billsportsmaps.com

February 17, 2015

MLB: Paid Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2014 (home/regular season average tickets-sold), including change from 2013 and percent-capacity figures.

Filed under: Baseball,Baseball >paid-attendance — admin @ 6:45 pm

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MLB: Paid Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2014




MLB attendance is defined as tickets sold.
If you buy a ticket for a Major League Baseball game, and then you don’t attend that game, your ticket that MLB sold you still counts in the officially announced attendance figure for that game. To put it another way, MLB attendance figures do not represent actual attendance, but rather, the total tickets sold for that game. The National League used to count turnstile clicks (aka ‘people in seats’), while the American League has always counted tickets sold. In 1992, the National League also began counting tickets sold instead of how many ticket-holders actually attended. Some sources say this was mainly because of revenue sharing (and the need to standardize the bookkeeping for all the MLB franchises), but revenue sharing only began ten years later, in 2002, which was a decade after the NL had started measuring attendance by tickets sold {see this, Attendance figures that count tickets sold, not turnstile clicks, make it hard for fans to reconcile what they hear with the empty seats they see (by Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times)}.

In any case, counting tickets sold rather than turnstile clicks conveniently allows all 30 Major League ball clubs to get away with consistently painting a rosier picture of their attendance than what the reality is. The sad truth of the matter is, late in the season, with respect to games where the home team is out of the Pennant race, many MLB games have actual crowds that are up to around 40% less than the announced crowd size. That is because many fans who had bought tickets for that game earlier in the year then decided that it wasn’t worth attending a meaningless game late in the season, because their basement-dwelling ball club had nothing to play for.

Here is an article on this subject from the New York Times baseball blog, by Ken Belson, from Sept. 22 2012, The Official Attendance Can Become Empty of Meaning (bats.blogs.nytimes.com).

If you think that this is all pretty disingenuous, I won’t argue with that. I will simply point out this…the way that they tabulate official attendance figures in two of the three other major leagues – the NBA and the NHL – is far more dishonest. That is because the NBA and the NHL count tickets distributed toward what their official attendance figures are announced as. [Meanwhile, the NFL leaves it up to the teams, and 30 NFL teams count tickets sold, while the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers count turnstile clicks/ {see this, specifically paragraph 6 (cbssports.com by John Breech)}; {also see this, which lists the 4 major leagues' attendance-count policies, The book on attendance (utsandiego.com by Mark Zeigler)}].

And when the NBA and the NHL are measuring attendance by tickets distributed, that includes the often sizable number of tickets given away for free {see this article, How Sports Attendance Figures Speak Lies (by Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball site, at forbes.com)}. And it is even more dishonest, because as they inflate the attendance by measuring it this way, they are inflating the “attendance” figure even more, because that tickets-distributed-attendance-figure includes all tickets distributed…even in those cases when the recipient of the free ticket didn’t even attend the game (seriously). Some NHL teams, particularly those outside of Western Canada and Toronto and Montreal, as well as those outside of the US Northeast and the US Upper Midwest, give away up to 3,000 free tickets a game! Which is how poor-drawing major-league hockey clubs in the Sunbelt, for example, can pretend they have far more ticket-buying fans than they really do. Thankfully, some franchises are seeing the corrosive effects of this (how would you feel if you shelled out big bucks for season tickets for a major-league hockey team, when sitting all around you are people seeing the game for free?)…{see this article from Oct.2014, where one of those under-supported-NHL-Sunbelt teams (the Florida Panthers) now has new ownership that is trying to stop the attendance-figure-dishonesty, by announcing actual turnstile clicks as the announced attendance, The Florida Panthers’ Empty Den (onlyagame.wbur.org)}.

So, at least, when you are given figures that measure not the actual attendance, but instead measure total tickets purchased (as in MLB)…well, you know one thing for sure, and that is that they (the MLB teams) are not lying about how many ticket they sold. They are only lying about the number of actual spectators at (some of) their games.

    Below, 2014 tickets-sold, the biggest change versus 2013 figures: change in tickets-sold of over 1,000 per game
    (11 MLB teams with plus-1,000-or-more tickets-sold / 9 MLB teams with minus-1,000-or-more tickets sold)…


Best increases in tickets sold in 2014 (versus 2013)…
Seattle Mariners: +3,738 per game.
Milwaukee Brewers: +3,287 per game.
Kansas City Royals: +2,540 per game.
Oakland Athletics: +2,399 per game.
Pittsburgh Pirates: +2,293 per game.
St. Louis Cardinals: +2,109 per game.
Miami Marlins: +1,802 per game.
Boston Red Sox: +1,516 per game.
New York Yankees: +1,507 per game.
Baltimore Orioles: +1,320 per game.
Houston Astros: +1,234 per game.

Worst decreases in tickets sold in 2014 (versus 2013)…
Philadelphia Phillies: -7,266 per game.
Texas Rangers: -5,145 per game.
Minnesota Twins: -2,803 per game.
Atlanta Braves: -2,400 per game.
Detroit Tigers: -2,502 per game.
Toronto Blue Jays: -1,988 per game.
Cleveland Indians: -1,673 per game.
Chicago White Sox: -1,452 per game.
Colorado Rockies: -1,401 per game.

On the map page…
At the far right of the map page is 2014 paid-attendance for all 30 MLB teams, along with 3 other statistics: percent-change from 2013, 2014 ballpark seating capacity, 2014 percent-capacity (which is paid-attendance divided by stadium seating capacity). At the lower right-hand corner of the map page, there are asterisk-type notes on 3 things: Boston’s different home capacities for day games and night games at Fenway Park in Boston, MA; notes on the Oakland A’s pretend-capacity (via huge tarps covering the upper decks at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA); and also notes on the Tampa Bay Rays’ pretend-capacity (also thanks to the egregious deployment of tarps, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL).

The circular-cap-logos on the map page are all each MLB teams’ 2014 home cap logo, except with respect to Baltimore’s circular-cap-logo, which is of their all-black road cap, because the Orioles wear their white-paneled cap at home, and I wanted to maintain a uniformity to all 30 of the circular-cap-logos on the map. The circular-cap-logos were then sized to reflect crowd size, utilizing a constant gradient (the larger the ball club’s 2014 home regular season average paid-attendance, the larger their circular-cap-logo is on the map). I used cap logos from either the ball clubs’ pages at Wikipedia or at the excellent Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos.net, depending on which was more accurate in terms of actual cap-color as well as in terms of the logo itself (Yankees and Cubs cap logos are wrong at Wikipedia, and it looks like about 17 cap-logo background colors are wrong there as well).
___
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 the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball#Current_teams.

February 13, 2015

2014-15 FA Cup, Fifth Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances/ with update.

Filed under: >2014-15 FA Cup — admin @ 7:34 pm

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2014-15 FA Cup, Fifth Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances

Update: biggest upsets in the 2014-15 FA Cup 5th Round
The chart below shows the 3 biggest upsets in the 2014-15 FA Cup 5th Round (from Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of February 2015/if there is an upset Monday [Preston v Man Utd], the chart will be updated). Note: league placements were from the start of the weekend (that is, Friday morning the 13th of Feb. 2015)…

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2014-15_fa-cup_5th-round_upsets_feb2015_f_.gif







FA Cup fixtures bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup/fixtures.
BBC.co.uk/FA Cup.

Broadcast games (en.wikipedia.org).
___
Thanks to Soccerway.com for attendance figures and for league placements. You can find attendance figures (updated daily) for levels 1 through 6 of the English football pyramid at Soccerway, http://us.soccerway.com/national/england/premier-league/20142015/regular-season/r25191/.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, 2014–15 FA Cup.

February 5, 2015

Rugby League: 2015 Super League XX location-map, with all-time English RL titles list & attendance figures from 2014./ Plus a season-preview article on 2015 Super League XX, written by James Nalton./ Plus illustrations of the 4 semifinalists from last season, including 2014 champions St Helens RLFC.

Filed under: Rugby — admin @ 8:16 am

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Rugby League: Super League XX location-map, with all-time RL titles list & attendance figures from 2014





Super League official site (superleague.co.uk).
Fixtures.

From the Love Rugby League site, Super League XX predictions (by James Gordon & Zach Wilson at loverugbyleague.com/blog).

New format explained at the following link…superleague.co.uk/#RL New Era.

    2015 Super League XX Preview

By James Nalton
Defending champions St Helens head into Super League XX under a new head coach – club legend Keiron Cunningham – and retain their status as the good outside bet they were in last season’s Grand Final. Their opponents that day, Wigan Warriors, are favourites to take the crown this time around, in a year which is being dubbed a new era for the sport of rugby league.

With the new era comes a new format, which looks confusing on first glance, but aims to provide a sustainable system of promotion and relegation in which a team dropping to a lower division won’t be crippled either on the pitch, or on the balance sheet. It also means that most teams will have something to play for from the first game till the last.

It’s the first time since the end of 2007 that promotion and relegation has been used, although Bradford Bulls and London Broncos were relegated at the end of 2014 to facilitate the move to a 12 team Super League.

The clubs discussed the idea at length before implementing the changes, with the Chairman of Super League Europe, Brian Barwick, commenting that:

“The clubs were unanimous in their view that Super League should become a 12-team competition from 2015 and that there should be meaningful movement between Super League and the Championships.”

The season culminates in the end of season play-offs, and the “Super 8s”, in which the 24 teams from the Super League and Championship are split into three groups of 8, based on their league position, to decide who wins what and who stays in which division.

The first eight will play for the Super League crown, with the top four after seven games going on to the Super League play-offs to decide the winner.

The second eight will fight for a Super League place next season, with the top three from this group claiming a spot in 2016, and the teams finishing 4th and 5th playing off in “The Million Pound Game” to decide the fourth team who’ll make the top league.

The favourites Wigan boast a squad of impressive local players, with many coming through the club’s own academy production line. Their faith in this system has seen them assign the number six jersey to 20-year-old George Williams, rather than look to replace departing Australian stand-off, Blake Green, with another overseas player.

Local academy players Joe Burgess and Dom Crosby were also rewarded with numbers in the first XIII, taking the number 5 and 8 shirts respectively. They join a whole host of players in the Wigan squad who originate from Lancashire’s rugby heartlands, with many joining the club from local amateur side Wigan St Patricks.

Indeed, the entire top division has gone back to its roots in the working class towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire, with the only exception being Catalans Dragons, who are based in the south of France – another traditional league stronghold.

James Nalton is a writer based in Liverpool, England, whose sportswriting focuses on football tactics, emerging talents in world football, and rugby league. He owns several websites covering football around the globe, and has also written for the likes of Squawka, Sambafoot, and EPL Index. James also writes music reviews for local publications, and has a degree in Music Production from The University of Huddersfield. You can follow him on Twitter @JDNalton.

