billsportsmaps.com

November 15, 2014

NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball – map of the top 100 drawing teams, 2013-14 season (home games, regular season): #1 Syracuse; #2 Kentucky; #3 Louisville.

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NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball – map of the top 100 drawing teams, 2013-14 season



Source of data for map…2014 NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL ATTENDANCE [pdf].

My first version of this map can be seen here, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball – The top 100 drawing teams, 2009-10 season (home games, regular season).

That was four years ago. Since then, 10 different teams have cracked the top 100: #68th-highest-drawing Weber State Wildcats, #69th-highest-drawing Boise State Broncos, #72th-highest-drawing Northwestern Wildcats, #77th-highest-drawing UMass Minutemen, #86th-highest-drawing Richmond Spiders, #90th-highest-drawing Indiana State Sycamores, #93rd-highest-drawing Miami Hurricanes, #95th-highest-drawing SMU Mustangs, #97-highest-drawing Southern Illinois Salukis, and #100th-highest-drawing Wyoming Cowboys. Teams that just missed the top 100 for 2013-14: Stanford (5,111), Toledo (5,002), TCU (4,955), George Mason (4,916), Illinois State (4,842).

And of a more front-page-type bit of news, there is a new #1-drawing college basketball team in Division I…
The Syracuse Orange of Syracuse, New York (metro-area population: 662,000 {2010 figure). The Orange’s basketball team has supplanted the University of Kentucky Wildcats (of Lexington, Kentucky) as the top draw in college hoops. Syracuse last led the nation in college basketball attendance in 2005. But in 17 of the 18 previous seasons (1996-2004; 2006-13), Kentucky has led in attendance. Kentucky had also led in attendance during the 1977 to 1984 time period (8 seasons), with Syracuse (after the Carrier Dome had opened in Sept. 1980) then leading in the 1985 to 1995 time period (10 seasons). {See this, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Attendance Leaders Year by -Year (1970-2014) [pdf].}

Syracuse averaged 26,253 in the 2013-14 NCAA Division I regular season. They increased their home crowds by 3,813 per game (or by 16.9%) compared to the previous season (2012-13). That actually was not the largest numerical increase in crowd size in Division I basketball – that was by the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who increased their average attendance by 5,063 per game (or 48.8%), and were the 13th highest-drawing college bk team {see this list of biggest increases on page 2 of that pdf from the ncaa.org}. Nebraska were also one of the eight teams in the top-100-draws who played to full-capacity last season, and on the list at the far right of the map page, those 8 teams have an asterisk next to their attendance figure (the list of the 8 teams who played to full-capacity at their arenas last season can be found at the foot of this post).

Syracuse’s attendance increase (of 16.9% or +3,813) certainly was aided by a strong Syracuse team and a long winning streak, but it is more attributable to Syracuse’s shift from the now-mid-major Big East Conference into the basketball power that is the Atlantic Coast Conference (the ACC). To see the proof of that, just look at the gate figures for some of Syracuse’s in-conference games last season at the Carrier Dome (capacity 35,446 for basketball), 2013-14 being the Syracuse Orange’s inaugural season in the ACC…
- 32,121 in attendance for the Oranges’ Jan. 11 2014 game vs. the North Carolina Tar Heels (in ACC) (57-45, Syr.);
- 30,046 in attendance for the Oranges’ Jan. 18 2014 game vs. the Pitt Panthers (also now in ACC) (59-54, Syr.);
- 35,466 (capacity sell-out crowd/NCAA record) in attendance for the Orange’s Feb. 1 2014 game vs. the Duke Blue Devils (in ACC) (91-89/OT, Syr.);
- 31,572 in attendance for the Orange’s Feb. 15 2014 game vs. the NC State Wolf Pack (in ACC) (56-55, Syr.).
- Note: other high-drawing games at the Carrier Dome last season: 28,135 for Villanova (in Big East); 26,766 for Georgia Tech (in ACC); 26,716 for Boston College (in ACC since 2005); 26,414 for Indiana (in Big Ten). {attendances from Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team/Schedule (en.wikipedia.org).

Syracuse flamed out in the second round of the NCAA Tournament (losing to Dayton), but they had a good run and filled a heck of a lot of seats last season, and it is starting to look like being in the ACC will give a real boost to the whole Syracuse athletics program.

The Kentucky Wildcats were #2 in attendance in Division I basketball for 2013-14. The Wildcats actually saw a slight increase from the previous season of 2.3% (Kentucky drew 23,964 per game in 2013-14, and had drawn 22,964 per game in 2012-13). The Kentucky Wildcats’ great drawing-power is rather remarkable for a city – Lexington, KY – that has a metro-area population of only 185,000 {2013 figure}.

The Louisville Cardinals were #3 in attendance in Division I (at 21,282 per game), once again making it two of the top 3-highest-drawing venues in college basketball located in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. From the Louisville Courier-Journal, from 19 June 2014, by Jonathan Lintner, Syracuse tops UK in basketball attendance; [Kentucky second;] U of L third (courier-journal.com/story/sports/college).

Here are the 8 teams in the top-100 who played to full capacity in 2013-14:
#9-drawing Kansas Jayhawks, who played to 100.8 percent-capacity, drawing 16,437 per game at the 16,300-capacity Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.
#13-drawing Nebraska Cornhuskers, who played to 101.7 percent-capacity, drawing 15,419 per game at the 15,147 Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
#18-drawing Michigan State Spartans, who played to 100.0 percent-capacity, drawing 14,797 per game at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan.
#28-drawing San Diego State Aztecs, who played to 100.0 percent-capacity, drawing 12,414 per game at the Viejas Arena in San Diego, California.
#36-drawing Wichita State Shockers, who played to 102.1 percent-capacity, drawing 10,732 per game at the 10,506-capacity Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kansas.
#46-drawing Duke Blue Devils, who played to 100.0 percent-capacity, drawing 9,314 per game at the Cameron Indoor Arena in Durham, North Carolina.
#62-drawing VCU Rams, who played to 100.6 percent-capacity, drawing 7,741 per game at the 7,693-capacity Stuart C. Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia.
#87-drawing Gonzaga Bulldogs, who played to 100.0 percent-capacity, drawing 6,000 per game at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington.
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Thanks to AMK1211 for blank map of USA, ‘File:Blank US Map with borders.svg”>File:Blank US Map with borders.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).

Thanks to ncaa.org for 2014 NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL ATTENDANCE [pdf].

Thanks to Sports Logos screensavers for some of the logos, sports-logos-screensavers.com/NationalCollegiateAthleticsAssociation. Thanks to ESPN site for some of the logos (the often-hard-to-find type, with a transparent background), such as at espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/team/_/id/113/massachusetts-minutemen.

Thanks to the contributors at the en.wikipedia.org college teams pages, such as Syracuse Orange men’s basketball.

November 3, 2014

2014-15 FA Cup, First Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances./ Plus, an illustrated article on the four FA Cup First Round debut clubs: Gosport Borough, Concord Rangers, Warrington Town and Norton United.

Filed under: >2014-15 FA Cup,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 9:34 pm

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2014-15 FA Cup, 1st Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances




2014-15 FA Cup 1st Round fixtures, bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup/fixtures.

This is the 134th competition of the FA Cup – the oldest sports tournament in the world. Holders are Arsenal (of north London), who beat Hull City AFC (of the East Riding of Yorkshire) in a thrilling final at Wembley Stadium on 17 May 2013, by a score of 3-2 in aet, with the winning goal scored by Aaron Ramsey in the 109th minute. That changed the top-of-the-list of most FA Cup titles, putting Arsenal even with Manchester United, at 11 FA Cup titles each {see this, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_FA_Cup_finals#Results_by_team}.

From the Real FA Cup site, from 30 October 2014, by Phil Annets, From Smallthorne to Big Time (therealfacup.co.uk).

    Clubs which are making their FA Cup First Round debuts in 2014-15 (four clubs)…

There are four clubs making their FA Cup First Round debuts – 8th level club Warrington Town (of north Cheshire), 8th level club Norton United (of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire), 6th level club Concord Rangers (of Canvey Island in Essex on the north side of the Thames Estuary), and 6th level club Gosport Borough (from Greater Portsmouth in Hampshire). Warrington Town play in the Northern Premier League Division One North. Norton United play in the Northern Premier League Division One South. Both Concord Ramgers and Gosport Borough are playing their second season in the Conference South. One of these three FA Cup 1st Round debut teams – Norton United – have the lowest average crowd size of the 80 clubs in the First Round (at 131 per game). Three have home ties in the 1st Round, while Concord Rangers will play away to Mansfield Town.

Gosport Borough were formed in 1944. This is the club’s 70th anniversary. Gosport Borough wear yellow and navy blue, and their badge features an illustration of a Viking ship (in quasi-comic-strip style). They are located in Gosport, south Hampshire, on the small peninsula of the same name which lies just west of Portsmouth (the distance between Gosport and Portsmouth as the crow flies [or as the ferry sails] is 3 km or 2 miles; distance by road is 20 km or 12 mi). Gosport Borough played in the Hampshire League until 1978, when they joined the Southern League. They have seen several ups and downs since then, but are at present a club on the rise. Gosport Borough now are a 6th level club but four seasons ago (in 2011-12), they were in the 8th level. That season they won promotion to the Southern League Premier Division through the help of a wily old Football League veteran, the then-45-year-old (now 48-year-old) BBC 5-live/Guardian football pundit and analyst Steve Claridge (see him in 1st photo below). The Pompey-born Claridge came out of retirement to help a local club out, and because, why not? In the 2012 Southern League South play-off final, away to Poole Town, Gosport trailed 0-1 until the ex-Portsmouth/ex-Millwall/ex-18-other-football-clubs Claridge came off the bench to take the striker’s position and score in the 92nd minute to level the score at 1–1. In extra-time, Gosport scored twice, including one more by Claridge in the 98th minute, and Gosport won promotion back to the Southern League Prem for the first time in 22 years (the club had last been in the 7th level in 1989-90). Claridge scored 4 goals in 11 league games (and 7 goals overall) that season for Gosport, then he retired again.

The following season [2012-13], Gosport Borough again won promotion – to the 6th level for the first time. That season they squeaked into the Southern League Premier play-offs on the final day of the 12/13 campaign; then, after seeing off Stourbridge in the semi-final, Gosport beat Hemel Hempstead away in the 2013 Southern Prem play-off final (2-2 aet; 4-5 on penalties), to win promotion to the Conference South. Also two seasons ago in 2012-13, Gosport went all the way to the FA Trophy Final at Wembley, unfortunately losing 4-0 to ex-and-now-current-Football-League club Cambridge United (attendance at Wembley Stadium that day was a respectable 18,120).

Speaking of drawing good for Non-League, in the past few seasons, attendance has shot up considerably at Gosport Borough’s compact and nicely maintained Privett Park (capacity 3,000 with 1,000 seated). In just over three seasons, the club has more than doubled their turnstile count and have seen an increase of almost 300 per game. In 2011-12, Gosport drew 246 per game. Then Gosport drew 347 per game their last season in the Southern League in 12/13. Then they drew 437 per game their first season in the Conference South in 13/14. Now, currently, Gosport are averaging 539 per game (from home league matches to 4 Nov. 2014). Gosport’s Privett Park has a nice mix of old and new, specifically the wonderfully archaic Main Stand and the sparkling-new Harry Mizen Stand (see both below).

Gosport Borough are managed by Alex Pike, who has been manager at Gosport for quite a long time (for modern football) – since December 2005. In the 2014-15 FA Cup First Round, on Sunday the 9th of November, Gosport Borough will host 3rd division/League One side Colchester United (of Essex). From BBC.com/football, from 26 Oct. 2014, FA Cup: Gosport Borough relishing Colchester United visit.

Temporary stands at Privett Park will be allowed to be built, which will raise the capacity about 1,500 – from 3,000 to 4,500 {see this, Privett to gain extra seats and terracing for Cup tie (gosportboroughfc.co.uk)}. Gosport are confident they can fill that temporary capacity, this despite the fact that Portsmouth will also be hosting a First Round tie that same day (on Sunday the 9th Nov.) v. Aldershot of the Conference National (who are also Hampshire-based). And while on the subject of Hampshire-based Non-League clubs who qualified, I would be remiss if I did not mention another nearby club, Havant & Waterlooville (also of the Conference South and also very near to Portsmouth), who have now qualified for the FA Cup for the 5th time despite having only been formed (via merger) in 1998. Havant & Waterlooville will play host in the sole game (a televised game) scheduled for Monday the 10th Nov., v. third division side Preston North End of Lancashire. Hampshire is represented by the most number of clubs in the 14/15 First Round, with 6 (Aldershot Town, Basingstoke Town, Eastleigh, Gosport Borough, Havant & Waterlooville, Portsmouth). If you count Bury and Rochdale as from Greater Manchester (as opposed to their former situation in Lancashire), Lancashire has the second-most with 5 clubs in the Round; while Kent has third-most with 4 clubs in the Round.

[Note: Gosport ended up drawing 2,013 in their 3-6 loss to Colchester].

Below, Gosport Borough’s home ground, Privett Park, opened in 1937; capacity 3,000 with 1,000 seated…

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Action photo of the 45-year-old Steve Claridge playing for Gosport Borough from 10 Dec. 2011 by Paul Paxford at flickr.com/photos/paxie.
Semi-panorama photo of Privett Park by phildanmatt.weebly.com at phildanmatt.weebly.com/gosport-borough.html.
Photo of Main Stand by phildanmatt.weebly.com at phildanmatt.weebly.com/gosport-borough.html.
Photo of the Harry Mizen Stand at Privett Park by Andrew Ormerod at hoppingaroundhampshire.blogspot.com/2012/09/28-gosport-borough-fc.html.

Concord Rangers wear yellow and blue and are from Canvey Island in south-east Essex, just west of Southend-on-Sea. Canvey Island, now technically a peninsula, is a reclaimed island in the Thames estuary, located 49 km (30 mi) east of central London. Concord Rangers are the second-largest club from Canvey island, the biggest being former Conference side Canvey Island FC, who won the FA Trophy in 2001 and these days are a 7th level club which draws around 320 per game (Concord Rangers draw about 70 per game less than that at 250).

Concord Rangers started out in 1966 as simply a group of boys literally playing on the beach. This group included Steve Lant, whose father Albert was a founder of the club and is still today club president. The kids played friendlies on a pitch located at a beach called Concord Beach on the sea-front in Canvey Island – hence the club’s name…and their nickname of the Beach Boys. The next year, 1967, the club was officially formed and fielded a youth team; by 1973 the club had a (junior) squad playing in the local District league. Here is an excerpt from the Concord Rangers’ website…{excerpt}…”[In] 1985 Concord secured some land at Thames Road, Canvey Island, the club developed the clubhouse and ground with Jack Smith, current club treasurer being the mastermind behind the project, he organised the funds, labour and materials and worked many hours himself on the site…” {end of excerpt from http://www.concordrangersfc.com/history/}.

Concord Rangers still play within a bow-shot of the sea front (about .25 km away). You can see that in the illustration further below, which features (at the top-left there) a screenshot of a satellite image of the area surrounding the Thames Road ground in Canvey Island.

In 1992-93 Concord joined the 9th level Essex Senior League. 5 years later in 1997-98, after winning the Essex Senior League, Concord were denied promotion to the 7th/8th level Isthmian League set-up (due to an inadequate ground). 7 seasons later in 2003-04 they won the Essex Senior again, but were again denied promotion. Their third time was the charm, though as Concord won the Essex Senior League once again in 2007-08, and this time were allowed promotion, to the 8th-level Isthmian League Division One North for 2008–09. It only took Concord two seasons to advance again, when they won the Isthmian D1N in 2009-10, and were promoted to the 7th-level Isthmian League Premier Division. Three seasons later in 2012-13, Concord Rangers won promotion to the 6th level. Here is an excerpt from the Concord Rangers page at en.wikipedia.org,…{excerpt}…” [2012-13] saw Concord finish 4th in The Isthmian League Premier Division, consequently qualifying for the play-offs; which they won – defeating Wealdstone F.C. away 2-1 (AET) in the play-off semi-final, and beating Lowestoft Town F.C. away 2-1 in the play-off final in front of a crowd of 2,490, thus winning promotion to the Conference South for the 2013/14 season – the club’s highest ever level of competition. The club were also winners of The Isthmian League cup that season, defeating Dulwich Hamlet F.C. 3-2 AET at The Gallagher Stadium (home of Maidstone United F.C.)”…{end of excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concord_Rangers_F.C.}.

In their first season in the Conference South in 2013-14, Concord Rangers finished a very creditable 7th place. They played to an average home crowd of 253 in 2013-14, having previously averaged 200 per game in the 7th level in 2012-13 and 190 per game the season before (2011-12). Concord currently (7 Nov. 2014) sit 11th in Conference South. Concord Rangers are managed by Danny Cowley, who is in his eighth season with the club, going back to when Concord were a ninth-level side.

On Saturday 8th November 2014, in the 2014-15 FA Cup 1st Round, Concord Rangers travel to Nottinghamshire to face 4th division/League Two side Mansfield Town at Field Mill (aka One Call Stadium).

From the Southend-on-Sea-based news site the Echo, from 26 Oct. 2014, by Luke Lambert, Concord Rangers hit new high after reaching FA Cup First Round (echo-news.co.uk/sport).

From BBC.co.uk. from 6 Nov. 2014, FA Cup: Good Vibrations for Canvey Island’s Beach Boys (bbc.com/sport/football).

[Note: the Mansfield v Concord match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch; on Tuesday the 18th of November, Concord drew 1-1 at Mansfield, and so a replay at Thames Road was played on Tuesday 25th November, and Mansfield beat Concord 0-1 in front of 1,537 at Thames Road in Canvey Island.]

Below, Concord Rangers’ home ground, Thames Road, capacity 3,300…

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Photo and Image credits above-
Screenshots of image of satellite view of Thames Road ground in Canvey Island, Essex, image from bing.com/maps
Photo at front gate of Thames Road ground, photo by theballissquare.co.uk/concord-rangers.
Photo of Joe Gardner scoring the winner that put Concord Rangers into the FA Cup 1st Round, photo by Andy Smith/Dragons Photography at echo-news.co.uk/sport.

