July 30, 2011

Germany: the 2 clubs promoted from Bundesliga-2 to 2010–11 Fußball-Bundesliga.

Filed under: Germany — admin @ 1:10 pm

2 clubs promoted to Bundesliga

Once again, there were just two clubs gaining promotion to Bundesliga, as the Relegation play-off saw 16th-place-finisher Borussia Mönchengladbach defeat the Bundesliga-2 3rd-place-finisher VfL Bochum. Hertha Belin and FC Augsburg were the promoted clubs. For Hertha, it is an immediate return to the top flight; for Augsburg, it will be their first division debut.

Hertha Berliner Sport-Club von 1892 are a pretty large club that, as the largest football club from Berlin, draw in the 45K to 55K range. Hertha Berlin drew 46,131 per game in the second tier last season; 46,681 per game in 09/10 when they were relegated; and in 08/09, when they had a title run that saw them eventually sputter out and finish in 3rd place, they drew 52,157 per game – which was 5th-best-in-Germany that season. What Hertha Berlin can’t do is win a title, and the club is kind of a running joke in the German football scene. They are sort of like the hapless, choking pre-2004 Boston Red Sox (of Major League Baseball), but with an old stadium (Olympic Stadium, capacity 74,500; opened in 1936) that’s not picturesque and cozy and unique like the Red Sox’ Fenway Park, but rather, pretty soul-less, in a monolithic way. Plus Olympic Stadium (Berlin) features the dreaded running track (in creepy Prussian blue), dampening the atmosphere even more. No wonder Hertha Berlin haven’t won a title in the 7 decades since they’ve set up shop in this stadium, what with the ghosts of the Third Reich and the Nazi-propaganda exercise that was the 1936 Berlin Olympics resonating from the architecture. Hertha Berlin’s only two titles were won decades before the Bundesliga was formed…in 1930 and 1931, when there was no national league in Germany, and the title was decided by a small cup format with teams comprised of the regional league winners [Bundesliga was formed in 1963-64]. Hertha Berlin have won 2 titles in recent times – 2 DFB-Ligapokal (German League Cup) titles, in 2001 and 2002, but that’s a title whose ‘value’ is similar to the English League Cup title. The closest Hertha Berlin has come to winning the Bundesliga title was in 1974-75, when they finished in 2nd place, 6 points behind Mönchengladbach. Here are more photos of Olympic Stadium (Berlin), from the Extreme Groundhopping site, ‘Olymipiastadion [3 April, 2007]‘.

FC Augsburg 1907 are from Augsburg in Bavaria, 57 km. (35 miles) north-west of Munich. Augsburg has a population of around 264,000 {2010 figure}. FC Augsburg have spent the bulk of their existence fluctuating between the 2nd and 3rd divisions, but a decade ago were mired in the 4th division, in the Bayernliga IV for 2 seasons, gaining promotion back to the third tier in 2002. The squad returned to full-professional status in 2006, and in July 2009, their new Impuls Arena was opened. The stadium is now called SGL Arena, and has a capacity of 30,660. It looks like a pretty nice place to watch a football match, with all mod cons, seating tight to the pitch and the angle of the seats pretty steep (ie, good sight lines). I like Augsburg’s kit badge, because it is so simple and has a tree in it that looks more like a theatrical prop than a real tree. Augsburg play in all-white kits with red and green trim, and this season they will have an away kit that features a big black A on the white jersey. Augsburg’s fan base has swelled significantly in the decade since escaping the 4th division. The club were only drawing in the 2,000 range when they returned to the 3rd tier in 2001-02, and 4 years later, in 2005-06, they were drawing 4,482 per game. The next season was a promotion-year, and attendances shot up +12,000, to 16,639 per game. So as you can see, that’s when the club decided to build a new stadium, and their timing could not have been better, now that they have finally won promotion to the big-time stage that is Bundesliga. Augsburg averaged 20,481 per game last season, and will probably play to close-to or at a full house capacity of 30,000 or so this season. However, just staying in the top flight might be a real challenge for Augsburg this season, because Augsburg does not have mad money to throw around like another, recent, promoted-from-seemingly-nowhere-club (Hoffenheim). From Bundesliga Fanatic site, ‘FC Augsburg Season Preview: Hope and Excitement Amidst Modest Expectations‘.