Below are club-profile illustrations for each of the 4 semifinalists in 2014 Super League XIX (champions St Helens, runner-up Wigan Warriors, and quarterfinals winners Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves). Included in each illustration is: club info, stadium photos and info, major titles listed, average attendance from the last 4 seasons (2011-14), club history with stadiums and derbies noted, recent home jerseys shown, and photos & stats of top players in 2014…

    2014 Super League XIX champions: St Helens RLFC…

St Helens’ 2014 average attendance: 12,120 per game (3rd best in Super League).
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Photo and Image credits above -
Aerial view of Langtree Park, photo unattributed (uploaded by RMB2001) at skyscrapercity.com/thread [ST HELENS | Langtree Park Stadium | 18,000 | Completed ]. Street-level photo of Langtree Park by barr-construction.co.uk/barr-construction-news. Action photo (of 1st game at Langtree Park Jan 2012), photo by Action Images via telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyleague/Sell-out-crowd-watch-St-Helens-play-first-match-at-Langtree-Park.
Aerial photo of Knowsley Road (from 2008) by Webbaviation.co.uk (UK aerial photography), at webbaviation.co.uk/sports/gallery2/v/football-stadia/sthelens. 2015 St Helens home jersey, photo unattributed at newrugbykits.com. Photo of St Helens fans in the stands at Langtree Park (from 2013), photo by sthelensstar.co.uk. Thomas Makinson (2014 top try scorer for St Helens), action photo by liverpoolecho.co.uk. James Roby (2014 top tackler for St Helens), photo by swipix.com via bbc.com/rugby-league. Trophy celebration with St Helens captain Paul Wellens lifting the trophy, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyleague/st-helens-14-6-wigan.

    2014 Super League XIX runner-up: Wigan Warriors RLFC…

Wigan Warriors’ 2014 average attendance: 14,102 per game (2nd best in Super League).
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Photo and Image credits above -
Wigan Warriors 2015 home (retro) jersey, photo from store.wiganwarriors.com/home-shirt-2015-cherry-and-white. Central Park (Wigan), photo [circa late 1990s] by Brian Bradshaw at wiganworld.co.uk/photo-gallery. DW Stadium, exterior aerial telephoto shot with surrounding area in Wigan [aerial view to the South], photo by Dave Green/ OyPhotos.co.uk via skyscrapercity.com/forums via wiganworld.co.uk. Supporters in the rain with umbrellas at Wigan Town square for trophy celebration [photo circa 2011], photo from wiganwarriors.com. Josh Charnley, photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images Europe at bettingpro.com via zimbio.com. Joe Burgess, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyleague/article-2789495/sam-tomkins-backs-joe-burgess.

    2014 Super League semifinalist: Catalans Dragons (aka Ville de Perpignan Dragons RLFC)…

Catalans Dragons’ 2014 average attendance: 7,667 per game (7th best in Super League).
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Photo credits above –
Catalans Dragons 2014 jersey, photo from rlshop.co.uk/catalans-dragons-home-shirt-2014. Aerial view, unattributed at info-stades.fr/forum/rugby-top14/perpignan-stade-gilbert-brutus-dragons-catalans-t1269.html. Photo at front gate, Michael at flickr.com/photos/gumptard/2322189456/. Photo of Dragons supporters, at catalansdragons.com/en/articles-6/6-17-fans-associations/. Morgan Escaré, photo by swipix.com via bbc.com/sport/rugby-league.

    2014 Super League semifinalist: Warrington Wolves RLFC…

Warrington Wolves’ 2014 average attendance: 9,870 per game (5th best in Super League).
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Photo and Image credits – Warrington 2014 home jersey, photo from rlshop.co.uk/superleague/warringtonwolves. Halliwell Jones Stadium, photo unattributed at examiner.co.uk/sport/rugby-league. WWRLFC crest (sign on stadium), photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Warrington fans, photo from warrington-worldwide.co.uk. Joel Monaghan (top scorer with 28 tries in 2014 SL XIX), both photos by: (on left), Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com; (on right) Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.som.


Notes on the map page…
The map page features, on the far left, a map of England and a map of France (which shows the location and crest of Super League club Catalans Dragons). At the top centre is an enlarged inset map of Northern England (which shows the locations and crests of 11 of the 12 Super League clubs). At the top right is the all-time English rugby league national titles list (1895-96; 1902-03 to 1914-15; 1919-20 to 1938-39; 1941-42 to 2014/[Super League established in 1996/SL playoffs began in 1998]). At the lower centre is 2014 attendance data for Super League XX clubs. Included in the attendance data are league averages for crowd size in the last 3 seasons (in SL XVII, XVIII, XIX/2012, 2013, 2014).
Here are the Super League league average attendance numbers for the last 3 seasons…
2012: 9,048.
2013: 8,570.
2014: 8,153.
The re-introduction of promotion/relegation in Super League was probably needed, because, while Super League attendances overall have not plummeted, they certainly are on a downward trend. In 2014, average crowds in Super League were down 4.1% (from 2013), and were down 9.9% from two seasons ago. That has been a drop-off of 895 per game. With the relegation of abysmally-drawing London Broncos, plus some hopefully tight relegation dogfights this season, Super League XX will most likely see an uptick in the league average crowd size.


Sources for map:
Thanks to the following…
-Titles, Rugby Football League Championship/League Leaders and Champions; Super League/Super League Champions (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendance, 2014 and 2013 figures from this article at Total RL.com, totalrl.com/opinion-super-league-attendance-drop-cause-concern;
also, bbc.co.uk/rugby league reports via 2014 Super League season results (en.wikipedia.org), for Hull KR Percent Capacity figure (had to do it manually because of stadium-expansion midaway through the in April 2014).
___

Thanks to League express at Total RL.com for the attendance figures for 2013 & 2014 {here}.
Thanks to very much to Hanigan for 2012 attendance figures {2012 SL league average and club average attendances from Hanigan at totalrl.com/forums/index.php/topic/244182-averages-attendances-for-super-league-and-other-divisions/.}.
Thanks to James Gordon at LoveRugbyLeague.com, for compiling the 2011 attendance figures, loverugbyleague.com/news_10175-wigan-top-average-attendance-table.html.
Thanks to bbc.co.uk/rugby-league for reporting attendance figures in Super League (the BBC is one of the few media outlets that report rugby league attendances, done on a game-by-game basis; unfortunately they do not report total averages).
Thanks to LoveRugbyLeague.com stadium profile pages,
loverugbyleague.com/club/st-helens/ground-guide.
loverugbyleague.com/club/wigan-warriors/ground-guide.
loverugbyleague.com/club/catalan-dragons/ground-guide.
loverugbyleague.com/club/warrington-wolves/ground-guide.

Thanks to DistanceFromTo.net, for distances between towns.

Thanks to the Cherry & White – Independent Wigan RLFC fansite, for this very detailed and illustrated article on the old Central Park (Wigan), wigan.rlfans.com/Central Park.

Thanks to D-maps.com, for blank map of the UK, http://d-maps.com/pays.php?num_pay=218&lang=en.

Bill Turianski thanks James Nalton for collaborating on this post. James’ blog, The Botofogo Star, is on the blogroll at billsportsmaps.

January 26, 2015

2015 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition; featuring 2014 Copa Libertadores champions San Lorenzo.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 7:04 pm

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2015 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition





The preliminary round of the 2015 Copa Libertadores starts on 3rd through 5th February 2015, with second legs on 10th through 12 Feb. The group-stage round (8 groups of 4/see second link below), starts on 17th and 18th February 2015.
-Here are a couple of links to see all the match-ups in the first two rounds…
2015 Copa Libertadores Preliminaries (misleadingly called the ‘First Stage’): match-ups here (en.wikipedia.org).
2015 Copa Libertadores Group Stage (misleadingly called the ‘Second Stage’): match-ups here (en.wikipedia.org); and also here (soccerway.com).

    2014 Copa Libertadores Champions & Holders – San Lorenzo, of Buenos Aires (their first Copa Libertadores title)

San Lorenzo -a club in exile…
CA San Lorenzo (Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro). Established 1908 in the Almagro district of Buenos Aires, Argentina (which was just west of the then-city-limits of Buenos Aires, and is a few kilometers north of present-day Boedo barrio [Boedo being the former and still-spiritual-home of the club]). First match: 26 April 1914. First match in Primera División [amateur era]: 4 May 1915. First match at Estadio Gasómetro in Boedo barrio (which in the preset-day is situated in Buenos Aires Federal District): 7 May 1917. The club played at the Estadio Gasómetro from 1917 to 1979. They lost ownership of the stadium in 1979, when the military junta in charge forced the club to sell the stadium, for about one-eighth of the value of the parcel (in other words, the club was robbed by the fascist regime back then). CA San Lorenzo became homeless for 14 seasons (playing at the stadiums of Huracán, Vélez Sarsfield, and CA Atlanta). The original Gasómetro was demolished and a supermarket was built there. In 1993, San Lorenzo moved into a new stadium, the Nuevo Gasómetro, but in the barrio of Flores (about 7 km or 4 mi south-west of Boedo). San Lorenzo hope to someday move back to Boedo.
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Pope Francis and his club, San Lorenzo
Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio), is a card-carrying member of Buenos Aires-based San Lorenzo, having paid his dues annually since 2008, even renewing them in 2011 after his election as pope. [See his card below.] As it says in an article by Joel Richards at the Soccer Gods blog, {excerpt}…”As a youngster, Cardinal Bergoglio of Buenos Aires attended every single [match] during the club’s 1946 championship winning season. His father played for San Lorenzo, albeit at basketball, and as Cardinal he blessed the club chapel that was paid for by another famous supporter, actor Viggo Mortensen.”…{excerpt from Remembering 2014: When San Lorenzo became more than “the Pope’s club” at soccergods.com}.
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Photo credits above -
Satellite view of El Gasometro, unattributed at portal-argento.com.ar/estadios-primera-division.
Curva at El Gasometro in 2009, photo by Lee Barrett stuartnoel.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/san-lorenzo-4.jpg at A South American fiesta of football (theballisround.co.uk).
Unattributed at circuitox.com/el-coco-basile-y-su-episodio-con-el-papa-francisco.
Photo of commemorative 2013 San Lorenzo jersey featuring photo of Pope Francis, photo by San Lorenzo de Almagro via worldcrunch.com.

CA San Lorenzo are finally Copa Libertadores champions in 2014, and are the 8th Argentine side to win a Copa Libertadores title…
From ESPN FC.com, from 13 Aug. 2014, by Tim Vickery, San Lorenzo capture first Copa title.

San Lorenzo had been the only one of the Big 5 in Argentina without a Copa Libertadores title. They finally won South America’s biggest prize by defeating Paraguay’s Nacional 2-1 aggregate (on 6 & 13 Aug. 2014). The trophy was won under the leadership of Rosario-born Edgardo Bauza (who had made history, 6 years previously in 2008, by leading LDU Quito to Ecuador’s first Copa Libertadores title/ see captions below).

san-lorenzo_2014-copa-libertadores-champions_edgardo-bauza_nestor-ortigoza_e_.gif
Photo credits above -
Edgardo Bauza, screenshot of video image from ESPN Deportes at espndeportes.com/videohub/video/clipDeportes?id=2132326. Edgardo Bauza, photo by Fernando Romero/ABC Color at abc.com.py/deportes/futbol/san-lorenzo-con-equipo-confirmado.
Nestor Ortigoza, photo by Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press at utsandiego.com/news/2014/aug/13/san-lorenzo-wins-copa-libertadores-for-1st-time.
San Lorenzo squad celebrating at the ceremonial platform, photo by Kamen/PikoPress/REX at theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/aug/14/san-lorenzo-copa-libertadores.

___
Thanks to FootieMap.com, for finding stadium-locations of various clubs who have qualified for the 2015 Copa Libertadores, such as http://www.footiemap.com/?co=ecuador .
Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances for each club, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2014 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .

Blank map used for the post – Thanks to selfmade, for uploading a cropped section of this map (adapted from Brianski’s File:BlankMap-World3.svg by Canuckguy and originally based on CIA’s political world map) , to make the following: File:Latin America – First level political divisions.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Thanks to this article about alleged bribe-takers, at BBC World service, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11841783.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2015 Copa Libertadores‘.

Thanks to the following…Photo credit on map page (San Lorenzo 2014 Copa Libertadoes champions), photo by AP at deportes.starmedia.com/futbol/libertadores/resultado-partido-san-lorenzo-vs-nacional-por-final-copa-libertadores-2014.html.