Warrington Town, formed in 1949, wear yellow and blue and are nicknamed the Wire, for the town’s history as a center of the wire-pulling industry. Their home ground is Cantilever Park, capacity 3,500, which is adjacent to the Manchester Ship Canal and the town’s cantilever bridge (which spans that waterway and looms over the ground, and which gives the ground its name). Warrington Town play in the 8th level Northern Premier League Division One North. This is their 11th consecutive season without a promotion or a relegation (the Wire lost in the play-offs semi-final last season). The club is from an area that is within the Rugby-League-belt of northern England, and Warrington Wolves RLFC are a top-flight rugby team in Super League who draw around 11 K per game (and are the only team that has played every first-division-season of RL [since 1895-96]). In other words, rugby league’s predominance in this section of northern England is why a town the size of Warrington (population of around 202,000 {2011 figure}) has a football club so low down the English football pyramid…because the town’s rugby league team draws the lion’s share of attention and support there. In fact, Warrington is the largest settlement in England without a Football League club. That is not to say there are not many followers and supporters of association football in Warrington – it is just that they have to (and do) go elsewhere in northwest England to watch League and Premier League football. Warrington Town are currently (as of 4 Nov. 2014) drawing 197 per game, which is down a bit from last season’s average of 212. The Wire currently sit 15th in their league (the NPLD 1N).

Warrington Town are managed by Peter Reid’s brother Shaun Reid. Shaun Reid was a tough-tackling defender who played 240 league matches for Rochdale (in two different spells) as well as 107 games for York City, in a career that went from 1983 to 2000. Here is an excerpt from Shaun Reid‘s Wikipedia page,…”Reid holds a UEFA A coaching badge and has had spells coaching at Swindon Town and Plymouth Argyle. In January 2012 he was appointed as manager at Prescot Cables before leaving in March 2012 to become manager at Warrington Town.”

For the 2014-15 FA Cup 1st Round, on Friday evening the 7th of November, Warrington will host 4th division/League Two side Exeter City. The match has been selected as one of the televised matches for the First Round, and will be shown live on BBC in the UK, and on Fox Sports Plus in the USA and Canada (taped with a 2-hour delay at 5 pm ET/schedule here) [Broadcasting rights in UK, here].

[Note: Warrington Town drew a very solid 2,400 and had the biggest upset of the First Round, beating Exeter City 1-0. Exeter City is 4 leagues and over 100 places higher than Warrington Town. The goal was scored off a corner kick, by plasterer and defender Craig Robinson, in the 7th minute, {see this [Warrington Town 1-0 Exter City] (bbc.com/sport/football)}.]

Below, Warrington Town’s home ground, Cantilever Park, capacity 3,500 …

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Image and Photo credits above -
Screenshot of image of satellite view of Cantilever Park in Warrington, Cheshire, image from bing.com/maps.
Photo of the Cantilever Park with the Warrington Cantilever Bridge looming behind, by skif at dubsteps.blogspot.com/2005/12/warrington-town-1-blyth-spartans-2.html.

Norton United are located in Smallthorne (population: around 4,161), which is in the northern part of Stoke-on-Trent [aka the Potteries]. Norton United’s location in Smallthorne is only about 3 km (or about 1.5 miles) east of Burslem, where third-division club Port Vale are located at Vale Park. [Note: Port Vale FC loaned Norton United their team coach (aka team bus), so the Norton squad were able to make the drive up to County Durham on Wednesday evening the 29th of October in comfort, which no doubt helped Norton beat Shildon AFC 1-2 in the 4th Qualifying Round re-play.] Also, Norton United are located about 5 km (or 3 mi) north of where Premier League club Stoke City are located in the Potteries at the Britannia Stadium.

Norton United now wear red-and-black-vertically-striped jerseys, but until a couple years ago they used to wear black-and-white-verticals {see this at the Boys in Black & White blog from August 2010}. Norton are a football club that has not even been in existence for three decades. Norton United were formed in 1989, initially, as the football team of Norton Cricket Club [named after the nearby Norton Colliery]. Joining the Staffordshire League in 1989-90, at the equivalent of the 13th level in the English football pyramid, Norton United have since won 5 promotions without a relegation. Their second-most recent promotion was in 2011-12, when they were North West Counties League Division One runner-up. Promoted to the NWCL Premier Division (into the 9th level), they won that league two seasons later in 2013-14, and now play in the 8th level in the Northern Premier League Division One South. Norton currently sit 13th in the NLPD 1S. Going by home average attendance Norton United are the smallest club to qualify for the 2014-14 FA Cup First Round. Norton Utd are currently drawing 131 per game, at their spartan and bare-bones ground, which is called the Norton Cricket Club & Miners Welfare Institute, and which has capacity of 1,500 with 200 seated (see below). Norton United have seen their current average crowd-size increase by 57 percent since last season (an increase of +48 per game) [in 2013-14 in the NWCL Prem, they averaged 83 per game].

Norton United are managed by former Stafford Rangers MF Scott Dundas, who is in his fourth season in charge and in 3 years has guided Norton from the 10th level to the 8th level. From 24 Oct. 2014, from BBC.com, FA Cup: Norton United boss keen to put Potteries side on the map (bbc.com/sport/football). On Saturday 8 November, Norton United will host 5th division/Conference side Gateshead (of Newcastle, in Tyne and Wearside).

[Note: Norton drew an overflow-capacity 1,762 in losing to Gateshead 0-4.]

Below, Norton United’s home ground, Norton Cricket Club & Miners Welfare Institute, capacity 1,500…

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Photo credits above -
Photo of Community Drive ground with view of Potteries in background, photo by pitch-side-stories.com at pitch-side-stories.com/category/nwcl.
2nd Photo by Uwdi Krugg at wherestheteahut.blogspot.com/2013/08/norton-united-4-runcorn-town-1.

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Thanks to BBC.com/sport/football/fa cup, for fixtures list image, bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup/fixtures.
Thanks to sharpcroft at Flickr.com via hemelfc.com, for illustration of kit badge for Hemel Hamstead home jersey, here.

Thanks to these sites for attendance figures -
Levels 3-6 at soccerway.com, such as us.soccerway.com/national/england/conference-n–s/20142015/north.
Levels 7-8 at nonleaguematters.co.uk/steps/steps-3-4.

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

Thanks to Blue76 for pointing out that I missed Concord Rangers as a debut club in the FA Cup 1st Round/ no thanks to whoever put together this erroneous factoid in the yellow-info-box in the following article at BBC/football {here}, which omits Concord Rangers as a debut team in the FA Cup Proper (they also omitted Norton United in that article’s info-box I just linked to, but that had not occurred at the time of that article’s posting because Norton had yet to qualify via their 4th QR re-play).

October 21, 2014

NFL, AFC West – Logo and helmet history of the 4 teams (Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers)./ Origins of nicknames./ Stadiums./ Title-winning teams.

Filed under: NFL>AFC West,NFL, divisions,NFL/ Gridiron Football — admin @ 5:29 pm



    Denver Broncos logos and helmet history (1960-2014), click on image below…

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Denver Broncos logos and helmet history (1960-2014)
Broncos helmet illustrations above from gridiron-uniforms.com/broncos. Broncos uniforms png by fma12, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Broncos_uniforms.png. Photo of Broncos’ authentic Riddell helmet, from dickssportinggoods.com.

From May 2009, from the boards at Denver Broncos’ website, uploaded by White Dragon, ‘COMPLETE Denver Broncos Helmet History [1960-2009]‘ (forums.denverbroncos.com).

Origin of Broncos nickname…
A “bronco” is an unbroken or untamed horse, and it is a reference to Denver’s Wild West heritage. The Bronocos nickname came about by being the winning entry of a name-the-new-team contest that the new Denver AFL franchise had in early 1960. The winner (out of only 162 entries) was by Ward M. Vining. There was a previous pro team in Denver with the same name – an Independent minor league baseball club in the 1920s named the Denver Broncos. This makes the name even more fitting because the founder and first owner of the Denver Broncos AFL franchise was Bob Howsam, who was back then also co-owner of the old Triple-A team minor league ball club, the Denver Bears (the Denver Bears were owned by the Howsam family [Bob, his brother Earl, and his father Lee], from 1947-62). The Denver-born-and-raised Bob Howsam’s dream was to bring Major League Baseball to Denver (Howsam also later made his mark as GM of the Cincinnati Reds during their Big Red Machine era of the 1970s). [It took over 3 decades but in the end, Howsam later helped bring the dream of big league ball to the Mile High City when in retirement, he served on the Colorado Baseball Commission, which was successful in bringing about the Colorado Rockies, an MLB expansion team in 1993.]

    Stadiums the Denver Broncos have played in…

1959: an over-expanded minor league baseball stadium in Denver needs a new tenant…
The aforementioned Denver Bears minor league ball club, in 1959, were playing in a ballpark far too big for even the top tier of the minor leagues (it had been recently expanded to 23,000 and was in the process of being expanded yet again to 34,000, which is about double the size of what a Triple-A ball club could reasonably have as a stadium-capacity). This happened because Bears GM/co-owner Bob Howsam, who had led the stadium-expansion-move, had tried to get Denver a team in the never-realized Continental Baseball League, which was an attempt to create a third, rival, Major league in baseball. It never happened because MLB outmaneuvered the Continental League’s organizers by expanding from 16 to 20 teams and placing new franchises in 3 of the primary places the failed-Continental League had targeted (New York City [new franchise with Mets in 1962], Houston [new franchise with Colt 45s/Astros in 1962], and Minneapolis/St. Paul [dual-MLB-franchise shift with Washington Senators (I) moving to north to Minnesota to become Minnesota Twins & new MLB franchise in Washington, DC as Washington Senators (II) [side-note: the fourth expansion team in MLB circa 1961-62 was the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels in 1961]).

So the Denver Bears were saddled with a heavy debt from the re-build, and Howsam knew another team was needed for the venue or it would become a White Elephant and drag down his Denver Bears and his dream of Major League Baseball in Denver with it. A few years earlier (circa 1958), Howsam had already tried to buy the NFL’s Chicago Cardinals and move them to Denver. There were three others who also had, in the late 1950s, tried to buy-and-move the struggling Chicago Cardinals to their cities. They were Lamar Hunt (of Dallas), Bud Adams (of Houston), and Max Winter (of Minneapolis/St. Paul). Howsam would go on to become a founding owner of an AFL team in Denver in 1960, along with AFL creator Hunt (the leagues’ founder and founder/first owner of the Dallas Texans (II)/Kansas City Chiefs franchise) and Adams (who was the founder/first-owner of the Houston Oilers/Tenessee Titans franchise). [Winter would go on to be co-founder/first-co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings NFL franchise in 1961.] But, possibly aside from the Oakland AFL franchise, Howsam’s Denver Broncos franchise was the most under-financed in the new rival league in 1960. The penny-pinching ways of the early Denver Broncos became legendary (see illustration further below, and see the colors and logos section further below). Mounting debt forced Howsam to sell the Broncos in early 1961. He sold the Broncos to a consortium that had Gerald Phipps as the main shareholder [Phipps was owner of the Broncos from 1961-81]).

Bears Stadium/Mile High Stadium, home of the AFL’s Denver Broncos from 1968-69 & home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos from 1970-2000…
The Howsams constructed Bears Stadium in 1947-48 on a rat-infested area west of downtown Denver, on the site of an old city dump. The Denver Bears, who were then in the Class-A Western League (IV), began play there in August, 1948 (and played there for 45 years [later changing their name to the Denver Zephyrs] until they vacated Denver to make way for MLB’s Colorado Rockies and moved after the 1992 season to New Orleans as the still-in-existence New Orleans Zephyrs).

Bears Stadium, upon opening in August 1948 had a 17,000-capacity and was a single V-shaped bleacher stand built into the side of an existing hill there. In the illustration below, you can see how Bears Stadium looked in 1954 (the last year the Denver Bears were a Class A team; they moved a couple steps up the minor-league-ladder the following season in 1955 when they joined the Triple-A American Association). Circa 1957-59, when Bob Howsam tried to get a big-league-ball-club in the Continental League, capacity was increased to 23,000 (and the intention was to continue the expansion). When the Continental League never came to be, Howsam turned his attention to finding another tenant besides his Bears for the debt-laden stadium, and once the AFL franchise for Denver was secured by Howsam in the summer of 1959, the stadium expansion continued. The Denver Bears’ ballpark (the venue that would later be known as Mile High Stadium), was expanded to 34,000 prior to the Broncos’ AFL home debut in September, 1960. In 1968, after the stadium was bought by the City of Denver (from the second owner of the Broncos, Gerald Phipps), capacity had been expanded to 50,000 with the installation of the South Stand.

Below: an illustration featuring photos of Broncos’ Stadiums (and the precursor-stadium), and some of the more interesting gear worn by the team… denver_bears_denver-broncos_1960_brown-and-yellow_bears-stadium1954_mile-high-stadium1965_mile-high2001_h_.gif

Photo and Image credits above – Black and white aerial photo of Bears Stadium 1954, by coloradoaerialphoto.com. Denver Bears logo ca. 1955, from baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Denver_Bears. Photo of Denver Bears’ exterior-stadium-sign circa late 1950s, by Lynn DeBruin at Denver’s own Field of Dreams [at sports.espn.go.com]. Color photo of Broncos versus Oilers from 1960, unattributed at remembertheafl.com/Broncos. Black-and-white photo of Mile High Stadium circa mid-1960s, unattributed at ballparksofbaseball.com/past/MileHighStadium. Illustration of Broncos’ dreaded brown-and-yellow-vertically-striped socks from remembertheafl.com/Broncos. Broncos helmet and jersey illustrations from gridiron-uniforms.com/broncos. White Horse sculpture at Mile High, photo unattributed at milehighreport.com. Aerial photo of Mile High Stadium’s last game on Dec. 23, 2000, photo by Phil Cherner at philcherner.com. Sports Authority Field at Mile High, photo by sportsauthorityfieldatmilehigh.com.

The Denver Broncos, initially saddled with the crushing debt that forced Howsam to sell the team in early 1961 after one season, never got their footing in the AFL, and never made the playoffs (nor had a winning season) in the AFL’s 10 seasons, and finished 39–97–4 in the league. Attendance was understandably poor for the first few seasons. The Broncos drew only 13,047 in 1960 when they finished 4-9-1; and they drew even worse the next year in 1961 at just 10,644 per game, when they finished 3-11. In 1962, new head coach Jack Faulkner helped improve the team, and improve the struggling team’s fan base, when the Broncos went 7-7 and drew 25,498 per game. And even though the Broncos got bad again the next few seasons, and even though attendance fell below 20K per game for a couple years, by 1965 the Broncos were drawing above 30K per game. And when the city of Denver bought Bears Stadium and renamed it Mile High Stadium in 1968 (and began another stadium expansion to 50,000), the Broncos surpassed the 40K per game mark…and their attendance has been healthy ever since. {source of AFL attendance figures (1960-69): THE AMERICAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE – ATTENDANCE, 1960-69 By Bob Carroll at profootballresearchers.org/Coffin Corner Vol. 13, No. 4 (1991) [pdf]}.

And when the Broncos joined the NFL in 1970, as part of the AFL/NFL merger, the Broncs sold out every game that season. With the exception of the replacement-players games in 1987, every Denver Broncos home game in the NFL (1970-86; 1988-present) has been sold out (!).

So, basically, the Broncos developed a strong fan-base despite the fact that the Broncos never had a winning season until 1973. In fact, the Broncos never made it to the playoffs until their run in the 1977 NFL season, when, coached Red Miller, led by aging QB Craig Morton [1977 Comeback Player of the Year], bolstered by their Orange Crush defense, and spurred on by their loud and raucous fans at Mile High Stadium, the 12-2 Broncos went all the way to Super Bowl XII [12] in January 1978, losing to the Cowboys 27-10.

Another expansion took place at Mile High Stadium from 1975–1977. This raised the capacity to 75,000. The main component of this expansion was a movable, triple-decked stands along the east side, which when fully retracted toward the field, formed a horseshoe for Broncos’ home games. For Bears’ baseball games, the new movable stands were fully extended by 145 feet, so that the stadium could still fit a normal-sized baseball field.

Mile High – opened 2001 (a stadium originally called Invesco Field at Mile High; now called Sports Authority Field at Mile High)…
The Broncos played in Mile High Stadium until 2000. By the late 1990s it was becoming obvious that the stadium was outmoded, and so plans for a new stadium began. The stadium was to be paid for primarily by a sales tax scheme in the 7-county Greater Denver region (in the 1998-2011 time period), and that tax scheme expired when both the new football stadium for the Broncos, and the new baseball stadium for the expansion MLB team the Rockies, were all paid for (the sales tax to fund the stadiums expired on Dec. 31, 2011). Here is an article on that rather efficient-and-not-too-onerous tax scheme that got Denver 2 new major league sports stadiums, Tax off books, but not registers (denverpost.com article by Chuck Murphy from Jan. 27, 2012). The new Mile High opened on September 10, 2001. Its capacity is 76,425 for football. It is owned and operated by the Denver Metropolitan Football Stadium District.

    1997-98 Denver Broncos: back-to-back Super Bowl champions…

Broncos end AFC’s 13-year title drought…
{Note: see this list for reference for the following two paragraphs: Super Bowl Championship (1966–present) (en.wikipedia.org).}
The AFC’s 16 members include all 10 AFL franchises that merged with the NFL in 1970. The AFL won two of its four games ever played against the NFL (Super Bowls I-IV). Then the AFL’s evolution into the American Football Conference saw that entity dominate the early years after the AFL/NFL merger (1970-80 seasons), winning 9 of first 11 Super Bowl titles after the merger. Because the following two teams came over from the pre-merger NFL to the new AFC in 1970, when you subtract the Baltimore Colts’ Super Bowl title in the 1970 NFL season and the Steelers’ four Super Bowl titles (1974-75 seasons; 1979-80 seasons), the fact of the matter is that teams that originated in the AFL went 6-wins-and-4-losses in the first 15 Super Bowl match-ups (Jets win in the 1968 season, Chiefs in ’69, Dolphins in ’71 & ’72, Raiders in ’76 & ’80). When you look at it that way it is plain to see that history shows that the AFL had become on par with the NFL by the time of the merger, and a decade later its teams were still the equal-or-better of the old-guard NFL.