Photo credits -
Hertha Berlin…Photo of exterior of Olympic stadium from, here. Photo of interior of Olympic Stadium by Kandice at, here. Photo of Hertha fans in Ost Curve by Matthias Kern/Bongarts/Getty Images via, here. Aerial image of Olympic Stadium from’s Eye satellite view, here.

FC Augsburg…Aerial photos of impuls arena by Gberstel at, here. Interior photo of impuls arena by Andinem at, here.


Thanks to the contributors of the pages at, ‘2011–12 Fußball-Bundesliga‘.
Thanks to for attendance figures, here.
Thanks to for the Bundesliga-2 table.
Thanks to for the base map.

July 26, 2011

Spain: final table of 2010-11, with clubs playing in Europe in UEFA competitions for 2011-12 / Plus, map with location of clubs in 2011-12 La Liga, with attendance data.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Spain — admin @ 8:45 pm

Spanish clubs playing in Europe

Note: to see my latest post on Spanish football, click on the following, category: Spain.

The first chart (click on image above) shows the 7 Spanish clubs who qualified for Europe for 2011-12, including the 3 clubs which have qualified for the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League Group Stage – FC Barcelona, Real Madrid CF, and Valencia CF.
The 6 Barcelona/Real Madrid match-ups this past season produced reams of headlines, and lots of histrionics…and in the end, Real Madrid – on paper – ended up 4 points shy of the Spanish title. But the actual gulf between Barcelona and Real Madrid is probably better depicted by the 5-0 trashing that Barça gave Real Madrid in November at Camp Nou. And sure, in the Spanish Cup competition, Real did eliminate Barça and then go on to win the Copa del Rey, but that’s the same trophy (with about the value of the English League Cup) that Real Madrid could have cared less about winning 5 or 10 or 15 years ago (it was Real Madrid’s first Copa del Rey title in 18 years).

At the top, left of the chart you can see photos and stats of the 7 Barcelona players most responsible for Barça’s offensive mastery and domination in both Spain and Europe – midfield general Xavi, greatest-player-on-Earth Lionel Messi, young phenom Pedro, attacking defender Dani Alves, scoring machine David Villa, midfield wizard Andrés Iniesta, and young talent Bojan Krkić [note: Roma purchased Bojan Krkić on 22 July for 12 milion Euros].. Manager Pep Guardiola is shown being tossed up into the air in celebration [I know, the photo is from 3 seasons ago, but I think the image really symbolizes FCB's über-champion-status these last few seasons].

That the cash-strapped Valencia were still able to win an automatic Champions League Group Stage berth is pretty impressive. So too is Villarreal’s return to the Champions League format. Villarreal proved that a club can have a long Europa League campaign and not see their domestic form suffer. El Submarino Amarillo (The Yellow Submarines), from a town of 51,000, made it all the way to the Europa League Semi-finals last season, yet were still able to keep hold of 4th place in La Liga, and that fourth CL spot. And thanks to past Champions League accomplishments (including being 2005-06 CL Semi-finalists and 2008-09 CL Quarter-finalists), Villarreal, and not Udinese, are a seeded team in the Play-off round draw, which will be on 5 August {see this}.

The 3 Spanish clubs that will be in the Europa League format are three clubs that all finished with 58 points – Sevilla FC, Athletic Club [Bilbao], and Club Atlético de Madrid [La Liga does not use goal difference as the first tie-breaker in the final standings, but rather head-to-head results]. Here is the list, which includes Sevilla and Bilbao, of teams that have qualified so far for the Europa League play-off round {see this}. Before that, Atlético Madrid must play in the Europa League Third qualifying round (1st Legs are on 28 July), and here are the match-ups – ‘2011-12 UEFA Europa League/Third qualifying round‘. Atlético Madrid will face the Norwegian club Strømsgodset IF.

[Note: to see a larger image of Sevilla FC's Art Deco mosaic at Estadio Ramón Sanchez Pizjúan, scroll down to the Sevilla section in the Photo credits below...]