January 21, 2015

2014-15 FA Cup, Fourth Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances./ With a brief illustrated article on the biggest winners in the 3rd Round…the supporters of the Cardiff City Bluebirds./ Plus update, with Cup-upsets chart (featuring Bradford City, Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough, Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Cambridge United).

Filed under: >2014-15 FA Cup — admin @ 10:55 pm

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2014-15_fa-cup_4th-round_map_w-current-attendances_post_c_.gif
2014-15 FA Cup, Fourth Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances




FA Cup fixtures bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup/fixtures.
BBC.co.uk/FA Cup.

Broadcast games (en.wikipedia.org).

Update: biggest upsets in the 2014-15 FA Cup 4th Round
The chart below shows the 5 biggest upsets in the 2014-15 FA Cup 4th Round, plus the best result for the lower-placed club which resulted in a draw (from Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th of January 2015/if there are any more big upsets, the chart will be updated further). Note: league placements were from the start of the weekend (that is, Friday morning)…
2014-15_fa-cup_4th-round_upsets_jan2015_e_.gif

The biggest upset of the 2014-15 FA Cup 3rd Round
The biggest upset of the 2014-15 FA Cup 3rd Round was when plucky minnows/overacheiving-3rd-division-side Rochdale AFC (of Greater Manchester/originally of Lancashire), beat 2nd-division-mainstays/twice-European-champions Nottingham Forest 1-0 before 6,791 at Spotland. That crowd was almost double the ‘Dale’s current home crowd size. Here is an article on that by Daniel Taylor at the Observer, Peter Vincenti the toast of Rochdale as penalty puts out Nottingham Forest (theguardian.com/football). This is the second straight season Rochdale has upended a second division giant in the third round (last year it was Leeds Utd whom they embarrassed). Rochdale’s reward for the win is momentum in the League – the life-long lower division club is up to 5th place and Keith Hill’s squad could actually be in position to be campaigning for the club’s first-ever promotion to the second tier. Rochdale’s other reward for the win is a sweet (and lucrative) 4th Round home tie versus an in-form Stoke City. That match is on the Monday (26th Jan.), and will be televised.

Cardiff City: back to blue, thanks to a well-organized fan-boycott…
There was another victory for the little guy…a victory that had nothing to do with what happened on the pitch, but, rather, what didn’t happen in the stands. In Cardiff, irate Bluebirds supporters organized a match boycott to show owner/dictator’s crony Vincent Tan that they had had enough of his juvenile re-branding of the blue Bluebirds of Cardiff City into the red Red Dragons. A re-branding done so as to magically start selling loads of shirts in Asia. A re-branding that has left the Cardiff City house divided and bitter (and it no doubt soured their promotion to the Premier League in May 2013, and it no doubt contributed to their relegation a year later).

[Here are some relevant figures...Cardiff City averaged 27.2 K per game last year (2013-14) in the Premier League, are currently averaging 21.3 K this season back in the Championship, and drew 6.4 K for a League Cup 3rd Rd match in September 2014.]

Cardiff City season ticket holders were loath to have a boycott during matches they had paid for (and who can blame them), so they waited for a match which they would have had to pay for out-of-pocket to attend – and a Friday night FA Cup 3rd Round match (with the media attention the third round offers), fit the bill perfectly. Only a little over four thousand showed up for the match versus Colchester United (which Cardiff won 3-1) (you can see a photo of the empty stands in the illustration below). As it says in the following article from Wales Online by Steve Tucker (linked to after the quote)…”it was the silence from the stands that was most deafening with a crowd of just 4,194 turning out to watch the encounter. It was the lowest ever attendance for a match at Cardiff City Stadium since the venue opened back in 2009 and the empty seats were a stark indicator of where the Bluebirds stand as a club right now. Calls for a boycott to protest against owner Vincent Tan’s rebranding of the club’s home shirts to red looked to have been answered with just a glance around the embarrassingly empty stands all the confirmation one needed.” {end of excerpt from Cardiff City 3 – 1 Colchester match report: Bluebirds record win in front of record low home crowd, by Steve Tucker at walesonline.co.uk/football).

And guess what? The boycott was successful! Just one week later, this news came in…The Bluebirds are BACK! Cardiff owner Vincent Tan agrees to return of blue home shirts (article by Joe Short at express.co.uk/football). This article at the Telegraph by James Corrigan reports that Tan’s 87-year-old mother convinced him to drop the red and bring back the blue, Cardiff to wear blue again after Vincent Tan takes advice from his mum; Malaysian owner forced change to red two years ago but fans revolted (telegraph.co.uk/football). Cardiff City actually then asked the FA for a special waiver to allow them to start wearing the blue again at home immediately, and that request was allowed (and Cardiff wore blue their next home game, v Fulham on 10 Jan. 2015/see a photo from that below). In the FA Cup 4th Round on Saturday 24th January 2015, Cardiff host fellow Championship side Reading. There will probably be a bit more than 4 thousand attending [note: there were 11,750 in attendance as Cardiff fell to Reading 1-2].

Old content disclaimer. I posted the original version of this illustration below 13 months ago; I could not resist updating it & re-posting it…
cardiff-city-fans_see-red-and-boycott_jan-2015-fa-cup_back-to-blue-for-the-bluebirds_b_.gif
Image and Photo credits above –
Old Cardiff City crests from kassiesa.nl/uefa/clubs/html/C; uefa.wikidot.com/england:cardiff-city-fc. [Template for CCFC crests from last 25 years from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff_City_F.C.#Club_logo_history.]. Photo of Vincent Tan (in classic Bond-villian look), flanked by 2 local toadies, both of whom sport flourishes of red (in true suck-up fashion), photo from Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2402081/Cardiff-owner-Vincent-Tan-adds-teams-kit-shirt-tie-combo. Photo of Cardiff City fans (some in red but more in blue), photo from Reuters via mirror.co.uk/sport/football. Photo of ‘Tan Out’ T-shirt uploaded by mugitmugit at ebay.com, ebay.co.uk/itm/Tan-Out-Cardiff-City-Bluebirds-t-shirt. Photo of Cardiff City fans’ protest banner from msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/premierleague/story/cardiff-fans-stage-protest-against-owner-vincent-tan-before-boxing-day-fixture. Photo of Cardiff fans with ‘Hate the red/love the blue’ banner, photo by Getty Images via telegraph.co.uk/football. Photo of empty seats via fan-boycott at Cardiff City Stadium by Huw Evans Picture Agency via walesonline.co.uk/football. Photo of Cardiff players back in blue, photo by Wales News Service via bbc.com/football.

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Thanks to Soccerway.com for attendance figures. You can find attendance figures (updated daily) for levels 1 through 6 of the English football pyramid at Soccerway, http://us.soccerway.com/national/england/premier-league/20142015/regular-season/r25191/.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, 2014–15 FA Cup.

January 8, 2015

Argentina: location-map for the 30-club Primera División of 2015, following the 10-team promotion of December 2014./ Featuring top 3 scorers for Racing (current champions)./ With an article on Argentine 1st division format history, the Buenos Aires-centric nature of the top tier, and the 10-team expansion to a 30-club 1st division for 2015.

Filed under: Argentina — admin @ 2:01 pm

argentina_30-clubs_primera-division_2015_location-map_post_h_.gif
Argentina: location-map for the 30-club Primera División of 2015, following the 10-team promotion of December 2014






2014 – Torneo de Transición champions, Racing Club de Avellaneda
racing-club_2014-transicion_champions_g-bou_d-milito_g-hauche_c_.gif
Photo credits above -
Gustavo Bou, photo by Gabriel Rossi/STF/Getty Images at gettyimages.com.
Diego Milito, photo by FotoBAIRES via canchallena.lanacion.com.ar/diego-milito-recibio-el-afecto-del-cilindro-tras-una-decada.
Gabriel Hauche, photo by racing.com.ar.

Introduction: the Buenos Aires-centric nature of Argentin’s Primera División
The Buenos Aires-centric nature of the Argentine top flight has existed from the very start of football in Argentina, and is partly attributable to the lack of decent transportation infrastructure out to the hinterlands, back in the very late 1800s and early 1900s. In fact, in the early days of amateur league football (1891; 1893-1930), and in the first eight seasons of pro league football in Argentina (1931 to 1938), only teams from Buenos Aires Federal District, Greater Buenos Aires, and the nearby city of La Plata were allowed to play in the first division (the distance from Buenos Aires city center to La Plata is around 53 km or 33 mi). The Buenos Aires-centric nature of Argentina’s first division also simply reflects the huge influence that the giant and sprawling city and metropolitan-area of Buenos Aires has always had on the country itself. Simple demographics point to this, with, currently, over one-quarter (around 28%) of Argentina’s population living within Greater Buenos Aires. Argentina has a population of around 44.6 million {2014 estimate}, and Greater Buenos Aires has a population of around 12.8 million {2010 census}. There is another reason why most of the big and successful clubs in Argentina come from the Buenos Aires region, and that is how the AFA (Asociación del Fútbol Argentino) rules for club representation in 1931 gave the “Big Five” clubs (three from Buenos Aires FD and two from the adjacent municipality of Avellaneda) triple the representation of other clubs (see two paragraphs below).

The Argentine first division was established at a rather early time period – 1891 and 1893 – and the 1893-to-1930 iteration was in fact the first functioning football league established outside of Great Britain (the Argentine first division turned professional in 1931). Once the clubs and the game itself got established, that Buenos Aires-centric nature became embedded. The Buenos-Aires/La-Plata-clubs-only rule existed all through the amateur era (1891; 1893-1930) and for the first 8 pro seasons (1931-38). Then in 1939, two clubs from Argentina’s third-largest city Rosario – Newell’s Old Boys and Rosario Central – from the somewhat nearby province of Santa Fe, were allowed to join the first division (distance from Rosario to Buenos Aires by road is around 280 km or around 174 mi). And then 37 years later, in 1966, one year before the first division structure changed in 1967, another club from Santa Fe province (Colón, from the city of Santa Fe), was allowed to join the first division. But clubs from Córdoba – the second-largest city in Argentina – as well as clubs from all the rest of Argentina outside Buenos Aires province and Santa Fe province – were still excluded from the top flight. The following year – 1967 – the Metropolitano/Nacional league system was introduced, and clubs from the areas outside of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe provinces were finally allowed to compete for the chance to win promotion to the first division (see four paragraphs below for a brief synopsis of the 1st division formats in Argentina).

