Preview (by David Jewell on Wednesday May 17 2017 at thehockeywriters.com).

    the 4 teams that have qualified for the 2017 CHL Memorial Cup tournament…
    Windsor Spitfires (host team) , Erie Otters (OHL), Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL), Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)…

Host team: Windsor Spitfires…
Windsor Spitfires, host of 2017 CHL Memorial Cup tournament…
windsor-spitfires_2017-memorial-cup_wfcu-centre_r_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Windsor Spitfires logos/info via sportslogos.net/Windsor_Spitfires.
Windsor home jersey, illustration from sportslogos.net/Windsor_Spitfires. Night-time shot of downtown Windsor with Detroit skyline in background, photo by Owen Wolter at flickr.com via windsorite.ca. View of Windsor skyline, photo by Tim Fraser/Windsor Star via windsorstar.com. Exterior-shot of WFCU Centre, photo from citywindsor.ca. Interior-shot of WFCU Centre [ca. 2009], photo by Kevin Jordan at ohlarenaguide.com/spitfires.
Players…Jeremy Bracco, photo by Tim Jarrold at inplaymagazine.com/windsor-spitfires-vs-saginaw-spirit-february-23 [2017]. Mikhail Sergachev, photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images via gettyimages.com. Michael DiPietro, photo by Jason Kryk/Windsor Star at windsorstar.com/hockey.

Erie Otters (OHL champions in 2017).
From The Hockey Writers.com, Celebrating the Erie Otters’ OHL Championship (by Mark Scheg on May 13 2017, at thehockeywriters.com).
erie-otters_2017-ohl-champions__2017-memorial-cup_i_.gif
Otters’ jersey illustration, from sportslogos.net/Erie_Otters. Erie (aerial shot), unattributed at pinterest.com. Erie Insurance Arena, photo from goerie.com jpg. Game-action photo, by MountaindewPSU at aviewfrommyseat.com/Erie+Insurance+Arena/section-119/row-E/seat-2.
Players: Dylan Strome-3AZ, photo by Terry Wilson/OHL via sportsnet.ca. Alex DeBrincat-39Chi, photo by Keith Dotson/OHL at ontariohockeyleague.com jpg. Taylor Raddysh-58Tam, photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images North America via zimbio.com. Anthony Cirelli-72TB, photo by Claus Anderson at gettyimages.com. Darren Raddysh-un, photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images via ohlwriters.me jpg. Warren Foegele, photo by Dave Mead Photography via ontariohockeyleague.com. On-ice post-game celebration, photo by Dan Hickling/OHL Images via ohlwriters.me. Anthony Cirelli holds Robertson Trophy aloft, photo by Greg Wohlford/ETN at goerie.com/sports/champions-otters-win-ohl-title-on-cirellis-ot-goal. Erie players celebratory pose, photo by Dan Hickling/OHL Images via chl.ca/erie-otters-are-2017-ohl-champions jpg.




Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL champions in 2017).
From CHL.ca, Saint John Sea Dogs are 2017 QMJHL Champions (chl.ca on May 11 2017).
saint-john-seadogs_2017-memorial-cup_n_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Sea Dogs jersey, photo from saintjohnseadogs.com/adult-replica-jersey-blue; illustration from sportslogos.net/Saint_John_Sea_Dogs. Saint John near arena, photo by Jaroslaw Binczarowski File:Stjohnpanoramo.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Harbour Station, photo by Andrew Touchakis Photography from facebook.com/Harbour-Station. Saint John skyline at twilight, photo by DDD DDD~commonswiki at File:Saint_John,_NB,_skyline_at_dusk5.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Players: Mathieu Joseph, photo from sjseadogs.com. Matthew Highmore, photo by François Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images North America via zimbio.com.
Thomas Chabot , photo unattributed at stationnation.blogspot.com. Callum Booth, photo from twitter.com/SJSeaDogs. Team photo after title-win, photo by Vincent Ethier/LHJMQ Média at theqmjhl.ca/sea-dogs-crowned-presidents-cup-champs-again.

Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL champions in 2017).
From the Seattle Times, Seattle Thunderbirds beat Regina in OT to take WHL title (seattletimes.com/sports on May 14 2017).
seattle-thunderbirds_showare-center_2017-whl-champions__2017-memorial-cup_m_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Thunderbirds’ jersey illustration, from sportslogos.net/Seattle_Thunderbirds.
Aerial shot of Kent, WA with Mt. Rainier in background, photo from City of Kent, Washington at Linkedin.com. ShoWare Center, two exterior-shots, photos by Lara Swimmer at djc.com.
Players: Keegan Kolesar, photo by Doug Westcott via eliteprospects.com. Mathew Barzal, photo unattributed at alchetron.com/Mathew-Barzal. Ethan Bear, photo from seattlethunderbirds.com/ethan-bear-named-chl-player-of-the-week.Carl Stankowski, photo from seattlethunderbirds.com. Alexander True scoring winner in OT, photo by Keith Hershmiller at kentreporter.com/thunderbirds-rally-capture-first-whl-crown-with-dramatic-ot-win-at-regina. On-ice celebration, photo by Troy Fleece/Regina Leader-Post via seattletimes.com/sports/seattle-thunderbirds-beat-regina-in-ot-to-take-whl-title.

___
Thanks to the contributors at the following limks…
- Western Hockey League;
-Ontario Hockey League;
-Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
-Canadian metro-areas.
-USA metro-areas (en.wikipedia.org).
-Thanks to The Hockey Writers.com site, now on my blogroll, at thehockeywriters.com.
-Thanks to the fine site known as Elite Prospects.com (Hockey Prospects), for player info…eliteprospects.com.

May 5, 2017

Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2017 location-map, with map showing all venues (17 venues) for 2017 AFL season; plus 2016 attendance figures & titles list./+ Illustration for the 2016 Grand Final champions – Western Bulldogs.

Filed under: Australia,Australian Rules Football — admin @ 12:20 pm

australian-rules-football_2017-afl_location-map_stadiums_2016-attendance_titles_post_c_.gif
Australian rules football: Australian Football League (AFL), 2017 location-map, with with map showing all venues for 2017 AFL season; plus 2016 attendance figures & titles list



By Bill Turianski on 5 May 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-AFL official site
-2017 AFL season (en.wikipedia.org).
-theroar.com.au/aussie-rules.
-Aussie rules scores/fixtures/ladder, etc..scorespro.com/aussie-rules.
-If you are new to Aussie rules football and would like to see an explanation of the rules, and/or a brief thumbnail-history of the AFL, you can see all that on my first map-and-post on the subject, here:
[from April 2015] Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2015 location-map with: rules (in general), clubs-history-chart, and chart of 2014 attendances with titles listed./ Plus: 2014 champions the Hawthorn Hawks.

    2016 Grand Final champions – Western Bulldogs: their second Premiership (title) and first title in 62 years…

australia_afl_2016-grand-final_western-bulldogs_89-67_sydney-swans_jason_johannisen_tom-boyd_liam-picken_tory-dickson_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Jason Johannisen, photo by Tim Carrafa at heraldsun.com.au/sport. Tom Boyd, photo by Getty Images via pinterest.com. Liam Picken, photo by Graham Denholm/Fairfax Media via standard.net.au. Tory Dickson, photo by Alex Coppel at theaustralian.com.au/sport. Shot of clinching goal celebration, photo by Phil Hillyard at heraldsun.com.au/sport.

    Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2017 location-map, with map showing all venues for 2017 AFL season; plus 2016 attendance figures & titles list.

2017 AFL, location-map with titles chart & attendances…
The main map shows all the venues for the 2017 season (17 venues), plus of course the 18 AFL teams’ crests and their primary-locations. At the far-upper left of the map-page is a small map showing the venue-location in Shanghai, China (see 3 paragraphs below). [Note: if you are confused why the Wikipedia page for the AFL currently shows there being 16 venues (and not 17 venues) for the 2017 AFL season, that is because the (recently-renovated) venue in Ballarat, Victoria is not included there...and the Western Bulldogs will be in fact playing one of their home games there (at the 11-K-capacity Eureka Statium), this season (on 19 August, 2017).]

On the upper-right-hand-side is a chart of all the AFL teams, arranged by titles. The chart lists the 6 following items for each team…

A). Club colours, crest & jersey-pattern.
B). Premiers (titles), with year of last premiership. The most-titled clubs in the AFL are the Essendon Bombers and the Carlton Blues, both of whom have won 16 Premiers (but neither has been AFL champion since 2000).
C). Australian state that the team is located in (10 teams from Victoria; and 2 teams each from: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia).
D). Year-of-establishment as an AFL team (with Melbourne-to-Sydney franchise-move [of 1981-82] noted).
E). Seasons in the VFL/AFL [2017 will be the 121st season of the VFL/AFL).
F). Premiers-per-season percentage [Premiers (Titles) divided by seasons]. The best percentage is owned by the Brisbane Lions (who have won a Premier every 6.67 seasons) followed by the Hawthorn Hawks (a Premier won every 7.14 seasons), then the Essendon Bombers (a Premier won every 7.37 seasons), then the Carlton Blues (a Premier won every 7.5 seasons), then the Collingwood Magpies (a Premier won every 8 seasons).

