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May 22, 2015

Mexico: Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (LMB) (Mexican League), location-map/attendance-map (2014 figures), with active-clubs titles list.

Filed under: Baseball,Mexico: Béisbol — admin @ 8:17 pm

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/mexico_baseball_mexican-league_attendance-map-2014_post_b_.gif
Baseball in Mexico: Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (Mexican League), 2014 attendance-map, with active-clubs titles list


Links…
-Teams…Mexican League/Current teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendance…Mexican League: Attendance [set at 2014/sortable for current attendances & archived back to -2005] (milb.com/milb/stats).
-Scores, Standings, Schedule…milb.com/LMB [Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (Mexican League)] (official site).
-My first map & post on Mexican League baseball (from 2011), which includes more info on teams and uniforms, Baseball in Mexico: Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (Mexican League), 2011.

    Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (LMB) (Mexican League), location-map/attendance-map (2014 figures), with active-clubs titles list…

By Bill Turianski on 22 May 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
The Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (LMB) (Mexican League) is one of 3 Triple-A minor leagues in Organized Baseball. Unlike the other two Triple-A leagues – the Pacific Coast League (based in the West and Midwest of the USA) and the International League (based in the East and Midwest of the USA), the Mexican League’s teams are not affiliated with any of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs. (In fact, the Mexican League has three minor leagues of its own, the Liga Norte de Mexico, the Liga de Béisbol del Noroeste de Mexico, and the Liga de Mexicana de Béisbol Academia [a winter league]).

The Mexican League season is scheduled for 104 games, and runs from the middle of March, to mid-July, with the playoffs in late July/early August, then, in mid-August, the Serie Final (Final Series).

The Mexican League was founded in 1925, with 6 teams.
The only original team that has survived to this day are Águilas Rojos de Veracruz [the Veracruz Red Eagles], although there was a Mexico City team back then, and there is now a different, present-day Mexico City team – Diablos Rojos del México [the Mexico (City) Red Devils, who were formed in 1940 and have won the most Mexican League titles, with 16 Mexican League titles. The Diablos' last title was won last year [in 2014]).

There are sixteen teams in the Mexican League, which is an increase from the 14 teams the league had in the 1987 to 2011 era.
The three newest teams are the purple-clad Delfines de Ciudad del Carmen [the Carmen (City) Dolphins], established 2012; the navy-blue-and-gold Rieleros de Aguascalientes [the Aguascalientes Railwaymen], also established in 2012; and the black-and-red Toros de Tijuana [the Tijuana Bulls or Tijuana Toros], est. 2014. The Toros of Tijuana drew a very impressive 7.9 K in their first season in the LMB in 2014. This is 3 years after the new first division Mexican soccer team the Xolos of Tijuana began drawing in the +20 K-range {see this article I wrote featuring the Xolos, from Jan. 2013}. So these two developments show the signs of good healthy cross-border fanbases beginning to form for both the brand-new pro baseball and futbol teams in Tijuana.

(Meanwhile the Petroleros de Minatitlán [Minatitlán Oilers], who were among the lowest-drawing clubs in the LMB, folded after the 2013 season.)

Crowd sizes in the Mexican League
The Mexican League, as a whole, averaged 4,720 per game in 2014 (which was a 4% increase from 2013). The Mexican League’s highest-drawing club, year-in/year-out is the Sultanes de Monterrey [the Monterrey Sultans], who usually draw above 10 K and averaged 11,856 per game in 2014. That was best in all of Organized Baseball, by the way. [Second-best drawing ball club in all of MiLB last year [2014] was the International League’s Charlotte Knights, who, thanks to their new, downtown-Charlotte-located ballpark, drew 9.6 K {source for data in this paragraph: 2014 Affiliated Attendance by Average (ballparkdigest.com)}].

If you are wondering why there are no Mexican League teams in the pretty populous areas in and around Guadalajara and along the west-central coast in Sinaloa and Sonora states, that is because there is a separate pro baseball league there. That is the 8-team Liga Mexicana del Pacífico [Mexican Pacific League] (LMP), which is a Winter pro baseball league. Commenter Juan found the attendance figures for 4 of the Winter ball leagues, {see 3rd comment in the Comments section further below}.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Globe-map of Mexico, by Addicted04 at File:MEX orthographic.svg at Mexico (en.wikipedia.org).
-Map of Mexico…by Yavidaxiu at File:Mexico blank.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Some circular-cap-logos on the map included photos or banner illustration (which I then cropped and included into the design using my somputer-drawing-program)…
-Toros de Tijuana (Tijuana Toros), illustration of T-J logo, from banner at torosdetijuana.com.
-Saraperos de Saltillo (Saltillo Sarape Makers) teal home cap, photo of Gothic-S-with-sarape logo from neweraaustraliasale.com/saraperos.
-Vaqueros Laguna (Laguna Cowboys) grey-and-orange road cap, photo of silver-L-logo from listado.mercadolibre.com.mx/cachucha-vaqueros-laguna-beisbol.
-Delfines de Ciudad del Carmen (Ciudad del Carmen Dolphins) dark-purple home cap, photo of bright-green-C [part of the logo], from lids.com/mexican-league/delfines.
-Guerreros de Oaxaca (Oaxaca Warriors), photo of the O-a-x logo on home cap from newhatsite.net/oaxaca-guerreros.
-Piratas de Campeche (Campeche Pirates), photo of baseball-as-sneering-pirate logo, from mlm-s1-p.mlstatic.com [jpg] at mercadolibre.com.mx.

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

May 11, 2015

Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League (NRL) – 2015 location-map with a chart which shows…2014 attendances by club, club colours & crests, and titles (Premiers) won by club./ Plus an article on the history of pro Rugby League in Australia./ Plus illustrations for 2 clubs; the highest-drawing rugby club in the world (the Brisbane Broncos) & the reigning RL champions of Australia and the World (the South Sydney Rabbitohs).

Filed under: Australia,Rugby — admin @ 6:32 pm

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Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League, 2015 location-map with 2014 attendances and titles listed



Links…
-Teams…National Rugby League/ Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
-Live scores, schedule, table…livescores.ninemsn.com.au/nrl.
-NRL at LoveRugbyLeague.com…loverugbyleague.com/nrl.
-Official site of NRL…nrl.com.

    Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League (NRL) -
    2015 location-map with a chart which shows…2014 attendances by club, club colours & crests, and titles (Premiers)

By Bill Turianski on 11 May 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
[Please note: the first 7 paragraphs below (demographics of Australia & the 4 football codes in Australia) are similar to the text in my recent post on Australian rules football (AFL), here. If you are already familiar with that section, you might want to begin at the section further below called 'On the map page...' .]
Size and population of Australia…
I will start of with a brief description of the size, relative size, and population of Australia. If you click on the following link you can see, at a glance, how massive the island/Continent of Australia is when it is compared to the Continental USA, {here (aboutaustralia.com)}. (Note: that graphic can also be seen at the far-lower-left-hand corner of the map page.) As you can see in that graphic, Australia is about the same size as the Continental USA, but when you factor in Alaska (and Hawaii), Australia ends up being about 23% “smaller” than the 50 United States. Australia is the 6th-largest country on Earth, at around 7.6 million km-squared (or around 2.9 million miles-squared), which makes it about 10% “smaller” than the 5th-largest country – Brazil, and more than twice the size of the 7th-largest country – India. To put it another way, Australia is massive. It is also not very populous for its size, because Australia is only the 52nd-most-populous nation, with a population of around 23.7 million {2015 figure}. To give you an idea of how sparsely populated Australia is, it has slightly less inhabitants than the pretty-small-sized nations of Nepal, Ghana, or North Korea. {Sources of data: sizes: List of countries and dependencies by area; populations: List of countries and dependencies by population (both from en.wikipedia.org).}

The Big 5 Cities in Australia…
There are 5 major cities in Australia, 3 of which have NRL teams (Sydney [9 teams], Melbourne [1 team], Brisbane [1 team]). On the map page, in the globe-map at the far left there, I have placed those 5 cities along with their populations. Sydney is the largest city in the country, with around 4.7 million inhabitants (in the metro area/urban population/all listed here are 2013 or 2014 estimates). Melbourne is the second-city of Australia – but only just…it has a population of only about 300 K less than Sydney, at around 4.4 million. Brisbane is third-largest, at about 2.3 million; Perth is fourth at around 2.0 million; and Adelaide is fifth at around 1.2 million. The capital of Australia, Canberra (which is situated in the small Australian Capital Territory, located midway between Sydney and Melbourne) is a rather small city [but it nevertheless does have an NRL team], and is the eighth-largest Australian city, with about 411,000 inhabitants. {Sources, each city’s Wikipedia page for the most-recent population estimates, however the following link is relatively recently updated (2012 figures), List of cities in Australia by population (en.wikipedia.org).}

There are 4 football codes in Australia which have professional major leagues (the most of any country)…
There are 4 football codes in Australia (listed below with first-division 2014 league-average-attendances):
Australian rules football (1st division: AFL, which averaged 32,327 per game in 2014).
Rugby union football (1st division: Super Rugby, which averaged 16,913 per game in 2014).
Rugby league football (1st division: NRL, which averaged 15,787 per game in 2014).
Association football [aka soccer]: only pro division: A-League, which averaged 14,759 per game in 2014).
[source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Australian_football_code_crowds#Attendances_by_league.]

An extremely simplified guide to the 4 football codes’ popularity in Australia…
Aussie rules football…
To simplify it in the extreme, Australian Rules Football, which originated in the 1860s in and around Melbourne in the state of Victoria, turned semi-pro when the AFL was formed in 1897. Although first division teams were not based in any of the other states and territories of the country for almost 90 years (until the 1980s and 1990s), Aussie rules football has always been hugely popular throughout all the 8 states and the 2 territories of Australia, with the exception of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland. In and around Sydney (which is the capital of New South Wales) and in all of Queensland (including Brisbane), Australian rules football has been historically overshadowed by rugby league football. The split described in the last two sentences can be see in the map at Barassi Line (en.wikipedia.org) {that map is also at the top-left-hand-side of the map page}.

Soccer (aka association football), in Australia…
Soccer was widely shunned by many if not most Australian fans and players for decades (ie, only “Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters” played soccer, as the bigotry of the day held [circa 1950s through '80s]). Only in the last decade-and-a-half or so has soccer become a viable pro sport in Australia. And now, going into the 2010s, soccer has made significant gains in popularity, to the point that the Australian first division in soccer (the A-League) is currently drawing only marginally less than both rugby codes in the country (see list with league-attendance 2 paragraphs above above).

The 2 Rugby codes in Australia…
Rugby Union, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Melbourne and of the state of Victoria. The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby Championship, although there is a higher tier that involves teams from South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, Super Rugby.

Rugby League, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Sydney and of the state of New South Wales (as well as the major sport of Brisbane in Queensland). The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby League (NRL), which has 16 teams (9 teams from New South Wales).