The Big Five – and how AFA rules effectively institutionalized the dominance of Greater Buenos Aires-based clubs…
From the start of the re-organization of Argentine football in 1931 all the way until 1966, only 5 clubs won the title – Boca Juniors, Independiente, Racing, River Plate, and San Lorenzo – aka the Big Five. This was partly the result of rules the Argentine Footbol Association instituted in 1931, when football became professional at the top level and when that governing body took control of football in the country. Here is an excerpt from the The Big Five of Argentine football at en.wikipedia.org…{excerpt}…”The term [the Big Five] was coined in the 1930 decade, with the establishment of the Argentine Football Association (AFA). The AFA arranged a system of proportional representation for the involved sport clubs: the vote of the clubs with either 15,000 members and at least 20 years playing the tournament and 2 or more championships would weight threefold, the vote of clubs with 20 years playing the tournament and 10,000 to 15,000 members or 1 championship would weight twofold, and the vote of the others would have the standard value. Boca, Independiente, Racing, River and San Lorenzo were the only five clubs who qualified for the threefold vote. The five teams would have a leading role in Argentine football since then, and during the first 36 years of the AFA (1931 to 1966) no team outside the five got the championship. The first one to do so was Estudiantes de la Plata, in 1967.”…{end of excerpt at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Five_of_Argentine_football). To this day the Big Five are among the most successful clubs in Argentina, with only Vélez Sarsfield having won more professional titles (titles won since 1931) than some of the Big 5 clubs (see Argentine pro tiles list on the map page at the top of this post, or see it here {at es.wikipedia.org/Primera División de Argentina/Resumen estadístico}).

argentina_big-five_boca-juniors_independiente_racing_river-plate_san-lorenzo_w-titles-to2014_e_.gif
Photos of Big Five jerseys – River Plate, unattributed at futboleros.co. Boca Juniors, unattributed at footyheadlines.com/2014/05/nike-boca-juniors-14-15-home-kit-leaked. San Lorenzo, sportec.com.ar/shop/san-lorenzo-de-almagro-topper-2014-home-jersey. Independiente, tienda.clubaindependiente.com/camiseta-independiente-titular-2014-2015. Racing Club, futbol10shop.com/racing-club-home-jersey-2014.

You can see the Buenos Aires-centric nature of the Argentine top flight to this day
Greater Buenos Aires-based clubs almost always account for more than half of the first division teams to this day. In 2014 it was 60% (12 Greater BA-based clubs). [Note: and in 2015, it will be 53% (with 16 Greater BA-based clubs/see 10-13 paragraphs below).] Here is the breakdown-by-provinces of the most recent season of Primera División… In the (September-to-December) 2014-Transición season, only 4 of the 23 provinces of Argentina had first division representation. And 15 of the 20 clubs in the Primera División in the 2014-Transición were from Greater Buenos Aires/Buenos Aires province. A whopping 12 of the 20 clubs in the Primera División were from Greater Buenos Aires: 4 clubs from Buenos Aires Federal District (Boca Juniors, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Vélez Sarsfield), plus 8 more clubs from Greater Buenos Aires (Arsenal, Banfield, Independiente, Lanús, Quilmes, Racing, Tigre, and top-flight newcomers in 2014 Defensa y Justicia), with 3 more clubs from other parts of the rather large Buenos Aires Province [BA province is slightly larger than the US state of Arizona and is the largest province in Argentina], two of those being from the near-to-Buenos Aires city of La Plata (Estudiantes and Gimnasia LP), the other being the sole outlier in far south Buenos Aires province in Bahia Blanca (Club Olimpo, who will be playing in their 10th season of top flight football in 2015). The rest of the 2014-Transición field was comprised of the following 5 clubs… 3 clubs from Santa Fe province, with 2 from the city of Rosario (Newell’s Old Boys and Rosario Central), and 1 from the city of Rafaela (Atlético de Rafaela). 1 club from the city of Córdoba in Córdoba province (Belgrano). 1 club from the city of Mendoza in Mendoza province (Godoy Cruz).

History of tournament formats in First Division football in Argentina, 1891-2015
1891; 1893-1966: round-robin-style tournament for national title, initially contested only by clubs from Buenos Aires/BA province; later Rosario clubs (in 1939) and Santa Fe clubs (in 1966) allowed.
[Amateur from 1891; 1893-1930; Professional from 1931-on. Only 5 clubs won titles from 1930-66 (River Plate, Boca Juniors, Independiente, Racing, San Lorenzo: the Big Five).]
[1931: First Division becomes professional.]
1967-85: national title awarded twice per season, with the Metropolitano contested only by clubs from old tournament / and with the Nacional open to all [Metropolitano season played first until 1980-81].
1985-1991: European-style tournament, with season running from August to May, clubs playing each other home & away, and one title awarded each May.
1991-2012: return to two single-round tournaments as in 1967-85, but now both tournaments open to all, with Apertura in August-December and with Clausura in January-May.
2012-14: a Super Final instituted [but for only two seasons, it turned out], contested between the 2 single-round winners; the 2 single-round tournaments renamed Inicial and Final, but with the Inicial & Final titles still counting as national titles, and with the Super Final title being a title of its own but not a national title [akin to the Community Shield title in England]; however, AFA never rescinded Vélez Sarsfield’s 2012-13 [Superfinal] title, so Vélez Sarsfield, bizarrely, basically got an extra national title, whereas the Superfinal winner for 2013-14, River Plate, were not allowed to count their Superfinal title as a national title (seriously).
2014-Transición: the August-December tournament has no teams relegated, as league transitions to an expanded tournament.
2015: First Division (Primera Division) expanded from 20 teams to 30 teams via mass-10-team-promotion of Second Division clubs; each team plays each other once, with the 30th game being a clásico (derby/historic rivalry) match; season to go from February 2015 to December 2015, with a halfway-break break in June.

2015: Argentina’s AFA institutes a 10-team expansion of the Primera División (going from 20 teams to 30 teams)…
-From the Turkish Press site, from 30 April 2014, by Charles Newbery, Argentina football league expansion seen as political (turkishpress.com).
-From Caught Offside.com, from 10 Nov. 2014, by Charles Price, Argentina’s 30-Team Primera Division Disaster (caughtoffside.com).
-From the Daily Mail, from 18 Nov. 2014 , by Reuters, Argentine FA set to go ahead with 30-team top flight (dailymail.co.uk/wires).

Five-and-a-half years ago, in mid-2009, the Argentine Primera División’s television rights were bought by the national government, and all games are now shown free on public TV on the country’s state TV network {see this article from July 2010 from the Soccer Politics blog, by Jeffrey Richey, Argentine Soccer Politics: Fútbol Para Todos, Continued}. This was done as a blatant attempt to grab votes. Since the 2009-10 season, Primera División games are broadcast free (and are streamed for free online/see link in next sentence), and the government uses the platform to curry favor with the populace (filling much of the advertising space with puff-piece-propaganda for the political party in charge). {Free streaming of Argentina Premiera División at futbolparatodos.com.ar}. The arrangement is wildly popular, but it hasn’t actually resulted in much more favorable opinions towards the party-in-charge (the Front for Victory party, a Peronist/center-left coalition headed by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner). Much of the football media in Argentina is dead set against them, especially the more right-wing media outlets, and most especially as with respect to Grupo Clarin, who lost the broadcasting rights and then sued the government (unsuccessfully), claiming the rights to broadcast the Primera División were basically stolen from them. As it says in the article by Jeffrey Richey in the link at the top of this paragraph, {excerpt}…”Certain sectors of the Argentine media have had a central role in rallying public opinion against the Kirchners. In the immediate wake of Fútbol Para Todos, political criticism of the Fernández administration in the various arms of Grupo Clarín media reached a crescendo from which it has yet to descend.”

With a Presidential election coming up in October 2015, and with the sitting government headed by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner facing abysmal poll numbers (like 20%-favorable poll numbers), the party-in-charge is again trying leverage political gain via first-division football. This time they hope to gain more support in the hinterlands by expanding the league 50 percent – from 20 teams to an unheard-of 30 teams.

There are many who feel that the 10-team expansion of the first division smacks of those in power in Argentina seeking cynical short-term gain at the expense of the long-term viability of the professional game in Argentina, where clubs have seen their ability to maintain high-caliber and stable squads eroded by the continued rise of club football in Europe. To put it another way, as soon as a young Argentine footballer of exceptional skill gets established, he is sold off to a money-laden European club. And watering down the talent-level with the inclusion of 10 second-division-caliber clubs will only further diminish the standard of play in the Argentine top flight. At the NonLeagueMatters.co.uk forum, commenter Edgeley says…{excerpt}…”The general view of most fans in Argentina is that the idea of a 30 club division is madness but it is happening and it looks like once it is established then it will not be easy to undo it in a hurry”…(from nonleaguematters.co.uk/forum/post=600625 [Argentine First Division expansion, ca. June 2014]).

In April of 2014, the long-serving head of the Argentina FA Julio Grondona had initiated the expansion plan…
Grondona’s power (amid all the allegations of corruption over the years) was such that few had the ability to effectively produce an opposition to the radical expansion. But once the 82-year-old Grondona passed away in July 2014, opposition to the the 10-team expansion began to coalesce. Of course the big clubs including the Big Five oppose it. But some of the less established first division clubs are set against it – if only because their share of broadcast revenue will be diminished once the pie is cut into 30 instead of 20.

The most logical aspect of the 30-team first division is the switch to a single August-to-May season (like with European leagues). (The Argentine Primera División had had a two-title/dual-tournament season-format from 1991-92 to 2013-14.)

The whole 10-team expansion plan had been constantly changing all through October, November, and December 2014, but it now looks like the plan is set. The season for 2015 will be a unique one-time setup and will go from February to December 2015, with a mid-June break. Two clubs will be relegated in December 2015 (with two clubs being promoted up from the 2nd division at the same time). For the 2015 season, each team will play each other team once (29 games), and a clásico (derby/historic rivalry) will account for the match-ups which will be the 30th game. For example, Boca Juniors will play River Plate for their 30th game. Some other 30th games are: Banfield v. Lanús, Estudiantes v. Gimnasia (LP), and Rosario Central v. Newell’s Old Boys. Those are all very real clásicos. But because so many of these clubs don’t have a convenient rival to play, there will be some pretty fictitious “clásicos” on display, like Arsenal v. Defensa y Justicia or Tigre v. Vélez Sarsfield. As pedrocoates says in the following article from 17th December 2014 at Golazo Argentina blog, “Where this gets complicated is that AFA have had to create a number of clásicos that in fact have little or no history – Vélez against Tigre is one such fabricated clásico. This issue highlights the stupidity of the new format given that all 30 teams will in fact have different fixtures and an away match at River or Racing is considerably more difficult than say, a visit to Crucero del Norte.” {excerpt from AFA release 2015 30-team Primera fixtures (golazoargentino.com)}.

From the AFA site, here is the fixtures list, Fixture de Primera División [2015] (afa.org.ar).

From the Buenos Aires Herald, from 13 November 2014, Top clubs, Argentine FA remain in conflict over structure of new 30-team top division (buenosairesherald.com).}

From the Buenos Aires Herald, from 28 November 2014, by Eric Weill/Sports World, ‘What is the AFA for?’ (buenosairesherald.com)

The 30-team league will remain in place for two seasons – in 2015 (the aforementioned full 10-month/ 30-match season), with two teams relegated and two promoted up from the second division in December 2015. So there will still be 30 teams in the 1st division for the next tournament – in the first-half of 2016 (a temporary 5-month/14-match half-season with the 1st division split into 2 groups of 15), with three teams relegated and one team promoted following that half-season in 2016. Then, after a full year/quasi-Apertura-and-Clausura format starting in mid-2016 and ending in June 2017, four clubs will be relegated and two promoted. Thus the plan is not to actually end up with a 30-team league down the road, but whittle away the 30-team field via a staggered relegation/promotion schedule (again, with less teams promoted up being than being relegated down each calender year), until the first-division field is down to 24 clubs. Or maybe down to 22 clubs. Or maybe down to 20 clubs once again. That final first-division-quantity-of-teams is still yet to be determined, and there is a high probability that there will be still more changes to the format. (In fact, a faction is lobbying for there to be no relegation once again in 2015, so that there would be a 32-team league come 2016!)