Since its founding in 1897, the VFL/AFL has played regular-season matches at 42 different venues…
From the Australian Football League page at Wikipedia…“Throughout the history of the VFL/AFL, there have been a total of 42 different grounds used…/…The largest capacity ground in use is the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which has a capacity of over 100,000 people, and hosts the Grand Final each year. The MCG is shared by five [of the 10 Melbourne] teams as a home ground, whilst the other grounds used as home venues by multiple teams are Docklands Stadium in Melbourne [four of the 10 Melbourne teams primarily], Adelaide Oval in Adelaide [both Adelaide-based teams], and Subiaco Oval in Perth [both Perth-based teams]. The AFL has had exclusive ownership of Docklands Stadium (commercially known as Etihad Stadium) since late 2016.” (excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/Australian Football League/Venues).

Alternate venues for the 2017 AFL regular season…
I have expanded the original location-map I made 2 years ago by including all venues – 17 venues – that will host regular-season games in the 2017 AFL season. (You can also see 16 of the 17 venues at the following link at Wikipedia: venues used during the 2017 AFL season.) Included in that list of venues is a stadium in Shanghai, China: the 25,000-capacity Jiangwan Stadium, which will be re-configured to host Aussie rules football with a temporary-15-K-capacity, and will host a regular-season AFL match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Gold Coast Suns, on 14 May 2017.
-See this, Port, Suns to face off in Shanghai in round eight clash (by Dinny Navaratnam on 16 Oct. 2016, from afl.com.au).
-Also see this, Beating NFL and NBA to the punch: Port Adelaide bring real AFL deal to Shanghai (by Sam Agars on 3 Feb. 2017, from the South China Morning Post at scmp.com).

Aside from AFL regular-season games played previously in New Zealand, this will be the AFL’s first overseas regular-season match [ie, outside of Austalasia]. And, as pointed out in the article from the South China Morning Post linked-to above, the AFL match in Shanghai in May 2017 will be the first regular-season game played in China by any foreign professional league. In other words, the Australian Football League has beaten the NFL and the NBA (and the Premier League, for that matter), in being the first foreign major league to play a regular season game in the potentially-vastly-lucrative market that is China.

Many AFL teams regularly play matches outside of their home venues…

The Hawthorn Hawks and the North Melbourne Kangaroos both play a considerable percentage of their home regular-season games in the State of Tasmania (which is the southern-most of the 6 Australian States, and is an island located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Australian mainland). For 17 years now (since 2001), the Hawthorne Hawks have played some of their regular-season home matches in Launceston, Tasmania (which has a population of only around 86,000). There, Hawthorn play at York Park [aka the University of Tasmania Stadium], which has a capacity of 21,000. These days Hawthorn play four of their eleven home regular-season matches there. If Hawthorne played all their home matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (and not just 7 of their 11 home matches at the MCG), they would probably draw at-or-near-to the highest in the AFL. Because when you do the math, the 13.8 K per game they drew in Launceston, Tasmania last season depressed Hawthorne’s average attendance to the point that they were actually drawing highest in the league – on average – for their Melbourne home matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (they averaged 49.6 K at the MCG, a figure which is about 2.6 K higher than the 47.0 K that the top-drawing Adelaide Crows drew in 2016). Tasmania Tourism is also a major sponsor of the Hawthorne Hawks (as you can see in the jersey-photo below, with “Tasmania” emblazoned prominently on the Hawks’ gear).
hawthorn_hawks_play-4-home-matches-per-year_at_york-park_launceston_tasmania_e_.gif
Photo credits above – Photo of Launceston, Tasmania unattributed at realestate.com.au/neighbourhoods/launceston-tas. Photo inside York Park, Launceston, Tasmania for Hawthorne Hawks match, photo by city of Launceston at launceston.tas.gov.au/Events/AFL-2017-Hawthorn-v-Brisbane. Hawthorne 2017 jersey, photo from jerseys.com.au/products/hawthorn-hawks-2017-home-guernsey.

Another AFL team that plays in Tasmania is the North Melbourne Kangaroos…
Since 2012, the North Melbourne Kangaroos have played three of their eleven home regular-season matches in the Tasmanian capital-city of Hobart (the population of Greater Hobart is around 221,000). There, North Melbourne play at the Bellerive Oval, which has a capacity of 20,000.