On the map page…
The map page is a bit complicated, owing to the Sydney-centric nature of first-division rugby league in Australia – 9 of the 16 NRL teams are from Greater Sydney (all are listed in the next paragraph), plus there are 2 more teams nearby…one team in northeast New South Wales (Newcastle Knights) and one team in the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra Raiders). So there are three maps that comprise the location-map aspect of the map page. First off, is the map at the upper center of the map page, which includes all of Australia and New Zealand, and shows the other 5 clubs in the NRL…3 teams based in Queensland (North Queensland Cowboys, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans)), one team based in Victoria (Melbourne), and one team based in New Zealand (New Zealand Warriors).

The next map, at the lower center of the map page, shows all of New South Wales state and it features the locations of all the 9 Greater Sydney teams, plus the Newcastle team and the Canberra team. The 9 Greater Sydney-based teams are then shown in the third map at the lower right-hand part of the map page – that is an enlarged inset-map of Greater Sydney…there you can see the more precise locations of the 8 NRL teams that play all their games in greater Sydney (Manly-Warringah Eagles, Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Sydney Roosters, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Wests Tigers). Also shown in the Greater Sydney inset map is the team that has two locations (St George Illawarra Dragons), who play half their home games in the St George neighborhood of south Sydney and the other half of their home games in Woolongong, NSW, which is about 80 km or 50 mi south of Sydney.

The other two features of the map page are…a globe-map of Australia at the far left-hand side (featuring the 5 biggest cities in the country plus the capital); and
a chart at the upper-right-hand side which lists 4 things:
1). 2014 home regular season average attendance;
2). the year the club gained admission to the NRL or its predecessors;
3). club crests and colours;
4). Australian RL titles (aka Premiers) won by each club, with last title-year listed.

    History of First Division Rugby League in Australia (1908 to 2014)…

The path to the NRL – the first 88 years of Rugby League in Australia…
From the Wikipedia page National Rugby League/Origins and beginnings…{2 excerpts}…
…”The New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) ran the major rugby league competition of New South Wales from its inception in 1908 until 1994, by which time its powers had expanded to run the code nationally. Following the introduction of a new format for interstate rugby league, the State of Origin series in 1980, the decade of the 1980s brought about expansion of the NSWRL premiership, with the…addition of non-Sydney-based teams, Canberra and Illawarra in 1982.” /…”Further expansion of the league followed in 1988, with another three teams based outside Sydney introduced to the competition; the Newcastle Knights and the first two Queensland teams, the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast-Tweed Giants.”…{end of excerpts}.

1995…
With a major threat looming on the horizon (see below), the NWSRL became known as the Australian Rugby League (ARL) in 1995; that same year, there were four more expansion teams…Auckland Warriors, North Queensland Cowboys, South Queensland Crushers and Western Reds [of Perth, Western Australia]. The former two of those four – the Warriors of NZ and the Cowboys of North Queensland – still exist. But the latter of those four – the South Queensland team and the Perth team – became a couple of the many casualties of the Super League War.

In 1996, Rupert Murdoch tries to gain the television rights to Australian rugby league, and the Super League War is initiated…
Then in 1996 and 1997, Rupert Murdoch wanted the television rights in order to establish a (very lucrative) pay-television scheme, so he formed a short-lived rival major league by luring prominent ARL club executives, coaches, and players with bags of cash. But it must be pointed out that many of the 8 clubs which jumped ship to Murdoch’s phony league were threatened by Murdoch had they stayed put. Sick of the salary cap in the ARL thwarting their ambitions, Brisbane, Canterbury, and Auckland went over to Murdoch’s league willingly. But as to the others, Murdoch coerced some of those 1st division rugby league clubs into joining his new league, or face the threat of having to compete for the fan-dollar against theoretical new rival-teams that Murdoch would have put in those clubs’ neighborhoods. By April 1996, Murdoch’s News Limited began to sign up target clubs, some of whom had already lost key personnel to Super League. “Club representatives were told that if they did not join Super League, they would face rival clubs established in their area.” {quote from Super League war/The war at its peak (en.wikipedia.org)}. That threat by Murdoch & Company was in fact carried out in one place – the Hunter region of northeast New South Wales (where the city of Newcastle, NSW is located, and where the then-ARL team/now NRL-team the Newcastle Knights are located). So, because the Newcastle Knights stayed put in the AFL, they were suddenly forced to compete in their region in 1997 with the hastily-formed and poorly-supported Hunter Mariners (who were established in 1997, played the ’97 season in Murdoch’s league, then were wound up in late 1997). Poetic justice can be found in the fact that the Newcastle Knights held steadfast, refused to buckle to Murdoch & Company, stayed put in the ARL, and then went on to win the ARL premiership in that twisted year of 1997.

Here are the 8 RL clubs [7 which still exist today, as NRL teams], that jumped ship for that cash-fueled league that Murdoch foisted upon RL fans in 1997…
Auckland Warriors [now named New Zealand Warriors]
Brisbane Broncos
Canberra Raiders
Canterbury Bulldogs [now named Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs]
Cronulla Sharks [now named Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks]
North Queensland Cowboys
Penrith Panthers
Western Reds [defunct]

-See this [if you want a headache], Super League war (en.wikipedia.org)/
-See this [if you want it explained short and sweet], from the National Museum of Australia site, Super League (nma.gov.au).}

-Here is a “TL;DR” version of the events around the Super League War, from Reddit.com/RL commenter Socc13er37 [link to the original thread is further below]…
…{excerpt}…
…”[1] Two media moguls, Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch, fight over TV rights for the ARL. Packer purchased them in 1993 and Murdoch tried to take the currently dead Pay TV rights, which he did. Packer gets pissed and says he has all the ARL TV rights, and the brawl brews over from there.

[2] Meanwhile, Brisbane CEO John Ribot is unhappy with the current state of the league for his Queensland side, and wants to make his own league, with a global audience and Murdoch-owned teams, called the Super League. ARL and the clubs say “Fuck that” and unanimously decline.

[3] Ribot and Murdoch “go into their evil lair” to plan out how they make the Super League dream a reality. They offer massive salaries and signing bonuses to clubs like Canterbury, Auckland and Brisbane, who all sign on. The ARL find out and plan to expel said clubs from the competition. Murdoch states he won’t let that happen and will compensate the clubs if legal action occurs.

[4] The ARL can’t stop the News Ltd SL train. 8 clubs sign on to join the Murdoch-run league and they look to be riding high, but the court brings them down. The ARL runs the show here, and the Federal Court says there will be no SL until 2000, which was then reduced until this year. Then, the court overturns the decision, and says that the Super League will run in 1997. The ARL appeals, but loses in less than 40 minutes of court proceedings, and results in the CEO’s resignation.

[5] During the two leagues running simultaneously, a lot of clubs lost money and sponsorship was spread thinly. Eventually, the Super League with its extravagant amount of spending couldn’t hold it together, and there was a merger back together, to make the NRL.”…{excerpt from comment made by Socc1er37 at the Reddit.com/r/NRL thread entitled Can someone outline what happened during the ‘super league war’ period of time? (reddit.com/r/nrl/comments).

Murdoch’s cash-fueled league (1997/merged with ARL to form NRL in 1998)
The 1997 season saw 22 clubs in two rival RL leagues. One of which – Murdoch’s league – was filled with 8 former AEL clubs and a few now-defunct expansion clubs [Adelaide and Hunter]). Fans stayed away in droves. Then in late 1997, the courts stepped in and resolved the unsustainable twin-major-leagues mess in Australian rugby league. Murdoch got some of what he wanted (some broadcast rights and co-ownership of the new league structure, as well as ownership of some clubs [he currently owns two-thirds of Brisbane Broncos, and he used to own Melbourne Storm/see 2 paragraphs below]). But more importantly, Murdoch stopped meddling with rugby league in Australia. The fallout remained for years, though/ (see below).

With the resolution of the Super League war in late 1997, the National Rugby League (NRL) is established in 1998…
In late 1997, with the resolution of the Super League war, the National Rugby League (NRL) was established, to begin its first season in 1998. The first order of business was to consolidate. Some clubs (such as St George and Illawarra) merged, in the form of joint-partnerships. Then, after the 1999 season, pushed by Murdoch’s News Limited, the NRL top brass went too far, and tried to destroy South Sydney Rabbitohs. But after a two-year exile, South Sydney and their supporters were able to fight their way back into the league.

In 2000, South Sydney Rabbitohs are excluded by NRL, but then the courts re-instate the Souths into the league (for 2002)
-…{excerpt from wsws.org}…”[2001]…An acrimonious court case late last year in Australia’s Federal Court over the exclusion of a team from the National Rugby League (NRL) spotlights how Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation uses sport to expand its pay TV subscriber base and secure multi-million dollar profits. The Federal Court upheld a decision by NRL administrators to exclude South Sydney, one of the clubs that founded rugby league in Sydney in 1908, from the premier national competition. The decision was followed by an angry demonstration of 80,000 rugby league football fans, which denounced the court ruling and what they saw as the takeover of their sport by the Murdoch-dominated Foxtel pay TV network, without any concern for those who participate in or support the game”… excerpt from, Australian court endorses Murdoch takeover of rugby league, by Robert Hoffman and John Roberts at wsws.org on 10 January 2001 .}
-… {excerpt from en.wikipedia.org}…”The outbreak of the Super League war involved a vision to cut Sydney sides with Souths in the firing line. Souths remained in the ARL during the 1997 season, and were then played in the National Rugby League, the merger of the Super League and ARL, from its first season in 1998. The NRL set determined to cut its competition to 14 teams and duly cut South Sydney from the premiership for the 2000 season.”…/…”Souths fought their way back through the court rooms and public rallies generating a swell of support throughout Sydney and Australia as they took on the NRL and News Limited. Souths won re-admission on appeal during the 2001 season and were brought back into the NRL competition for the 2002 season.”…{end of excerpts at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History of the South Sydney Rabbitohs/ Fightback and Re-admission (en.wikipedia.org).

PS, Murdoch’s News Limited company’s then-ownership of Melbourne Storm saw not one but TWO titles revoked [2007 & 2009 NRL titles surrendered by Melbourne Storm] for exceeding the salary cap.

PPS, In 2012, NRL was finally free of Murdoch when …”[the] joint partnership between the sport’s already-existing national governing body, the Australian Rugby League (ARL) and media giant News Corporation…was dissolved in February 2012, with control of the NRL going to the independently formed Australian Rugby League Commission.”…{excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rugby_League}.

    Into the 2000s, the NRL gets more established and begins to draw more fans…

Televised matches of the NRL began to draw much larger audiences, to the point where the NRL Grand Final of 2007, between Manly and Melbourne, was the most-watched television show in Australia that year. In 2010, the NRL set a record for league average attendance at 17,367 per game [total season aggregate attendance: 3,490,778].

2014 and 2015, and on
The league still shows robust signs of health. The Brisbane Broncos, the highest-drawing rugby club in the world, draw 33 K per game. All-time & reigning-NRL-champs, the South Sydney Rabbitohs pull in 19.8 K per game. The Parramatta Eels draw 18.7 K per game. The Newcastle Knights draw 17.6 K per game. The New Zealand Warriors draw 17.1 K per game. And the NRL as a whole pulls in 15.7 K per game (which is 7.5 K more-per-game than the English first-division rugby league draws) {see this post on England’s Super League [RL]}.