Here, via the Argentine Primera División page at en.wikipedia.org, is the breakdown of the format for the next 5 seasons…

[2015] – From February to December 2015, the league will be contested between thirty teams. Two teams will be relegated to and two teams will be promoted from Primera B Nacional.
[2016] – In the first half of 2016, the league will be contested between thirty teams. Three teams will be relegated to and one team will be promoted from Primera B Nacional.
[2016-17] – From August 2016 to June 2017, the league will be contested between twenty-eight teams. Four teams will be relegated to and two teams will be promoted from Primera B Nacional.
[2017-18] – From August 2017 to June 2018, the league will be contested between twenty-six teams. Four teams will be relegated to and two teams will be promoted from Primera B Nacional.
[2018-19] – From August 2018 to June 2019, the league will be contested between twenty-four teams. Four teams will be relegated to and two teams will be promoted from Primera B Nacional.

As the Buenos Aires Herald notes in an editorial from 27 November 2014,…{excerpt}…” Did nobody dare to question Grondona’s judgement even if this form of honouring him is akin to erecting a statue with built-in demolition plans? Or is there a hidden political agenda with the idea of creating the illusion of a more federal soccer for the election year of 2015, even if it is impossible to maintain in the long term?”…{end of excerpt at Passion of multitudes (of clubs) at buenosairesherald.com)}

Locations of the 10 newly-promoted clubs (promoted in December 2014), and the colossal irony that most are actually NOT from the hinterlands…
A couple of these 10 newly-promoted clubs will be coming from the outer provinces, where few if any clubs are ever in the top flight in Argentina. But most of these 10 newly-promoted clubs are actually coming from the traditionally-allowed-in-the-1st-division areas of Buenos Aires province and Santa Fe province.

3 of the 10 newly-promoted clubs are from Buenos Aires Federal District…Nueva Chicago (now with 7 seasons played in the first division [counting 2015], previously in 2006-07), and two perennial first division clubs: Huracán (now with 73 seasons in the first division, previously in 2009-10); and Argentinos Juniors (now with 65 seasons in the first division, previously in 2013-14). Also one newly-promoted club is from Greater Buenos Aires, from just south of Banfield in the far southern suburbs – Temperley (now with 9 seasons in the first division, previously in 1986-87). Also, two clubs, one of whom is making their first division debut in 2015, are from outlying parts of Buenos Aires province – top-flight-newcomers Aldosivi (from Mar del Plata, which is on the Atlantic Ocean and located around 410 km or around 255 miles south-east of Buenos Aires by road); and Sarmiento, from Junín, which is located near the border of Santa Fe province around 267 km or around 166 miles west of Buenos Aires by road (Sarmiento were previously in the 1st division (Nacional) for a 2-season-spell in 1981 and 1982; this [2015] will be their 3rd season in the 1st division). Also, two newly-promoted clubs are both from the city of Santa Fe in Santa Fe province – one is an old first division standby – Colón (now with 36 seasons in the first division, previously in 2013-14); the other club being promoted up from Santa Fe is also with many years as a top flight team – Unión de Santa Fe (now with 30 seasons in the first division, previously in 2012-13).

So that means that just 2 (or maybe 3) of the 10 newly-promoted clubs are actually from the hinterlands (the hinterlands being the areas that weren’t allowed to have clubs in the 1st division before 1967).
[Note: by saying "(or maybe 3)" in the sentence above, I am referring to Aldosivi of Mar del Plata, because it is kind of debatable if the authorities would have ever let in Aldosivi into the pre-1967 era first division, had they been slated for promotion. But they almost certainly would have let in Sarmiento, seeing as how Sarmiento's location in Junín is basically halfway from Buenos Aires to the allowed-in-the-1st-division city of Rosario.] The two newly-promoted clubs that are actually from the hinterlands are the following… San Martín (SJ) (now with 4 seasons in the first division, previously in 212-13), from the city of San Juan (metro-area population of around 453,000) in the arid San Juan province in the far west of the country near the border with Chile. And first-division-newcomers Crucero del Norte, who are a very new club (est. 1989), from Garupá, a suburb of Posadas (metro-area population of around 334,000), which is in the sub-tropical Misiones province in the far north-east of the country near the borders with Paraguay and Brazil.

That seems like a small yield for all the effort of the 10-team-promotion…whose aim was to put more clubs from the hinterlands into the top tier. And it is indicative of the reason the late Julio Grondona really wanted to expand the first division even more – to 38 teams…because allowing “just” 10 more teams into the top flight would probably end up promoting many clubs that were not from the hinterlands. And that is exactly what has happened.

The map page
The map page features a basic location-map-with-inset-map (inset-map for Greater Buenos Aires). The Argentina National Professional Titles list (1931 to 2014-Transicion) is at the upper-right-hand corner of the map page. At the right-hand-side of the map page I have also included a chart that shows three items for each of the 30 clubs: 1). national pro titles (and year of last title), 2). seasons in the 1st division, and 3). each club’s stadium capacity (sorry I could not include last season’s average attendance figures, but unfortunately for several reasons including corruption and tax-dodging, the reporting of attendance figures in Argentine football is a thing that simply does not exist). On the map and on the Greater Buenos Aires inset map, I have listed the estimated metropolitan-area (aka urban area) populations of each city which has 1st division representation in 2015. I have also listed the estimated populations of all barrios (neighborhoods) of Buenos Aires Federal District which have 1st division representation in 2015. Those populations are found in gray boxes adjacent to each club’s crest (sources can be found immediately below). I have also shown on the map the 8 largest cities in Argentina (all cities in the country with a metro-area population above 500,000). (The 8 largest cities in Argentine cities, in order of metro-area population, are: Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Rosario, Mendoza, Tucumán, La Plata, Mar del Plata, Salta.)

Sources for map and titles chart:
-Source for city metro populations from Anexo:Aglomerados urbanos de Argentina;
barrio populations found at Barrios and Communes of Buenos Aires; cities within Greater Buenos Aires, with populations found at each page via 2015 Argentine Primera División/Club information.
-Seasons played in Argentine top flight, by club: Primera División de Argentina/Equipos participantes (es.wikipedia.org); LIST OF ARGENTINIAN CLUBS AND DIVISIONAL MOVEMENTS (Professional Era 1931-2007/08) (rsssf.com).
-Titles (professional Argentine titles): http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primera_Divisi%C3%B3n_de_Argentina#Resumen_estad.C3.ADstico_2.
-Stadium capacities: 2014 Argentine Primera División; 2014–15 Primera B Nacional (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendance figures (which I ended up not listing due to the high probability that they were not very accurate): very few (if any) media outlets report Argentina Primera División attendances. The following link (World Football.net) reports crowd estimates for Primera División only, worldfootball.net/attendance/arg-primera-division-2014-2015-torneo-inicial/1/.
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For blank maps of Argentina and of Greater Buenos Aires, thanks to NordNordWest at File:Argentina Greater Buenos Aires location map.svg; and at File:Argentina location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).

Thanks to Sam Kelly and company at the Hand of Pod podcast (the only English-speaking podcast on Argentine football), for information and for updates on the 10-team 1st division expansion, https://handofpod.wordpress.com.

Thanks to the contributors at en. and es.wikipedia.org, Argentine Primera División; Primera B Nacional.

January 1, 2015

2014-15 FA Cup, Third Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances./ Plus a look back at the 1988 FA Cup Final (Wimbledon 1-0 Liverpool). /Plus, an illustrated article on the Blyth Spartans, the Non-League club that went the furthest in the FA Cup in the post-War era (in 1977-78).

Filed under: >2014-15 FA Cup,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 12:39 pm

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2014-15 FA Cup, Third Round: location-map with current average attendances



FA Cup fixtures, bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup/fixtures.
BBC.co.uk/FA Cup.

Televised matches (all the matches live in the UK and in the USA & Canada)…
Friday 2 January 2015:
Cardiff City v Colchester United, 7:45 pm GT at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, South Wales, Wales, UK (live on BBC-Wales only).
Saturday 3 January 2015:
Tranmere Rovers v Swansea City, 3 pm GT [/10 am ET] at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, South Wales, Wales, UK (live in USA & Canada only on Fox Sports 1 at 10 am ET).
West Bromwich v Gateshead, 3 pm GT [/10 am ET] at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich [Greater Birmingham], West Midlands (live in USA & Canada only on Fox Sports 2 at 10 am ET).
Sunday 4 January 2015:
Dover Athletic v Crystal Palace, 1 pm GT at the Crabble Athletic Ground in River [adjacent to Dover], Kent (live on BT Sport in the UK; and in USA & Canada on Fox Sports 1 at 8 am ET).
Manchester City v Sheffield Wednesday, 3 pm GT at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester (not broadcast in the UK; only in USA & Canada on Fox Sports 2 at 10 am ET).
Yeovil Town v Manchester United, 3:30 pm GT at Huish Park in Yeovil, Somerset (live on BT Sport in the UK; and in USA & Canada on Fox Sports 1 at 10:30 am ET).
Arsenal v Hull City, 5:30 pm GT at Emirates Stadium in Hollloway, Greater London N5 (live on the BBC in the UK; and in USA & Canada on Fox Sports 1 at 12:30 pm ET).
Monday 5 January 2015:
AFC Wimbledon v Liverpool, 8:55 pm GT at Kingsmeadow in Kingston-upon-Thames, Greater London KT1 (live on the BBC in the UK; and in USA & Canada on Fox Sports 1 at 2:45 ET).
Tuesday 6 January 2015:
Everton v West Ham United, 7:45 pm at Goodison Park in Walton, Liverpool L4 (live on BT Sport in the UK; and in USA & Canada on Fox Sports 1 at 2:30 pm ET).

For the first time in their twelve-year existence, AFC Wimbledon have qualified for the FA Cup 3rd Round…
And wouldn’t you know it, supporter-owned AFC Wimbledon, heir to Wimbledon FC (1889 to 2004), will host Liverpool, at their Kingsmeadow ground in southwest London. It will be a re-match of Wimbledon FC’s greatest win, the 1988 FA Cup Final, which saw First Division upstarts Wimbledon beat the-just-crowned-champions-of-England Liverpool, 1-0, at the old Wembley Stadium in front of 98,203. Northern Ireland international MF Lawrie Sanchez headed in the winner on a cross from MF Dennis Wise in the 37th minute. The match featured the first-ever penalty save in an FA Cup final – a full-stretch diving-save by the captain of Wimbledon, Dave Beasant – off of a John Aldridge penalty attempt in the 60th minute. Then Wimbledon held Liverpool scoreless for the final 30 minutes after that brilliant save, and Wimbledon FC of Plough Lane [aka the Crazy Gang], were the improbable FA Cup champions of 1988. It is generally viewed as one of the greatest FA Cup upsets ever {see this article from Jan. 2014, where it is ranked #3 … Are these the greatest FA Cup upsets ever? (thescore.ie)}.

{See this 6:38 youtube video, [goal at 2:10 / penalty call (blown call) at 3:10 / save at 3:55], 15/05/1988 Liverpool v Wimbledon [1988 FA Cup Final] (youtube.com)}.