Below is the second chart, which features a location-map of the 20 clubs that will be playing in the 2011-12 La Liga, as well as attendance data of these clubs from last season – including average attendance (home league matches), percent-capacity, and percentage-change in attendance from 2009-10.



Photo credits -
Photo of Xavi by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images Europe via, here. Photo of Lionel Messi by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images Europe via, here.
Interior photo of Camp Nou from, here. Photo of Pedro by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via, here.
Photo of Dani Alves from, here. Photo of David Villa by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images Europe via, here. Photo of Andrés Iniesta by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via, here. Bojan Krkic photo from Gallery, here.
New Barça jersey [2011-12 home jersey] from
Photo of Pep Guardioa being tossed airborne by Barça players by Tony Gentile/Reuters, here.
Aerial image of Camp Nou from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Real Madrid
Photo of Ultras Sur (far right-wing Real Madrid supporter-group) with flags and banners was unattributed at, here. Exterior photo of Estadio Santiago Bernebeu was unattributed from, here. Aerial photo of Estadio Santiago Bernebeu from, here.

Photo of Valencia fans from, here. Photo of Mestalla at sunset from, here. Aerial photo of Mestalla from, here.

Interior photo of El Madrigal from, here. Close-up-aerial photo of El Madrigal from, here. Aerial photo of El Madrigal from, here.

Photo of interior of Estadio Rámon Sánchez Pizjuán by inkboo at, here. Photo of mosaic on exterior wall of Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán by Paco Alfaro at, here. Aerial image of Estadio Ramón Sanchez Pizjuan [with view to the east] from’s Eye satellite view, here.
[Note: you can see a larger size image of the Sevilla FC mosaic by clicking here (photo by Paco Alfaro @, here).

Athletic Bilbao...
Photo of Athletic Club Bilbao-supporter-group Albertzale Sur with banners and Basque flags from, here [2/3 of way down page]. Photo of exterior of San Mamés from adjacent rooftop by kammourewa at, here. Aerial image of San Mamés from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Atlético Madrid
Photo of Atlético Madrid fans from, here. Interior photo of Estadio Vicente Calderon by FDV at, here. Aerial image of Estadio Vicente Calderón from Peñ, here.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘La Liga‘.
Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendances.
Thanks to for the base map of Spain, from Demis Web Map Server.
Thanks to, for stats.

July 22, 2011

Cyprus: Cypriot First Division – map showing clubs in the 2011-12 season, with 2010-11 attendances and all-time titles list.

Filed under: Cyprus — admin @ 5:56 pm

Cypriot 1st Division

The population of the Republic of Cyprus is around 803,000. The population of the Republic of Northern Cyprus is around 108,000 {both those figures are 2010 estimates}. As tiny and ethnically-partiitioned as it’s population is, Cyprus is home to a league that is currently ranked #20 in Europe by UEFA [May 2011 ranking], and will be ranked at #17 for 2012 {UEFA league coefficients, here}. That league is the Cypriot First Division, which was established in 1934-35. The two clubs that have pushed up the Cypriot league coefficient the most in recent years are APOEL, who qualified for the 2009-10 UEFA Champions League Group Stage; and Anorthosis Famagusta, who qualified for the 2008-09 Champions League Group Stage.

A brief history of the events leading up to the partition of Cyprus

Since 1974, the island of Cyprus has been de facto partitioned. This was following an invasion in July 1974 by Turkey, which was preceded by a failed coup attempt in the spring of 1974 that was backed by a Greek military junta.

At present, 59% of the island of Cyprus is under control of the Republic of Cyprus. 36% is under control of the Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is a nation that is diplomatically recognized by just one other nation – Turkey. The remaining 5% of the land area of the island is split between the UN buffer zone running across the island, and two air bases which are allocated to the United Kingdom as sovereign military bases. This is a vestige of the British Empire’s administration of Cyprus, which began after the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78). After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Britain formally annexed Cyprus.