And Australia’s reigning NRL champions – the club that Murdoch could not kill, the resilient South Sydney Rabbitohs – just OWNED England’s best rugby league team, by the score of 39-to-zero, in the 2015 World Club Series. {See this, South Sydney Rabbitohs steamroller St Helens to win World Club Challenge (from Guardian.com/sport/rugby by Aaron Bower on 23 Feb.2015);

    Illustrations for: the best-drawing Rugby team in the world, the Brisbane Broncos;
    and: the second-best draw in Australian RL + 2014 World RL and 2014 NRL champions, the South Sydney Rabbitohs…

Brisbane Broncos (established 1987), are not only the highest-drawing NRL team, but they also are in fact the highest-drawing rugby team in the world (at 33,354 per game in 2014). The Broncos have won 6 NRL titles, their last title having been won in 2006. This gives the Brisbane Broncos the best titles-per-seasons-played ratio in the NRL, at 21.4% (second best is South Sydney Rabbitohs at 18.3%)…
brisbane-broncos_lang-park_aka-suncorp-stadium_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
2015 Brisbane Broncos home jersey, photo from nrlshop.com/brisbane-broncos.
Night-time aerial shot of Lang Park (aka Suncorp Stadium), photo from pinterest.com/source/skypac.com.au. Interior shot, photo by Getty Images via smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/a-journey-into-the-belly-of-maroon-beast. Shot of fans at Suncorp Stadium, photo News Limited via foxsports.com.au.

South Sydney Rabbitohs, second-best-drawing rugby league club in Australia, and the 2014 NRL champions…
-The following link has a nice article on the history of South Sydney Rabbitohs, and how the club’s demise and re-birth is inextricably intertwined with the aftermath of the Super League war of the late 1990s. From the ConvictCreations site, South Sydney Rabbitohs – An Australian Story.
-Here is an article which points out that the 2014 NRL Grand Final drew a larger TV audience than the 2014 Aussie rules (AFL) Grand Final, see this, Rabbitohs’ 2014 NRL grand final win the most-watched game in rugby league history (from Daily Telegraph/sport on 6 Oct. 2014, by Cory Adno).

South Sydney Rabbitohs RLC, est. 1908
[Note: the text below is largely the same as the text within the illustration further below.]
South Sydney Rabbitohs RLC were founded in 1908, in the working-class neighborhood of Redfern, which is south of the Sydney business district, and which to this day has a sizeable Aboriginal community. The team’s nickname is believed to come from the club’s early days, when, pre-game, some players on the squad would hawk freshly caught-and-butchered rabbits, and then go on to play the match still in their bloodstained gear. The team is also known simply as the Souths. No one really knows the official reason why the team wears cardinal red and turtle green, but…if you caught and butchered a rabbit, you would probably have grass-stains and blood-stains on your gear.

South Sydney have won the most Australian RL premierships – 21 titles, but before the 2014 season, the club had not appeared in a Grand Final since 1971.
By the 1970s, South Sydney had such financial problems that they became perennial basement-dwellers. Following the resolution of the Super League war, three seasons later [in 2000], the club was excluded from the NRL, for failure to meet “financial criteria”. There then ensued mass protests of over 80,000 in support of South Sydney, and after extensive litigation, the club was re-instated into the NRL, in 2002. The club remained cash-strapped, though, and in 2006 it was voted that the club would seek private ownership. That came in the form of the heir of media conglomerate Consolidated Press Holdings, James Packer; and the film star and Sydney-native Russell Crowe. The two hold a 50-50 share of a 75% stake in the club (with the other 25% ownership of the club still retained by club members).

The Souths play at the 84,000-capacity ANZ Stadium in Sydney (aka Stadium Australia), which was the chief venue for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. The Rabbitohs also play a couple of home games each season out in Perth, Western Australia {see this, List of Australian rugby league stadiums/ Occasional Stadiums}.

In 2014, South Sydney averaged 19,888 per game, making them the second-best drawing team in the NRL. In the 2014 NRL Grand Final, in front of 83,833 at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, the South Sydney Rabbitohs beat the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30-6, to win their first NRL Premiership in 43 years.
south-sydney-rabbitohs_2014-grand-final_2014-nrl-champions_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
2015 Rabbitohs jersey, photo from rabbitohsmegastore.shopdesq.com/rabbitohs-2015-mens-home-jersey. ANZ Stadium (aka Stadium Australia), photo .
2014 NRL Grand Final,
Sam Burgess, photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Alex Johnston diving to score a try, photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. View from the stands at ANZ Stadium during the 2014 NRL Grand Final, photo by Sam Ruttyn at dailytelegraph.com.au/the-2014-nrl-grand-final-souths-fans-pride-will-live-forever. George Burgess breaking a tackle and scoring a try, photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Rabbitohs players carrying MVP Sam Burgess off the field, photo by dailytelegraph.com.au/rabbitohs-2014-nrl-grand-final-win-the-mostwatched-game-in-rugby-league-history.

___
Sources for map page:
-Attendances (2014 season), 2014 Australian football code crowds/Attendances by team.
-Attendance for the New Zealand team (NZ Warriors), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_New_Zealand_Warriors_season#Regular_season.
-Titles: List of NRL Premiers (en.wikipedia.org).

Thanks to Ssolbergj for globe-map of Australia, File:Australia (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Mdmanser for blank map of Australia and New Zealand (for use as a template), File:Map of Australia and New Zealand coloured.png (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of Australia, File:Australia location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to Antigoni for blank map of New Zealand, File:Map of New Zealand (blank).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of New South Wales, File:Australia New South Wales location map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Roke for blank map of Greater Sydney, File:Sydney Areas Map.svg
(commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Rulesfan for map of the Barassi line, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barassi_line_2.png.
Thanks to aboutaustralia.com.

Thanks to NRL/shop, for colours in recent NRL home jerseys, http://www.nrlshop.com.
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, National Rugby League/Current clubs.

April 30, 2015

World football attendance by domestic leagues (2013-14 or 2014 figures, primarily) – chart of the top 25 highest-drawing pro leagues of association football [aka football, aka futbol, aka soccer]./ Plus a very brief look at the 3 countries that have led in crowd-size through the years (England, then Italy, and now Germany)./ Plus the Indian Super League, which is now [2014] the fourth-highest-drawing football league in the world.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts — admin @ 11:20 pm




Links…
-Source of data, List of attendance figures at domestic professional sports leagues/Complete_table [with 2013-14 or 2014 figures, primarily] (en.wikipedia.org).
-European football attendances at E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-Another good site for football attendances: soccerway.com [found atop league tables in the statistics sections at most league-pages there].

    Chart of the world’s top 25 highest-drawing pro leagues of association football (2013-14 or 2014 figures, primarily)

By Bill Turianski on 30 April 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

[Note: you can click on the illustration below to place it in a stand-alone page.]
world-football-attendances_25-highest-drawing-football-leagues_2013-14_no-1-is-bundesliga_f_.gif

My first version of this chart, which I made two years ago in May 2013, only went to 20 leagues, and the list only considered first division football leagues (with 2011-12 figures). You can see that chart {here}. This time, the list on the chart considers all association football leagues – not just each country’s top flight. I didn’t decide that – the folks who contributed to the list at Wikipedia did. And it makes sense (after all, if you are trying to determine the highest-drawing football leagues, why should you stop at only first division leagues?). So this chart includes the two highest-drawing second divisions in the world – Germany’s 2-Bundesliga, and England’s Football League Championship.

The attendance figures are primarily for the 2013-14 season, but there are a few exceptions…the Argentina Primera División attendance figure is from 2 seasons ago (2012-13), the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle attendance figure is from 6 seasons ago (2007-08), and the Indonesian Super League attendance figure is from 3 seasons ago (2010-11). I already knew there were no reliable attendance figures for Argentina for 2013-14; for Algeria and Indonesia, I tried, but I could not find any more recent figures reported. I decided to include both, but let’s just say there should be a “mental-asterisk” next to the Algerian and Indonesian attendance figures on the chart. (Note: there were a couple others that were not updated on the original list [which you can find at the link at the top of this post]. But I was able to find 2014 Chinese Super League attendances at that Wikipedia page {here}, and I found 2013-14 Turkish Süper Lig attendance at the E-F-S site {here}.)

Note: I added another detail this time to the chart – the populations of the countries. That can be found at the far right of the chart – the figures are from 2011 to 2015 {see each country’s page at Wikipedia for those figures}. On the chart, the country-populations are listed in millions (m), except for India and China, whose vast populations are listed in billions (bn).

    World football attendance leaders through the years…

England and its First Division led in attendance up to 1971-72 (for 74 seasons);
then Italy and its Serie A led in attendance from 1972-73 to 1993-94 (for 22 seasons);
and since 1994-95, Germany and its Bundesliga have led in attendance (for 21 seasons and counting…)

Germany has been #1 in attendance since 1994-95. Before that it was Italy. Originally, of course, it was England.

The English First Division had best crowd size from 1888-89 [when the Football League was formed], all the way to 1971-72. The highest league-average-attendance that the English top flight has ever had was in the third season back after the disruption caused by World War II – in 1948-49, when the First Division pulled in an average of 38,792 per game. That 38.7 K per game is to this day the highest crowd-size the English top flight has ever achieved. The second-best crowd-size in England was in the following season of 1949-50 (at 37,284). The third best English top-flight crowd-size was actually last season [2013-14], when the Premier League (est. 1992-93) had its highest-ever turnstile-count, at 36,670 per game. {Source: European Football Statistics site for those English figures as well as Italian and German figures mentioned below.}.

In 1972-73, Italy’s Serie A (at 32,176 per game) overtook England’s First Division (at 30,257 in 72/73). And the-best-drawing football league in the world was a distinction the Italian top flight held for 22 seasons. Italy remained king of football crowd-size all through the 1980s and into the early 1990s, peaking at 38,872 per game in 1984-85, and still drawing best overall for another 9 years, until Germany’s Bundesliga overtook Serie A as the top-drawing league in the world in 1994-95.

Germany’s Bundesliga is King. Period.
Germany’s Bundesliga has remained at the top of the attendance list since 94/95 – for 21 seasons now (counting 2014-15). The largest crowd-size in a Bundesliga season was in 2012-13, at 45,116 per game. (Last season [2013-14], the Bundesliga had its second-best crowd-size ever, at 43,499.) And the Bundesliga shows no signs of flagging, held back in aggregate crowd-size only by the fact that minnows constantly find a way into the Bundesliga for a year, and end up pulling the league-wide attendance figure down. Minnows like Greuther Fürth (in 2012-13, drawing 16.8 K in a 18 K venue), and SC Paderborn (currently [2014-15] drawing 13.8 K in a 15.3 K venue). And quasi-minnows such as SC Freiburg (drawing 23.8 K currently in a 24 K-capacity venue), can and do find a place in the Bundesliga (this is Freiburg’s 6th-straight season in the Bundesliga), while much bigger clubs, +30-K-drawing-clubs like Kaiserslautern, Nürnberg and Düsseldorf, stay stuck in the second division. The Bundesliga draws well because of several reasons…Bundesliga tickets are very affordable (like often costing less than $20 USD), the stadiums are all full of modern amenities and quite simply fantastic, the atmosphere is absolutely electric, and no fans get hurt. Oh, and last but not least, Bundesliga teams invariably play high-energy, ball-on-the-floor, passing-and-attacking-football. Bundesliga is by far the best attended football league in the world, but it goes deeper than that…Bundesliga is the best football league in the world no matter how you look at it.