Wimbledon FC (1889-2004), improbable FA Cup winners of 1988…
wimbledon-fc_1988-fa-cup-winners_dave-beasant_lawrie-sanchez_dennis-wise_vinnie-jones_bobby-gould_john-fashanu_plough-lane_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Lawrie Sanchez heading in the winner, photo by Getty Images via mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/vinnie-jones-remembers-crazy-gang. Lawrie Sanchez celebrating the goal, photo unattributed at liverpoolkits.com/liverpool1988fa-cup. Dave Beasant making the first-ever goalkeepersper-save in an FA Cup Final, photo by David Cannon/Allsport via Guardian.com/football. Wimbledon manager Bobby Gould jumping into the arms of Vinnie Jones in celebration of the upset win, photo unattributed at i4.coventrytelegraph.net. Dennis Wise clowning with the trophy lid, with Dave Beasant in the background, photo by Foto Sports International via dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/413742/Chelsea-legend-Dennis-Wise-Football-crazy-days. John Fashanu on image from T-shirt at punkfootball.com/John-Fashanu-1988-AFC-Wimbledon-Navy-T-Shirt. Crazy Gang still celebrating while getting the team photo in after the win, photo unattributed at port.bt.com/sportfootball/football/where-are-they-now-wimbledons-fa-cup-final-winning-team.
Plough Lane, photo unattributed at ebay.co.uk/itm/Wimbledon-FC-Inside-Plough-Lane-Football-Stadium-Photo-Memorabilia. “Not in the greater interests…” [infamous quote from FA report which consigned Wimbledon FC to to the dustbin of history by allowing ownership to move the club to Milton Keynes], image from a banner at afcwimbledon-mad.co.uk. Wimbledon FC’s boarded up HQ in South London, photo by Getty Images via telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/AFC-Wimbledon-ready-to-go-back-to-Plough-Lane.

Blyth Spartans, the lowest-placed (and lowest-drawing) club still alive in the 2014-15 FA Cup..
From Blyth, Northumberland (population ~35,000 {2001 figure}), Blyth Spartans play in the 7th-level Northern Premier League Premier Division and are the lowest-placed club still in the competition. In the Second Round, on Friday 5th December, at Victoria Park in Hartlepool, County Durham, Blyth Spartans took a scalp of a team three divisions above them when they beat League Two/4th-division side Hartlepool United 1-2 to advance to the FA Cup Third Round. The winner was scored by 21-year-old striker/newstand clerk Jarret Rivers in extra time. 1,100 Blyth supporters traveled the 66 km (41 mi) down the coast to Hartlepool to root their club on {see this, Hartlepool United 1-2 Blyth Spartans (bbc.co.uk/fa cup)}. At that point in time, the league-placement difference between Blyth Spartans and Hartlepool was 65 places and 3 levels.

Blyth is located 21 km (13 mi) north of Newcastle in England’s northern-most historic county, Northumberland. Blyth Spartans are the northern-most club in the England football leagues system (of clubs within levels 1 through 8 within the English football pyramid). [Although Berwick Rangers from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumbria are located further north...but they play in the Scottish football leagues system (in the Scottish 4th division).]

Blyth Spartans wear green-and-white vertically-striped jerseys. They play at Croft Park, which has a capacity of 4,435 with 556 seated (see illustration below). The ground’s Main Stand (aka the Port of Blyth Stand), looms over the rest of the terraced ground in all its brick-walled and bright-green-metal-roofed glory. Blyth Spartans are managed by Tom Wade, who is 56 years old and supported the club in his childhood. Wade is back for his third spell with the club in a coaching capacity (previously as caretaker-manager and as an assistant coach), and also has coaching experience with Gateshead, Newcastle Blue Star and Harrogate Town.

Blyth Spartans had their highest league placement in 2006-07, at 7th place in the 6th-level Conference North. This was during a 6-season spell in the Conference North, which they had won promotion to after winning the NPL PD in 2005-06 (as well as the league cup that season). Since relegation in 2012, they have remained in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. They currently sit 16th with several games in hand, and are averaging 450 per game, which is an improvement of 90 per game over their average crowd size last season.

In the 2014-15 FA 3rd Round, on Saturday 3rd January, Blyth Spartans will face 2nd division side Birmingham City. Prior to winning 3 of their last 5 league matches, Birmingham City (currently in 14th place), had been struggling yet again in the Football League Championship, so that suggests that another giant-killing is not out of the question.

Blyth Spartans qualify for the FA Cup 3rd Round once again…
Blyth Spartans have now qualified for the FA Cup 3rd Round for the fourth time in their history (in 1971-72, in 1977-78, in 2008-09, and now in 2014-15/ see this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blyth_Spartans_FA_Cup_exploits). Of course Blyth Spartans’ greatest moment was 37 years ago. On 6th February 1978, they qualified for the FA Cup Fifth Round, after a massive 4th Round upset – beating then-2nd-division-side Stoke City 2-3 before 18,765 at the old Victoria Park in Stoke-on-Trent. Blyth Spartans then went on to face 3rd-division-side Wrexham in the 5th Round, taking them to a replay before bowing out (note: Wrexham won the Third Division that season [1977-78]). Wrexham advanced to the Quarterfinals instead of Blyth, but only just, because Wrexham had forced a replay by scoring late in the match on a controversial retaken corner kick (re-taken twice), which the ref ruled on, due to a downed corner-flag on the initial corner kick (as you can see in the video at the link below). The replay was played on 27 February 1978 at St James’ Park in Newcastle before 42,167 (with over 10,000 locked outside the ground). But Blyth Spatans fell to Wrexham 1-2.

Here is a 5:44 youtube video with match highlights and interviews, about the Blyth Spartans 1978 FA Cup Run (5:44 video uploaded by GriefTourist at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70j23pg6S5g). [This video is from a broadcast from the 2008-09 FA Cup 3rd Round circa first week of January 2009.]

There have been 7 Non-League teams to make it to the 5th Round of the FA Cup since 1945-46 {see this, List of non-league clubs in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup since 1945}, but only one of those sides forced a replay – Blyth Spartans. So, regardless of that cruel twist of fate with respect to that pesky corner flag, Blyth Spartans are to this day the only Non-League club in the post-War era to have made it to the FA Cup Quarterfinals draw. Had that corner flag not fallen over twice in the half-frozen mud in North Wales (and had the ref not been such a stickler), Blyth Spartans would have hosted Arsenal in March of 1978, in the FA Cup Quarterfinals.

Here is an article on Blyth Spartans’ 1977-78 Cup run, from the When Saturday Comes site, by Ken Sproat from April 2005, Blyth Spartans 1977-78 (wsc.co.uk/the-archive).

Here is an another article on Blyth Spartans’ 1977-78 Cup run, from the Blyth Spirit blog, The Goal That Made History – Classic Matches – Stoke City FA Cup 1977/1978 Stoke City 2 Blyth Spartans 3 (blythspirit.wordpress.com).

Below,
Croft Park, home of Blyth Spartans, w/ a sidebar on the 1977-78 Blyth Spartans: the Non-League team that went the furthest in the FA Cup (post-War era)…

blyth-spartans_croft-park_1977-78-fa-cup-run_2014-15-fa-cup_d_.gif
Photo credits above -
Panoramic photo of part of Croft Park featuring Main Stand (Port of Blyth Stand), photo by tigerroar.co.uk/blythspartans.
Main Stand (Port of Blyth Stand), photo by chroniclelive.co.uk/all-about/blyth-spartans-afc.
Terry Johnson celebrating with traveling Blyth fans after scoring v Wrexham in the 1977-78 FA Cup 4R at the Racecorse Ground in Wrexham, image from a screenshot from Blyth Spartans 1977 78 FA Cup Run Remembered (video uploaded by Brian Grey at youtube.com).
1978 FA Cup %th Round replay programme, photo unattributed from chroniclelive.co.uk.
Blyth Spartans supporters with banners at Croft Park terraces, photo unattributed at therealfacup.co.uk/2011/02/27/blame-it-on-a-corner-flag.
Jarret Rivers after scoring v Hartlepool in 2014-15 FA Cup 2R at Victoria Park, photo by Jason Cairnduff at chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football.

___
Thanks to these sites for attendance figures -
Levels 1 through 6 at soccerway.com.
Level 7 (Blyth Spartans) at nonleaguematters.co.uk.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, 2014–15 FA Cup.

December 19, 2014

National Hockey League, 1991-92 season, 22 teams, with one team added (San Jose Sharks)./ Origin of the Sharks franchise and nickname./ Stats leaders in 1991-92 NHL./ Map features dark-jersey-logo histories of the 22 oldest active NHL franchises.

Filed under: Hockey,Hockey-NHL and expansion — admin @ 5:04 pm

nhl_1991-92_map_with_dark-jersey-history_of-the-22-oldest-hockey-clubs_post_i_.gif"
National Hockey League, 1991-92 location-map, featuring dark-jersey-logo-histories of the 22 oldest active NHL franchises
...


...

This continues my category of Hockey - NHL and expansion (my last post from this category was about 3 years ago, National Hockey League, 1979-80 season, with four teams added (all from the WHA): the Edmonton Oilers, the Hartford Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the Winnipeg Jets (I).

The 1991-92 season was the first expansion the NHL had in 12 seasons. Their last "expansion" was only technically an expansion...it was really a merger between the NHL and the outlaw-league the World Hockey Association, but it was decidedly a merger that was totally on the NHL's terms (with the 4 WHA franchises coming into the league allowed to only retain 4 players per team, and the 4 WHA franchises being obliged to buy back former WHA players at $125,000 per player in the re-entry draft). If you want to read/see more about all that, click on the link above.

The NHL's one-team-expansion of 1991-92 was something that was long overdue if only to balance out the schedule, because the NHL hobbled itself by operating for 13 seasons as a league with an odd-number of teams (which makes scheduling a nightmare). The creation of the San Jose Sharks franchise in 1991-92 saw the NHL's return to the San Francisco/Bay Area after a 14-and-a-half-year gap. The previous NHL team in the Bay Area was of course the California Seals/Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals, who existed under 3 different names for just 9 seasons (from 1967-68 to 1975-76), then, due to the lack of adequate ticket-paying support, the franchise moved to Cleveland, Ohio as the similarly-poorly-supported Cleveland Barons for a mere 2 seasons, before going defunct after the 1977-78 season. An unusual deal was then set up between the dead-in-the-water Cleveland Barons franchise and the then-struggling Minnesota North Stars franchise (present-day Dallas Stars franchise). The Barons ownership group, headed by brothers George and Gordon Gund, took over the North Stars franchise, and the Barons roster was absorbed into the North Stars team.

As it is pointed out at the Sharks' page at Sports E-Cyclopedia.com, following the considerable fan-excitement in California created by Wayne Gretzky's 1988 arrival from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings, there became renewed interest in placing a second NHL team again in the state of California. The Gund brothers tried to return to California by moving their still-struggling Minnesota North Stars franchise to the Bay Area. But the NHL balked at giving up on the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (though they did give up on the Twin Cities a few years later, and let the North Stars move to Dallas in 1993) [seven years later, the NHL returned to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota with the creation of the Minnesota Wild in 2000].

San Jose Sharks, established 1991-92 (the 22nd NHL franchise)...
So the NHL engineered a franchise transaction in which the Gund brothers sold the North Stars to a consortium including former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin and headed by Norm Green; and at the same time the NHL awarded a new franchise to the Gund brothers in San Jose, CA (with the team slated to start for the 1991-92 season). Because of building delays at the arena in San Jose, caused by the decision to increase the size and amount of luxury suites, the Sharks ended up playing their first 2 seasons (1991-93) at the old Cow Palace just outside of San Francisco (in Daly City, CA). In October 1993 the San Jose Sharks moved into the 17.5 K-capacity San Jose Arena (present-day name: SAP Center at San Jose).