To round out all the rest of the alternate home-match-venues for 2017…
-The Melbourne Demons play two of their eleven home regular-season matches in the sparsely-populated Northern Territory, with one match in Darwin, NT and one match in Alice Springs, NT.
-Since 2014, the Western Bulldogs have been playing one of their eleven home regular-season matches in Cairns, York Peninsula, Queensland. Starting in 2017, the Western Bulldogs also will begin playing one other regular-season home match in a venue about 65 miles west of Melbourne, in Ballarat, VIC.
-The newest AFL team, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, play three of their eleven home regular-season games in the Australian capital, in Canberra, ACT.

In all but the latter of these alternate-home-venues mentioned above, the shift in venue means a considerable decrease in the teams’ average attendances. But the teams see the benefits of lucrative sponsorship deals and expanded team-support, and these things outweigh the ticket-revenue-shortfalls of the alternate-venues. And likewise, with respect to the game being played in China…if the match in Shanghai works out well for the Port Adelaide Power – and for the AFL in general – then it is very probable that a regular-season game in China will become an annual feature of the Australian Football League.

___
Sources for map page:
Thanks to all at these links…
-Attendances (2016 season): 2016 Australian football code crowds/Attendances by club (en.wikipedia.org).
-Dates of establishment: Australian Football League/Current clubs.
-Titles: List of Australian Football League premiers. (en.wikipedia.org).
-Rules: Australian rules football; Australian rules football playing field (en.wikipedia.org).

-Blank maps on map page…
-Thanks to Ssolbergj for globe-map of Australia, File:Australia (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of Australia, File:Australia location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).’-Thanks to TUBS for blank map of China showing Shanghai, File:Shanghai in China (+all claims hatched).svg.

-Jersey Icons…Thanks to thejoesbloggsblog for most of the jersey-pattern icons on the chart on the map page at Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org). Thanks to the AFLstore for Western Eagles’ jersey-icon, theaflstore.com.au/west-coast-eagles.

-Thanks to Port Adelaide FC’s twitter-feed, twitter.com/PAFC, for the article from the South China Morning Post.
-For general historical info, thanks to australianfootball.com.
-Thanks to the contributors at Australian Football League (en.wikipedia.org).
-Thanks to AFL Tables site for attendances and for all-time list of AFL venues, afltables.com/afl/venues/overall.html.

April 23, 2017

Mexico: 2017 Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (LMB) (Mexican League), location-map/attendance-map (2016 figures), with active-clubs titles list./ + Top three drawing teams (Monterrey, Tijuana, Yucatán).

Filed under: Baseball,Mexico: Béisbol — admin @ 9:33 pm

mexico_baseball_2017-liga-mexicana-de-beisbol_mexican-league_attendance-map_2016_post_b_.gif
Mexico: 2017 Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (LMB) (Mexican League), location-map/attendance-map (2016 figures), with active-clubs titles list


By Bill Turianski on 23 April 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Current teams…Mexican League/Current teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-Equipos temporada…Liga Mexicana de Béisbol/Equipos temporada (es.wikipedia.org).
-2016 Mexican League attendance…Mexican League: Attendance [set at 2016/sortable for current attendances & archived back to -2005] (milb.com/milb/stats).
-2016 attendances for all 15 MiLB leagues which report attendance figures (incl. Mexican League) [ie, all leagues within Organized Baseball from Rookie leagues up through A-League, Double-A, and Triple-A which report attendances]…ballparkdigest.com/2016/09/09/2016-affiliated-attendance-by-league.
-Mexican League scores, standings, schedule…milb.com/LMB [Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (Mexican League)] (official site).
-My first map & post on Mexican League baseball (from 2011), which includes more info on teams and uniforms, Baseball in Mexico: Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (Mexican League), 2011.

    The top three drawing béisbol teams in the Mexican League (Monterrey, Tijuana, Yucatán)…

Sultanes de Monterrey: best-drawing team in the Mexican League for 5 years (2012-16)
Despite being not the largest, or even the second-largest city in Mexico, Monterrey is the home of the highest-drawing Mexican béisbol team, the Sultanes de Monterrey. (Monterrey is also the home of the 2 highest-drawing 1st division Mexican fútbol teams (CF Monterrey, and Tigres UANL) {see this map, with attendance figures, of Liga MX that I made earlier in 2017}.)