Out of nowhere, India now has the fourth-highest-drawing football league in the world – the ISL…
(Indian Super League.)
I am sure many will be as shocked as I was, when I first perused the list, to see that the Indian Super League (aka the ISL), has become the fourth-highest drawing football league on the planet. The Kolkata Derby (Mohan Bagan v East Bengal) has always drawn huge (like ~80 K to ~137 K [seriously; see previous link: it happened in 1997]). But those two clubs are not even in the brand-new ISL – they are in the I-League (the I-League was re-established in 2007-08). Hopes are that the two leagues will find ways to acommodate each other, and maybe even merge, at some future date.

Anyway, there are just 8 brand-new teams in the ISL (there is no promotion/relegation, as in USA/Canda, and as in Australia). Those 8 teams are spread out rather evenly across the Indian subcontinent {see map of 2015 ISL, here}. Now one point needs to be made, and this will put that massive league-average-attendance figure the ISL drew in 2014 into a more fair perspective…these ISL teams are playing way less home matches than most, if not all, other pro football leagues across the planet. The ISL season only runs from October to December, and the regular season has just 14 games…so with just 7 home matches, amassing a higher average attendance is much easier.

This link shows you the 8 teams’ attendance figures in 2014 {here}.

I know the following might be a little dated by now, but this next link is an informative article from Oct. 2014, by Sam Crocker, which gives brief profiles of the 8 teams in the [2014] Indian Super League, Indian Super League: club-by-club guide to the inaugural season (theguardian.com/football).

In the inaugural season, in the Final, the ISL’s top-drawing team, the Kerala Blasters (who drew 49.1 K), and who are co-owned by retired Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar, lost 1-0 to the ISL’s second-best-drawing team (at 43.7 K), Atlético de Kolkata. Atlético de Kolkata, located in Kolkata (aka Calcutta), on the northeastern coast of India, are owned by a small consortium which includes retired Indian cricket star Sourav Ganguly and the Spanish club CA Atlético Madrid – and Atlético Kolkata wear the same kit as the 2013-14 La Liga champions (red-and-white-vertical-stripes-with-blue-pants). Here is an article on the ISL, which was posted in late December 2014 following the first ISL Final… from Guardian.com, by Saptarshi Ray from 23 Dec. 2014,
How India’s ISL became world football’s fourth biggest league (theguardian.com/football/blog).

The ISL might not be able to maintain the 24-K-per-game crowds that they drew in their first season in 2014, but, who knows? Maybe they will. I will leave the last word to one of the commenters on the article linked to above…
…(from commenter Indianguardian)…”It was an amazing tournament. I-League will never reach the heights of this tournament. For me I-League has to be scrapped and the ISL should be the only official football league of India.The reason is that the I-League is filled with teams like Dempo, Salgaocar, Mohun Bagan(founded in 1889) etc. These are historic teams with good local support but these team fail to gain national support. To support a team, one must identify oneself with the club. Most European clubs represent a city or a county or a region. People born in that city or in that region have an emotional attachment with that city and anything related with it. The historic I-League clubs don’t have this effect. They are named after their founders, chairmen etc. Imagine if Newcastle United is changed to Sports Direct United, Manchester City/United is changed to Etihad Inc./Glazer United. Will these clubs gain new fans?
¶Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu which is quite a big state in India. There are some hardcore football fans in Chennai and it has a population of 4.3 million and ever increasing and there is NO football club based in Chennai. This is what the new ISL corrected. They created teams based on Metropolitan cities and regions where football is extremely popular. People who followed football occasionally suddenly got interested and they wanted to support their city.
¶Another factor in ISL’s success is the ticket price like the author mentions. Everyone were able to afford the ticket.
¶With support for cricket declining in India (test match crowds are already dying out, only a short while ODI crowd diminishes also), ISL organisers must take this to the next stage. The huge cultural differences between the many states in India will lead to exciting rivalries and clashes. Here is hoping that this is the birth of football in India.”…(from commenter Indianguardian at theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/dec/23/india-super-league-fourth-biggest-league)
___
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, {Source of data, List of attendance figures at domestic professional sports leagues/Complete_table [with 2013-14 figures] (en.wikipedia.org).

April 23, 2015

Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2015 location-map with 2014 attendances, and an analysis of KBO crowd sizes./ Plus an illustration for the reigning (4-straight) champions the Samsung Lions.

Filed under: Baseball,Korea: baseball — admin @ 9:42 pm

korea_baseball_kbo-league2015_attendance-map-2014_post_b_v_.gif
Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2015 location-map with 2014 attendances



Links…
Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) (en.wikipedia.org).
-KBO teams…KBO League/ Teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-KBO official site/schedule, scores, standings; About KBO, etc. (in English, with Korean option)…http://eng.koreabaseball.com/.
-KBO 2015 season: standings, stats…2015 Korean Baseball Organization [sic] (baseball-reference.com/).
-KBO 리그의 공식 사이트http://www.koreabaseball.com/Default.aspx.
-My first post on KBO League (from Feb. 2010) has lots of info on the culture of Korean baseball,
Korea Baseball Organization: the 8 teams, with teams’ parent corporations listed, and baseball stadium photos (billsportsmaps.com/February 2010).

    Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2015 location-map with 2014 attendances

By Bill Turianski on 23 April 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
Demographics of South Korea
The population of South Korea is around 51.3 million {2014 estimate}. This puts South Korea as the 26th-most-populous nation on Earth. South Korea is very small, though: it is the 109th-largest country (at 100,210 km-sq or 66,690 mi-sq). That makes South Korea slightly smaller than Iceland, and slightly larger than Hungary. Largest city (by far) is, of course, Seoul…which is absolutely gigantic, and has a metro-area population that is second-largest on the planet. Seoul has a special-city population of around 10.1 million, and metro-area population of around 25.6 million ! {2014 figures). Only Tokyo, Japan (at ~36.9 million) has a larger metro-area. (I guess you learn something new everyday.) Basically, half of the population of South Korea resides in Seoul’s metropolitan area. South Korea has about the 30th-highest adjusted-GDP in the world {see this, List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita).

KBO League established 1982; title is called Korean Series championship; there are 10 teams in the KBO League/ season is 126 g/Apr-Oct
(KBO, or Korea Baseball Organization, is the governing body of the sport in the country).

Pro major-league baseball in South Korea began in 1982, with the institution of the KBO League as a 6-team league; a minor league was established eight years later in 1990 – the KBO Futures League. In 1986, the KBO League expanded to include a seventh team. In the first decade of its existence, the KBO League as a whole was only drawing in the 5 to 7 K range. By 1991, the KBO League had 8 teams. In 1995, cumulative attendance for the season finally topped 10 K per game, boosted by the exciting 1995 KBO season which saw three teams, the OB Bears, the LG Twins, and the Lotte Giants, go neck-to-neck for the pennant (the title in ’95 was won by the OB, now Doosan, Bears). However, this league attendance figure wasn’t surpassed for 14 years. After 1995, the KBO began to see dwindling fan interest that lasted for a decade. What first helped reverse the gradual slide in attendances from 1996 to 2004 was the good showing that the South Korean national baseball team had in the first World Baseball Classic, in 2005, when they finished in third. Another boost to the game there came three years later, when South Korea narrowly lost to Japan in extra innings in the second World Baseball Classic, and then six months later, the South Korean baseball team won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. These results convinced many South Korean sports fans that KBO baseball was a product worth supporting. In 2008, league-wide attendance shot up 2.3 K per game to 10.4 K; the next year [2009] it was 11.1 K, and the KBO League has drawn above 11 K ever since.

And there is no doubt that the caliber of Korean baseball players has improved in the last 25 years. There is a large number of South Koreans playing in Japan, in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. In the United States, in Major League Baseball, there are currently 5 Korean players, including LA Dodgers starting LHP pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu, and Cincinnati Reds slugger and OF Shin-Soo Choo {see this, List of Major League Baseball players from South Korea}.

KBO League in the last two-and-a-half decades (1990s through 2010s)/ including present-day make-up of the KBO League [2015]
There were a few franchise shifts in the ensuing two decades (1990s to 2010). It wasn’t until 2013 that the KBO League finally got a ninth team (the NC Dinos). Now, for 2015, the KBO League continues to exhibit robust signs of health by finally getting to the nice round figure of 10 teams, with the addition of the KT Wiz. The KT Wiz look to have a serious uphill climb though, seeing as how they started their KBO existence going 3-and-17 (!) and sit last (as of 24 April 2015/ 2015 table here).

The KBO League is, in 2015, comprised of the following…
5 teams from Greater Seoul/Incheon/Suwon (metropolitan-area Greater Seoul)
3 teams from Seoul’s core-city-region: (Doosan Bears, LG Twins, Nexen Heroes); and
2 teams from Greater Seoul, with one team in South Korea’s third-largest city of Incheon (SK Wyverns), and
one team about 19 miles south of Seoul-city-center in Suwon (the brand-new KBO team the KT Wiz; KT Wiz).
5 KBO teams from the rest of South Korea
The other 5 teams in the KBO League are comprised as follows [clockwise on the map]…
one team from the fifth-largest city, Daejon (Hanwah Eagles);
one team from the the fourth-largest city, Daegu (Samsung Lions);
one team from the second-largest city Busan, (Lotte Giants);
one team from the 8th-largest city, Changwon (recent-expansion-team NC Dinos; NC Dinos); and
one team from the sixth-largest city, Gwanju (KIA Tigers, who are the most successful team in KBO, with 10 titles, last in 2009).

    Attendances of KBO clubs in general

KBO League attendance in 2014 was 11,302 per game.

(Note: if you want to see year-by-year/team-by-team KBO League attendance figures, the link to the KBO site’s page on attendance can be found if you scroll down to the foot of this post, where you will see an instruction guide to translate the headers to English).

League-wide cumulative attendance in the KBO’s first division these days varies from around 11 K to 13 K per game, depending on how certain teams fare in any given season. With only 9 [now 10] teams in the KBO League, a few teams’ crowd-size variations can really skew the league numbers.