Back-tracking a couple years to when the San Jose NHL franchise was first awarded (in 1990), an open poll was undertaken to determine the team's new nickname. Over 5,000 names were submitted by mail, with the most popular nickname chosen being the Blades. That nickname was rejected by the Gunds, because they did not want a name associated with weapons. So the second-most popular nickname submitted was selected - the Sharks. There was a precedent for the name in California, the short-lived WHA team the Los Angeles Sharks. Also, sharks are very prevalent in that part of the California coast. As it says in the San Jose Sharks page at en.wikipedia.org, ..."The name was said to have been inspired by the large number of sharks living in the Pacific Ocean. Seven different varieties live there, and one area of water near the Bay Area is known as the "red triangle" because of its shark population."...{end of excerpt from San Jose Sharks/History}. {The prevalence of Shark-attacks in the waters near the Bay Area is shown in this chart by John Blanchard/San Francisco Chronicle at SFgate.com, here}. Also, see the images below for more on that. The map below also shows the locations of the two arenas that the San Jose Sharks have played in.

san-jose-sharks_red-triangle_pacific-ocean_map_sharks-logos_m_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Map, US Geological Survey document in Public Domain at en.wikipedia.org page Red Triangle (Pacific Ocean).
San Jose Sharks 1991-92 jerseys, illustrations by Jersey Database.com at jerseydatabase.com/ [browse - Hockey...see column for "Jersey Fronts", by team].
San Jose Sharks jersey logos, illustrations by Andrew M. Greenstein at nhluniforms.com/Sharks/Sharks.html.

A lot had changed in the 15 years in which San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (aka the Bay Area) had no NHL team. And the much-improved Bay Area economy of the early 1990s (and onwards into the Silicon Valley era of today) has contributed to the creation of an essentially healthy NHL team in a warm-weather locale (no small feat). The Sharks, who, although never having made it to a Stanley Cup finals, to this day play to full-or-nearly-full capacity most seasons (the Sharks played to 100 percent-capacity in 2012-13, and to 97.6 percent-capacity in 2013-14).

The Cleveland Barons was the last major league sports franchise in USA and Canada to go defunct (in the 4 Major leagues of the NFL, MLB, the NBA and the NHL). The failure of the Cleveland Barons after the 1977-78 season was the reason the league got stuck with an odd-number of teams for 1978-79, and when the four WHA teams came into the NHL the following season (1979-80), the odd number of teams remained. It ended up taking the NHL thirteen years to fix it. In 1991-92 the San Jose Sharks were placed in the Smythe Division, joining Calgary, Edmonton, LA Kings, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

In 1991-92, the Sharks shook up tradition by having the then-unheard-of color teal (a dark-greenish blue-green), as their primary color. In that, one can see a connection to the late and unlamented California Golden Seals of the mid-1970s, whose third and final primary color was bright teal (a light-blue-ish blue-green). The original franchise, as the California/Oakland Seals circa 1967-70, wore dark blue with green and pale-green trim {see the 1967-68 California Seals uniforms here}. When Charlie Finley (then-owner of MLB's Oakland A's) bought the Oakland Seals in 1970, he renamed the hockey club the California Golden Seals and switched their colors to green and yellow-gold (like the A's) {see the 1970-71 California Golden Seals uniforms, here}. Then three years later he upped the ante and switched the Golden Seals' colors to that aforementioned pale teal and yellow-gold. {see the 1974-75 & 1975-76 California Golden Seals' uniforms, here].}

So all that teal and all those other variations of weird greenish-blue, in the color schemes of (expansion) sports teams? Like this (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim), and this (Vancouver Grizzlies), and this (Florida Marlins), and this (Charlotte Hornets), and this (Arizona Diamondbacks)?. Well, thank (or blame) Charlie Finley for the idea, and thank (or blame) the Gund brothers for reviving it. This is all opinion of course, and in my opinion there are very few exceptions where teal, or a color similar to teal, is appropriate and looks good...like this (Seattle Mariners) [which is technically not teal but rather a color greener than teal called Northwest Green] or like this (Miami Dolphins), [which is technically not teal but rather a color with more light blue than teal called Aqua]. I think teal is a color that belongs in the minor leagues, like this (Ogden Raptors Pioneer League ball club's mascot; photo from murphsroadtrips.blogspot.com/2011/07/ogden-raptors-vs-orem-owls).

...

1991-92 NHL season...
1991-92 was the 75th anniversary of the NHL, and each team wore the 75th anniversary logo on their jerseys. There was a 10-day player strike late in the season in April, 1992, but the work-stoppage did not affect the final standings as all strike-cancelled games were made up. This necessitated an extension of the season schedule, and 91/92 ended up being the first NHL season whose playoffs extended into June.

In the 1991-92 Stanley Cup Finals, the Pittsburgh Penguins retained the Cup. Led by Hockey Hall of Famer (and current principal owner and chairman) Mario Lemieux, the Penguins won their second straight Stanley Cup title, sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks in four games.

Statistical leaders in 1991-92 NHL
nhl_1991-92_stats-leaders_patrick-roy_brett-hull_wayne-gretzky_mario-lemieux_.gif
Photo credits above -
Patrick Roy, photo from 24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1idj8TTkm1qm9rypo1_1280.jpg. Brett Hulll, photo unattributed at cbssports.com/nhl/halloffame/inductees. Wayne Gretzky, photo unattributed at gameusedonly.com. Mario Lemieux, photo unattributed at fansshare.com.

...
Elements of the map page
The map page features profile-boxes for each of the 22 NHL teams from 1991-92. These profile boxes are arranged by conferences (2) and divisions (4), and are arranged according to 1991-92 final standings. The profile boxes flank either side of the map itself, with the mostly-western-based-teams in the Campbell Conference on the left-side of the map page; and the mostly-eastern-based-teams in the Prince of Wales Conference on the right-hand-side of the map page.

The main feature of the map itself are the 1991-92 home, away and alternate (throwback) uniforms for each of the 22 teams from 91/92 {source: http://www.jerseydatabase.com/browse.php?sport=nhl}.

Inside each team's profile box are the following...
-Selected dark-jersey-logos from the team's (ie, the franchise's) history, with dates of each jersey listed.
[These selected dark-jersey-logos from the franchise's history are located in a long-and-narrow pale-greyish-blue-colored box at the upper-left of each team's larger profile box. {Sources for all the old jersey-logos are:
jerseydatabase.com/ [browse - NHL];
nhluniforms.com;
whauniforms.com;
sportslogos.net/ [NHL].}]
-1991-92 uniforms (2 per team, or 3 for the "Original Six" teams).
-Text-block synopsis of team's (franchise's) history, with: date of establishment [first season], name-changes & franchise-shifts; Stanley Cup titles (with last SC title listed); Stanley Cup Finals runners-up appearances (with last SC Finals runners-up appearance listed).
-Current official logo [2014-15].
-Current [2014-15] home jersey (photos of the jerseys from shop.nhl.com).

Notes on the jersey-logo-history sections for the 22 teams -
Why am I showing the history of only dark jerseys? For brevity's' sake, and because that is what folks want. At this link at Yahoo.com Answers they cite the statistic that dark jerseys have always accounted for 65 to 75% of all sales of NHL jerseys (I bet it's more like 80%+). The thinking in the 1970 to 2004 time-period was that it was better for the regularly-attending home fan to see all the other teams' dark-colored jerseys...for the sake of variation. But as the sale of replica jerseys had become more crucial as a revenue-stream for each NHL team, by the early 2000s it was becoming apparent that more NHL teams wanted the switch to dark-jerseys-at-home in order to encourage the sale of more jerseys. I can't say it any better than Jamie Fitzpatrick does in the following article on the subject, from 2009, from the About.com site,
What's Up With The NHL Dress Code? - It used to be good guys wear white, bad guys wear black. Not anymore. (proicehockey.about.com/cs/businessofhockey/a/NHLjerseycolors).

White as the home team's color in the NHL...
[In the NHL, white as the official color of each team's home jersey existed from 1970-71 to 2003-04. Prior to that it was the dark jerseys at home all through the "Original Six" era (1942-43 to 1966-67) and into the first three years of the second expansion era of the NHL (1967-68, 1968-69 and 1969-70). There was one major exception, and that was the Boston Bruins {Bruins; uniforms history at nhluniforms.com/Bruins}. Aside from their first season in 1924-25 (when the Bruins wore brown jerseys), the Boston Bruins in their first 24 seasons had only one jersey - and that was white (except for 1940-44 when they had an alternate yellow jersey). Then when the Bruins finally also wore a dark jersey (black), in the 1948-57 time period, they still wore white at home. In fact, the Bruins never started wearing black at home until 1967-68, and as just mentioned, a few season later the whole league switched to whites-at-home. The other minor exception was the Chicago Black Hawks of 1951-55, who wore their white jerseys at home in this time period {here}.]

The dark-jersey-logos from each franchise's history are not a comprehensive set, but are pretty close to that, and represent all fundamental changes in each hockey club's jersey evolution. I have avoided depicting white (or lighter-colored jerseys), except when that was the only jersey the team wore that season (circa 1910s and early 1920s), but a special exception was made for the first appearance of the Boston Bruins wheel-with-spokes logo (for the Hub-city team's 25th anniversary in 1948-49, when that soon-to-be-iconic logo was only worn on the Bruins' home-whites that season).

Also note that I avoided alternate jerseys in each team's set of old jersey-logos (which would have made the whole exercise an incoherent mess). And if you are wondering why I included the god-awful Calgary Flames horse-head-puffing-out-flames-from-its-nostrils logo circa 2000-03 - well that is because that creepy logo was part of their 2nd uniform then, not their 3rd uniform/alternate (the Flames finally retired that bush-league logo in 2006). That is also the case for why the Washington Capitals black jersey with Capitol-dome logo (circa 2000-07) is shown, likewise the ridiculous Gorton's-Fishsticks-fisherman logo that the clueless Islanders organization subjected Isles fans to (in 1995-97), and likewise the Flyers black jerseys (in the 2000s).

One other note, the Detroit Red Wings had their winged-wheel logo placed on their jersey un-centered, from 1934-35 to 1981-82 (the center of the wheel was where it was centered on, so that the right side of the jersey was blank, and on the map page you can see that by seeing the lower tip of the jersey-collar [on the Red Wings 1948-73 and 1973-82 logos]). The Wings finally nailed it down by enlarging the winged-wheel logo and centering it at the mid-point of the wing itself - that was in 1982-83, and the design remains the same to this day (that design is a work of art).

And speaking of logos that are works of art, there is probably an extra slight-tweak that the Montreal Canadiens had with their C-with-H-inside logo, and that was in 1932-33 to 1934-35, where the site called (the unofficial) NHL Uniforms.com has the C narrower {see it here, Canadiens [1932-35]. The official Montreal Canadiens site does not include that version of their logo, however, but that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't exist, especially because with respect to another, much older jersey design the jury is still out - and that is the recently-unearthed jersey design of the Canadiens from way back in their early NHA days in 1911-12, the design of which the official Canadiens' site recently displayed (see 5 paragraphs below, in the PS). So I included the 1932-35 narrow-C logo because, outside of a few slight color issues (see next paragraph) NHL Uniforms.com is pretty much the first and last word on the whole subject matter of major league hockey uniforms throughout the NHL's (and WHA's) existence.