But then the old-guard-NFL reasserted itself in the 1980s and into the mid-1990s. The older teams became predominant, and non-AFL teams [all formed before 1961] won 15 of the next 16 Super Bowl titles from the 1981 season to the 1996 season (16 years with 6 teams from the NFC as champions with one exception – the Los Angeles Raiders winning the Super Bowl in the 1983 season). Going into Super Bowl XXXII [32] (on January 25, 1998), the AFC had not won a Super Bowl title in 13 seasons (the 1984 to 1996 seasons). The Denver Broncos changed that. With an aging but still effective John Elway at QB, and with RB Terrell Davis and WR Shannon Sharpe spearheading the offense, coach Mike Shanahan’s Broncos beat the reigning champs the Green Bay Packers 31-24, in a thrilling Super Bowl match-up in January 1998 (Super Bowl XXXII [32]). Then the Broncos repeated by beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-19 (in Super Bowl XXXIII [33]). The tide had turned in the old and still relevant AFL-NFL rivalry, and normal service was restored, so to speak. Since 1997 and up to 2014 it has been: AFC with 10 Super Bowl titles and the NFC with 7 Super Bowl titles.
denver-broncos_back-to-back-super-bowl-wins_1997-98-seasons__mike-shanahan_john-elway_terrell-davis_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Broncos 1997-98 helmet, illustration by gridiron-uniforms.com/1997_Denver. Photo of Terrell Davis by Sports Illustrated at sikids.com/photo_gallery. Broncos players jubilant after Super Bowl 32 victory, photo unattributed at this thread at reddit.con/r/football: 200 Days/200 Topics: Day 57: What single NFL photo hurts you the most emotionally? [Serious].
John Elway photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty via JohnElway.com. Mike Shanahan and John Elway following Super Bowl 33 win, photo by John Leyba/Denver Post at extras.mnginteractive.com.

    Colors and helmet logos of the Broncos…

The following link is to a 1 minute and 58 seconds-long video (produced by the NFL and Tide detergent), {Denver Broncos uniform and uniform color history (video uploaded by Scott Sillcox at youtube.com)}.
1960-61 – Brown and Yellow/Gold (and vertically-striped socks)…
Though the Denver Bears Triple-A ball club was wearing navy-and-red by the late 1960s, at one point in the history of the Denver Bears, the team (owned by Bob Howsam, who was of course the Denver Broncos first owner) was wearing brown (with orange) as its primary color {see this} [circa late 1940s/early 1950s]; at another point they were wearing gold-and-brown {see this Don Larsen throwback jersey at e.bay}. This photo shows an old Denver Bears pennant and a sign from Bears Stadium circa early-or-mid-1950s – both have brown in them. So what I am saying is that Bob Howsam had a history of using brown (and gold) in his team’s colors. This all might be a coincidence. The fact is that Howsam had his new Broncos organization on a rock-bottom low budget circa 1959-60, and the Broncos first GM Dean Griffing, a legendary tightwad perfectly happy to keep to the strict low budget, bought second-hand (probably third-hand) uniforms from a defunct college tournament in Tucson, AZ (the Copper Bowl). The uniforms featured a brown helmet (the player’s number on each side in white), a darkish-yellow jersey with brown numbers, shiny brown pants, and yellow-and-brown vertically-striped socks. The gear would have looked ridiculous anyway, but those socks made the whole team look comical – like a bunch of court jesters. The other thing was that the Broncos in 1960 only had to buy one set of uniforms, because the yellow jerseys could function as home darks or away whites and would not clash with any of the other AFL teams’ dark or white jerseys. Then Howsam sold the team to Gerald Phipps in 1961. Then in the summer of 1962 new coach Jack Faulkner had the team burn the vertically-striped socks in a bonfire ceremony following a training session at Bears Stadium…there were 8,377 Broncos fans in attendance for the immolation of the socks (a couple were saved for HoF posterity). {For more on the brown-and-yellow Broncos uniforms of 1960-61, see this excellent article from EndZoneSportsCharity’s Denver Broncos Uniform History 1st GENERATION: 1960 – 1961.}

1962-64 – Pale Orange with White and Blue trim (with goofy-bronco logo)…
The Broncos switched to orange and blue first in 1962 (their third season), but there was very little blue (royal blue) in their gear in the ’62 to ’64 era. The pale orange helmets featured a cartoon-like bucking bronco (with giant lantern jaw making the horse look developmentally disabled). At first the goofy bronco logo was in royal blue (some games in ’62), but that was switched to a more-visible white later on in ’62 through ’64. From the Gridiron Uniform Database, here are the {Broncos 1963-64 uniforms}.

1965-73 – Red-Orange with Royal Blue (goofy-bronco logo to blank blue helmet [1967], to red/orange-D-with-white-rampant-bronco logo on blue helmet)…
Then the Broncos switched their primary color to a sort of pastel red-orange – a color that is pretty unique in major-leagues sports history. That red-orange was paired with a light royal blue {Broncos 1966 uniforms}. They finally got rid of the undignified goofy-bronco logo, and the Broncos organization must have figured a blank helmet was better than that (in 1967). In 1968, the once-iconic red/orange-D-with-white-rampant-bronco logo had its debut (see it here (photo from hugginsandscott.com)}. That D-with-the-white-bronco logo lasted from 1968 all the way to 1996. They should bring it back. Here is an excerpt from the Denver Broncos page at en.wikipedia.org,…”The logo was designed by Edwin Guy Taylor of Denver. A contest was held through Public Service of Denver to come up with a new logo for the team. Mr. Taylor’s submission was selected late in 1967 and adopted [in 1968].”…{excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denver_Broncos/Logos_and_uniforms}.

1974-96 - Orange and royal blue (with iconic orange-D-with-white-rampant-bronco logo on blue helmet)…
In 1974, the red-orange switched to a standard orange (well, maybe an orange that had a touch of burnt orange in it). The next link shows the Broncos uniforms the only year they had the orange (and not red-orange) D in their helmet and a grey facemask {Broncos 1974: a classic look; please bring it back, Denver}. {Here} is what the Broncos wore in their first Super Bowl appearance in 1978.

1997-2014: Navy-Blue and Orange (with stylized-bronco-head logo [aka Cyber Horse], and tapered-orange-center-stripe on navy blue helmet)…
Navy blue replaced orange (or red-orange) as the primary color. The cyber-horse logo, designed by Nike, is an elongated-white-bronco-head-with-streaming-orange-mane. It looks pretty juvenile, the sort of thing a 12-year-old would think is cool. The uniforms were initially savaged in the Denver press (lots of fans did not like it as well…at first). However, it cannot be denied that the first season that the Denver Broncos wore their totally revised uniforms of very dark blue and orange with elongated-bronco-head helmet-logo {1997}, they went all the way and finally won their first Super Bowl…then they repeated the next season. I think that success right off the bat with this uniform design is why the team still wears this style uniform and logo 18 years later, unlike teams such as the Giants and the Jets and the 49ers and the Bills (and Chargers), who have all gone back to updated versions of older and better uniforms and logos in the last few years.

    Kansas City Chiefs – logos and helmet history (1960-2014), click on image below…

kansas-city-chiefs_helmet-history_logos_1960-2014_segment_.gif
Kansas City Chiefs – logos and helmet history (1960-2014)
Texans/Chiefs helmet illustrations above from gridiron-uniforms.com/chiefs. Chiefs uniforms.png by fma12, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chiefs_uniforms.png. Photo of Chiefs 2012-13 Riddell helmet from thumbs3.picclick.com/d/w225/pict/251241604074_/KANSAS-CITY-CHIEFS-Riddell-Revolution-NFL-Football-Helmet.jpg. Dallas Texans’ 1960-62 wordmark logo from sportsecyclopedia.com/nfl/kcdal/daltexans. Photo of Chiefs’ circa 1970s wordmark logo from fleersticker.blogspot.com.

Origin of Chiefs nickname….
Upon moving his AFL franchise the Dallas Texans to Kansas City, Missouri in 1963, oil-fortune-heir Lamar Hunt was faced with the quandary of having to re-name his franchise. But actually, as hard as it is to believe, Hunt (at first) wanted to keep the nickname and call the team the Kansas City Texans. It took his right-hand-man, Jack Steadman (who was the Texans/Chiefs GM and vice president of operations), to convince Hunt otherwise. The mayor of Kansas City then, H. Roe Bartle, who was very instrumental in the city being able to lure the AFL franchise away from Dallas, was nicknamed “the Chief” (from his days as a Scout Executive of the St. Joseph and Kansas City Boy Scout Councils 35 years previously when he formed a Native Tribes honor society within the Boy Scouts called The Tribe of Mic-O-Say).

The Chiefs became the winning entry (but not the most popular entry by far) into the local name-the-new-team contest that Hunt had organized. The most popular of the 4,866 entries (with 1,020 different names being suggested) were for the nicknames the “Mules” and the “Royals.” “Chiefs”, suggested by 42 entries, was third-most-selected in the naming contest; nevertheless Hunt selected Chiefs as the football team’s new nickname. At other sources (like here) it is said Hunt re-named the team the Chiefs in honor of the large number of Native Americans who (past and present) had called the region of western Missouri and the Great Plains their home. At that is technically true. And that notion is re-enforced by the first primary logo of the new Chiefs franchise {see it by clicking on the on the image above or here}.

But the Chiefs are also named after the nickname of that former Kansas City mayor, H. Roe Bartle who helped get the team to KC and who made good on his promise to Lamar Hunt that Kansas City would have a vast season-ticket paying fan-base there even before the team’s arrival. And this was swiftly accomplished, as in a short span of time (8 weeks) in early 1963, over 20,000 season season tickets were sold to pro-football starved fans in and around Kansas City – before the franchise had even moved out of Dallas, and before the folks who forked over cash for the season tickets even knew exactly which pro team the city was getting. As it said in the timeline/1963 section of the official Kansas City Chiefs website, “the team was officially christened the Chiefs on May 26th, in part to honor the efforts of Bartle.” {excerpt from http://www.kcchiefs.com/history/60s/ [dead link/ now available via Wayback Machine at http://web.archive.org/web/20080609053609/http://www.kcchiefs.com/history/60s/ }.

For more on this, see the following article at SBnation, How the Kansas City Chiefs Got Their Name (article by oldchiefsfan from May 18 2009). In the comments section there, 2 commenters who were proud childhood members of the Boy Scouts' Tribe of Mic-O-Say weigh in: jbj8609 says ..."My father and I are both members of MOS (in St. Joseph, MO, not the KC one), and I can confirm this to be 100% accurate. My dad has been “Tribal Historian” here for several years now and used to tell me this story many times. Always thought it was very cool"; bankmeister says..."I’m also a Mic-O-Say member with five consecutive years at Bartle, plus my mom has lived off of Roe Avenue for 25 years. H. Roe and the Chiefs mean a lot to me." {end of excerpts.} The Kansas City Chiefs is a great name that honors Native Americans. Unlike the racist name of another NFL team.

    Stadiums the Dallas Texans (II)/Kansas City Chiefs franchise have played in...

Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas (home of the Dallas Texans (II) from 1960-62)...
The Cotton Bowl began as Fair Park, a stadium built on the site of the Texas State Fair grounds, in 1930. Cut-and-fill construction was employed to build up berms for the stands, and this lowered the playing surface twenty-four feet below the original ground level. The stadium initially held 45,000 spectators; in 1936, the name was officially changed to the Cotton Bowl. The following year, 1937, the Cotton Bowl Classic college football Bowl game began being played there. But it wasn't a popularly-attended Bowl game until a partnership was created with the Southwest Conference starting in 1941 (and the Texas A&M versus Fordham game in '41 was the first Cotton Bowl Classic that was played to a sell-out crowd). By 1950 and through the 1960s, the Cotton Bowl could hold 75,000 (it has a 90,000-capacity now). The primary tenant, in its early days through to the mid-1970s, was the SMU Mustangs college football team; the failed NFL franchise the Dallas Texans (I) of 1952 played 4 of their scheduled 6 games there to sparse crowds, before the NFL front office took over the team and folded it at the end of the 1952 NFL season. In 1960, it would be the home of 3 football teams: the SMU Mustangs, the expansion NFL team the Dallas Cowboys, and the Dallas Texans (II), a charter member of the new rival-league, the AFL.

AFL founder Lamar Hunt, though Arkansas-born, was raised in Dallas, Texas (where his father's oil business was centered). His efforts to get an NFL team for Dallas circa 1958-59 had been unsuccessful. When he got the AFL off the ground and running in 1959-to-early-1960, there was never any doubt that he would have one of the 8 franchises in the new league and that it would be located in Dallas. This despite the fact that in the interim - in early 1960 - the NFL had awarded a Dallas franchise to someone else. So Hunt's Dallas Texans were instantly consigned to being the second-team-in-Dallas, simply by virtue of the fact that the NFL was more established. The red-and-yellow/gold Dallas Texans struggled to get media attention in their 3 seasons in Dallas, but in fact, in the team's first year in Dallas (1960), the AFL's Texans drew best in the debut-season of the AFL and outdrew the NFL's Cowboys (24,500 per game for the AFL Texans versus 21,417 per game for the Cowboys). Of course the first-year Cowboys were horrible (they went 0-11-1), while Hunt's Texans were competitive and fun to watch with a prolific-scoring offense (they went 8-6). But the next season, 1961, Texans' attendance plummeted almost 7K per game to 17,571, while the slightly-improved Cowboys (at 4-9-1) saw their attendance shoot up 33% to 24,521 per game. The writing was on the wall for Hunt. As football-crazy and as dynamic and growing as the city of Dallas was in the early 1960s, it still was not big enough to support two pro football teams. In the next season, 1962, even as an 11-3 team en route to the 1962 AFL title (see illustration below), the Texans were still unable to draw as well as they did their first year - they averaged 22,201 (the 5-8-1 Cowboys averaged only slightly less, at 21,778 in '63).

Hunt knew that once the Dallas Cowboys (inevitably) got competitive, they would totally overshadow the Dallas Texans and start claiming a much greater share of the ticket-paying public in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. So Hunt threw in the towel and began looking for a new home for his team. New Orleans, Atlanta and Miami and Seattle were also considered, but thanks to that huge season-ticket-drive in KC, Hunt moved his team 450 miles north to Kansas City.

    The Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs: 3 AFL titles & 1 Super Bowl title in a 10-year-span...

dallas-texans_hank-stram_abner-haynes_kansas-city-chiefs_kc-municipal-stadium_super-bowl-iv_len-dawson_buck-buchanan_curley-culp_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
1960-62 Dallas Texans helmet, illustration from gridiron-uniforms.com/chiefs. Albert Haynes, photo unattributed at sportsnola.com. Photo of 1962 Dallas Texans AFL Champions team photo, unattributed at media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com. Hank Stram with AFL championship trophy, photo unattributed at media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com. Abner Haynes in 1962 AFL title game, photo unattributed at ntmeangreenfootball.com. USA blank map by Zntrip at Blank map of the United States. Aerial photo of Kansas City Chiefs playing at Municipal Stadium, photo by Kansas City Chiefs at kcchiefs.com/municipal-stadium-tribute. Hank Stram being carried off the field by Chiefs players after their 1966 AFL Championship Game win over Buffalo, photo unattributed at mmbolding.com/AFL1966. AFL 10 years patch worn by Chiefs in Super Bowl IV, photo unattributed/ uploaded by remembertheafl.com at Super Bowl IV (en.wikipedia.org). Len Dawson taking the snap in Super Bowl IV vs. Vikings, photo unattributed at arrowheadaddict.com/2013/06/16/chiefs-history-and-an-anniversary. Buck Buchanan and Curley Culp tackling Dave Osborn in Super Bowl IV, photo from USA Today via spokeo.com.

Municipal Stadium (Kansas City), home of the Chiefs from 1963-71...
Opened in 1923 and originally called Muehlebach Field, the venue was built as a ballpark for the Kansas City Blues (V) (1902-54) of the American Association. The Kansas City Monarchs Negro leagues team also played there (from 1921-34; 1937-54). For that reason the ballpark was situated at the edge of Kansas City's inner-city neighborhood. Capacity was originally 17,000, with the main feature of the ballpark being a single, roofed stand that ran the whole of the first-base foul-line to the right-field-foul-pole, but on the other side the roof only stretched to third base (making the roof a rounded L-shape). In 1955, prior to the arrival of the Philadelphia Athletics MLB franchise, the city decided to almost completely demolish the stadium and rebuild from scratch. The city ran three shifts - the new stadium was built in 90 days, in time for the April 1955 MLB opening of the Kansas City Athletics (1955-67). The not-quite-V-shaped-roof remained, now in a double-deck form, and capacity for baseball was then 30,000. It was re-named Municipal Stadium.

When Lamar Hunt decided to move his Dallas Texans to Kansas City in early 1963, the stadium was renovated again, but in more of a jury-rigged way - temporary stands were erected in left field to expand the stadium's capacity each fall, but had to be torn down before the start of the baseball season the following year.

Kansas City mayor H. Roe Bartle had helped get the team to KC, and had made good on his promise to Lamar Hunt that Kansas City would have a vast season-ticket paying fan-base there even before the team's arrival. Some sources say that Bartle promised to triple the crowds the team had drawn in Dallas (ie, 21.4 K times 3 equals 64 K) - but even if he did promise that, it would have been impossible because Municipal Stadium in Kansas City only held that around 30,000 then, and even after expansion for football, it never had more than a 49,000-capacity {see this, stadiumsofprofootball.com/past/KCMunicipal}. And some sources {here/3rd and 4th paragraphs there} say that 35,000 season tickets were sold before the franchise moved to KC, but that is an extremely exaggerated claim, seeing as how the 1963 Kansas City Chiefs did not draw anywhere near 30 K and actually drew over 13 K less than 35,000 - at 21,510 per game, and did not draw better than they did as the 1962 Dallas Texans (note: 10-year AFL attendance figures for the Dallas Texans (II)/Kansas City Chiefs can be seen in the illustration below, and the source for those figures was at THE AMERICAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE - ATTENDANCE, 1960-69 By Bob Carroll at profootballresearchers.org.)

The Kansas City Chiefs upon arrival in KC in 1963 were reigning champions of the AFL, but the Chiefs then suffered a downturn in form and went 5-7-2 in '63; 7-7 in '64; and 7-5-2 in '65. Cumulative gate figures for those first 3 years in KC were 20,376 per game. So the fact that the Chiefs turned mediocre right when they arrived in KC certainly hurt attendances, and the crowds the Chiefs drew only got respectable after the Chiefs got good again - in 1966, when they tore up the AFL, going 11-2-1, winning the AFL Championship game (over the Bills, 31–7), and appearing in the first AFL-NFL Championship Game [aka Super Bowl I] (losing to the Packers, 35-10). In that great season of 1966, the Chiefs drew 37,010 (an increase of around 15.5 K over their ’65 attendance). Attendance-wise, the Chiefs have never looked back: they drew 45 K in ’67 (going 9-5); 48 K in ’68 (going 12-2); and 49 K in in ’69 when they went all the way with an 11-3 record, beating the Raiders 13-6 in the last AFL Championship game and then winning Super Bowl IV [4] by upsetting the heavily-favored Minnesota Vikings by a score of 23-7 in the last game ever played by the AFL (see illustration above).