Lotte Giants weird crowd-size fluctuations and the possible harm of expansion in the KBO
The club with the biggest crowd variation from year-to-year is Lotte Giants of second-city Busan (which is on the south coast of the country). Generally speaking, Lotte can draw 20 K if the team is doing well (as in 2012), but they usually only draw about 12 K if the team is doing poorly (like in 2007 and 2014). But it is starting to appear that recent (2013) expansion in the KBO will end up hurting Lotte Giants’ ability to draw large crowds. It looks like nearby new team the NC Dinos (who are from Changwon, which is located about 25 miles west of Lotte Giants) might be starting to erode Lotte Giants’ crowd sizes. I say this because we have seen it happen elsewhere in top-division baseball in the recent past – namely, in the 2005 to 2011 time period, when the MLB’s Montreal franchise moved to Washington, DC and started to erode the nearby (~35 miles up the road) MLB team the Baltimore Orioles’ crowd sizes. The Orioles drew 34 K in 2004, but once Washington got an MLB team again, 6 years later the Orioles were only drawing in the mid-to-low-20s K (like drawing only 23.5 K in 2009, then only drawing an alarming 21 K in 2010). So the Nats were knocking off at least 5-to-7 K worth of attendance from the O’s circa the 2006-11 time frame, and it looked to be a problem until both those teams got competitive [circa 2013-on], and crowds for both the Nats and the O’s began to be in the healthy low-30-K range [circa 2014-and-on]). And the same could happen in the south-east coast of South Korea, because Lotte only drew 12.0 K in 2013, when they had a decent .532 winning percentage. Lotte were playing well in 2013, and going by the Lotte’s fanbases’ past behavior (ie, not going to the ballpark when Lotte were having a losing season), the ball club definitely should have been drawing at least in the 17-K-range, if not higher (for example, in 2010, Lotte had a .531 winning pct., and drew 17.8 K). The new factor of nearby fan-dollar competition has now emerged (2013 was NC Dinos’ debut season). NC Dinos, who draw 7-to-8 K, got competitive fast (with a .551 winning pct in their 2nd year in 2014). So it will be interesting to see how this new dynamic in the KBO plays out, and if the Lotte Giants will be able to overcome this imposition on their catchment area.

Other teams such as SK Wyverns of Incheon (crowd-size-variation from 12 K to 16 K), and Nexen Heroes of Seoul (crowd-size-variation from 6 K to 9 K) also have significantly variable crowd sizes in any given year.

The perennial highest drawing clubs in the KBO League are Seoul’s big two: the LG Twins and the Doosan Bears
The highest draws in KBO League are Seoul’s LG Twins and Doosan Bears. LG and Doosan share the second-largest ball park in the country, Jamsil Baseball Stadium (capacity 30,200) (Lotte Giants’ Busan Sajik Baseball Stadium is slightly larger at 30,500-capacity). Both LG Twins and OB Bears were charter members of KBO in 1982 (OB Bears were founded in Daejeon in 1982; the franchise moved to Seoul in 1985 [with same name kept], before being officially renamed the Doosan Bears in 1999). The OB Bears played their first season in Seoul in 1985 at a since-demolished stadium, then in 1986 moved over to the Jamsil stadium and have shared the venue with the Twins ever since [the Nexen Heroes also use the Jamsil stadium for big games/ see Nexen section a few lines below]. Both LG Twins and Doosan Bears’ attendance has improved considerably in the last decade, and both have drawn between 15 and 20 K in the last five seasons (2010-14). However, neither ball club is particularly successful, though, because the last of the LG Twins’ 2 titles was won in 1994, while the last of the OB/Doosan Bears’ 3 titles was won in 2001. So the big 2 of Seoul have become complacent.
3rd-best draw in KBO are SK Wyverns
Besides the aforementioned take-em-or-leave-em nature of Lotte’s fickle fanbase, the only other team in South Korea that can draw in the thirteen-to-fifteen-K-range is the SK Wyverns, a relatively new club (est. 2000), from the far-western-part of Greater Seoul in the city of Incheon. SK, whose nickname of ‘wyvern’ refers to a type of dragon, basically drew terrible in their early days (ie, 2.6 K in their second season in 2001), but once they started racking up the first of their 3 titles (2007, 2008, 2010), the ball club stated drawing better, and now can easily draw in the 12 to 15 K range, and SK Wyverns drew 12.9 K last year [2014].
Worst-drawing KBO club is Nexen Heroes (from the western-side of Seoul)
The lowest-drawing club in the KBO League is Seoul’s ugly-stepchild-club, the title-less Nexen Heroes (est. 2008), who draw between 5 and 8 K. The Nexen Heroes did come close to glory last season, though, when they drew 6.9 K and made it to their first Korean Series, but fell to the Samsung Lions in 6 games {see this, 2014 Korean Series}.

    Hats off to reigning KBO camps the Samsung Lions

Samsung Lions are the second-most successful baseball club in South Korea, with 8 titles – four of which they have won consecutively (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). The dark-sky-blue-and-silver Samsung Lions draw between 6 and 9 K at their snug, 10 K-capacity Daegu Baseball Stadium, in Daegu. Daegu, which is located inland in the south-east of the Korean peninsula, is the fourth-largest city in South Korea, and has a metro-area population of around 2.4 million.

Samsung Lions drew 7.8 K last year, which made them the team that filled their ballpark the best in the KBO in 2014 (ie, the highest percent-capacity, at 78.9). The Samsung Lions have won all their four straight Korean Series championships under manager Ryu Joong-il. In 2014, the Lions boasted three sluggers who hit 30 HR or more (Hyoung-woo Choi, Yamaico Navarro, and Lee Seung-yeop); those 3 players are featured below…
samsung-lions_kbo_daegu-stadium_2014-champs_ryu-joong-il_hyoung-woo-choi_yamaico-navarro_lee-seung-yeop_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Logo/cap/batting helmet, illustration by 삼성 라이온즈 samsunglions.com/en/intro/intro_2_2.asp.
Ryu Joong-il, photo by Yonhop at english.yonhapnews.co.kr/culturesports.
Hyoung-woo Choi, photo by Yonhop via koreatimes.co.kr/news/sports.
Yamaico Navarro, photo unattributed at licey.com.
Lee Seung-yeop, photo unattributed at koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article.
Action photo from April 2015 at Daegu Baseball Stadium with crowd behind home plate, photo by Solmin at idaegu.com/?c=6&uid=313363.
Samsung Lions cheerleaders and crowd at Daegu Baseball Stadium, photo by LHD at yeongnam.com/news.
Mascot-logo illustration by samsunglions.com.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Globe-map of South Korea, by Ksiom at File:South Korea (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank map of South Korea, by NordNordWest at :FileSouth Korea location map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Attendance…koreabaseball.com/Record/Crowd/History (koreabaseball.com).
and…
-A very Big Thanks to Dan at MyKBO.net, for tweeting me the 2015 KBO League attendances AND translating the headers there :) Mykbo.net ; @Mykbo.net

How to read KBO League attendance figures (at the official KBO site) if you can’t read Korean…
1.) go here.
2). use the following list to translate the [non-acronym] headers…”From left – right: Samsung, KIA, Lotte, LG, Doosan, Hanhwa, SK, Nexen, NC, KT, Hyundai, Ssangbangwool’.
3). PS, Hyundai and Ssangbangwool are defunct KBO teams.

April 11, 2015

Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2015 location-map with: rules (in general), clubs-history-chart, and chart of 2014 attendances with titles listed./ Plus: 2014 champions the Hawthorn Hawks.

Filed under: Aussie Rules Football,Australia — admin @ 3:14 pm

australian-rules-football_2015-afl_location-map_w-2014-attendances_titles-list_post_e_.gif
AFL (Australia): Australian Rules Football’s 1st division – map, with brief league history, 2014 attendances, and club titles listed



Links…
-Teams…Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
-Live scores…scoreboard.com/aussie-rules.
-Fixtures & Results (official site)…afl.com.au/fixture.
-Official website…afl.com.au.

    Australian Football League: 2015 location-map with: Rules (in general), Clubs-history-chart; Attendances, Club colours, and Titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 11 April 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
First off, apologies to all the regulars from Down Under who have waited patiently (over 7 years) for me to finally make a map and a post of an Australian pro league. I will also soon have a post, in the near future (around mid-May 2015), for Australian rugby league football (the NRL).

On the map page…
At the top left-hand side of the map page is a Clubs-formation chart which shows a brief history of the VFL/AFL, with each current clubs’ date of inclusion into the league noted. At the lower left is a globe-map of Australia, with the 5 largest cities noted. At the center of the map page is a location-map of the 18 AFL teams. At the upper right-hand side of the map page are two illustrations of the typical Australian rules field, with a brief rules description and a brief word on typical-playing-field-dimensions (there also is a section below, on rules/playing-field/traditional-positions). Below that is a chart which shows 2014 home regular season attendance for the 18 AFL clubs, with three other things listed…1). club’s dates of formation and of inclusion into VFL/AFL; 2). club colours, crest, and jersey-pattern; 3). Premiers (titles) won by each club (with date of last title noted).

Size and population of Australia…
I will start of with a brief description of the size, relative size, and population of Australia. If you click on the following link you can see, at a glance, how massive the island/Continent of Australia is when it is compared to the Continental USA, {here (aboutaustralia.com)}. As you can see in that graphic, Australia is about the same size as the Continental USA, but when you factor in Alaska (and Hawaii), Australia ends up being about 23% “smaller” than the 50 United States. Australia is the 6th-largest country on Earth, at around 7.6 million km-squared (or around 2.9 million miles-squared), which makes it about 10% “smaller” than the 5th-largest country – Brazil, and more than twice the size of the 7th-largest country – India. To put it another way, Australia is massive. It is also not very populous for its size, because Australia is only the 52nd-most-populous nation, with a population of around 23.7 million {2015 figure}. To give you an idea of how sparsely populated Australia is, it has slightly less inhabitants than the pretty-small-sized nations of Nepal, Ghana, or North Korea. {Sources of data: sizes: List of countries and dependencies by area; populations: List of countries and dependencies by population (both from en.wikipedia.org).}

The Big 5 Cities in Australia…
There are 5 major cities in Australia, all of which have AFL teams. On the map page, in the globe-map on the lower left there, I have placed those 5 cities along with their populations. Sydney is the largest city in the country, with around 4.7 million inhabitants (in the metro area/urban population/all listed here are 2013 or 2014 estimates). Melbourne is the second-city of Australia – but only just…it has a population of only about 300 K less than Sydney, at around 4.4 million. Brisbane is third-largest, at about 2.3 million; Perth is fourth at around 2.0 million; and Adelaide is fifth at around 1.2 million. The capital of Australia, Canberra (which is situated in the small Australian Capital Territory, located midway between Sydney and Melbourne) is a rather small city, and is the eighth-largest, with about 411,000 inhabitants. {Sources, each city’s Wikipedia page for the most-recent population estimates, however the following link is relatively recently updated (2012 figures), List of cities in Australia by population (en.wikipedia.org).}

There are 4 football codes in Australia which have professional major leagues (the most of any country)…
There are 4 football codes in Australia (listed below with first-division 2014 league-average-attendances):
Australian rules football (1st division: AFL, which averaged 32,327 per game in 2014).
Rugby union football (1st division: Super Rugby, which averaged 16,913 per game in 2014).
Rugby league football (1st division: NRL, which averaged 15,787 per game in 2014).
Association football [aka soccer]: only pro division: A-League, which averaged 14,759 per game in 2014).
[source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Australian_football_code_crowds#Attendances_by_league.]