It has been generally accepted that Greek Cypriots formed about 80% of the population of the island, while Turkish Cypriots formed about 18% (prior to Turkish settlers), with the remaining 2% being Christian minorities. In 1959, the Church of Cypress organized a referendum (boycotted by the Turkish Cypriot community), with over 90% voting in favor of enosis, or union, with Greece. The following year, 1960, Cyprus won independence after the Zürich and London Agreement between the United Kingdom, Greece, and Turkey. The UK retained the two air bases (which are shown on the map here). The Turkish Cypriot minority retained a permanent veto option within the government. By 1963, inter-communal violence had broken out, and as the 1960s went on, the violence increased. Right-wing governments in Greece, starting in 1967, fanned the flames, and this situation (which was opposed by pro-democratic elements in Greece at the time) led to the the 1973 ascension to power of an even further right military junta in Greece…and an overthrow of the Cyprus government was high on their agenda. In the spring of 1974, the President of Cyprus, Makarios III, was forced to flee the island, with a coup led by Greek officers of the Cyprus National Guard. A firebrand, the parliamentarian and Nicosia newspaper editor Nikos Sampson, who was vehemently anti-Turkish Cypriot, was put in power (Sampson lasted 8 days in power and ended up being the only person tried and convicted of crimes related to the coup). This led to the Turkish air and sea invasion in July, 1974. The island of Cyprus is still partitioned to this day. From Parikiaki, Cypriot Weekly Newspaper [the leading Greek Cypriot newspaper published in London], from 20 April 2011, ‘Greek Junta blamed for Cyprus war‘.


Photo credits – . .

The Cypriot First Division

The Cyprus top flight is called the Cypriot First Division. The league has 14 clubs in it, and, since 2007-08, has featured a second round, where the league is split into 3 groups of four (with the bottom two clubs in the first round of the season being automatically relegated). The 3 groups are named Group A, Group B, and Group C. The 4 Group A clubs compete for the championship and spots in European play. The 4 clubs in Group B compete for nothing, really. The 4 clubs in Group C compete to avoid being the third relegated club.

Nicosia is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, with a metro area population (Southern part only) of around 313,000 {2009 estimate}. There are two pretty large-sized clubs from Nicosia – APOEL and Omonia – both of whom have fan bases that can fill GSP Stadium (the stadium they share/see images above) to around 9 or 10,000 per game in good seasons, and 6 or 7,000 per game in bad seasons. APOEL, whose acronym translates from the Greek as Athletic Football Club of Greeks of Nicosia, play in royal blue-and-yellow/orange-vertically-striped jerseys. Omonia, whise full name is Omonia Nicosia Athletic club, have a 3-leaf clover on their crest that looks very much like the crest of the Athens-based Panathinaikos, and wear white with green trim. For decades, the two have been competing for being the most-titled Cypriot club, with APOEL currently having the edge with 21 Cypriot titles, including the 2011 title. Omonia have won 20 titles, including the 2010 title. The third force in Cypriot football is Anorthosis Famagusta, a club that has been a refugee from it’s home base since 1974. Anorthosis Famagusta have won 13 titles, their last in 2008. Although Anorthosis Famagusta have a crest that features the traditional Greek colors of royal blue and white, they play with a yellow and black kit. Since the Turkish invasion, Anothosis have played in several locations including the capital, and Anorthosis Famagusta now play in the third-largest city in Cyprus, Lanarca, which, with a population of just 72,000, is a pretty small municipality to be hosting 4 Cypriot First Division clubs, as it will be in 2011-12. The other 3 top flight clubs in town are two that were formed there – Alki Lanarca and AEK Lanarca – plus a newly-promoted-back club, Nea Salamis Famagusta, who, like Anorthosis, are also a refugee club. Between these 4 top flight clubs they average a cumulative attendance of around 10-12,000 per game, with the black-and-yellow vertically-striped Anothosis Famagusta able to draw between 4-6,000 per game, the green-and-yellow kitted AEK Lanarca able to draw around 3-5,000 per game, the red-and-blue vertically-striped Alki Lanarca able to draw around 1-2,000 per game, and the red-and-white vertically-striped Nea Salamis Famagusta also able to draw around 1-2,000 per game. For a municipality of less than 75,000, Lanarca is providing a pretty credible amount of support for the 4 top flight clubs it hosts.