The Sultanes de Monterrey have led the Mexican League in attendance for 5 straight seasons now (2012-16), replacing Saltillo as the top draw. The Sultanes drew 12.7 K per game in 2016. The Sultanes’ stadium, Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey (aka Estadio Mobil Super) is the largest baseball venue in Mexico (capacity 27,000). The city of Monterrey is in the state of Nueva León, and has a metro-area population of around 4.1 million [2010 figure]. {Metropolitan areas of Mexico.}

The Sultanes de Monterrey wear New-York-Yankees-style navy-blue-with-pinstripes. One of their logos mimics the font of the Yankees’ N-Y crest (see it below in 3rd photo), while also including the iconic mountain (Cerro de la Silla) that overlooks their ballpark {here’s a recent [2014] shot of their home uniform and with that logo on their batting helmet}.
sultanes-de-monterrey_estadio-beisbol-monterrey_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Sultanes de Monterrey cap logo, photo from lids.com/sultanes-de-monterrey-new-era. Aerial shot of stadium with mountain in background, photo by Especial at periodicoabc.mx. Aerial shot of Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey, photo unattributed at purobeisbol.mx. Interior shot of stadium during a game, photo unattributed at skyscrapercity.com/[thread: ARQUITECTURA | Estadios | Información y fotografías. Interior shot during game, photo unattributed at laaficion.milenio.com/beisbol/mil-fans-Estadio-Monterrey_MILIMA20160404_0018_11.jpg.

...

Toros de Tijuana - a relocated team that has now become the 2nd-best-drawing team in the Mexican League...
The Petroleros de Minatitlán [Minatitlán Oilers] franchise moved to Tijuana after the 2013 season, to become the Toros de Tijuana (II). (The south-central-Gulf-Coast-based Petroleros were one of the lowest-drawing teams in the Mexican League, drawing only in the 1.4-K-to-2.3-K-range in their last 5 seasons.) Now the Toros de Tijuana have become the 2nd-best draw in the Mexican League. The Toros drew 9.3 K per game in 2016, in their ballpark, the 16-K-capacity Estadio Gasmart.

Tijuana is, of course, right across the border from San Diego, California, and is actually part of the Greater San Diego/Tijuana metro-area. Tijuana, located in the state of Baja California, is the 6th-largest metro-area in Mexico (with a population of around 1.7 million [2010 figure]).

The Toros de Tijuana wear black-and-deep-red colors.
toros-de-tijuana_estadio-gasmart_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Aerial shot of Estadio Gasmart, photo unattributed at agpnoticias.com/news/lista-fiesta-de-apertura-de-toros-de-tijuana. Shot of main stands at Estadio Gasmart, photo unattributed at el-fanatico.com. Shot of outfield terrace area at Estadio Gasmart, with glass-walled-outfield-fence, photo from hotelpuebloamigo.com. Cropped image of 2017 black Toros jersey, photo by torosdetijuana.com.

Leones de Yucatán: after renovating their ballpark, they have almost doubled their crowd-size (from 4.6 K to 9.1 K, in two years)…
The Leones (Lions) are from the city of Mérida, which in the state of Yucatán, in southeastern Mexico. Mérida is the 12th-largest metro-area in the country (with a population of around 970,000 [2010 figure]).

In 2015, after renovating their ballpark (the 16-K-capacity Parque Kukulcán Alamo), the Leones de Yucatán almost doubled their attendance, going from 4.6 K per game in 2014, to 8.9 K per game in 2015. Then in 2016, they saw a bit more of an increase in crowd-size, drawing 9.1 K per game.

The Leones de Yucatán wear dark-green-and-orange colors, and they also have an alternate color-scheme of dark-green-and bright-neon-green.
leones-de-yucatan_parque-kukulcán_n_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Renovation of El Kukulcán Álamo, photos unattributed at purobeisbol.mx/[17 March 2016]. Large crowd at El Kukulcán Álamo stadium circa June 2015, photo unattributed at beisbolcampechano.blogspot.com/2015/07/record-de-asistencia-en-el-parque. Night game. photo unattributed at peninsuladeportiva.com.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Globe-map of Mexico, by Addicted04 at File:MEX orthographic.svg at Mexico (en.wikipedia.org).
-Map of Mexico, by Yavidaxiu at File:Mexico blank.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Some circular-cap-logos on the map include photos or banner illustrations, from the following links…
-Toros de Tijuana (Tijuana Toros), illustration of T-J logo, from banner at torosdetijuana.com.
-Saraperos de Saltillo (Saltillo Sarape Makers) teal home cap, photo of Gothic-S-with-sarape logo from neweraaustraliasale.com/saraperos.
-Vaqueros Unión Laguna, photo from twitter.com/mendivil2129. jpg
-Delfines de Ciudad del Carmen (Ciudad del Carmen Dolphins) dark-purple home cap, photo of bright-green-C [part of the logo], from lids.com/mexican-league/delfines.
-Guerreros de Oaxaca (Oaxaca Warriors), photo of the O-a-x logo on home cap from newhatsite.net/oaxaca-guerreros.
-Piratas de Campeche (Campeche Pirates), photo of logo, from tienda.newera.mx.
-Generales de Durango (Durango Generals), photo of home cap logo, from elsiglodetorreon.com.mx.
-Bravos de Leon, photo of home cap logo, from twitter.com/lmbbravosleon.
-Tigres de Quintana Roo (Quintana Roo Tigers), photo of cap logo from tienda.newera.mx .
-Rojos del Águila de Veracruz (Veracruz Red Eagles), photo of cap logo from tienda.newera.mx