Following the Jets’ upset of the NFL’s Colts in Super Bowl III, the Chiefs’ similar upset of the Vikings in Super Bowl IV made it plain for all to see that the AFL was the deserved equal of the NFL. Actually, the AFL beat the NFL soundly in the last two match-ups between the two leagues, so it basically looked like the once-derided upstarts had actually surpassed their hide-bound rivals…in ten years flat. The Chiefs played their first two seasons in the NFL at Municipal Stadium (1970-71), then moved into their purpose-built Arrowhead Stadium in September 1972.

Arrowhead Stadium – home of the Chiefs since 1972…
To see how the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium came to be, we need to backtrack about 5 years, back to early 1967. Although having just lost in a convincing fashion to the Green Bay Packers in what we now call Super Bowl I, the Chiefs were nevertheless a solid and growing franchise circa early 1967. They had won 2 AFL titles in six seasons, and were now drawing in the 37,000-per-game range. Half a year later in the autumn of 1967, Chiefs were drawing around 45,000 per game [this after their first 3 years in KC when they had lackluster attendance, failing to draw above 22 K per game (1963-65/see attendance figures in illustration above]). All signs pointed to further attendance increases for the Chiefs. They were playing to nearly-full capacity at this point, and the aging Municipal Stadium, located in its inner-city neighborhood, was becoming inadequate for the them and their fans. Locations for a new stadium for the Chiefs and the Athletics were scouted by the city of Kansas City starting in early 1967, but a suitable location was never found, and so just across the county-line in Jackson County, Missouri, at the far eastern edge of Greater Kansas City, a location adjacent to an interstate highway interchange was designated. Hunt had operations-chief Jack Steadman work on the stadium design. Denver architect Charles Deaton was brought in by Steadman and it was Deaton who suggested that the two teams, playing as they were in sports that had such radically different configurations, would be better served if each team had its own stadium. Its own stadium that was configured to its own sport’s configuration (a rectangular-shaped stadium for the football team, and a half-circle-atop-a-triangle-shaped stadium for the baseball team). The 2 venues could share a parking lot complex which would reduce costs by sharing parking and highway expenses. This was the exact opposite of conventional wisdom of the time. The late 1960s was the heyday of the now-derided multi-purpose stadium era (an era that lasted up to the late 1980s), or as I like to call it, the Robert Moses Disease. Circa 1960 to 1988 or so, the urban planners running metropolitan areas ignored the basic fact of the fundamental incompatibilty of putting the two very different sports into the same stadium, and forced ugly, astro-turf laden cookie-cutter, multi-purpose concrete stadiums on the public. The whole idea was “we can put our baseball team and our NFL football team in the same stadium, and who cares if the dimensions of the two sports fields are totally incompatible”.

I am not exaggerating in saying that Mr. Deaton’s visionary idea (which is the norm today), has helped elevated the fan experience in both the NFL and in Major League Baseball. Once there were over a dozen multi-use stadiums in MLB and in the NFL, and they all sucked, because they were designed to host two very incompatible configurations. They were giant soul-les concrete doughnuts that gave the fan – for either sport – vast yawning empty spaces where there should have been seats, and sight-lines looking upon totalitarian-architecture backdrops of brutal concrete. [By 2010, following the Minnesota Twins opening of their Target Field, there was only one multi-purpose stadium still in use in both the NFL and MLB - Oakland's stadium, and its days are numbered.]

Here is an excerpt from the Kauffman Stadium page at en.wikipedia.org,…”In 1967, voters in Jackson County, Missouri approved the bonds for Truman Sports Complex, which featured a football stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs and a baseball stadium for the Kansas City Athletics, whose owner, Charles O. Finley, had just signed a new lease to remain in Kansas City. This was a very unusual proposal; conventional wisdom at the time held that separate football and baseball stadiums were not commercially viable.”…{end of excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kauffman_Stadium#History. The two stadium sports complex, what became known as the Truman Sports Complex, would prove to be twenty years ahead of its time.

But then a wrench was thrown into the works when, in October, 1967, MLB gave A’s owner Charlie Finley permission to move his Kansas City Athletics MLB franchise west to Oakland, CA (in 1968). The folks in and around Kansas City were so enraged about losing their pro ball club they pressured their elected officials to act. Partly thanks to the threat to introduce legislation in the US Senate to remove MLB’s antitrust exemption (put forth by Missouri Senator Stuart Symington), MLB hastily began plans for another round of expansion at the winter meetings in 1967, so both Kansas City and Seattle got MLB AL expansion franchises; and both San Diego and Montreal, Quebec, Canada got MLB NL expansion franchises, all 4 teams set to begin play in 1969.

At about the same time, the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority was created, and construction began in 1968 for the two-stadium Truman Sports Complex (named in honor of western-Missouri-born-and-bred President Harry S. Truman). The second-year Kansas City Royals began playing at the new 37,000-capacity Royals Stadium in April, 1972 (the venue is now called Kauffman Stadium in honor of the Royals’ first owner, Ewing Kauffman). The Chiefs began playing at the new 78,000-capacity Arrowhead Stadium in September, 1972 (after several renovations, Arrowhead, since 2010, now has a capacity of 76,416). The original two-stadium concept, initially designed by Denver architect Charles Deaton and Jack Steadman, was implemented in its final design by the Kansas City architectural firm of Kivett & Myers. The template for what was to be called Arrowhead Stadium is said to have influenced the design of several NFL stadiums. Both stadiums were very well designed and have had very good upkeep – both stadiums are still in excellent shape. And both teams have no plans of moving elsewhere (either out of town or into another costly new stadium), as opposed to the case with EIGHT now-demolished multi-purpose stadiums that were built in the USA in the same era or later. Specifically, in Minneapolis (Metrodome demolished in 2014), in Queens, New York (Shea Stadium demolished in 2007), in St. Louis (Busch Memorial Stadium demolished in 2005), in Philadelphia (Veterans Stadium demolished in 2004), in Cincinnati (Riverfront Stadium demolished in 2002), in Pittsburgh (Three Rivers Stadium demolished in 2001), in Seattle (Kingdome demolished in 2000) and in Atlanta (Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium demolished in 1997) [note: soon Candlestick Park in San Francisco can be added to this list of demolished multi-purpose stadiums, as with the vacating of the 49ers after the 2013 season, the dreary Candlestick Park has no primary tenant].

Below: the Truman Sports Complex -the first major league sports stadium complex in the USA which rejected the misguided multi-purpose stadium model.
truman-sports-complex_arrowhead-stadium_with-kaufman-stadium_jackson-county-missouri_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Chiefs 2012-14 Pro Revolution helmet, illustration by gridiron-uniforms.com/teams/2012_KansasCity.
Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium as seen from the nearby interstate highway, photo unattributed/ uploaded by KingmanIII at skyscrapercity.com/ [thread: Closest stadiums]. Arrowhead Stadium aerial photo, by Ichabod at en.wikipedia.org/ [Arrowhead Stadium page].


Below: Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams (photo circa 1960)…
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Image credit above -youtube.com/watch?v=W1sL0gf_LXI (youtube.com video uploaded by Scott Sillcox).

    Colors and helmet logos of the Texans/Chiefs

The following link is to a 1 minute and 53 seconds-long video (produced by the NFL and Tide detergent), Kansas City Chiefs uniform and uniform color history (video uploaded by Scott Sillcox at youtube.com)}.
1960-61 – Red and Yellow/Gold (map-of-Texas-with-gold-star-for-Dallas helmet-logo, on a plain red helmet)…
Lamar Hunt actually wanted the Dallas Texans to wear orange-and-sky-blue, but Bud Adams’ Houston Oilers had already chosen powder blue as their primary color, so Hunt had to come up with a different color scheme (thank goodness). Hunt chose a simple yet striking red-with-yellow/gold…the franchise has never worn any other colors. The Texans/Chiefs have also only worn a red helmet with no stripe detail – first, with a logo that featured the state-of-Texas-with-gold-star-for-Dallas {see that nice design here in a game-worn helmet from the 1960-62 era}.

1963-2014 – Red and Yellow/Gold (arrowhead-with-interlocking-K-C helmet-logo, on a plain red helmet)…
When Hunt moved the team to Kansas City, the story goes he himself drew out the new logo in his kitchen on a dinner napkin…sketching out a design influenced by the San Francisco 49ers’ interlocking-S-F, but with an arrowhead framing the letters K-C instead of the football-shaped-oval on the Niners’ helmet. That design debuted in 1963 and, aside from a slight reshaping of the logo in 1974 (the arrowhead was made a bit smaller and the K-C a bit larger), it has remained the Chiefs helmet design for over 50 years. And rightly so. The Chiefs’ uniforms look classy whether they are wearing red-and-white, white-and-red, or all-white. But not the all-red. Hopefully they won’t continue following the abhorrent college-football-influenced trend of wearing jerseys-and-pants their dark color (in this case, all-red), like they did some games last year {2013 Chiefs uniforms}.

    Oakland Raiders – logos and helmet history (1960-2014), click on image below…

oakland-raiders_helmet-history_logos_1960-2014_segment_c_.gif
Oakland Raiders – logos and helmet history (1960-2014)
Raiders helmet illustrations above from, gridiron-uniforms.com/raiders. Photo of Raiders 2012-13 Riddell helmet from, lnt.com/nfl-authentic-revolution-pro-line-full-size-football-helmets/oakland-raiders-authentic-pro-line-revolution-riddell-helmet. Raiders 2014 uniforms, illustration by JohnnySeoul at en.wikipedia.org.

Origin of Raiders nickname…
The franchise that became the Oakland Raiders was the last of the 8 charter members of the AFL in 1960. A year before when the league was being formed, that 8th franchise was originally intended to be placed in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. But when the NFL convinced the AFL-ownership-group in Minneapolis/St. Paul to take an NFL franchise instead, the Minnesota Vikings were born (set to start in the NFL in 1961), forcing the nascent AFL to scramble to find a location for the 8th team. The 6 other AFL owners were then coerced by Chargers owner Barron Hilton to put another team in California, following Hilton’s threat to pull out of the league if there was not another AFL team placed in the Golden State, so the 8th AFL franchise was placed in Oakland, CA. This despite the fact that the well-supported San Francisco 49ers were just a few miles across the San Francisco Bay from Oakland, and it would thus be an uphill battle for an Oakland-based AFL team to draw well. And this despite the fact that there was no stadium on the east side of San Francisco Bay, except for the California Golden Bears’ stadium in Berkeley, CA.

Here is how the formation of the AFL franchise in Oakland went {2 excerpts from Oakland Raiders/History at en.wikipedia.org}…”Upon receiving the franchise, a meeting of local civic leaders and businessmen was called, chaired by former United States Senator William F. Knowland, editor of the Oakland Tribune; Edgar Kaiser of Kaiser Steel; developer Robert T. Nahas; and Oakland City Councilman Robert Osborne. Also attending the meeting [was] Oakland Mayor Clifford E. Rishell [and 7 other city councilmen]…/…A limited partnership was formed to own the team headed by managing general partner Y. Charles (Chet) Soda, a local real estate developer, and included general partners Ed McGah, Oakland City Councilman Robert Osborne, F. Wayne Valley, restaurateur Harvey Binns, 1928 Olympic gold medalist Donald Blessing, and contractor Charles Harney, the builder of San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, built on a bleak parcel of land he owned…”…{end of excerpts from en.wikipedia.org/Oakland Raiders/early years)}.

An example of how disorganized the early days of the Oakland/8th-AFL-franchise was, can be seen in the fact that for 9 days, the team was officially known as the Oakland Señors. This came about when the team’s first GM and one of the 4 co-owners, Chet Soda, organized a name-the-new-team contest held in the Oakland Tribune. Then on April 5, 1960 it was announced in the Tribune that the winning entry was for the nickname the Señors, a reference to the Spanish settlers of northern California. Here is what an article at Raider Nation Times.com has to say about that…{excerpt}…”Although somewhat appropriate due to Oakland’s large Hispanic community, the team became a local laughingstock as everyone knew Soda was renowned for calling his acquaintances Señor and extrapolated that to mean the contest was clearly fixed.”…{end of excerpt at Oakland Raiders Logo and Colors Have a Rich and Interesting History (raidernationtimes.com/article by Justin Smith – Jul 19, 2012). A classic line was made by future Raiders GM and then-Tribune-sportswriter Scotty Stirling, who said, “That’s no good, we don’t have the accent mark for the n in our headline type.” {quote from http://mentalfloss.com/article/25650/whats-nickname-origins-all-32-nfl-team-names by Scott Allen}. So, nine days later, the third-most-selected name was chosen, and the Oakland Raiders were born on April 14, 1960.

    Stadiums the Oakland Raiders/Los Angeles Raiders have played in…

Kezar Stadium in San Francisco (4 games in 1960); Candelstick Park (last 3 games in 1960, all 7 games in 1961)…
The University of California at Berkeley refused to allow the new Raiders to play at their Memorial Stadium, so the Raiders were forced to play across the San Francisco Bay in San Francisco at Kezar Stadium (home of the 49ers), for 1960. Despite being forced to pick over the remainders of available talent for their squad (all 7 other AFL squads had generally been formed before the Oakland AFL franchise got going), Oakland did not do too bad at all in their first season. With a lopsided total of 28 rookies in their squad and with only 14 veterans, the black-helmeted Raiders finished a respectable 6-8 (2 of those rookies were future Pro Football Hall of Famer Center Jim Otto, and a future Raiders head coach, the QB Tom Flores). But the Raiders in their debut season in 1960 drew an awful 9,612 per game (4 games at Kezar Stadium, then their final 3 home games at Candlestick Park). Then the bottom fell out in the Raiders’ next two seasons. After the Raiders had dismissed coach Eddie Erdelatz in late September 1961, his replacement, offensive line coach Marty Feldman fared no better, and in their second year at cold and windy Candlestick Park, the ’61 Raiders went 2-12 and drew an abysmal 7,655 per game.

Frank Youell Field, the temporary stadium the Raiders played in for 4 seasons (1962-65)…
A consortium led by Wayne Valley and including minority-owner Ron McGah purchased the Raiders in 1961, and the consortium threatened to move the franchise if Oakland city officials didn’t provide a venue in Oakland. This made the city construct Frank Youell Field, a temporary facility in downtown Oakland which held about 15,000 people initially (capacity increased to 22,000 the same year it opened in 1962), the use of which was shared with high schools.

From the Today In Pro Football History blog, …{excerpt}…”Stadium was constructed by the Oakland Recreation Commission as a temporary home for the Raiders until the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum was completed. Named for Francis J. Youell, a city council member and prominent local sports booster.”…{end of excerpt at Past Venue: Frank Youell Field, by Keith Yowell at fs64sports.blogspot.com)}.

So in 1962, the hapless Raiders finally played in Oakland, but they were still bad – Red Conkright replaced Feldman after 5 winless games in October ’62, and the Raiders finished rock bottom again, at 1-13. In their first season playing in Oakland they drew 10,985 at Frank Youell Field. The Raiders had no idea at the time, but they would have to play three more seasons at the temporary stadium while the building of the Oakland-Alameda County Stadium hit a series of delays. The reason why it took so long to get Oakland’s multi-purpose stadium built was that it was being built in conjunction with the basketball/hockey/events arena (the Oakland Coliseum, which is next-door to the stadium and shares a parking facility/ see photo in illustration below) – both venues being built by a city/county/non-profit partnership. Then the 54,000-capacity Oakland-Alameda stadium construction schedule (which started in the spring of 1962) was delayed for two years due to various legal issues and cost overruns. Then the original design of the arena (the Oakland Coliseum) had to be modified slightly in order to stay on budget, and that slowed the dual-stadium-construction-project even more. So the Raiders were stuck playing in the all-bleachers Frank Youell Field for 4 years. The makeshift “stadium” was located in an industrial area of downtown Oakland (as you can see in the photos in the illustration below). Frank Youell Field was torn down in 1969 so that nearby Laney College could use the site as a parking lot.

In January, 1963 Al Davis was hired…
In January, 1963 Al Davis was hired by Wayne Valley as head coach and GM of the Raiders. Davis, just 33, became the youngest ever pro football head coach. The Brooklyn-raised Davis had been assistant coach of the San Diego Chargers where he was backfield coach, and an adept scout, and a general fast-talk-artist not above blatant and fabricated self-promotion and outright lying to further his cause. As Valley later said, “Everywhere I went, people told me what a son of a bitch Al Davis was, so I figured he must be doing something right.” {quote from Al Davis page at en.wikipedia.org/Al Davis/Background and hiring}. Valley would regret this move 9 years later when Davis wrested control of the Raiders from him. “Davis’s theory is that people are motivated by fear,” said Bob Bestor, who resigned as Raiders’ business manager in the late 1960s to do publicity for the new Oakland Seals hockey team. “He thinks people perform better if they’re afraid.” {preceding quote from article by Leonard Shecter in Look magazine, The Most Hated Winner In Football: Al Davis In 1969 (thestacks.deadspin.com)}.

Davis intended to bring over an aggressive passing-oriented offense, the type he had seen become proficient at San Diego under visionary head coach Sid Gillman. For the 1963 season, Davis, despite being new to the organization, still had enough leverage this early on to actually convince the Raiders’ front office to change the team’s colors from black-and-yellow/gold with plain black helmets, to silver-and-black with silver helmets (with a distinctive shield logo), black jerseys and silver pants. From his experience coaching teams in the military (at Fort Belvoir, Virginia) and at a military school (the Citadel in South Carolina), Davis sought to motivate his players with relentless practice, drilling into them a pride for the team. Slogans became utilized. “Pride and Poise,” “Commitment to Excellence,” and “Just Win, Baby” are all registered trademarks of the Oakland Raiders. The turnaround for the Raiders was immediate – they went went 10-4 and Al Davis was voted AFL Coach of the Year. That 9-game improvement from the previous season (1-13 in ’62/10-4 in ’63) is a pro football record from the 14-game-era. The Raiders went from worst offense in the AFL in ’62 to second-best in ’63 (behind the Chargers, who won the 1963 AFL title). Though the Raiders slipped to 5–7–2 in 1964, they rebounded to 8–5–1 in 1965.