An extremely simplified guide to the 4 football codes’ popularity in Australia…
Aussie rules football…
[please note: a very basic VFL/AFL history is shown at the top left-hand-side of the map page.]
To simplify it in the extreme, Australian Rules Football, which originated in the 1860s in and around Melbourne in the state of Victoria, turned semi-pro when the AFL was formed in 1897. Although first division teams were not based in any of the other states and territories of the country for almost 90 years (until the 1980s and 1990s), Aussie rules football has always been hugely popular throughout all the 8 states and the 2 territories of Australia, with the exception of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland. In and around Sydney (which is the capital of New South Wales) and in all of Queensland (including Brisbane), Australian rules football has been historically overshadowed by rugby league football. The split described in the last two sentences can be see in the map at Barassi Line (en.wikipedia.org) {that map is also at the top-left-hand-side of the map page}.

The 2 Rugby codes in Australia…
Rugby Union, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Melbourne and of the state of Victoria. The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby Championship, although there is a higher tier that involves teams from South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, Super Rugby.

Rugby League, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Sydney and of the state of New South Wales (as well as the major sport of Brisbane in Queensland). The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby League (NRL), which has 16 teams (9 teams from New South Wales).

Soccer (aka association football), in Australia…
Soccer was widely shunned by many if not most Australian fans and players for decades (ie, only “Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters” played soccer, as the bigotry of the day held [circa 1950s through '80s]). Only in the last decade-and-a-half or so has soccer become a viable pro sport in Australia. And now, going into the 2010s, soccer has made significant gains in popularity, to the point that the Australian first division in soccer (the A-League) is currently drawing only marginally less than both rugby codes in the country (see list with league-attendance 4 paragraphs above).

Australian Rules Football: Rules (in general), Field Size, and Traditional Positions…
australian-rules-football_rules_typical-oval_field-size_traditional-positions_b_.gif
Image credits above – Field markings on the oval, illustration by Schultz at File:Footygroundfix.svg (en.wikipedia.org). Traditional positions in Aussie rules, illustration by Robert Merkel at File:Aussie rules ground positions.svg. Typical oval, illustration by clfm at File:AFL stadium.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Australian Rules Football: Rules (in general)…
[Note: the text below is the same as the text in the upper-right-hand-part of the illustration above.]
Each team has 18 players. The playing field is very large (~135 to 185 meters), and is usually oval in shape. The ball is oval, and has much more bounce to it than an American gridiron football. 4 quarters of 20 minutes each are played (80:00). Each quarter starts with a ball-up, which is similar to a tip-off, but with the umpire bouncing the ball down hard onto the ground, and thus high into the air, to be contested on the way down by each team’s ruckman (usually the tallest man on the team). Aussie rules is a contact sport and opposing players can stop the ball carrier by tackling, but dangerous play will result in distance penalties or suspension.

Out of bounds balls are put back in play by umpire, who, with his back turned, tosses ball overhead back into play.

There are four goalposts, and kicking the ball through the two center-posts is the object of the game. Goals are scored by kicking the ball, untouched by anyone else, through the center-uprights (6 points). If ball goes through the flanking uprights instead, it is called a behind (1 point).
-Players can advance the ball (in any direction) by running with the ball, but must bounce the ball (or touch ball to ground) every 15 meters (~16 yards).
-Players can also advance the ball by kicking the ball to teammates.
-Players can also advance the ball via a clenched-fist hand-pass (called a handball), or by an open-hand-tap.
-No throwing of the ball is allowed.
A mark is made when a player catches a kick of more than 15 meters. Play stops, and then that player kicks the ball from the mark.
{For further details, see this, Australian rules football/Laws of the game;
and see this, Australian rules football playing field.}

AFL season:
The AFL (regular) season spans from late-March to early-September, and has 22 matches per team (11 home games for each team, played in a 23-weeks-span, with one bye week per team per season). Four points are awarded for each win and two points are awarded for a draw. That is illogical mathematics. Because what would be the difference if it was 2 points for a win, and 1 for a draw? There would be no difference. Hey Melbourne, why don’t you just give 2 million points for a win and 1 million points for a draw? Because the standings would still end up the same. Sheesh. {See this, Why does the AFL use 4 points for a win and 2 points for a draw? (answers.yahoo.com/question), which features some bloke positing the following theory…”Mate, I have no idea why they award 4 points for a win in the AFL. Almost every other Aussie Rules Football competition, outside of Victoria uses the 2-1-0 system. My hunch: 4 points looks bigger and better, exactly the way Victorians see themselves! (comment by Graham).}

The top 8 [of the 18] teams qualify for a post-season playoffs, which is a bit complicated {see this, AFL finals system}. Basically, of the 8 that make it to the post-season, the top 4 only have to win 2 more matches to advance to the Grand Final, while the lower 4 [of the 8 who qualify for the post-season] have to win 3 more matches to advance to the Grand Final. Excerpt from Australian Football League/Finals series (en.wikipedia.org)…”The grand final is traditionally played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the afternoon of the last Saturday in September. The winning team receives a silver premiership cup and a navy blue premiership flag – a new one of each is manufactured each year. The flag has been presented since the league began and is traditionally unfurled at the team’s first home game of the following season.”

    Australian Football League (AFL): est. 1897 as the VFL…

(Note: The VFL changed its name to the AFL in 1990.)

1896: the Australian Football League (AFL), was formed in 1896 as the Victorian Football League (VFL), when 6 Melbourne-based clubs broke away from the the Victorian Football Association (Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy [now Brisbane Lions], Geelong, Melbourne, South Melbourne [now Sydney Swans]).

1897: a few months later, in early 1897, those 6 clubs invited two other Melbourne-based clubs to join the competition for its first season of 1897 (Carlton, and St Kilda).

In 1908, two more teams joined (Richmond, and the Melbourne University team), making the VFL, temporarily, a 10-team league for a 7-year-spell (1908-14).

(By around 1911 or so, player payments were becoming common in the VFL.)

1914: but one of those 2 new teams dropped out 6 years later – that was the Melbourne University VFL team. They were constrained by only being able to field players who were students there, and so never fielded professional players [just as the league was being filled more and more with semi-pro and pro players]. Melbourne University finished last 3 straight seasons, lost their last 51 games in the league, and left the competition for good in 1914. (Melbourne University team was re-started 5 years later in 1919 as 2 teams – the University Blues and the University Blacks – both of whom are currently in the top division of the seven-tier Victorian Amateur Football Association.)

1913: the VFL existed as a 9-team league from 1913 to 1925.

In 1925, 3 more Melbourne-based clubs joined, to make it a 12-team league (Footscray [now Western Bulldogs], Hawthorn, North Melbourne).

For over 5 decades (57 years/1925 to 1982), the VFL continued to exist in the 12-teams/all-Greater-Melbourne-based-clubs form.

1982: then one club moved up north to New South Wales – that was the South Melbourne Swans. The club’s Victoria-based supporters tried to stop it, but in fact the players wanted to move to Sydney, and so the move stood. Thus, in 1982, the first Interstate team (ie, a club outside of Victoria state) was established, when the South Melbourne Swans moved to the-land-of-rugby-league (NSW), and became the Sydney Swans. And several others clubs from outside of Victoria state soon followed…

1987: the first of two AFL clubs from the far western state of Western Australia, in Perth, joined the AFL in 1987 (West Coast Eagles/ 8 years later, in 1995, Fremantle, of Greater Perth, joined the league).

Also in 1987, the first of two AFL clubs from Queensland joined the league (the Brisbane Bears, who later became the Brisbane Lions in 1997, via a merger with Fitzroy [of Melbourne]/ 14 years later, the Gold Coast Suns, of far-southern Queensland, joined in 2011).

In 1991, the first of two AFL clubs from Victoria state’s neighboring state of South Australia joined the league (Adelaide Crows, who are currently the highest-drawing AFL club at ~48 K per game/ 6 years later, in 1997, the Adelaide Power joined the league).

2012: to round out the league, in 2012, another club from Sydney joined, and that was the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

So, at present [2015], there are 18 AFL teams, 10 of which are from Greater Melbourne/Victoria state; 2 from New South Wales state (in Greater Sydney); 2 from Western Australia state (in Greater Perth); 2 from South Australia state (in Adelaide); and 2 from Queensland state (1 in Brisbane, and 1 just south of there in the Gold Coast region).

To this day, first-division Aussie rules football draws best by far of any sport in Australia…in 2014, the AFL drew 32.3 K per game, which was almost double what its closest competitor for the fan-dollar (rugby union) drew. And for good reason, because Australian rules football is an awesome thing to behold. The AFL’s title-game, the Grand Final, which is held at the 95,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, draws the highest crowd of any national championship game in the world. The AFL’s 118th Grand Final drew over 99,000 last October (see illustration below).

Hawthorn Hawks have won the last two Premiers…
Hawthorn Hawks are of course Melbourne-based, and play most of their home matches at Melbourne Cricket Ground, but, since 2007, they have been playing 4 of their 11 home games per year at the 21,000-capacity York Park in Launceston, Tasmania, which is the second-largest city in Tasmania and is located on the north part of the island of Tasmania, 202 km or 126 miles north of the state capital of Hobart, by road. Distance by air from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia to Launceston, Tasmania, Australia is 442 km (or 275 mi). (Tasmania is the only Australian state located outside of the island/continent of Australia; Launceston is the only non-coastal city in Tasmania, with a population of around 103,000.)

Hawthorn Hawks – back-to-back champions of the Australian Football League (2013 & 2014 Premiers)…
-From Dailymail.co.uk, from 27 Sept. 2014, by Louise Cheer, Daniel Mills, and Sally Lee, Hawks soar to victory as Swans sink without trace: Hawthorn smash Sydney 137-74 as [more than 99,000] fans watch AFL grand final in Melbourne (dailymail.co.uk/news/article [w/ dozens of photos]).
-From Guardian/sports, from 27 Sept.2014, by Scott Heinrich, AFL grand final: Hawthorn win 12th flag with demolition of Sydney Swans (guardian.com/sport).

    Below: the reigning AFL champions, the 12-time Premiership-winning Hawthorn Hawks, of Melbourne (and of Tasmania)…

hawthorn-hawks_2014-afl-champions_2014-grand-final_photos_k_.gif
Photos and Images above -
Hawthorn FC colours, in swatch form, from File:AFL Hawthorn Icon.jpg (by the realjoebloggsblog at en.wikipedia.org).
Photo of Jared Lewis, from heraldsun.au. Photo-illustration of Peter Crimmins Medal from hawthornfc.com.au. Quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Crimmins_Medal. Photo of Jarryd Roughead, by Michael Dodge/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.

Photos from 2014 Grand Final…Hawks fans at the G with flags and banners, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk. Luke Breust stooping to win possession, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Cyril Rioli scoring a goal from a tight angle, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Luke Hodge claimed his second Norm Smith Medal [best player in Grand Final] and helped the Hawks to another Grand Final, photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media via theroar.com.au. Hawks players celebrate at the final siren, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images via gettyimages.com. Will Langford after leaping into stands to celebrate with Hawks fans, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Hawks’ Trophy celebration, photo by Joe Castro/AAP Images via guardian.com/sport.