-Team info, etc…
Mexican League [Liga Mexicana de Béisbol] (en.wikipedia.org).

April 16, 2017

Australia, National Rugby League: NRL attendance chart for 2016 regular season (with 2016 finishes listed)/+ the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (1st title) – the 2016 NRL Premiers (champions).

Filed under: Australia,Rugby,Rugby>Australia — admin @ 7:51 pm

Links…
-Official site… nrl.com.
-2017 season (teams, etc)… 2017 NRL season (en.wikipedia.org).
-Australia’s leading sports opinion site’s rugby league page… theroar.com.au/rugby-league.
-The bums on seats truth about the NRL draw (by Jason Hoskins on Oct. 27 2016 at theroar.com).

-My map-&-post of NRL (May 2015), featuring location-maps of NRL teams, plus an article: History of First Division Rugby League in Australia (1908 to 2014) [including the Super League war of the late 1990s],
Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League (NRL) – 2015 location-map(s) with attendance-&-titles-chart.

By Bill Turianski on 16 April 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

australia_nrl_rugby-league_2016-attendances-and-finishes_chart_c_.gif
Chart by billsportsmaps.com/attendance figures from afltables.com/[2016 NRL attendance].




    Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks: 2016 NRL Premiers (champions)…

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks were established as an NRL expansion-team in 1967. In the Sharks’ 50th season, in 2016, they won their first NRL premiership (title). Cronulla-Sutherland’s 50-season title-drought was the longest ever, in Australian rugby league history (since 1908/ List of Premierships, here). Below is Cronulla, in Sutherland Shire, which is a local government area in the southern part of Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Further below is action from the 2016 NRL Grand Final (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 14, Melbourne Storm 12)…
cronulla-sutherland-sharks_endeavour-field_shark-park_southern-cross-group-stadium_woolooware_greater-sydney_australia_2016-nrl-champions_i_.gif

cronulla-sutherland-sharks_grand-final_champions_october-2-2016_stadium-australia_sydney_h_.gif

Photo and Image credits above -
Aerial shot of Cronulla by 1908cronulla.com.au. Endeavour Field, photo unattributed at forum.insidesport.com.au. Endeavor Field at night, photo unattributed at austadiums.com. Sydney neighborhoods, map from mapaplan.com via mapsontheweb.zoom-maps.com/areas-of-sydney.

Cronulla & Melbourne kit illustrations, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_NRL_Grand_Final. Screenshot of Cronulla fans at Grand Final, image from video uploaded by Rugby League/Union at youtube.com. Ben Barba, photo from smh.com.au/photogallery/sport/action-from-2016-grand-final-melbourne-storm-versus-cronullasutherland-sharks. Screenshot of Jesse Bromwich scoring a try, image from video uploaded by Rugby League/Union at youtube.com. Will Chambers scoring try to give Melbourne the lead, photo unattributed at skysports.com. Andrew Fifita, breaking tackles, photo by Photosport via radionz.co.nz/news/sport/cronulla-sharks-win-nrl-grand-final. Andrew Fifita about to score the match-winning try, photo unattributed at dailytelegraph.au/sport. Andrew Fifita scoring the match-winning try, photo by John Veage via theleader.com.au. Cronulla’s trophy-celebration at Endeavour Field the following day, with captain Paul Gallen and Man-of-the-Match-winner Luke Lewis holding the trophy aloft, while Sharks fans cheer behind them, photo by Greg Porteus at couriermail.com.au/sport.

___
Thanks to the contributors at National Rugby League (en.wikipedia.org).
A Big Thanks to afltables.com/[2016 NRL attendance], for the pretty-hard-to-find NRL attendance figures.