Then Davis left the Raiders organization for what turned out to be four months, when he was selected by the owners to replace Joe Foss as Commissioner of the AFL. This came about because the AFL owners wanted an aggressive commissioner to face off against the NFL. By the close of the 1965 season, the American Football League, after 6 years, had basically become a significant rival to the NFL. The AFL had increased its attendance remarkably. The AFL went from averaging 15 K per game in 1960, to averaging 31 K per game in 1965. The AFL’s television contract with NBC, and the several major stadiums being built for AFL teams were indications that in late 1965/early 1966, the AFL was starting to look like it was a success. The AFL was reaching the point where they were becoming able to compete on equal terms for players with the NFL. But aside from Sonny Werblin (NY Jets co-owner), most AFL owners wanted to be a part of the older, better-established NFL. They and most NFL owners feared continued escalation of player salaries.

The AFL was gaining on the NFL, and merger was becoming a possibility. AFL founder and Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt wanted the brash and dynamic Davis in the commissioner’s seat fighting the NFL, and Davis as a 37-year-old got the job in April 1966. Davis wanted AFL teams to go after NFL stars and basically scare the NFL franchises into thinking that they would be, for lack of a better word, raided by the AFL (there is Davis using fear as a motivator again). Lots of rumors about which NFL stars might jump to the AFL abounded in the early summer of 1966 – big-name players like Mike Ditka of Chicago and Alex Karras of Detroit and Paul Hornung of Green Bay. This happened because two player-raids were attempted. The Raiders went after LA Rams QB Roman Gabriel, and the Houston Oilers went after SF 49ers QB John Brodie – and both were signed in the early summer of 1966 by those AFL teams [but the two ended up staying with LA and SF respectively, because by then the AFL-NFL meger had been agreed to, and those contracts were nullified]. Glenn Dickey, a biographer of Al Davis {Just Win, Baby: Al Davis and His Raiders at amazon, here}, pointed out that Davis felt he was deceived by the owners, “He thought he had been hired to win the war with the NFL. In fact, the owners only wanted to force a peace. They were quietly negotiating a merger while Davis was fighting a war.”…{excerpt from Al Davis/AFL commissioner (en.wikipedia.org)}.

The AFL-NFL merger agreement was announced on June 8, 1966, with the creation of an annual title game to be first played in January 1967 (the AFL/NFL Championship Game, now called the Super Bowl), and with the AFL and the NFL to continue on as separate leagues for 4 more seasons (1966, ’67, ’68, ’69), and with a fully-integrated schedule and two balanced conferences implemented for the merger in 1970. Davis was not happy with the agreement, both because it required the Jets and Raiders to pay indemnities to the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers for establishing teams within their exclusive territories, and because it put him out of a job, because the merger made the office of the AFL commissioner redundant (Pete Rozelle would continue in his post as NFL commissioner under the merger agreement). Davis resigned as commissioner on July 25 (he was on the job for less than 4 months). Davis went back to the Raiders organization, now a 10% owner and now head of football operations (Davis would snatch total control of the Raiders franchise in 1972 when Valley was at the Olympics in Munich, Germany and Davis had his attorneys completely revise the ownership agreement, which third-ownership-partner McGah signed…and the courts upheld this).

Below: the first years of the Oakland Raiders (1960-67)…
oakland-raiders-est1960_early-uniforms_frank-youell-field_al-davis_oakland-coliseum_1967_daryle-lamonica_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Illustrations of Raiders 1960-63 uniforms by gridiron-uniforms.com/raiders. Frank Youell Field sign, photo unattributed at football.ballparks.com/NFL/OaklandRaiders. Aerial black-and-white photo, unattributed at football.ballparks.com. Frank Youell Field, black-and-white photo, unattributed at fs64sports.blogspot.com/2011/04/past-venue-frank-youell-field. 1963 photo of Al Davis on the sidelines talking to QB Cotton Davidson with back-up QBTom Flores in head-set with clipboard, photo by Ron Riesterer / Oakland Tribune at oaklandtribunearchives.tumblr.com. Aerial photo of Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum complex, unattributed at alamedainfo.com/san_leandro_bay_pg_3. Daryle Lamonica and Gene Upshaw, photo by USA Today via spokeo.com/Daryle+Lamonica. Photo of game event poster of Second AFL-NFL World Championship Game [aka Super Bowl II], from sportsposterwarehouse.com.

September 1966: Raiders move into the Oakland-Alameda County Stadium…
In 1966, Al Davis’ hand-picked successor as head coach was John Rauch. The Raiders were finally playing in the 55,000-capacity stadium they would play in for the next decade-and-a-half. The Raiders played to 95%-capacity in 1965, at 21 K per game in their last year at Frank Youell Field. The following year, 1966, finally at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, they averaged 36 K. By 1969, the Raiders were playing to 97%-capacity, drawing 53 K per game there.

In 1966 the Raiders finished 8-5-1, with starting QB Tom Flores and featuring a receiver corps that included Hewritt Dixon and Fred Biletnikoff (both WRs), as well ex-Oilers great Billy Cannon (at TE/HB). Then in the off-season the Raiders acquired back-up Buffalo Bills QB Daryle Lamonica in a trade. Lamonica was a strong-armed QB, and he threw a league-best 30 TD passes in 1967, as the Raiders tore up the AFL, with a league-best offense that averaged 33.4 points per game, and a defense that was second-best (the Oilers had the best D in the AFL in ’67). The Raiders then won the 1967 AFL Championship game over Houston, blowing out the Oilers 40-7. But just as the Kansas City Chiefs had been outclassed by the Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl the previous season, so too were the 1967 Raiders schooled by Lombardi’s Packers in Super Bowl II in January 1968, losing 33-14.

1976 season: Oakland Raiders win Super Bowl XI…
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Photo and Image Credits above -
Ted Hendricks, photo by USA Today at spokeo.com. Fred Biletnikoff, photo unattributed at tddaily.com/nfl/greatest-sb-players-no-44-fred-biletnikoff. Ken Stabler handing off to Clarence Davis with Mark Van Eeghen blocking, ;& John Madden being carried off field by Raiders players incl. Ted Hendricks, photos unattributed at democraticunderground.com.

1980 season: Oakland Raiders win Super Bowl XV…
oakland-raiders_super-bowl-xv_champions_tom-flores_jim-plunkett_cliff-branch_rod-martin_john-matuszak_b_.gif
Photo and Image Credits above -
Jim Plunkett in pocket, photo unattributed at latinorebels.com/four-proud-latino-nfl-players-who-have-played-in-the-super-tazon. Plunkett about to pass to Cliff Branch for TD, photo unattributed at myfootballdvds.com. Rod Martin intercepting a pass, photo by Manny Rubio/USA Today via usatodaysportsimages.com. Tom Flores, photo by USA Today at spokeo.com. John Matuszack pursuing Ron Jaworski, photo by Peter Read Miller/Getty Imges via gettyimages.com.

Oakland Raiders move to Los Angles as Los Angeles Raiders; play in LA Memorial Coliseum for 13 seasons (1982-94)…
Al Davis wanted to leave Oakland because city officials refused to make improvements to Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. It primarily came down to their refusal to build luxury suites. In 1980 Davis signed an agreement to move his team from Oakland to Los Angeles. League owners voted 22-0 against the franchise-move (five owners abstaining). Davis tried to move the team, anyway. The NFL took him to court, Davis counter-sued, and Davis won an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, clearing the way for the team’s relocation. “Sure, I expected the Oakland fans to get angry at me,” Davis said. “But I don’t remember any of them parading on the Oakland Coliseum, saying ‘Give him what he wants.’ In their mind, it’s their team. In my mind, it’s not.” {preceding quote from article at ESPN, Good guys wear black, by Mike Puma (espn.go.com/classic)}. Davis moved the Raiders to the Los Angeles Coliseum for the start of the 1982 season. The LA Coliseum had been vacant of a primary tenant since the end of the 1979 season, when the LA Rams moved a few miles southeast to Anaheim in Orange County (into the California Angels’ Anaheim Stadium).
1983 season: Oakland Raiders win Super Bowl XVIII…
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Photo and Image credits above -
Raiders helmet, illustration by gridiron-uniforms.com/Raiders. Derrick Jensen blocking Redskins punt, photo unattributed at fs64sports.blogspot.com/1984-raiders-overwhelm-redskins. Jim Plunkett, photo by Getty Images via espndeportes.com/blogs. Marcus Allen on a long gain, photo unattributed at taylorblitztimes.com. Lester Hayes celebrating win, photo by Focus In Sports/Getty Images via gettyimages.com. Tom Flores being carried off the field, photo by Chris Hayt/Getty Images via espn.go.com/blog.

The Raiders played 13 seasons as the Los Angeles Raiders, then they returned to Oakland for the 1995 season. Here is an excerpt from the Oakland Raiders page at en.wikipedia.org..{excerpt}…”As early as 1986, Davis began to seek a new, more modern stadium away from the [Los Angeles] Coliseum and the dangerous neighborhood that surrounded it at the time…/…In addition to sharing the venue with the USC Trojans, the Coliseum was aging and still lacked the luxury suites and other amenities that Davis was promised when he moved the Raiders to Los Angeles. Finally, the Coliseum had 100,000 seats and was rarely able to fill all of them, and so most Raiders home games were blacked out on television. Numerous venues in California were considered…”…{end of excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Oakland_Raiders#1982-88}.

In January 1989 Davis began negotiating with the city of Oakland to return the franchise there, and an agreement was reached in March 1991, but various delays kept the team from returning until 1995 to the Oakland-Alameda County Stadium (the stadium, still home of the A’s and the Raiders, is called O.co Coliseum now). In 1995, Davis finally got his coveted luxury suites, thanks to the Frankenstein-monster that the Oakland-Alameda County Stadium has now became, complete with a gigantic looming Death Star-like stand behind the center field wall (see below). The multi-tiered-stand now blocks the view that baseball fans once had of the Oakland Hills behind center field. Its derisive name is Mount Davis.

oakland_o-co-coliseum_mount-davis_.gif
Photo credits above – both stadium-photos unattributed at baseballfeelings.com/2011/04/how-al-davis-killed-oakland-coliseum.

    Colors and helmet-logos of the Raiders

The following link is to a 1 minute and 50 seconds-long video, Oakland Raiders uniform and uniform color history (video uploaded by Scott Sillcox at youtube.com)}
1960-62 – Black and Yellow/Gold (plain black helmet)…
Like the Broncos early days, the first-year Oakland Raiders franchise was pretty cash-strapped, and, like the Broncos, the Raiders’ first color-scheme was the result of second-hand uniforms bought on the cheap. From the Al Davis page at en.wikipedia.org…”The Raiders, in their first season, had adopted the colors—and cast-off uniforms—of the University of the Pacific, black and gold.”…{excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis/Youngest_coach_in_the_AFL. It was actually black and yellow/gold. The helmets were plain black in 1960. In ’61 and ’62 a yellow-gold center-stripe was added to the black helmet. The helmets were also the old MacGregor style – a style with bulging ear-holes that had their heyday about a decade earlier, and they looked pretty dated circa 1960-62. Al Davis changed that when he came aboard in early 1963 as the Raiders head coach and GM (and designer of the Raiders’ new uniforms). Here is a photo from Al Davis’ first season with the Raiders, the photo taken in training camp, where you can see the old black Raiders’ helmet [worn by then-backup QB Tom Flores, on the left of the photo], and the new helmet of silver-and black-with-proto-shield-logo [1963-only helmet] worn by QB Cotton Davidson on the right of the photo {see it here}.

1963 to present – Black and Silver (with shield-logo [in proto-type-stage] on the silver helmet in 1963; with shield logo revised in 1964/ no changes in helmet-design since 1964)…
Al Davis was color-blind, and saw primarily only grays; Davis would go on the have a personal style which involved only the wearing of white, black or gray. The Raiders’ colors reflect this. Davis designed the Raiders uniforms right upon joining the organization in 1963. Their dark (home) uniforms had absolutely no white in the jersey (black with silver numbers) or pants (silver with a black stripe). The prototype-shield-logo was at first ill-conceived because the the football helmet that the eye-patch-wearing man in the shield-logo is wearing is the old plain black helmet, not the team’s new silver helmet. That was corrected the next season in 1964 {link to those logos: Raiders’ primary logos, here}.}. So the Raiders’ helmet has not changed one bit since 1964. With the re-working of the shield-logo, the Raiders look was established. And aside for a couple years when their white jerseys had silver-and-black numbers as opposed to black numbers {1963, 1970, and 1997 alternate}, the Raiders organization has not messed with their look at all. Which has proven to be a wise policy. The Raiders in their black jerseys (with silver numbers and no white at all) give them one of the most intimidating appearances in pro sports. And the Raiders in their white jerseys (with black numbers and no unnecessary trim at all) look understated and dignified.

    San Diego Chargers – logos and helmet history (1960-2014), click on image below…

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San Diego Chargers – logos and helmet history (1960-2014)
Chargers helmet illustrations above from, gridiron-uniforms.com/chargers. Chargers 2014 uniforms, illustration by JohnnySeoul at en.wikipedia.org. Chargers helmet, photo from wallstickers-decals.com/store.

Origin of Chargers nickname…
The Los Angeles Chargers, charter member of the AFL in 1960, were nicknamed the Chargers through a confluence of three things: 1) the winning entry in a name-the-new-team contest (the winner won an all-expenses-paid vacation to Mexico City); 2) the act of yelling “Charge” when a horse brigade attacks; 3) the colloquial term for buying with credit cards (charging it). The idea of a charge coming from a lightning bolt also entered into the name, and that can be seen by the lightning bolt’s prominent part of the Los Angeles Chargers’ first logos (official logo and helmet logo) – the lightning bolt has always been the Chargers’ logo.

Chargers founder/original owner Barron Hilton had created the then-prominent credit card Carte Blanche in 1954 (it was acquired by [the company now called] Citicorp in 1978, and is now part of their Platinum card). Carte Blanche credit card was created in conjunction with the Hilton Hotels chain (Barron Hilton is an heir to that fortune). Meanwhile, through the 1950s, Los Angeles-resident Hilton had been impressed by the famous USC Tojans marching band’s stirring ritual, at the LA Memorial Coliseum, of sounding the bugle and getting the Trojan fans to yell “Charge!”, right before kickoff. A “charger” is also the Medieval term for an armored war-horse that bore a knight into battle. Along with the aforementioned lightning-bolt, the first Chargers’ logo had a horse’s head within the shield {here}.

Now there are some (like some of the suits who run the NFL, or simply Chargers fans in denial) that don’t want it known or don’t want to admit that an NFL team was partially named after a credit card – and a rich-person’s-type of credit card at that. The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s entry on the subject does not mention the credit-card-angle {here}, but then, that article is a PR exercise that refuses to acknowledge, for example, that the New York Jetrs were named after the fact that they played next to Laguardia Airport. Hilton later denied the credit-card connection to the name {here/second paragraph there}. But the businessman who bought the San Diego Chargers from Hilton in 1966, Gene Klein, says Hilton told him that the Chargers were named after a credit card [or specifically, the active-verb that describes what one does with a credit card]. Klein says so in his autobiography, First Down and a Billion {at Amazon, here}. And in this 1-minute-&-41-seconds youtube video, a football historian connected with the PFHoF (Joe Horrigan) contradicts the PFHoF’s website’s stance on this when he does say that the Chargers’ nickname was partially the result of Hilton’s credit card company, {see this, San Diego Chargers uniform and uniform color history video uploaded by Scott Sillcox at youtube.com}.

Here is an article at the Mental_floss site about origins of NFL nicknames, What’s in a Nickname? The Origins of All 32 NFL Team Names (mentalfloss.com article by Scott Allen). Here is the text from the Chargers section in that article…
{excerpt}…”Team owner Barron Hilton sponsored a name-the-team contest and promised a trip to Mexico City to the winner in 1960. Gerald Courtney submitted “Chargers” and Hilton reportedly liked the name so much that he didn’t open another letter. There are varying accounts as to why Hilton chose Chargers for his franchise, which spent one year in Los Angeles before relocating to San Diego. According to one story, Hilton liked the name, in part, for its affiliation with his new Carte Blanche credit card. The owner also told reporters that he was fond of the “Charge!” bugle cry played at the Los Angeles Coliseum.”…{end of excerpt}.

So in 1959, Barron Hilton, heir to the Hilton hotel fortune and creator and head of a then-new credit card company called Carte Blanche, decides to call his new AFL team the Chargers. Then he later insists that naming them the Chargers had nothing to do with the fact that the most common term for purchasing something with a credit card is to “charge” it. He insults the intelligence of sports fans with this. {Also see this thread from a Chargers fan forum, Origin of the name “Chargers.” (forums.chargers.com/showthread.php?t=42100).}

    Stadiums the Los Angeles Charger/San Diego Chargers have played in

1960: the Los Angeles Chargers play their debut season at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum…

Built for the city of Los Angles and for the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans college football team, and [currently] jointly-owned by the State of California and the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Memorial Stadium was opened in 1923, with a single-tier and rows of bleachers in a horseshoe shape, and with an initial capacity of 79,000. Before the city hosted the 1932 Olympics, capacity was increased by adding rows of seats at the top (to 79 rows), making the capacity 101,500. The NFL’s Cleveland Rams, after the 1945 season, moved to LA and played at the Los Angeles Coliseum from 1946 to 1979 (the AAFC’s Los Angeles Dons also played there, from 1946-49). For a while the Los Angeles Rams (the only pro/major-league team in town from 1950-57) played to massive crowds there – in 1958 the Rams averaged a then-NFL-record 83,528 per game in their 6 home games that year. In 1953, the capacity at the giant stadium had been increased again, and was a jaw-dropping 123,500 (this remained until 1964, when capacity was scaled back to 97,000; the LA Coliseum currently has a capacity of 93,600).

So in 1960, this 123,00-capacity stadium was the venue for the Rams, the USC Trojans, and a new team, the Los Angeles Chargers, a charter-member of the new rival-pro-football-league. To say the venue was too large for the new team would be an understatement…the Chargers averaged 15,665 their first and only year in LA (that is a mere 12.6 percent-capacity). As Bob Carroll says in his analysis of AFL attendance figures {linked to previously and at the end of the following quote},…”The Los Angeles Chargers, with perhaps the league’s most exciting team, played to tiny houses while L.A. fans stayed home and watched the Rams on the tube. Barron Hilton was happy to take his money-losing winners to San Diego for 1961.”…{end of excerpt from THE AMERICAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE ATTENDANCE, 1960-69, by Bob Carroll [pdf])}. The Chargers won the AFL Western Division in 1960, then lost to the Houston Oilers in the first AFL Championship game, played at the LA Memorial Coliseum to a crowd of only 32,100 (and to over 80,000 empty seats). The LA Chargers fell to the Oilers 24-16. Soon after that, Hilton decided to move his Chargers 90 miles south to San Diego.