Another issue I see with old Canadiens jersey logos is that the blue band on their red jerseys in the late 1910s through early-to-mid 1930s was probably a slightly lighter shade of royal blue. Going by old black-and-white photos of Canadiens' jerseys from the 1920s and the 1930s will get you nowhere and lead you to erroneous conclusions, because reds and blues in old black-and-white photos often look misleadingly darker or lighter than their true shades of color (mainly because many photographers back then used color filters that rendered some reds darker and some blues lighter than what they looked like in real life). Jersey Database is the one source I used that depicts a shift in color in the Canadiens royal-blue-band in their red jerseys, and Jersey Database has the Canadiens' royal-blue-band as a distinctly lighter-shade-of-royal-blue until 1934-35 {here}, with the modern-day darker-royal-blue band on the Canadiens red jersey beginning in 1935-36 (which was also the first season a white jersey was employed as an alternate jersey for the Canadiens, see this). The others simply maintain that the Canadiens have been wearing a darkish-royal blue band ever since the C-with-letter-inside style first came out (in 1913-14). But then what about this?...hockeygods.com/images/10663-Beehive_Team_Shields___Crests___Complete_Set___1930s. That blue in the Canadiens' badge is clearly lighter than the modern-day blue in their jersey. Visual proof is obtained by simply comparing other teams' badges there...and the shade of blue on the Canadiens' circa-early-1930s badge is distinctly lighter-colored than the blue in the Maple Leafs' badge and the blue in the Rangers' badge. They should all be essentially the same color blue (with the Rangers' blue pehaps very slightly lighter-blue than the Leafs' blue), but the Canadiens' blue is not the same as the Leafs' and Rangers' blue in that badge set. OK, so that badge set establishes the fact that it is very likely the Candiens' blue band on their jerseys was noticeably lighter-colored up to the early 1930s. The next link further helps to prove it, because it is an illustration commissioned by the Montreal Canadiens themselves....Here is an old illustration of the 1930-31 Montreal Canadiens team...and although the image is small, you can see that the royal blue band is a lighter shade of royal blue than the one on the modern-day Canadiens' jersey (that shade of blue on the 1930-31 Canadiens jersey and in the badge set from the 1930s both look like the shade of blue that the Quebec Nordiques wore). Then take a look at an old game-worn Rocket Richard uniform (from 1959-60)...the blue is now a bit darker {here}.

Sometime after 1930-31 the Canadiens' blue band on their red jersey got a bit darker; I would have had the darker royal blue band starting in 1935-36, as per the illustrations at Jersey Database.com {again, here}, but then I found this, [Howie Morenz 1934-35 Canadiens jersey at Third String Goalie page at photobucket.com/ from this article, thirdstringgoalie.blogspot.com/2012/11/1934-35-montreal-canadiens-howie-morenz]. So I have the darker royal blue band starting on the Canadiens jersey one year earlier than Jersey Database does, at 1934-35. Anyone out there who has links to images (which either back-up or refute this), would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, the H in the Canadiens' logo does not refer to their other nickname of the Habs (les Habitants), but to the word Hockey - a word that is in the Montreal Canadiens' official name, which is, to this day, Club de hockey Canadien (their official name was previously, Club athlétique Canadien [from 1909 to 1917]). In fact, "Club de hockey Canadien" is the name engraved on the Stanley Cup each time (a record 24 times) that the Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup title (their first Stanley Cup title pre-dates the NHL and was won in 1916 [over the Portland Rosebuds of the PCHA], their last Stanley Cup title was won in 1993 [over the LA Kings]).

PS,
the recently-unearthed 1911-12 Montreal Canadiens white-jersey-with-red/blue-sash-and-Gothic-C (see it here/third jersey & logo featured [1911-12]) is contested (quite convincingly), at Third String Goalie blog site, Setting the Record Straight - The 1911-12 Montreal Canadiens (thirdstringgoalie.blogspot.com). The article is worth checking out if you have some spare time, but essentially what is at issue here is that red-and-blue-sash (red-and-blue diagonal lines)...and Third String Goalie site says that only one photo exists of that sweater and in that photo there is just the Gothic C and no red/blue sash, and the conclusion is that that design with the red/blue sash did not ever exist. A few months later, another site that deals with hockey history from its early days, Hockey Historysis blog, posted illustrated images of very early Montreal Canadiens jerseys, {see it at the following link by scrolling down to see third jersey there at The Unintentional Arrival of Hockey's Most Recognizable Uniform (hockeyhistorysis.blogspot.com, article by Iain Fyffe and illustrations by Danny Laflamme). There, they dispensed entirely with that probably-fictional red-and-blue-sash on that white 1911-12 Canadiens jersey. I have done likewise.
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Source for Stanley Cup titles and SC Finals appearances by team, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Stanley_Cup_champions#Active_teams.

Thanks to NuclearVacuum for the blank map of North America, File:BlankMap-North America-Subdivisions.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Thanks to shop.nhl.com, for photos of 2014-15 NHL home jerseys.

Special thanks to Jersey Database at Jersey database.com/ [browse - Hockey...see column for "Jersey Fronts", by team].

Special thanks to Andrew M. Greenstein at http://www.nhluniforms.com/index.html, and at http://whauniforms.com/index.html.

Special thanks to Chris Creamers' Sports Logos.net.

And thanks to Third String Goalie blog for various bits of information.

December 7, 2014

Netherlands: 2014 football attendance map, all Dutch clubs (32 clubs) drawing over 2 K per game [from 2013-14 home league matches].

eredivisie_2014-attendance-map_all-clubs-drawing-above-2k_post_f_.gif
Netherlands: 2014 football attendance map, all Dutch clubs [32 clubs] drawing over 2 K per game




This continues my category of European leagues – attendance maps. Last season [2013-14], Netherlands had the 6th-highest average attendance for its first division in Europe (see chart below). The top five in Europe for 2013-14 I have done previously {here: Germany, England, Spain, Italy, France).

Below – Chart: the 20 highest drawing association football leagues in Europe

2013-14_europe_best-drawing_domestic-leagues_ger_eng_spa_ita_fra_etc_top20_.gif

Source of data, http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.


Elements of the map page
The cut-off for clubs on this map is 2,000 per game average attendance, unlike the first five I did in this style, which had a cut-off of 4,000 avg. attendance. The reason I did it this way for Netherlands is basically because I could (could fit them all in the map, that is). There are 32 clubs on the map (all 18 Eredivisie clubs from last season; 13 of the 20 clubs from the Dutch 2nd division; and 1 of the 32 semi-pro teams in the Dutch 3rd division). Had I done the map in the 4-K-cut-off-style, there would have been 23 clubs (23 clubs in Netherlands drawing over for 4 K per game in 2013-14). That is not too shabby. Netherlands only has around 16.8 million inhabitants, yet it still is able to maintain a leagues system that has at its apex a league (the Eredivisie) which draws 19.5 K per game, which is only slightly lower than a nearby country with more than three-times the population – France. France, which has a population of around 66.6 million, has a top flight, Ligue Un, which averaged 20.6 K per game in 2013-14 (or only 1,125-more-per-game than the Netherlands’ top flight). In fact two seasons ago [2012-13], the Eredivisie was outdrawing Ligue Un (19,619 vs. 19,211).

Listed for each club, at the chart at the far-right-hand side of the map page, are: average attendances (from home league matches in 2013-14), stadium capacities, percent-capacities, Eredivisie titles, seasons spent in the Eredivisie by team, and KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) titles.

On the map are shown are the 12 provinces of European Netherlands; they are listed in the Dutch. With only about 50% of its land exceeding one meter above sea level, the Dutch people have spent the last four centuries (successfully) keeping the Sea at bay. And so, because the Dutch are second-to-none at land-and-water management, I decided to include waterways on the map – so prominent bodies of water including rivers and canals (kanals) are shown and listed. I listed them also in the Dutch.

[{Here is a map of the Rhine River, Map of the Rhine basin (by WWasser at en.wikipeia.org).} In case you might be confused (and man, was I confused), the Rhine (Rijn, in the Dutch) flows from its source in the southeastern Swiss Alps near the Austria/Liechtenstein border, north to Lake Constance (depending on the lake's water level, the flow of the Rhine's water is clearly visible along the entire length of Lake Constance, which is a large Alpine lake which sits on the eastern part of the Swiss/German border including a portion that is in far-west Austria), and then as it emerges from the western edge of the lake, the Rhine continues to form the Swiss/German border all the way to the Swiss city of Basel, then at Basel the Rhine swings northerly and forms part of the French/German border, flowing past Strasbourg, then near the southwestern German city of Karlsruhe it continues to flow north but ceases to be part of the Franco/German border as it flows into southwest and west-central Germany (aka the Rhineland) as the Lower Rhine, then it swings west into the Netherlands...where, just west of Arnhem it is diverted into three distributaries: the Waal River, the Nederrijn ("Nether Rhine") and the IJssel; then the Nederrijn's name changes to the Lek as some of the Rhine's volume passes through Europe's largest shipping port at Rotterdam, then via the Nieuwe Waterweg ("New Waterway"), into the North Sea. But the Rhine's course through the Netherlands is way more complicated than that...
{excerpt from Rhine/Delta at en.wikipedia.org}..."From here, the situation becomes more complicated, as the Dutch name Rijn no longer coincides with the main flow of water. Two thirds of the water flow volume of the Rhine flows farther west, through the Waal and then, via the Merwede and Nieuwe Merwede (De Biesbosch), merging with the Meuse, through the Hollands Diep and Haringvliet estuaries, into the North Sea. The Beneden Merwede branches off, near Hardinxveld-Giessendam and continues as the Noord, to join the Lek, near the village of Kinderdijk, to form the Nieuwe Maas; then flows past Rotterdam and continues via Het Scheur and the Nieuwe Waterweg, to the North Sea. The Oude Maas branches off, near Dordrecht, farther down rejoining the Nieuwe Maas to form Het Scheur. The other third of the water flows through the Pannerdens Kanaal and redistributes in the IJssel and Nederrijn."... {end of excerpt}.]
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Thanks to Lencer at en.wikipedia.org, for the blank map of Netherlands, File:Netherlands location map.svg.

Thanks to Alphathon at commons.wikipedia.org, for provinces/waterways map of Netherlands, File:Map provinces Netherlands-nl.svg.

Thanks to worldcanals.com/english/netherlands.html.

Thanks to European-football-statistics.co.uk, for Dutch attendance figures, http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.

Thanks to the contributors at ne. and en.wikipedia.org, at 2014–15 Eredivisie.

November 29, 2014

2014-15 FA Cup, Second Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances.

Filed under: >2014-15 FA Cup — admin @ 8:57 pm

2014-15_fa-cup_2nd-round_map_w-current-attendances_post_e_.gif
2014-15 FA Cup, Second Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances



2014-15 FA Cup fixtures, bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup/fixtures.
BBC.co.uk/FA Cup


Televised matches,
UK
Friday 5th December, on BBC: Hartlepool Utd v Blyth Spartans at 7:55 pm GT (live).
Saturday 6th December, only on BBC Wales: Wrexham v. Maidstone Utd at 2:30 pm GT (live).
Sunday 7th December, both on BT Sports: Gateshead v Warrington Town at 12 noon GT (live); Colchester Utd v Peterborough Utd at 4;30 pm GT (live).
{see this, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014-15 FA Cup/Broadcasting rights.}

USA & Canada, all on Fox Soccer Plus…
Friday the 5th of December, Hartlepool Utd v. Byth Spartans (on 2-hour delay at 5 pm ET).
Saturday the 6th of December, Sheffield Utd v. Plymouth Argyle at 10 am ET (live); Wrexham v. Maidstone Utd at 12:30 pm ET (live).
Sunday the 7th of December, Gateshead v. Warrington Town at 7 am ET (live); Scunthorpe Utd v. Worcester City at 9 am ET (live); Colchester Utd v. Peterborough Utd at 11:30 am ET (live).
+ 2nd Round Highlights show on Monday the 8th of December at 5 pm ET.
{see this, foxsoccerplus.com/schedule}.
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Thanks to these sites for attendance figures -
Levels 3 and 4 at soccerway.com, at us.soccerway.com/national/england/league-one/20142015/regular-season, and us.soccerway.com/national/england/league-two/20142015.
Levels 5-8 at nonleaguematters.co.uk.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, 2014–15 FA Cup.

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