Here is a very recent article about AFL’s efforts to lure American college basketball players into converting into pro Aussie rules football players, from the New York Times, by Scott Cacciola from 8 May 2015,
Australian Football Visits U.S. in Search of Basketball Big Men (nytimes.com/sports/ncaabasketball).
___
Sources for map page:
Thanks to all at these links…
-Attendances (2014 season): 2014 Australian football code crowds/Attendances by team.

-Dates of establishment: Australian Football League/Current clubs.

-Titles: List of Australian Football League premiers. (en.wikipedia.org).

-Rules: Australian rules football; Australian rules football playing field (en.wikipedia.org).

-Australian rules football ovals (3 illustrations)…
Thanks to Schultz at File:Footygroundfix.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to clfm at File:AFL stadium.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Robert Merkel at File:Aussie rules ground positions.svg.
-Blank maps on map page…
Thanks to Ssolbergj for globe-map of Australia, File:Australia (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of Australia, File:Australia location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Jersey Icons…
Thanks to thejoesbloggsblog for most of the jersey-pattern icons on the chart on the map page at Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the AFLstore for Western Eagles’ jersey-icon, theaflstore.com.au/west-coast-eagles.

Thanks to the contributors at Australian Football League.
Thanks to the bloke in the Geelong Cats cap, in the stairwell at the Fairport, NY library last November, who told me that Aussie rules football is…”the best sport in the world, mate.”

March 30, 2015

2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Tournament – the 2015 Frozen Four: Boston University, North Dakota, Providence, Omaha.

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 12:01 pm




Links…
My map of the 2015 tournament, 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2015 tournament, with 2013-14 attendances, plus all-time Division I ice hockey titles list (including all-time Frozen Four appearances).

Qualifying teams/Bracket2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament/Qualifying teams/Tournament bracket (en.wikipedia.org).
Schedule2015 D-I men’s ice hockey NCAA tournament schedule and results (espn.go.com)Best site for in-game scoresncaa.com/scoreboard/icehockey-men/d1.

    The 2015 Frozen Four: Boston University, North Dakota, Providence, Omaha.

By Bill Turianski on 30 March 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Boston University Terriers…
1R: Boston University 3, Yale 2 (OT). 2R: Boston University 3, Minnesota-Duluth 2.
Boston University Terriers’ 22nd Frozen Four appearance.
The Terriers are host of the 2015 Frozen Four in Boston, on April 9th through Saturday April 11th, at TD Garden (home of the Bruins).
boston-university-terriers_2015-frozen-four_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Barry Chin/Boston Globe at BU advances to the Frozen Four with win over Minnesota-Duluth (bostonglobe.com). Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Boston_University_Terriers.

University of North Dakota…
1R: North Dakota 4, Quinnipiac 1. 2R: North Dakota 4, St. Cloud St. 1.
The University of North Dakota advances to the Frozen Four for the 7th time in 11 years.
university-of-north-dakota_2015-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo by David Samson/The Forum at grandforksherald.com/north-dakota-advances-frozen-four; grandforksherald.com/ [photo]. Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/North_Dakota_Fighting_Sioux. Jersey photo from shop.cbssports.com/CBS_North_Dakota

Providence Friars…
1R: Providence 7, Miami (OH) 5. 2R: Providence 4, Denver 1.
The Providence Friars advance to the Frozen Four for the first time in 30 years.
providence-friars_2015-frozen-four_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo by Matt Eisenberg at uscho.com. Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Providence_Friars.

Omaha Mavericks…
1R: Omaha 4, Harvard 1. 2R: Omaha 4, RIT 0.
The Omaha Mavericks make it to the Frozen Four for the first time ever.
[Note: you can click on image below to see it in a separate page.]
omaha-mavericks_2015-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo from http://pics.mcclatchyinteractive.com/wire_photos/4y4wbk/picture16881716/ALTERNATES/FREE_960/Nebraska%20Omaha%20RIT%20Hockey.JPEG [I could not find attribution or the place the photo was situated] via Nebraska-Omaha beats RIT 4-0 to reach Frozen Four . Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Nebraska-Omaha_Mavericks.
Photo of Omaha Mavericks white jersey from omavs.com [the "15" was drawn in using font at link below].
___
Thanks to Free Vector Download for that jersey-font template, http://osc-vector.com/tag/block-font-numbers.
Thanks to the contributors at 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament (en.wikipedia.org).

March 25, 2015

2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2015 tournament, with 2013-14 attendances, plus all-time Division I ice hockey titles list (including all-time Frozen Four appearances).

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 4:44 pm

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ncaa_ice-hockey_2015-mens-division-i-tournament_post_i_.gif
2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams, with 2013-14 attendances, with chart of all-time D-1 ice hockey titles list (including all-time Frozen Four appearances)



Links…
PreviewsTen things to watch in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament (by Eric Sorenson at espn.go.com).
…From USCHO.com, 16 numbers: A look at some facts and figures on the 2015 NCAA tournament (by Alex Faust at uscho.com).
Qualifying teams/Bracket2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament/Qualifying teams/Tournament bracket (en.wikipedia.org).
Schedule2015 D-I men’s ice hockey NCAA tournament schedule and results (espn.go.com).
Best site for in-game scoresncaa.com/scoreboard/icehockey-men/d1.

    2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament

By Bill Turianski on 25 March 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
#1 seeds, etc
#1 seed this year are the Minnesota State Mavericks, who are from Mankato, MN, which is in the far southern part of the state, where there is more of a plains-state feel to it. Mankato has a metro-area population of only around 98,000 {2013 estimate}, and the Mavericks hockey team plays in a 4,800-capaity arena in the city’s downtown area. Minnesota State wear purple-black-and-yellow. In 1980, the Minnesota State Mavericks men’s ice hockey team won the D-2 title as an Independent (or non-conference-aligned) team. Since 1997-98, they have competed in D-1. The second-ranked #1 seed are the 7-time champions the University of North Dakota, of Grand Forks, ND. The kelly-green-and-black-clad University of North Dakota teams are the only Division I teams in the United States without a nickname (see the article that I linked to, from Slate.com, at the foot of this post, for more on this). The UND hockey team plays in a 12,400-capacity stadium, which is rather large for D-1 college hockey…all the more so because Grand Forks is a pretty small city: it is the 351st-largest city in the USA, with a metro-area of only about 100,000. The third-ranked #1 seed are the red-and-white Boston University Terriers. Boston U., who are 5-time champions (last in 2009), are one of three teams from Boston in the tournament this year – the other two Boston-based teams who qualified are 5-time winners Boston College Eagles and the Harvard Crimson (D-1 champions in 1989). The fourth-ranked #1 seed are the red-and-white-clad Miami RedHawks (aka Miami of Ohio), whose best tournament showing was as the losing finalist in 2009. The RedHawks are from Oxford, OH (population of only around 28,000), which is 31 miles north of Cincinnati. The 2015 D-1 men’s hockey tournament starts at 2 pm ET on Fri. March 27 (see full schedule at the third link in the first paragraph above).

Eight teams are returning from last year’s tournament…Denver, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, Minnesota, Quinnipiac, Providence, Boston College.
Six teams are making it three-tournaments-in-a-row (since 2013)…Denver, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, Minnesota, Boston College.
Four teams have a 4-tournament-streak (since 2012)…Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota, Boston College.
Boston College has the third-longest current streak at 6 straight tournaments (since 2010).
Denver has the second-longest current streak at 8 straight tournaments (since 2008).
North Dakota has the longest current streak, with 13 consecutive tournament appearances (since 2003) [but North Dakota has not won the title since 2000].

In this year’s tournament, the team with the all-time least tournament appearances (2 appearances), is a team from my hometown of Rochester, NY – Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT won a D-2 and a D-3 hockey title (in the mid-1980s), and the men’s team has been a D-1 team since 2005-06. The Tigers’ best season was 2010, when they made it to the Frozen Four. The school just built a larger arena for the team, going from a 2,100-seat arena to a 4,300-seat arena, the Gene Polisseni Center, on-campus in Henrietta, NY.

2015 Frozen Four schedule
The Frozen Four will take place 2 weeks later (Thur. Apr.9-Sat. Apr.11th), at the TD Garden (capacity 17,565) in Boston, Massachusetts. Semifinal games on Thursday April 9, and the Final is on Saturday April 11th at 7:30 pm ET.

Last season’s final
Union College won last year’s [2014] Frozen Four, their first D-1 men’s ice hockey title, (but the Dutchmen did not qualify for the 2015 tournament). The final last year was a 7-4 thriller, with Union College (a Division I team since only 1991), beating perennial powerhouse Minnesota, before a sell-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center, in Philadelphia (attendance: 18,742). The score was 5-4 to Union with about 4 minutes to go, when Union scored two unanswered goals, {see this report + 1-minute highlights video, from the NHL.com site from April 13, 2014, Union beats Minnesota 7-4 to win NCAA hockey title (by Adam Kimelman at nhl.com).

On the map page
In the long horizontal chart at the top-center-right of the map page, the 16 teams in the 2015 tournament are listed by average attendance (2013-14 home regular season attendance), along with conference, location [of arena], arena seated capacity, 2013-14 percent-capacity, Division I men’s ice hockey titles won (with last title noted), Frozen Four appearances (with last one noted), and all-time Division I Tournament appearances (the Minnesota Golden Gophers have the most D-I tournament appearances, with 36).

Teams in the 2015 tournament, by conference
I have shown team-distribution-by-conference in the 6 boxes at the upper-left-hand side of the map page. In each of these 6 Division I men’s ice hockey conferences boxes, the date of conference-establishment is listed along with the number of teams in the conference. Also listed in those 6 boxes are total Divison I men’s ice hockey titles won by conference members (with most recent title-winner noted). Then the teams who made this tournament [2015] are listed. Last season [2014], the conference with the most teams in the tournament was Hockey East, with 5 teams (Hockey East has 3 teams in it this year…Boston College, Boston University, Providence). This season, the conference that has put the most teams in the tournament is the two-year-old National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The NCHC was established in 2013-14, from 6 previous members of the WCHA (Colorado College, Denver, Miami of Ohio, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, and North Dakota), and 2 teams that left the now-defunct CCHA (St. Cloud State and Western Michigan). The conference is spread from the north-central Ohio Valley across the Upper Midwest through the Northern Great Plains to the foothills of the Rockies.

Here are the 8 NCHA teams, with the six 2015-tournament-qualifiers shown in bold…
2 teams from Colorado (Denver, Colorado College),
1 team from Nebraska (Omaha),
1 team from North Dakota (North Dakota),
2 teams from Minnesota (Duluth, St. Cloud State),
1 team from Michigan (Western Michigan),
1 team from Ohio (Miami).