1961: the Los Angeles Chargers move 90 miles south-east to San Diego, as the San Diego Chargers, and begin playing in Balboa Stadium (1961-66)…
Balboa Stadium was built by the city of San Diego for the Panama–California Exposition (1915-17). Following that the 23 K-capacity stadium was used for high school football until 1937, when auto racing was staged there on the 1/4 mile dirt track in Balboa Stadium. Racing was held there up through the early summer of 1961, was the venue was re-vamped and expanded to 34,000-capacity to become the home of the AFL’s Chargers (the San Diego Chargers played there for 7 seasons (1961-66). The stadium wasn’t re-vamped so great though – there was a running track, which separated the fans by another 30 yards or so. Nevertheless, attendance was decent and encouraging the first season in San Diego – the Chargers saw an increase of 12 thousand – from 15.6 K in their only season in LA to 27.8 K in their first season in San Diego. Of course it helped that the 1961 Chargers were very good and very entertaining (they went 12-2 and made it to the 1961 AFL Championship game, where they again lost to the Oilers, this time at Houston’s Jeppesen Field, and this time losing 10-3). But the the next year (1962) attendance fell off as the team’s fortunes nosedived (finishing 4-10), and San Diegans stayed away from Balboa Stadium in droves (the Chargers drew 5.3 K less in ’62, at 21.9 K per game). Attendance bounced back in 1963 when the Chargers drew 27.3 K in their title-winning season of 1963 (see illustration below). But the Chargers never drew above 28.9 K at the 34 K-capacity Balboa (which they did in 1965 en route to their fifth appearance in the AFL Championship game, which they lost to Buffalo for the second-straight year [the Chargers won 1 AFL title and lost 4 AFL Championship games in a six-year span, 1960-65]). It wasn’t until the Chargers moved into San Diego’s new 50,000-capacity multi-purpose stadium, originally called San Diego Stadium, in 1966, that the team ever drew above 30 K. By 1969, the time the AFL was winding down and on its way to the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the Chargers drew a healthy 46,311 per game (at 92.6 percent-capacity).

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Photo and Image credits above -
Chargers 1960-73 helmets and 1960-84 jerseys, illustrations by gridiron-uniforms.com/chargers. Aerial photo of San Diego Stadium (Jack Murphy Stadium), photo by Getty Images via wptv.com/sports/qualcomm-conundrum-cracks-in-the-sidewalk. Aerial photo of Balboa Stadium circa 1965, photo unattributed at nfl.com/photoessays [San Diego Chargers]. Paul Lowe on a run, photo by San Diego Chargers at chargers.com/gallery/Chargers-to-Honor-1963-Championship-Team. Lance Alworth, b/w action photo unattributed at talesfromtheamericanfootballleague.com/lance-alworths-archive-chargers-home-jersey. Tobin Rote and Paul Lowe on the cover of Sports Illustrated, via remembertheafl.com. Sid Gillman and Tobin Rote on sideline, photo by Robert L. Smith/NFL via nfl.com/photos. Photo of Chargers’ Lance Alworth 1963 helmet (All American badge year) (Authentic Reproduction), by http://www.helmethut.com/charg.html . Lance Alworth, color photo by Getty Images at at bleacherreport.com/articles/1198408-the-50-best-teams-in-nfl-history.

San Diego Stadium/Jack Murphy Stadium/Qualcomm Stadium – home of the Chargers since 1967…
The new stadium that opened in 1967 was built by the city of San Diego. The Chargers played the first game ever at the stadium on August 20, 1967. San Diego Stadium was renamed Jack Murphy Stadium in 1980, in honor of local sportswriter Jack Murphy, who was instrumental, circa the mid-1960s, in getting the stadium built (since 1997 it has been called Qualcomm Stadium). The stadium was also home of the San Diego Padres. The Padres of the National League played there from 1969-2003 (they now play in their own purpose-built ballpark, Petco Park).

    Colors and helmet-logos of the Chargers…

1960 – Dark “Collegiate Blue” and Yellow/Gold (white helmet with arc-shaped-lightning-bolt logo in blue-with-yellow-outline)…
Collegiate blue is basically dark-sky-blue (or dark powder-blue). I actually could not find any reason why Barron Hilton chose dark-powder-blue and yellow/gold as his football team’s colors. But I am going to go out on a limb and just say it…he was copying one of Los Angeles’ two big colllege teams’ colors – the UCLA Bruins football team wears powder-blue and gold. After all, Hilton had already copied from another…in naming the team the Chargers, Hilton had partially borrowed an aspect of the other big college football team in town, the USC Trojans, with their bugle-spurred cry of “Charge!” [see origins of Chargers nickname section further above]). Their first year in LA found the Chargers in a pretty dark shade of collegiate blue, with the white helmet’s arced-lightning-bolt logo in blue-with-yellow-outline (the numbers were also in these two colors) {1960 Los Angeles Chargers uniforms, here}. The Chargers were the first pro football team to have a logo-design incorporated into their pants-stripe…a lightning bolt, of course (you can see the whole history of the Chargers’ pants-stripe logos in the Chargers logos and helmet-history illustration at the top of the Chargers section here {or here}. The lightning-bolt logo on their white helmet was revised (and perfected) the following year when the team moved down to San Diego.

1961-66 – Collegiate Blue and Yellow/Gold (white helmet with arc-shaped-lightning-bolt logo in yellow-with-black-outline)…
{1961 Chargers uniforms.} Upon the move to San Diego Collegiate blue was now a shade lighter – appropriate in that the very bright blue evokes San Diego’ pleasant weather and sea-side charm. (You can see the difference between the 1960 and 1961 Chargers’ powder-blue in the illustration a couple paragraphs above). The helmet now featured what has become the iconic Chargers helmet – a white helmet with a grey facemask, an arced-lightning-bolt logo in yellow-with-black outline, and the player’s number, under the bolt-logo, in a black sans-serif font. Sheer perfection. The keys to the brilliance of this helmet design is the combination of all the negative space in the helmet with the bold arc of the lightning-bolt logo…and the black outline and the black number under the bolt. There is no other black in the Chargers color-scheme, but for some reason it is so appropriate there as a trim color on the helmet. The black, especially the black number, somehow pulls it all together (and you can see what I mean about that when you look at all the other color-variations of the arced-lightning-bolt logo…they all seem lacking somehow). The fact that lightning bolts are never curved in nature, but are on the Chargers helmet, is a point often overlooked. But the curve-in-the-lightning-bolt is why I think the Chargers bolt logo is so much better than Air Force Academy’s football helmet logo {here}…the curve of the Chargers’ bolt follows the curve of the football helmet itself so it becomes more cohesive. When you combine this stunning and eye-catching helmet-design with the Chargers’ powder-blue and gold in the jersey and pants, well, it just does not get any better. In my opinion the San Diego Chargers’ 1961 helmet is the greatest helmet-design in the history of gridiron football. Of course, after years of widespread fan-acclaim during periods of NFL throwback uniforms, the modern-day Chargers refused to bow to public pressure and simply re-adopt this helmet-design, and just had to mess with it (why?), by making the facemask navy blue (why?) and getting rid of the player’s number (why?) and screwing around with the lightning-bolt logo by ditching the black and having the yellow bolt now be trimmed with an overly-busy combo of powder-blue and navy-blue. But I digress. The 1961 Chargers helmet was used these years: 1961-65; 1967-73; 1994 [throwback uniform]; 2002-06 [throwback uniform]; 2009 [throwback uniform].

1966 – Collegiate Blue and Yellow/Gold (white helmet with arc-shaped-lightning-bolt logo in dark-blue)…
The Chargers front office messed with the helmet-logo, making the lightning-bolt logo dark blue. That helmet did not look tougher, it looked neutered. It lasted one year, and in 1967 it was back to the yellow-with-black-outline bolt (aka the 1961 Chargers helmet). The Chargers’ yellow pants made their debut in 1966 (history of Chargers pants colors can be seen here.

1967 – Dark Collegiate Blue and Yellow/Gold (white helmet with arc-shaped-lightning-bolt logo in yellow-with-black-outline)…
1961-style classic bolt helmet is back. This time the front office messes with the jerseys, making the powder-blue much darker, so the 1967 Chargers sported Dark Collegiate Blue {here}. That color just seems off. It belongs on upscale dinnerware or guest-bathroom walls, not football gear. In the photo at the following link, of QB John Hadl at the new San Diego Stadium in 1967, you can see how odd the color looks, especially because the socks are still light-powder-blue, but the jersey color looks like a mixture of navy-blue and sky-blue {here}.

1968-73 – Light Collegiate Blue and Yellow/Gold (white helmet with arc-shaped-lightning-bolt logo in dark-blue)…
Back to the light powder-blue first worn in 1961, now even brighter. The Chargers finally nail it down in this traffic-stopping uniform. The Chargers evoked even more of sunny southern California with their 1968-73 uniforms {here}. The ’68-to-’73 jerseys had the lightest shade of powder-blue the Chargers ever used. The following link shows this style uniform in its last season…here is Johnny Unitas as Chargers’ QB in one of his last 4 games in the NFL in 1973. These uniforms were worn by the Chargers for 6 seasons. It was too good to last…and it took mid-1970s sensibilities to kill this masterpiece.

1974-84 – Royal Blue and Yellow/Gold (dark-blue helmet with yellow facemask and arc-shaped lightning-bolt logo in yellow-with-dark-blue-and-white-outline)…
{1974 Chargers uniforms.} Dark royal blue replaces the bright-powder-blue; yellow pants remain. Helmets are also now dark royal blue, and are a darker shade of blue than the jerseys. Yellow facemasks, (which are, for the NFL, the first colored facemasks worn by the entire team), replace the grey facemasks. Interesting trivia…in 1978, the Chargers only wore their white jersey {1978 Chargers uniform}.

When these uniforms came out in 1974, I was enthralled with them (yellow facemasks!; no more “boring” white helmets for the Chargers!). But what do 9-year-old kids know about good design? Heck, for that matter, what did the mid-1970s know about good design? The 1970s gave us such crimes against nature as burnt-orange shag rugs and avocodo-colored kitchen appliances (both of which featured in our household, and millions of other households, back then). Not counting white facemasks, aside from a couple of anomalies, the Chargers were the first NFL team to have a colored facemask (except for some players’ helmets of the 1953 Chicago Cardinals {see this}, and except for some players helmets of the 1956 Baltimore Colts {here}. Now, well over half the NFL teams have colored facemasks (in 2014, 22 of the 32 teams in the NFL teams have colored facemasks on their primary helmet).

Colored facemasks have jumped the shark. Give me grey facemasks any day. Besides, why make it harder for your team? Why have colored facemasks, because all you are accomplishing (besides a gaudy look), is giving your team vision problems. If you play in a colored facemask, you are going to be visually impaired by being distracted by seeing that color all the time, instead of seeing fully what you really need to see…which is, what is going on in the field all around you. The first team to “see the light” and reverse the trend of colored facemasks was the New York Giants, who went back to grey facemasks in 2000. Now the Colts and the Bills and the 49ers and the Browns have also went back to grey facemasks in recent years [the only NFL teams that have only-ever worn grey facemasks are the Cowboys, the Raiders, and (beside that aforementioned exception in 1953), the Cardinals].

1985-87 – Dark Blue and Yellow/Gold (dark-blue helmet with yellow facemask and arc-shaped lightning-bolt logo in yellow-with-dark-blue-and-white-outline)…
{1985 Chargers uniforms}. The jerseys in this 3-year period became a darker shade of blue. Yellow pants were replaced by white pants, and those white pants featured a snazzy dark-blue-stripe-with-lightning-bolt-inside.

1988-2006 – Navy Blue and Yellow/Gold (navy-blue helmet with navy-blue facemask and arc-shaped lightning-bolt logo in white-with-dark-blue-and-yellow-outline)…
{1988 Chargers uniforms.} The Chargers made their blue even darker, to navy blue – on both the helmet and the home jersey. The yellow/gold was de-emphasized to only a minor trim color (even the lighning-bolt on the helmet was no longer yellow). In the third year of this design (1990), navy-blue pants were introduced. In 1994, the NFL’s 75th anniversary season, as part of their throwback uniforms for some games, the Chargers finally again wore their 1961-style white helmet-with-bolt-and-black-numbers {here}.

2007-14 – Navy Blue with Yellow/Gold and Collegiate Blue trim (white helmet with navy-blue facemask and revised-arc-shaped-3-color-lightning-bolt logo)…
{2007 Chargers helmets.} As already mentioned, the Chargers sort of bowed to fan pressure and re-introduced the white helmet, but they basically took all the good elements out of the 1961 Chargers helmet-design – no number anymore, no grey facemask, no black trim-color. And the worst thing is they refuse to wear the 1961-style helmet anymore, with one exception, {2009 Chargers uniforms.} Bring back the 1961 Chargers helmet!
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Many details in the post here come courtesy of pro football historian Bob Carroll’s epic and hilarious book about pro football in the 1960s, When the Grass Was Real – Unitas, Brown, Lombardi, Sayers, Butkus, Namath, and All the Rest: The Ten Best Years of Pro Football (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1993) {at amazon, here}.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘AFC West‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to OSC forum, http://www.oursportscentral.com/boards/showthread.php?t=1789 for AFL-attendance-figures-text-blocks.

Special thanks to Tim Brulia, Bill Schaefer and Rob Holecko of The Gridiron Uniform Database, for giving billsportsmaps.com the permission to use the football uniforms illustrations (helmet illustrations and jersey/uniform illustrations) at http://www.gridiron-uniforms.com/.

October 12, 2014

England and Wales: Premier League – 2014-15 home kit badges, with 14/15 location-map & a chart of seasons spent in the English first division for the twenty 14/15 Premier League clubs.

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England and Wales: Premier League – 2014-15 home kit badges, with location-map & a chart of seasons spent in the English first division for the twenty 14/15 Premier League clubs




At the top of the map page are facsimiles of 2014-15 Premier League clubs’ home jersey badges. The jersey-badge facsimiles were made by either finding a suitable photo of the club’s 14/15 home jersey-badge, or the club’s official badge itself, then placing that in a background which mimics the jersey design (jersey color(s), etc.) All credits for the jersey badge facsimiles are at the foot of this post (even if I simply sampled the club’s 14/15 jersey-color from a photo).

Below that on the map page is a location-map for 14/15. The map page also includes a list of seasons spent in the English first division for the twenty 14/15 Premier League clubs, that within a chart which also includes: 1). consecutive seasons spent in the top flight for these twenty clubs, and 2). these clubs’ English titles. I decided not to include attendance figures (from last season) for this map this year, because I have already posted that {here; also see this [click on England in the left-hand side-bar there]}.

The sources for the data on the chart are listed at the bottom of this post as well as on the map page, at the foot of the chart.
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Here are the photo/image credits for the jersey badges on the map page –
-Photo of Arsenal 2014-15 home jersey badge from arsenaldirect.arsenal.com.
-Photo of Aston Villa 2014-15 home jersey background design from shop.avfc.co.uk/shop.
-Color of Burnley 2014-15 home jersey sampled from burnleyfootballclub.com/news/article/burnley-fc-home-kit-201415.
-Photo of Chelsea 2014-15 home jersey badge from chelseamegastore.com.
-Color/pattern of Crystal Palace 2014-15 home jersey design sampled at retail.cpfcstore.co.uk.
-Photo of Everton 2014-15 home jersey badge from evertondirect.evertonfc.com/stores.
-Color/pattern of Hull City AFC 2014-15 home jersey sampled at footyheadlines.com/2014/07/new-umbro-hull-city-14-15-kits-leaked.html.
-Color of Leicester City 2014-15 home jersey sampled at leicestermercury.co.uk.
-Photo of Liverpool 2014-15 home jersey badge from unisportstore.com/liverpool-home-shirt-201415.
-Photo of Manchester United 2014-15 home jersey badge from fansedge.com.
-Photo of Manchester City 2014-15 home jersey kit badge background design from kitbag.com.
-Photo of Newcastle United 2014-15 home jersey badge from ebay.com.
-Photo of Queens Park Rangers 2014-15 home jersey kit badge background design from shop.qpr.co.uk/gb/item/2014-15-nike-adult-home-shirt.
-Photo of Southampton 2014-15 home jersey red-stripe-detail-pattern from store.saintsfc.co.uk.
-Color/pattern of Stoke City 2014-15 home jersey sampled warriorfootballasia.com.
-Photo of Sunderland AFC 2014-15 home jersey badge from safcstore.com/stores/sunderland/products/kit.
-Swansea City AFC crest (the one without the shiny edges [ie, the one on their badge]) from swanseacity.net/team/staff_profiles.
-Photo (unattributed) of Tottenham Hotspur 2014-15 home jersey badge from footyheadlines.com/2014/03/tottenham-hotspur-2014-15.
-Photo (unattributed) of West Bromwich Albion 2014-15 home jersey badge from footballkitnews.com/new-west-brom-kit-14-15.
-Color/pattern of West Ham United 2014-15 home jersey sampled at officialwesthamstore.com.

Thanks to all of the above, and thanks to the contributors at Premier League (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the Team sites’ League History pages at Footymad.net, such as http://www.manchestercity-mad.co.uk/league_history/manchester_city/index.shtml.

September 29, 2014

Italy: 2014 football attendance map, all Italian clubs [42 clubs] drawing over 4 K per game [from 2013-14 home league matches].

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Italy: 2014 football attendance map [all Italian clubs drawing over 4 K per game]





This continues my new category of European football leagues attendance maps. This map for Italy shows all football clubs in the Italian football leagues system which drew over 4,000 per game in the 2013-14 season (from home domestic league matches). The larger the club-crest, the higher the club’s attendance. I have added an extra detail on the map of showing all the Regions of Italy [the Regions are the first level of political subdivision in Italy].

The chart at the right-hand side of the map page shows 2013-14 average attendance, stadium capacity, and percent capacity. Also shown at the far right of the chart are: each club’s Italian titles (with year of last title), seasons spent in the Italian first division (with last season in the first division noted, if applicable), and Italian Cup titles (with year of last title).