April 2, 2017

MLB: Paid-Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2016 (home/regular season average tickets-sold), including change from 2015 and percent-capacity figures./+ Illustration for: Toronto Blue Jays: 12.5-K-attendance-increase in 2 year span./+ Illustration for: Chicago Cubs (2016 World Series champions).

mlb_2016-attendance_tickets-sold_map_w-percent-cap_change-from-2015_post_e_.gif
MLB: Paid Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2016 (home/regular season average tickets-sold), including change from 2015 and percent-capacity figures



By Bill Turianski on 2 April 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Official site…mlb.com.
-Teams, etc…Major League Baseball (en.wikipedia.org).
-[Current] MLB attendance at ESPN…MLB Attendance Report [current] (espn.go.com).
-2016 MLB attendance at ESPN…MLB Attendance Report – 2016 (espn.go.com).
-Attendance change (2016 v. 2015)…Change in Baseball Attendance (2016 vs. 2015) (baseball-reference.com).

-From Baseball Pilgrimages.com…2016 MLB Ballpark Attendance [with notes] (baseballpilgrimages.com).

-From Forbes.com…MLB Hits 73.159 Million In Attendance, 11th Highest All-Time, Down Slightly From 2015 (by Maury Brown at forbes.com).

-From Waiting For Next Year.com…Let’s talk about Cleveland Indians attendance (by Jacob Rosen at waitingfornextyear.com).

    For the fourth-straight season, the Los Angeles Dodgers had the highest average paid-attendance, at 45,719 per game.

Last season [2016], the Dodgers drew 45.7 K, and played to 81.6 percent-capacity at Dodger Stadium. And also for the 4th-straight year, the St. Louis Cardinals had the second-highest attendance, at 42.5 K at Busch Stadium (III). The San Francisco Giants filled their ballpark, AT&T park, the best, at 99.1 percent-capacity, and they drew 41.5 K (the 4th-highest attendance). Three other teams also played to near-full-capacity…the St. Louis Cardinals at 96.7 precent-capacity, the Chicago Cubs at 96.6 percent-capacity at the renovated Wrigley Field, and the Boston Red Sox at 96.1 percent-capacity at Fenway Park. The 5th-best at filling their venue was the Toronto Blue Jays, who played to an 84.9 percent-capacity, and have now increased their crowds at Rogers Centre [aka Skydome] by over 12 thousand per game in the past two seasons [since 2014] (see below)…

Best attendance increases in 2016…2016 average paid-attendance versus 2015 average paid-attendance [with attendance-rank shown]…
Toronto Blue Jays +7,376…41,880 in 2016 [#3] vs. 34,504 in 2015 [#8].
Chicago Cubs +3,366…39,906 in 2016 [#5] vs. 36,540 in 2015 [#6].
New York Mets +3,145…34,870 in 2016 [#9] vs. 31,725 [#12].
Texas Rangers +2,698…33,461 in 2016 [#10] vs. 30,763 [#16].
Houston Astros +1,889…28,476 in 2016 [#17] vs. 26,587 [#22].
Cleveland Indians +1,844…19,650 in 2016 [#28] vs. 17,806 in 2015 [#29].

Toronto Blue Jays: 12.5 K attendance increase in 2 years…
Not only did Toronto have a 7.37 K increase in attendance in 2016, Toronto had a 5.17 K increase in 2015 (versus 29,327 per game in 2014). So, that means the Toronto Blue Jays have increased their paid-attendance by a little over 12,500 per game in two years! Talk about reviving a moribund franchise. That just goes to show you that investing in a competitive team (as the Blue Jays have done these past 3 seasons) usually pays off at the turnstile. (Usually, but definitely not in the case of the Cleveland Indians, who had a banner season in 2016, winning the AL pennant and coming up just short of a championship, yet the Tribe failed to even draw 20 K per game during the regular season. Cleveland is simply NOT a baseball town; see link to article on the Indians’ bad attendance, further above. But I digress.)

In 2016, Toronto drew over 3 million for the first time in 23 years. [Note: drawing over 3 million means the team averages above 36.5 K per game.] As the following article at SB Nation points out, “comparing 2016 to 2014, average attendance at Rogers Centre was up 43%, or over 1,000,000 fans for the season.” (quote by Jon Shell from this article: A Business Case For A Much Higher Payroll at bluebirdbanter.com from Nov. 6 2016).

toronto-blue-jays_2014-to-2016_12-k-attendance-increase_rogers-centre_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Blue Jays home cap, illustration from sportslogos.net. Aerial shot of CN Tower and Rogers Centre, photo by destinocanadatoronto.blogspot.com. Exterior shot of Rogers Centre at night, photo by Empty Quarter at Toronto Flickr Pool via torontoist.com. Aerial shot of Rogers Centre, photo unattributed at blogto.com. Shot of full house at Rogers Centre [circa 2015], photo unattributed at engineeringharmonics.com. Fans cheering at Rogers Centre during 2015 playoffs, photo by Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via citynews.ca.