The D-I Men’s Hockey Titles & Frozen Four chart
The D-I Men’s Hockey Titles & Frozen Four chart (at the left on the map page) was put together via the two sources linked to below. Michigan has the most D-I titles in men’s hockey, with 9 (but the Wolverines have not won it since 1998); second-most titles is 7 (a tie between Denver [last in 2005] and North Dakota [last in 2000]); third-most titles is 6, won by Wisconsin [last in 2006].

Sources,
For titles in the titles/Frozen Four chart at the far right-hand side of the map page, I used this list, List of NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament champions/Team titles. For all-time Frozen Four appearances I used this list, List of NCAA Men’s Division I Frozen Four appearances by school (en.wikipedia.org at [college hockey]).

Attendances are from NCAA via USCHO.com site, Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2013-2014 (uscho.com). [Note: the excellent USCHO.com is on my blogroll.]

Here is an interesting article on North Dakota’s situation with respect to the hockey team’s former nickname of the Fighting Sioux…
From Slate.com, from Jan 12, 2015, by James I. Bowie, The University of North Dakota Dropped Its Offensive Nickname. How Does the School Replace It?.

___

Thanks to
For the blank map of USA, thanks to AMK1211 at File:Blank US Map with borders.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Two Hearted River at en.wikipedia for several of the team logos (8 jersey illustrations) on the map page [ such as File:WCHA-Uniform-MTU.png ]. These illustrations can be found at many of the D-I teams’ Wikipedia pages, such as Minnesota State Mavericks men’s ice hockey.
Thanks to North Dakota Men’s Hockey facebook page for that logo.
Thanks to Chris Creamer’s SportLogos.net, for several of the logos used on the map and the charts.
Thanks to the contributors at College ice hockey/Division I (en.wikipedia.org).

March 15, 2015

2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament – the 68 teams – map, with team locations / Plus 2014 average attendances listed.

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball — admin @ 11:04 pm

2015_ncaa-bk-tournament_march-madness_68-teams_map_post_d_.gif
2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament – the 68 teams – map, with team locations / Plus 2014 average attendances listed




#1 Seeds for the 2015 Tournament are: Kentucky Wildcats (#1 overall), Villanova Wildcats (#1/#2 overall), Duke Blue Devils (#1/#3 overall), Wisconsin Badgers (#1/#4 overall).

Teams making their tournament debuts: Buffalo Bulls, North Florida Ospreys, UC-Irvine Anteaters.

-Dabo Sweeney, who is paid over $3 million a year to coach student-athletes at Clemson, on why student-athletes should not be paid…”As far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that’s where you lose me. I’ll go do something else because there’s enough entitlement in this world as it is.”
-Less than 2 percent of student-athletes in college football and college basketball turn pro.
-The term “student-athlete” was created by the NCAA in the 1950s to avoid paying worker’s compensation for injured players.
From Gothamist, from 16 March 2015, posted by …Video: John Oliver Says NCAA Is Running “Sweatshop” For Not Paying Student Athletes (20:54 video from the March 15 2015 edition of Last Week Tonight, hosted by John Oliver, posted by Jen Chung at gothamist.com).

Qualified teams (alphabetically) -
Listed below by: Name (Conference), Location [of basketball arena].
UAB [University of Alabama-Birmingham] Blazers (C-USA), Birmingham, AL.
Albany Great Danes (America East), Guilderland [Greater Albany], NY.
Arizona Wildcats (Pac-12), Tucson, AZ.
Arkansas Razorbacks (SEC), Fayetteville, AR.
Baylor Bears (Big 12), Waco, TX.
Belmont Bruins (Ohio V.), Nashville, TN.
Boise State Broncos (Mtn. W), Boise, ID.
Buffalo Bulls (MAC), Buffalo, NY.
Butler Bulldogs (Big East), Indianapolis, IN.
BYU [Brigham Young Univ.] (WCC), Provo, UT.
Cincinnati Bearcats (American C), Cincinnati, OH.
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (Big South), Conway, SC.
Davidson Wildcats (Atl.-10), Davidson, NC.
Dayton Flyers (Atl.-10), Dayton, OH.
Duke Blue Devils (ACC), Durham, NC.
Eastern Washington Eagles (Big Sky), Cheney [Greater Spokane], WA.
Georgetown Hoyas (ACC), Washington, DC.
Georgia Bulldogs (SEC), Athens, GA.
Georgia State Panthers (Sun Belt), Atlanta, GA.
Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCC), Spokane, WA.
Hampton Pirates (MEAC), Hampton [Greater Norfolk], VA.
Harvard Crimson (Ivy League), Cambridge, MA [arena in Boston, MA].
Indiana Hoosiers (Big Ten), Bloomington, IN.
Iowa Hawkeyes (Big 12), Iowa City, IA.
Iowa State Cyclones (Big 12), Ames, IA.
Kansas Jayhawks (Big 12), Lawrence, KS.
Kentucky Wildcats (SEC), Lexington, KY.
Lafayette Leopards (Patriot), Easton, PA.
Louisville Cardinals (ACC), Louisville, KY.
LSU [Louisiana St. Univ.] Tigers(SEC), Baton Rouge, LA.
Manhattan Jaspers (MAAC), The Bronx, NYC, NY.
Maryland Terrapins (Big Ten), College Park, MD.
Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten), East Lansing, MI.
Mississippi [Ole Miss] Rebels (SEC), Oxford, MS.
New Mexico State Aggies (WAC), Las Cruces, NM.
North Carolina Tar Heels (ACC), Chapel Hill, NC.
North Carolina State Wolf Pack (ACC), Raleigh, NC
North Dakota State Bison (Summit), Fargo, ND.
North Florida Ospreys (Atl. Sun), Jacksonville, FL.
Northeastern Huskies (CAA), Boston, MA.
U. Northern Iowa [UNI] Panthers (Missouri Valley C), Cedar Falls, IA.
North Florida Ospreys (Atlantic Sun), Jacksonville, FL.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (ACC), Notre Dame [Greater South Bend], IN.
Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten), Columbus, OH.
Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12), Norman, OK.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12), Stillwater, OK.
Oregon Ducks (Pac-12), Eugene, OR.
Providence Friars (Big East), Providence, RI.
Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten), West Lafayette, IN.
Robert Morris Colonials (NEC), Moon Township [Greater Pittsburgh], PA.
San Diego Aztecs (Mtn. W), San Diego, CA.
St. John’s Red Storm (Big East), Queens, NYC, NY.
SMU [Southern Methodist Univ.] Mustangs (American C), Dallas, TX.
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (Southland), Nacogdoches, TX.
Texas Longhorns (Big 12), Austin, TX.
Texas Southern Tigers (SWAC), Houston, TX.
UCLA [Univ. of California-Los Angeles] Bruins (Pac-10), Los Angeles, CA.
Utah Utes (Pac-12), Salt Lake City, UT.
Valparaiso Crusaders [aka 'Valpo'] (Horizon), Valparaiso, IN.
Villanova Wildcats (Big East), Villanova, PA.
Virgina Cavaliers (ACC), Charlottesville, VA.
Virginia Commonwealth U [VCU] Rams (Atl. 10), Richmond, VA.
West Virginia Mountaineers (Big 12), Morgantown, WV.
Wichita State Shockers (Missouri Valley C), Wichita, KS.
Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten), Madison, WI.
Wofford Terriers (Southern), Spartanburg, SC.
Wyoming Cowboys (Mtn. W), Laramie, WY.
Xavier Musketeers (Big East), Cincinnati, OH.
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Attendance figures from, http://www.ncaa.org/championships/statistics/ncaa-mens-basketball-attendance.
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Thanks to Lokal_Profil for blank map, File:Blank USA, w territories.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament’.

March 5, 2015

2014-15 FA Cup, Sixth Round Proper (aka Quarterfinals): location-map with current average attendances./ Plus, an illustration with photos of the 8 clubs’ managers and photos and stats of the 8 squads’ top scorer (or scorers).

Filed under: >2014-15 FA Cup — admin @ 9:12 pm

2014-15_fa-cup_6th-round-quarterfinals_map_w-current-attendances_post_d_.gif
2014-15 FA Cup, Sixth Round Proper (aka Quarterfinals): location-map with current average attendances


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

    2014-15 FA Cup 6th Round (aka Quarterfinals). Below: the Fixtures, 8 teams’ managers & their top scorer(s)

2014-15_fa-cup_6th-round_8-teams_managers-and-top-scorers__arsenal_aston-villa_blackburn_bradford-city_liverpool_man-utd_reading_west-bromwich-albion_f_.gif
Photo credits above –
Arsene Wenger, photo of Wenger at 2014 FA Cup winners’ celebration in North London, by Stuart MacFarlane/Getty Images via huffingtonpost.co.uk. Alexis Sanchez, photo unattributed at iran-daily.com.

Tim Sherwood, photo by PA via telegraph.co.uk. Gabriel Agbonlahor, photo by Aston Villa FC at javaImages /avfc.co.uk/page/PlayerProfiles. Christian Benteke, photo of him congratulated by teammates after scoring from the spot in the 94th minute v West Brom [2-1 to Villa] on 3 March 2015 – a score which put the Villans above the drop-zone, photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe) via zimbio.com. Andreas Weimann, photo by Aston Villa FC at javaimages/ avfc.co.uk/page/PlayerProfiles.

Gary Bowyer, photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Rudy Gestede, photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

Phil Parkinson, photo at League Cup Final at Wembley 2013, by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football.ort/football. James Hanson, photo from i3.getwestlondon.co.uk.

Brendan Rodgers, photo by Liverpool FC via Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. Steven Gerrard, photo of him after scoring v Wimbledon in 14/15 FA Cup 3rd Rd, photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Raheem Sterling, photo unattributed at eatsleepsport.com.

Louis Van Gall, photo at ‘long-ball press conference’ by Niche via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. Wayne Rooney, photo by Getty Images via express.co.uk/sport/football.

Steve Clarke, photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Simon Cox, photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

Tony Pulis, , photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Saido Berahino, photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
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Thanks to Soccerway.com for attendance figures and for league placements. You can find attendance figures (updated daily) for levels 1 through 6 of the English football pyramid at Soccerway, http://us.soccerway.com/national/england/premier-league/20142015/regular-season/r25191/.

Thanks to bbc.com/football team pages such as West Bromwich Albion Top Scorers (bbc.com/sport/football/teams).

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

March 2, 2015

2015 Copa Libertadores qualified teams: titles & all-time appearances chart for the 2015 competition.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 8:58 pm

The 2015 Copa Libertadores is in the group-stage round (8 groups of 4) .
-Here are a couple of links…
2015 Copa Libertadores Group Stage (misleadingly called the ‘Second Stage’): match-ups here (en.wikipedia.org); and also here (soccerway.com).




The following link directs you to my map of the 2015 Copa Libertadores (which I posted in January), http://billsportsmaps.com/?p=29484.

Below is the all-time Copa Libertadores appearances chart for 2015 qualified teams (with titles listed). To read the chart easier, you can click on the image below to place it in a separate page…

2015_copa-libertadores_qualified-teams_all-time_appearances-list_w-titles_h_.gif
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Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances for each club, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2014 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .

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