You might have noticed the large red-white-green shield and the large red-white-green circular device above the chart – those are the badges which the winner of the Italian league and Italian Cup wear the following season. Of course, the winners of the Italian national title, or Serie A title, are known as the winners of the Scudetto. Since Bologna (the title-winners in 1925) instituted the ritual for the following season (the 1925-26 season), the title-winner gets to show the Scudetto shield on their jersey the following season. Likewise, the winner of the Italian Cup [or, the Coppa Italia] is allowed to sport the Coccorda on their jersey the following season. I know Turkey does a similar thing on their league and cup winners’ jerseys, but very few other countries do this. Which is a pity, because the Scudetto shield and the Coccorda device look so cool on the reigning champions’ kit. It is a bit of a boast, but not too much of a boast. And the Scudetto and the Coccorda look great on the winners’ jersey, pretty much no matter what that title-winning club’s color scheme is. {Here is reigning Italian champions Juventus’ 2014-15 home jersey with Scudetto shield on it, juvestore.com/juventus-home-jersey-2014-15. Here is Coppa Italia reigning champions Napoli’s 2014-15 home jersey with Coccorda on it, macron.com/shop/napoli/2014-15/home.}
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Thanks to Eric Gaba for the blank topographic/political map of Italy at ‘File:Italy map-blank.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).

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

Thanks to the contributors at Serie A, at Serie B, and at Lega Pro [Italian 3rd division] (en.wikipedia.org).

September 15, 2014

2014–15 UEFA Europa League Group Stage: location map of the 48 teams, with attendance data (from 2013-14 domestic leagues).

Filed under: UEFA Cup / Europa League — admin @ 7:51 pm

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2014–15 UEFA Europa League Group Stage: location map of the 48 teams, with attendance data (from 2013-14 domestic leagues)




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Thanks to Maps Of.net, for blank maps of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Iran, which allowed me to plot the far eastern edge of the map on the map page. I needed to do this because the blank map [at the link below] cuts off the eastern half of Azerbaijan including Baku, where 2014-15 Europa League GS team Qarabağ FK are located.

Thanks to Alexrk2 for the blank map of Europe at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Europe_blank_laea_location_map.svg.

Thanks to European-Football-Statistics.co.uk, for attendance figures, http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
Thanks to the contributors at 2014–15 UEFA Europa League group stage (en.wikipedia.org & de.wikipedia.org).

September 4, 2014

2014–15 UEFA Champions League Group Stage: location map with attendance data (from 2013-14 domestic leagues) / Plus a chart showing all-time UEFA CL Group Stage appearances for the 32 clubs in the 2014-15 UEFA CL GS.

Filed under: UEFA Champions League — admin @ 3:58 pm

2014-15_uefa_champions-league_group-stage_post_h_.gif
2014–15 UEFA CL GS: location map with attendance data + a chart showing all-time UEFA CL Group Stage appearances for the 32 clubs in the 2014-15 UEFA CL GS




The 2014-15 Champions League Group Stage appearances list here is a list for the qualified teams this season [2014-15 UEFA Champions League Group Stage/32 teams]. It is shown on the map page and also shown further below. It is similar to the lists I have put together for my CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores posts the last 3 years {such as this one from January 2014, http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2014_copa-libertadores_qualified-teams_all-time_appearances-list_w-titles_c_.gif }. The primary source I used for those Copa Libertadores qualified-teams’-appearances-lists is from the RSSSF.com site; with the list I made here, a page at rsssf.com was instrumental in the way I ended up presenting the data.

The primary source for the data for the chart below is from Number of participating clubs of the Champions League era (en.wikipedia.org).

There is one modification I have added to the list. That modification is also including the first group stage competition that the tournament ever had, in 1991-92 (see next 2 paragraphs). Before I get going trying to explain why it is logical to include the 1991-92 European Cup Group Stage in a Champions League Group Stage all-time list, I will simply point out this…while Wikipedia does not count 1991-92 because it was not called the “Champions League” yet, the RSSSF site does count it, as seen in this list, Champions League – All-Time Table (since 1991/92) (which has not been updated since 2013-14, but which has Barcelona and Manchester United both at 18 appearances at that point [Man U failed to qualify for the CL for this season, so they no longer share the most UEFA CL Group Stage appearances with Barcelona]).

31 countries have sent clubs to this competition’s group stage since its implementation in 1991-92…first as a much smaller group stage of 8 teams in 2 groups (1991-92 and 1992-93 [2 seasons]); then as a 24-team/6 group set-up (from 1993-94 to 1998-99 [6 seasons]), and now since 1999-2000 as a 32 team/8 group format – although for the first 4 seasons in the 32-team format there was actually a second round of a group stage (Second Group Stage existed from 1998-99 to 2002-03). In any event the 32-team/8 groups format has, since 2003-04 been a knockout tournament once that 32-team field is reduced to 16 teams after the group stage. The initial leap from a pure knockout tournament to one with a group stage began in 1991-92, one season before the name-change (from European Cup to Champions League). 8 teams in 2 groups was tried out both in 1991-92, when it was called for that one season the 1991–92 European Cup Group Stage, and then also in 1992-93 the same 8 team/2 group format was used, with the only difference being that in 1992-93 this phase of the tournament was called the “Champions League” for the first time and the Champions League starred-ball logo made its debut. {See this, 1992–93 UEFA Champions League).

This might be the 23rd season with the name “Champions League” and the starred-ball CL logo, but in the list below I am including that first trial-season of the group stage in 1991-92…because it doesn’t make sense not to. True, the 91/92 competition (which had 32 teams in it) did not have the 8-team preliminary round that the 1992-93 Champions League had the following year (which had 36 teams in it, including 8 in the preliminary round, with none of those teams advancing to the 92/93 CL group Stage). But that is the only difference. Once the competition got to the First Stage (32 teams) and Second Stage (16 teams) in both 91/92 and 92/93, the formats were exactly the same.

The 91/92 European Cup Group Stage and the 92/93 Champions League Group Stage had the exact same format, the only difference being the name. So basically, by saying that the Champions League Group Stage as an entity started in 1992-93 – when the tournament was re-named (and when Marseille won it) – is illogical, and insists that brand names trump facts, because the same tournament format was used the year before in 1991-92, when the group stage was called the “European Cup Group Stage” (and when Barcelona won the European title for the first time in their history, beating Sampdoria 1-0 in aet with a goal by Ronald Koeman).

And you know, UEFA, on its website, includes that first-of-the-two much-smaller-seasons of the group stage (8 teams instead of 32 teams) of 1991-92 in its statistics. An example of that is the UEFA site saying this season [2014-15] is Barcelona’s record overall 24th CL appearance instead of its 23rd appearance. On the UEFA site that 24 figure also includes the qualification seasons that Barcelona made it to the early qualifying rounds but then lost out before reaching the group stage, as Barcelona did in the 1992-93 CL qualifying, as well as in the 1995-96 CL qualifying, in the 1996-97 CL qualifying and in the 2003-04 CL qualifying. {See this, FC Barcelona (scroll down right-hand sidebar to “Club record in UEFA competitions”, and you find “Appearances in UEFA Champions League: 24″).

Again, that 24 number counts the seasons (4 seasons) when Barcelona did not qualify for the CL Group Stage, and exited in the CL qualifiers. [77 teams qualified for 2014-15 CL qualifiers.]

I say all this because counting the first group stage of this competition, the Group Stage of 1991-92, as the first CL group stage (which UEFA does [in its statistics at least] and which the RSSF organization does) is why Barcelona are at the top of the list below. That is also why 2 other clubs on the list below have 1 more group stage appearance than on the Wikipedia list linked to at the top of this post. They are Anderlecht and Benfica, who along with Dynamo Kyiv, Panathinaikos, Red Star Belgrade, Sampodoria and Sparta Prague, as well as the winners that season, Barcelona, comprised the 1991–92 European Cup Group Stage. The prototype Champions League season, as it were.

Spain has sent the most clubs to the UEFA CL Group Stage – 13 clubs sent to the competition in the 24 seasons that a group stage has existed (counting this current season of 2014-15). Germany and France (which includes the Principality of Monaco within the French football league structure) have sent 10 clubs each; while Italy and England have sent 9 clubs each. That is the top five. Sixth best goes to Netherlands, having sent 7 clubs into the tournament’s group stage. Seventh best is a 4-way tie between Belgium, Portugal, Russia and Turkey, at 5 clubs each.

UEFA European titles list (1956 to present), List of European Cup and UEFA Champions League final (en.wikipedia.org).

Below:
chart of all-time UEFA European Cup/Champions League Group Stage appearances for the 32 clubs in the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League Group Stage

{click on image below to place it in a separate page}…
uefa-champions-league_2014-15_group-stage_teams-listed-by-group-stage_appearances_with-european-titles_m.gif

Sources of data for list above –
Number of participating clubs of the Champions League era (en.wikipedia.org);
Champions League – All-Time Table (since 1991/92) (rsssf.com).
___
Thanks to Alexrk2 for the blank map of Europe at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Europe_blank_laea_location_map.svg.

Thanks to the contributors at 2014–15 UEFA Champions League/Group Stage (en.wikipedia.org).

August 22, 2014

Spain, 2013-14 attendance map & chart: all clubs in the top two divisions who drew over 4 K [36 clubs] / Plus, an illustrated article on SD Eibar – the smallest-ever club to play in La Liga [3.0 K per game in 2013-14].

spain_attendance-map_top-2-divisions_2013-14_all-drawing-above_4k_post_.gif
Spain: all clubs [36 clubs] that drew above 4 K per game in the 2013-14 La Liga and Segunda División seasons




[Please note: this map is different than the previous three 2013-14 attendance maps (of Germany, England, and France), all of which showed every club in those countries which drew over 4,000 per game. The problem here is that because reported 3rd division Spanish attendance figures do not exist, and because it is almost certain that clubs drawing above 4 K in the Spanish third division (Segunda B) do exist (such as for Racing Santander in 2013-14), I had to change the parameters of the map and chart for Spain. So the map shows all clubs that drew above 4 K per game in 2013-14 in Spain from the top two divisions (La Liga and Segunda División), plus...10 other clubs or teams in grey tone sans crests (but with locations shown). Those 10 extra included in grey-tone are... all the clubs that were in the Segunda División last season that didn't draw above 4 K per game (4 clubs as well as 2 teams - Barcelona's B team and Real Madrid's B team) plus the 4 four clubs that were promoted from the third division (Segunda B) to the second division (Albacete, Leganes, Llagostera and Racing Santander). One final point - one of these clubs just mentioned (and that drew below 4 K) is Eibar, who drew 3.0 K last year and won the Segunda División -thereby getting promoted to the Spanish first division for the first time {see below}.]

    SD Eibar – the smallest-ever club to play in La Liga

eibar_ipurua_xabi-alonso_i_.gif
Photo credits above – Town of Eibar seen from aerial view, by egoibarra.com. Interior photo of Ipurua with public housing in background, by Getty Images via the worldgame.sbs.com.au. Interior photo of 2 main stands at Ipurua with hills in background, by SD Eibar via stadionwelt.de. SD Eibar supporters with banners and flags, photo unattributed at el-punto-de-vista.com. Xabi Alonso photo as Eibar player in 2001, unattributed at wijzijnvoetbal.nl/forum/buitenland/48620-sd-eibar-1-baskische-bazen-op-weg-naar-de-primera-division.html.

[Note: Eibar is pronounced "A-bar".] SD Eibar, formed in 1940, are a small club from the Basque Country, in Eibar, Gipuzkoa province, in the steep and looming foothills of the Pyrenees in northern Spain. Eibar is located about equidistant from the two largest Basque cities in Spain – 49 km (30 mi) southeast of Bilbao and 56 km (35 mi) southwest of San Sebastian. The town of Eibar has a population of only around 27,000 {2010 figure). Sociedad Deportiva Eibar wear Barcelona’s colors and play in a 5,200-capacity stadium called Ipurua, and their fan base is about 2,500 or so (they drew 3.0 K in 2013-14). The club often relies strongly on loan players in general – often from the two biggest Basque clubs, Athletic Club [Bilbao] and Real Sociedad (of San Sebastian). Examples from the recent past include Spain national team members Xabi Alonso (of Real Madrid) and David Silva (of Manchester City), both of whom were sent by Real Sociedad to Eibar (14 years ago and 10 years ago, respectively) to toughen them up, early in their careers.

Eibar’s manager is the 39-year-old Bilbao-born Gaizka Garitano, who played in the midfield for Eibar for about 5 seasons total in two different spells (last in 2005), along with spells at all three of the biggest Basque football clubs (with Athletic Club for 111 league appearances from 1993-99; with Real Sociedad from 2005-08; and finishing his playing career with Alavés in 2008-09). Garitano took the reins at Eibar two years ago and has now led Eibar to back-to-back promotions.

Eibar has played 26 seasons in the second division, but had never won promotion to La Liga. Last season [2013-14], Eibar had just won promotion back to the second division, yet still had a higher wage bill than several clubs in Segunda División, including clubs that draw more than three-times-higher than Eibar, like Alavés and Hércules. Thus, Eibar gambled (successfully) on using a slew of somewhat expensive loan signings towards building a team that had a real chance of getting promotion – instead of having the approximately 1.7 million Euros in the bank that would have kept them safe from the stringent rules in place in the Spanish second division concerning fiscal solvency {see next paragraph and also see this article from May 2014 from the blog called El Punto de Vista, Let’s talk about SD Eibar}. As Neil Morris writes in the article at that link, “Much of [Eibar's] wage bill has been taken up by the loan fees of players from the top flight such as Berchiche, Eizmendi, Jota, Morales, Rivas and Garcia, and these deals have certainly helped them in their quest for promotion. The decision to keep a high wage bill seems to be a calculated gamble that has paid off with the ultimate prize.”…{end of excerpt from el-punto-de-vista.com/2014/05/28/lets-talk-about-sd-eibar by Neil Morris}.

The transition from the semi-pro third division to the pro second division is huge and often difficult in Spain because the clubs have to basically change their whole legal structure and become an S. A. D. {definition of S. A. D. in the following paragraph}, and then they have to have millions in the bank to fulfill the extremely stringent criteria. In the Spanish second division, as per a 1999 law intended to curb spending excess, each club must have cash on-hand (capital) equal to 25% of the average expenses of all sides in the second division (not counting the two clubs with the biggest outlays and the two with the smallest) – and in 2013-14, that amounted to about €1.7 million (or about $2.3 million). Last season, Jaén and Mirandés (both promoted to the Segunda División for 2013-14 along with [Basque sides] Alavés and Eibar) had similar problems in transitioning and navigating the red tape and the financial hurdles – Jaen got relegated back to the third (finishing second-to-last in 21st place) while Mirandés (finishing in 19th place) also would have been relegated right back to Segunda B had not the authorities banished Murcia instead on financial irregularities {see this from Marca on 8 August 2014, [article is in the Spanish but with a translation button to the English at the top left at the link], La LFP desciende al Murcia a 2ªB y asciende al Mirandés}. Last season, Eibar could very well have also went right back down to the third division if they remained within the spending rules throughout the whole season.

[Definition of S. A. D., from the Wikipedia page Sociedad Anónima Deportiva, {excerpt}... ..."Sociedad anónima deportiva ("Public limited sports company") is a special type of public limited company in Spain. The new legal status was introduced in 1990 to improve financial management and transparency in sports clubs. Many Spanish football and basketball clubs add the suffix S.A.D. to the end of their official name, e.g. Club Atlético de Madrid, S.A.D.. Every club which plays in Segunda División or [La Liga] and remains in the league is obliged to convert in S.A.D. Due to historical reasons Athletic Club, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Osasuna were allowed to retain their status as non-commercial sports associations.”…{end of excerpt}.]

Right when Eibar won the 2013-14 Segunda División in late May, there was talk that the authorities would block their promotion because of S. A. D. guidelines, and the following link is an article from that time period in the late spring of 2014 when it looked questionable for Eibar’s chances of being in the top flight (or the second tier for that matter). From 27 May 2014, from Guardian.com/football, from here is an article by Phil Ball, the author of the excellent book on Spanish football, Morbo
Could Eibar’s astonishing rise to La Liga end before a ball is kicked? The smallest club to enter the top flight of Spanish football, described as a ‘model club’, could be demoted before the season starts due to ‘unfair’ regulations

A small club going up into the second tier, whether it is their first time in the second division or like Eibar in bouncing back up – will invariably find themselves forced to cut corners on player purchases just to remain within the Segunda División’s strict rules about fiscal solvency and the rules about becoming an S. A. D. (and their rule of literally having millions in the bank). One could make the case for the fact that had Eibar not gambled on success, a conservative and penny-pinching fiscal outlay resulting in a weaker squad would have just ended getting them relegated in 2013-14 the old fashioned way – via results on the pitch. If that is all true, I just love Eibar even more. For going for it. Well, via a limited share offering the club put together, football fans from all over (from 48 nations) plunked down cash to help Eibar’s cause, and the small club from hills of the Basque Country did raise the cash (the equivalent of $2.47 million was raised). From 16 June 2014, Eibar raises cash needed to play with the big boys (theworldgame.sbs.com.au via Omnisport).

From the New York Times, from 23 July 2014, by Raphael Minder, A Tiny Club’s Uneasy Rise – Eibar Is Facing Stiff Challenges in Spain’s La Liga.

From CNN, from 22 August 2014, by Chris Murphy and James Masters, Tiny Eibar take on Spanish soccer’s big guns Real Madrid and Barcelona (edition.cnn.com/sport/football).

I’ll leave the last word on this to Xabi Alonso, who with David Silva was instrumental in getting the world out that Eibar needed help from football fans the world over…to be allowed to play in La Liga this season. “It is contradictory that a club who has an enviable financial health and with zero debts is obliged to do this, when there are others who have much deeper problems.”…{quote by Xabi Alonso and can be found at the link third from above}.

    Attendance problems, with lots of empty seats in Spain (plus billions of debt)

From Inside Spanish Football.com, from 5 March 2014, by Jen Evelyn, La Liga’s alarming attendance deficit demands actions (insidespanishfootball.com).

Attendance is down in Spain. As the article above touches on, the late start times (10pm) for some games and the lack of a definite schedule resulting in the switching of some game-dates and game-times – these things have not helped attendances in La Liga. Of course the economy is absolutely dreadful in Spain, but that has not actually eroded attendances since mid-2008 as much as one might have expected (see next paragraph).