Notes on stadium capacities…
-Boston Red Sox’ Fenway Park has different capacities for night games (37,673) and day games (37,227). {See this article I wrote from 2016/scroll half-way down text for Fenway section}.
-Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field has been undergoing extensive renovations, and the renovations are planned to continue on up to spring 2019. In 2016, capacity was increased slightly, by 329, from 40,929 to 41,268. The capacity will most likely change again in the next 2-to-3 years, but probably not by a significant amount.
-Atlanta Braves played their final season at Turner Field in Atlanta in 2016. The team has moved into the suburbs, into Cumberland, Cobb County, GA (10 miles NW of downtown Atlanta). Their new ballpark, SunTrust Park, will have a capacity of 41,500. (That is a significant capacity-reduction, of around 4.4 K, as Turner Field’s seated-capacity was 45,986.)
-Both the teams below (Oakland and Tampa Bay) have tarps covering their upper-deck seats, which doesn’t change the fact that those seats are empty…
-O.co Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics, has tarps covering the upper decks for MLB games, making the seating “capacity” for baseball 35,067, which is about 20,800 less than the real capacity (real seating capacity of the stadium is 55,945). (That would make them having a real 2016 percent-capacity figure of around 33.5.)
-Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, has tarps covering the upper decks for MLB games, making the seating “capacity” for baseball 31,042, which is about 11,600 less than the real capacity (real seating capacity of the stadium is 42,735). (That would make them having a real 2016 percent-capacity figure of around 37.1.).

    Chicago Cubs – 2016 World Series winners (the Cubs’ first World Series title in 108 years)…

Best Cubs players in 2016 as measured by WAR (wins after replacement)…
Kris Bryant (3B) 7.7 WAR (39 HR, 121 RBI, .385 OBP).
Anthony Rizzo (1B) 5.7 WAR (32 HR, 109 RBI, .385 OBP).
Jon Lester (LHP) 5.2 WAR (19-5, 2.44 ERA, 202.7 IP).
Kyle Hendricks (RHP) 4.9 WAR (16-8, 2.13 ERA, 190 IP).
Addison Russell (SS) 4.3 WAR (21 HR, 95 RBI, .321 OBP).

Cubs win ! Cubs win ! Cubs win !
chicago-cubs_2016-ws-champions_joe-maddon_kris-bryant_anthony-rizzo_jon-lester_kyle-hendricks_addison-russell_javier-baez_ben-zobrist_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Aerial shot of Wrigley Field with “CHAMPIONS” displayed on jumbotron-scoreboard, photo by Nick Ulivieri at flickr.com.
Joe Maddon, photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America via zimbio.com.
Kris Bryant, screenshot from video (uploaded by Sporting Videos at youtube.com.
Anthony Rizzo, photos by John Durr/Getty Images North America via zimbio.com & zimbio.com.
Jon Lester, photo by David Kohl/USA Today via usatoday.com/mlb.
Kyle Hendricks, photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America via zimbio.com.
Addison Russell, photo by Elsa/Gety Images via wgntv.com. aru
Shot of Cubs players and coaching staff after game 5 win over Dodgers in 2016 NLCS (with traveling Cubs fans’ “W” banners held aloft in background), photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images via chron.com/sports. Shot of Cubs players’ celebration after final out, photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images via sports.yahoo.com. Shot of Cubs fans outside Wrigley after final out, screenshot of NBC News video, at nbcnews.com/news/sports. Shot of Javier Báez stealing home (v Dodgers in Game 1 of NLCS), photo by AP at dailyherald.com. Shot of Ben Zobrist on 2nd base, after doubling in lead run in 10th inning of WS Game 7, photo by Al Tielemans at gettyimages.com. Shot of brick wall outside of Wrigley that fans decorated with chalk and paint, photo by Nick Ulivieri at flickr.com.

___
Thanks to NuclearVacuum for the blank map, File:BlankMap-North America-Subdivisions.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to ESPN for attendances & percent capacities, espn.go.com/mlb/attendance.
Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos.net, for several (~17) of the cap logos, sportslogos.net.
Thanks to Baseball-reference.com, for stats.
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball#Current_teams.

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