Last season [2013-14] La Liga had a minus-1,282 per game average attendance drop or a 4.5 percent drop (26,995 per game in 2013-14, down from 28,237 in 2012-13). And in the season before, it was a 2 percent drop. If you are wondering about the lingering effects of the 2008 global economic downturn, well, in 2007-08, right before the market-crash, La Liga was averaging 29.1 K; and from 2008-09 to 2011-12 (4 seasons), league attendance stayed in the 28 K range, with it diminishing from 28.7 K average in 2011-12 to 28.2 K average in 2012-13. In other words, the slight-drop-off in crowds from the initial economic devastation in 2008 had already happened, and now in the last two seasons there is starting to be a bit of a steeper drop. From the Row Z Football blog, here is a graph from 2 years ago that shows what I was talking about in the last sentence, rowzfootball.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/european-football-attendance-chart.jpg; and here is a current chart showing attendance change in the Big 5 European leagues last season, European League Attendances 2013-14.

La Liga – playing to 125 thousand empty seats each week
And it is worse than it first appears because, as Ms. Evelyn points out in the article linked to 3 paragraphs above, the average La Liga stadium holds about 37,000, yet the league averaged about 27,000 per game in 2013-14…so La Liga clubs are playing to less than 75 percent capacity. Actually, it is even worse. I did the math {via these stadium capacity figures}, and the 20 La Liga stadiums in the 2013-14 season averaged a 39,531 capacity. So La Liga played to 68.2 percent capacity. That is really bad. That percent capacity figure of 68.2 is like what former-Premier-League clubs in England’s second and third division draw (such as Leeds (63.3) and Wolverhampton (65.8) /see this chart (Eng. 2014 att.)). Percent capacity that low is usually not the sign of a successful major league. 18 of 20 clubs in the Premier League in 2013-14 played to above 90 percent capacity (Sunderland [84.9 pct-cap) and Aston Villa [84.1 pct-cap] were lowest there); in the Bundesliga in 2013-14, 16 of the 18 clubs played to above 90 percent capacity (Nürnberg [80.8 pct-cap] and Hertha Berlin [69.8 pct-cap] were lowest there). In the Premier League, if even one or two clubs are playing to less than 75 percent capacity or so, it is news. Like when Wigan were in the top flight – that’s all you ever heard about in reference to Wigan. Here, in Spain, that sort of lack of drawing power among top tier clubs is becoming the norm. Three-quarters (16 clubs) of the Spanish first division played to crowds below 75 percent capacity. Just two clubs filled their stadium in the 80 percent range: Atlético Madrid played to 84.3 percent-capacity, and Real Madrid played to 83.7 percent-capacity. And exactly one club played to above 90 percent capacity – Athletic Club Bilbao…in their new stadium. So that is how bad it is with regards to attendances in Spain – Premier League: 18 of 20 clubs played to above 90 percent-capacity / Bundesliga: 16 of 18 clubs played to above 90 percent capacity / Spain: 1 of 20 clubs played to above 90 percent capacity…thanks to their brand new stadium.

A big reason why Real Madrid or Barcelona win the title 90 percent of the time
What is contributing to the malaise of Spanish football is the structural problem of allowing a certain couple of clubs (Real Madrid and Barcelona) to negotiate their own television deals, thereby insuring that the lions’ share of television revenue produced by Spanish first division football goes to just two clubs. Via their television deals, Real Madrid and Barcelona get over one hundred million Euros more per year than most of the other clubs in La Liga. The following link shows 2 pie-charts which reveal one of the primary causes of the pronounced duopoly in Spanish football. There are several reasons why Real Madrid and FC Barcelona dominate La Liga to such an extent, but in the modern game, uneven distribution of television revenue is at or near the top of the list of causes for this disparity. A disparity which, when combined with the huge crowds and thus the huge ticket revenue that the Big Two pull in (above 70 K per game for both clubs) is leaving the rest of Spanish football behind. Many of the other La Liga mainstays have gone into serious debt in the last decade trying to keep pace with Big Two, thanks to the disparity in television revenue between the Big Two and the rest. A disparity, which, when combined with the absolutely dreadful economy in Spain, threatens the viability of first division Spanish football. From Imgur, ‘How TV money is shared in Spain and in England [2012 figures/illustration unattributed]‘ (imgur.com/vTZ9B5f).

Talk about an uneven playing field. And yes, I know that Atlético Madrid won the Spanish title last season. That doesn’t change the fact that Real Madrid and Barcelona have a grossly unfair advantage over all the rest, it just shows what a monumental achievement it was for Atlético Madrid, when the deck is stacked against every Spanish club besides the Big Two. And anyway, go look at that pie chart again and tell me who are the only other clubs besides Real Madrid and Barcelona to have bigger slices of the television revenue pie than the forgotten and hopeless rest-of-the-pack. That’s right…Valencia and current champions Atlético Madrid.

From El Centro Campista blog, from 6 August 2013, by Callum Nolan, La Liga’s haves and have nots (centrocampista.com).

Why are there no attendance figures reported for the 3rd division in Spain?
Spain might have a couple of the biggest football clubs in the world, but last season there were only 12 clubs in the whole country which drew above 20 K (meanwhile there were 27 clubs in England [& Wales] who drew above 20 K and there were 23 clubs in Germany who drew above 20 K). And in Spain, lower-league support is very thin. The Spanish football league system goes fully amateur below the third level, but it is not unknown for there to be amateur clubs in the semi-pro 3rd division. But they don’t even bother recording attendance figures in the regional third level in Spain, the 4 league/80 team Segunda División B. Elsewhere in Western Europe and in several places in Central Europe and in Eastern Europe, you can get attendance figures easily for the third divisions. Of course England has the most comprehensive reporting of lower league attendance figures…it is no problem getting attendance figures from the regional 6th level in England {like here}, and the 7th and most of the 8th level leagues in England produce readily available attendance figures {like here}. Germany produces attendance figures for all their lower leagues to at least the 5th level (which includes the semi-professional 4th level and the amateur 5th level there). Italy reports attendance for the top 4 divisions. France has attendance figures for its 3 top levels including their amateur 3rd division. Netherlands reports attendance for the top 2 levels (the pro levels there) there, as well as their amateur 3rd level (a 2-division set-up) and even their 4th level (the Saturday and the Sunday leagues). And countries in Europe with pro leagues ranked far lower than Spain record attendance figures for their third divisions…Ukraine reports attendance for the top 3 tiers there, as does the Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland and even Denmark (including the 3rd tier in Denmark where over half the clubs are drawing below 350 per game). {Note: German and Italian and French and Dutch and Polish and Ukrainian and Czech and Swedish and Danish lower leagues attendance can be found at E-F-S site, here, among other places}. Here is the Spanish 3rd division official website, try finding attendance figures there (you won’t). I did not find attendance figures anywhere for the Spanish third tier, and a gentleman who helps run a Racing Santander web-forum confirmed to me what I had already figured out – they don’t exist (see thank you credits at the bottom of this post).

And what would be so shameful if attendances in Segunda B were revealed to be, outside of a few down-on-their luck mid-sized clubs, primarily within the 2 K to 3 K range, with several within the 500 to 1,000 range? If the figures were out there, at least you could talk about it. In this day and age, the status quo of absolutely no reporting of third division attendance in Spain looks more like a cover-up. A club of any size should not be ashamed of how low they are drawing at any one point in time (due to say, a relegation or two), to actively avoid announcing of their crowd sizes. A club that is a mainstay of any given league in any given level in any given country should not be ashamed of its attendance figures to actively avoid (and even repress) any reporting of it.

“It’s astounding how tolerant we all are to this corruption,” says Rubén Uría, a Spanish sports journalist with the Cope radio network and Eurosport.
{the quote above is from the article at the link below}
La Liga and by extension the Spanish football authorities act like a corrupt banana republic, with its special rules for its special friends. Special rules for the Big Two as seen in Real Madrid’s and Barcelona’s lucrative and separate-from-the-rest-of-the-league television deals. And special rules for the big boys – like the much more stringent and onerous financial rules for anyone entering into the second division compared to the spendthrift first division, where debts have reached the billions. And politicians, not actual bankers, running the banks that lend this crazy-cash to the profligate-spending clubs. As the article below points out, since 2006, half of the clubs in the top two divisions have entered bankruptcy proceedings, and by 2011-12, debts had reached €3.75 billion. From Newsweek, from 15 May 2014, by Mike Elkin, Spanish Soccer: World Champions (of Fraud) (newsweek.com). And smack dab in the middle of the most successful region of pro football in the world – Western Europe – the Spanish football authorities think it is perfectly acceptable to not even bother to report third division attendance figures. Meanwhile, judging by the alarming state of many first division clubs’ finances in Spain, it looks like more clubs and more clubs bigger than Alavés, Tenerife, Racing Santander, Hércules or Murcia will be finding themselves in (hopefully temporary) exile in the Twilight Zone of third division Spanish football. There in Segunda B, where few attend, and where the Spanish football authorities and the Spanish media never report attendances.

___

Thanks to NordNordWest, for the blank map of Spain, at ‘File:Spain location map.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org). Thanks to Miguillen, for the blank map of the Canary Islands, at ‘File:Canarias-loc.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org). Thanks to the contributors to the pages at La Liga and Segunda División (en.wikipedia.org and es.wikipedia.org and de.wikipedia.org).

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

Special thanks to Peña at RacinguistasOnline.com , who responded to my question of what he would estimate Racing Santander’s 2013-14 average attendance was, there in the Segunda B. He responded…” …At the beginning of the season, more or less 2.000-3.000 persons per game, more or less from february, with the expulsión of thieves, attendance grew up, more or less to 8.000 persons per game, although is very difficult to calculate, because there was games with almost full attendance (18.000) and other with 5.000… “…{end of excerpt from e-mail}. That sounded like about somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 K per game to me.

August 11, 2014

England & Wales: the highest-drawing football clubs within the English football leagues system (all clubs [74 clubs] that drew above 4 K per game in the 2013-14 season) / Plus a short illustrated article comparing English and German attendances last season, by division.

england_2014-attendance-map_74-clubs_all-drawing-above-4k_post_d_.gif
England attendance map 2014 (all English & Welsh clubs drawing above 4,000 per game in 2013-14 [74 teams])




This continues my new category of European football leagues attendance maps. This map is for England, including the Welsh clubs within the English football leagues system – of which there are 6, with 2 clubs from Wales on the map here/ {see this post I made from 2011 on Welsh clubs within the English system} [There are 2 Welsh clubs on this map - Premier League side Swansea City, and just-relegated Championship side Cardiff City]).

The map & chart here shows all football clubs in the English football leagues system which drew over 4,000 per game in the 2013-14 season (from home domestic league matches). The larger the club-crest is on the map, the higher the club’s attendance. The chart at the right-hand side of the map page shows 2013-14 average attendance, stadium capacity, and percent capacity. Also shown at the far right of the chart are: each club’s English titles (with year of last title), seasons spent in the English first division (with last year in the top flight listed if applicable), and FA Cup titles (with year of last title). [Some data found at Premier League/Clubs (en.wikipedia.org).]

In addition to the main map, there are 3 inset maps on the map page…for Greater London and Surrounding Area (12 clubs from Greater London on the map plus Watford in Hertfordshire); for the West Midlands including Birmingham, Coventry and Woverhampton (5 clubs on the map from the West Midlands [but not Coventry City]); and for a section of Northwest England, including Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester (4 Lancashire clubs, 3 Merseyside clubs and 5 Greater Manchester-based clubs on the map). I added an extra detail of listing the historic counties of England on the map(s).

    A brief comparison of English and German attendances by division (2013-14 figures)

england_and_germany_football-leagues_attendance_2013-14_by-division_c_.gif

{Note: 2013-14 English leagues football attendance [top 4 levels] can be seen at the following link, by clicking on “England” on the left-hand sidebar at: http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm}.

There were 74 clubs in the English system which drew over 4,000 [4 K] per game last season – all 20 Premier League clubs; all 24 Football League Championship clubs; 20 of the 24 Football League One clubs; 9 of the 24 Football League Two clubs; and 1 Non-League/Conference club. As far as clubs which draw over 4,000 go – that is the most in Europe (and in the world). Second-most is Germany, which had 52 clubs that drew over 4 K last season.

However, the German first division, the Bundesliga, draws much higher on average than the English Premier League does – over 6.5 K higher in 2013-14 (Bundesliga averaged 43,499 per game in 2013-14, versus 36,670 for the Premier League last season). Of course, the Bundesliga is the highest drawing association football league in the world. But Germany’s preeminence in crowd sizes changes as you go down the pyramid in their league system, especially below the second division. Before I get to that I should point out that while last season [2013-14], the second division in Germany outdrew the second division in England (by about 1.2 K), in the two seasons previous, the second division in England – the Championship – drew slightly higher than the second division in Germany – by about .2 K in 2012-13, and by about .5 K in 2011-12. That drop in League Championship attendance last season (down by about .8 K in 2013-14 compared to 2012-13) can mostly be attributed to the temporary inclusion of a rather small club into the second tier, the now-relegated Yeovil Town, combined with the temporary expulsion of a somewhat large club, the now-promoted-back-to-the-second-tier Wolves (switching Yeovil for Wolves in the second division was the equivalent to a -.63 K drop in Championship attendance, when you subtract 2013-14 Yeovil Town crowds [6.6 K] from 2012-13 Wolves’ crowds [21.2 K] and divide by 24).

The third division in England – League One – outdrew the third division in Germany – 3.Liga – by about 1.4 K in 2013-14, while two seasons ago [2012-13] England’s third tier outdrew the third tier in Germany by about .2 K, and three seasons ago [2011-12] England’s third level outdrew Germany’s third level by 1.7 K. So the average for the past three seasons is about +1.1 K more in England’s third division than in Germany’s. Below the third division, it is impossible to compare the two countries’ leagues on a like-for-like basis because Germany’s system is national for only the top 3 divisions and becomes regionalized from the 4th level on down, while the English system stays national all the way to the 5th division. Nevertheless, you can compare the two sets of lower leagues in this way… Germany’s 4th level (90 clubs within 5 regional leagues) could be compared with England’s 4th-through-6th levels (92 clubs in 3 levels [4th level /League Two/24 clubs + 5th level/Conference/24 clubs + 6th level/Conferences North & South/22 clubs in 2 regional leagues making 44 clubs]).

Generally, below the 3rd level, the German football system starts to be full of clubs drawing in the 1 to 2 K range (only 10 of the 90 clubs in the five German Regionalliga [4th level] drew above 2 K last season, and just 6 drew above 3 K, and a mere 4 of those 90 clubs drew above 4 K last season) {2013-14 German leagues football attendance can be seen at the following link, by clicking on “Germany” on the left-hand sidebar at: http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm}. Meanwhile, below the third tier, the English system has, usually, a plethora of clubs drawing above 2 K (there were 28 last season, with 21 League Two clubs drawing above 2 K last season, and a somewhat impressive 7 clubs in Non-League drawing above 2 K (all in the Conference/see these figures at soccerway.com}. Also, England’s fourth tier boasted a majority of clubs drawing above 3 K (16 clubs above 3 K in League Two last season). And, as alluded to two paragraphs above, last season those two divisions in England (4th and 5th levels) included 10 clubs drawing above 4 K (9 League Two clubs plus the now-promoted Luton Town).

So, Germany is king of big-league football attendance, but England’s league system has significantly more substantial support in the lower levels of the Football League and the in the top tier of Non-League football.


In case you are wondering, below are the clubs which came closest to being on this map…
(Below are all clubs in the English system that drew in the 3 thousands in 2013-14)…
York City (3.7 K per game in 2013-14 in League 2), Colchester United (3.7 K in League 1), Hartlepool United (3.7 K in League 2), Exeter City (3.7 K in League 2), Grimsby Town (3.5 K in 5th level/Conference), Wycombe Wanderers (3.4 K in League 2), Crawley Town (3.4 K in League 1), Mansfield Town (3.3 K in League 2), Bury (3.1 K in League 2), Cambridge United (3.0 K in 5th level/Conference).
-Attendance data sources – Premier League and Football League, European-Football-Statistics.co.uk; Non-League, http://us.soccerway.com/national/england/conference-national/20132014/regular-season/r21458/.

Finally, here are the winners of each of the top 5 divisions in England last season (with each club’s average crowd size).
1st division, 2013-14 Premier League, 36,670 per game (winner: Manchester City at 47.7 K).
2nd division, 2013-14 League Championship 16,609 per game (winner: Leicester City at 24.9 K).
3rd division, 2013-14 League One, 7,476 per game (winner: Wolves at 15.4 K).
4th division, 2013-14 League Two, 4,351 per game (winner: Chesterfield at 6.2 K).
5th division, 2013-14 Conference National, 1,864 per game (winner: Luton Town at 7.3 K).
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Thanks to the contributors at ‘Premier League‘, ‘Football League Championship‘, ‘Football League One‘, ‘Football League Two‘, ‘Conference Premier‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Thanks to European-Football-Statistics.co.uk, for attendance figures.

Thanks to the Footy-Mad sites [http://www.footymad.net/premier-league-news/], for club League Histories, such as http://www.derbycounty-mad.co.uk/league_history/derby_county/index.shtml

August 2, 2014

France (including Monaco): 2014 football attendance map – with the 37 highest-drawing clubs in France [all French clubs drawing over 4 K per game] (from 2013-14 home league matches).

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France: 2014 football attendance map – with the 37 highest-drawing clubs in France [all French clubs drawing over 4 K per game]




This continues my new category of European football leagues attendance maps. This map for France (including Monaco) shows all football clubs in the French football leagues system which drew over 4,000 per game in the 2013-14 season (from home domestic league matches). The larger the club-crest is on the map, the higher the club’s attendance. The chart at the right-hand side of the map page shows 2013-14 average attendance, stadium capacity, and percent capacity. Also shown at the far right of the chart are: each club’s French titles (with year of last title), seasons spent in the French first division, and French Cup titles (with year of last title).

On the map, I have included the major rivers (fleuves) of France. Adding that detail just seemed like the French thing to do. Here is the page at the French Wikipedia where I got that info, ‘Liste des fleuves de France‘ (fr.wikipedia.org). There is a cool map there of the watersheds/drainage basins within France.

My attendance map for England (including some Welsh clubs) will be up next, in about 12 days.
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Thanks to Eric Gaba for the blank topographic/political map of France, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Blank_maps_of_France#mediaviewer/File:France_map_Lambert-93_topographic-blank.svg.

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

Thanks to the contributors at ‘Ligue 1‘, ‘Ligue 2‘, and ‘Championnat National‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

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