There are only 3 other clubs that have won titles in Cypriot football that are currently active, and two of them are from the second-largest city in Cyprus, Limassol. [Limassol is on the southern coast of Cyprus, and has a metro area population of around 228,000.] The fourth-most-titled club in Cyprus is AEL Limassol, with 5 titles (last in 1968). Tied for fifth on the all-time list are Apollon Limassol, with 3 titles (last in 2006), and Olympiakos Nicosia, with 3 titles (last in 1971). Apollon Limassol play in white with blue trim and can draw between a range of from 3 to 6,000 per game. Apollon won their last title 5 years ago. AEL Limassol, who wear yellow-and-navy-blue-vertical-striped jerseys, can also draw in that 3 to 6K range, but they haven’t won a title in 40 years. Olympiakos Nicosia play with green-and-black-vertically-striped jerseys and draw in the 1-2,000 range, and haven’t won a title in 43 years.

There is one other Cypriot title-winner that is an active club, but since that club is a Turkish Cypriot club, it has not been part of the Cypriot league set-up for a long time…since 1955, and currently play in the non-FIFA-sanctioned Birinci Lig. That club is Çetinkaya Türk SK.. This club, who now play in the partitoned Northern section of the city of Nicosia, won the 1950-51 season of the Cypriot First Division.

There are 4 Cypriot teams still alive in Europe [as of 22 July 2011]. AEK Lanarca and Anorthosis Famagusta both won their Europa League Second qualifying round ties, and will compete in the Third qualifying round along with Omonia – the match-ups can be seen here {‘2011-12 UEFA Europa League/Third qualifying round‘}. Meanwhile, APOEL won their Champions League Second qualifying round tie, and will now play Slovan Bratislava in the next round, ‘2011-12 UEFA Champions League/Third qualifying round‘}.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘Cypriot First Division‘.
Base map from, here.
Thanks to, for the Cyprus Country Map.

July 14, 2011

Italy: final table of 2010-11 Serie A, with clubs playing in Europe in UEFA competitions for 2011-12 / Plus, map with location of clubs in 2011-12 Serie A, with attendance data.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Italy — admin @ 7:31 pm

Italian clubs playing in Europe in 2011-12

(Note: to see my latest map-and-post on Italian football, click on the following, category: Italy.)

From, on 1 Aug. 2011, by Geoff Bradford, ‘Italy’s match-fixing investigation will run and run‘.

Milan won their first Scudetto in 7 seasons under their first-year manager Masimilliano Allegri. Allegri was hired after two successful seasons at the small provincial club Cagliari Calcio. Under Allegri, the Sardinia-based Cagliari finished in 9th place twice despite minimal resources, earning Allegri 2 straight Panchina d’Oro (Golden bench) awards, which are voted on by Serie A managers. Milan hired Allegri in June 2011. Allegri shored up Milan’s defense, and a solid back four built around Centre Back Thiago Silva, plus a very good year for Zlatan Ibrahimović (who scored 14 goals and recorded 11 assists), helped Milan secure the title after 5 consecutive seasons in which the Scudetto was in the hands of their local rivals Internazionale.

The first chart (click on image above) shows the 7 Italian clubs who have qualified for Europe in 2011-12, including the 3 that have automatically qualified for the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League Group Stage – Milan, Internazionale, and Napoli. Milan won the European title most recently in 2007 (Milan have won 6 European titles). Internazionale won the European title two seasons ago in 2010 (Inter have won 3 European titles). Napoli have no European titles, although they did win the 1989 UEFA Cup. Napoli return to the Champions League-level of the European format for the first time since 1990-91, when the Maradona-less squad exited in the 2nd round of the European Cup to Spartak Moscow.

Udinese beat out Lazio for 4th place on goal difference, and now have shot at making their second appearance in the Champions League Group Stage (their first appearance was in 2005-06, when they finished 3rd in their group). But they are an unseeded team in the draw, so Udinese might end up playing a huge club like Arsenal or Bayern Munich. The draw is set for 5th August, see this ‘2011-12 UEFA Champions League/Play-off round‘, from

The three Italian clubs who have qualified for 2011-12 UEFA Europa League qualifiers are: 5th place finisher Lazio, 6th place finisher Roma, and 8th place finisher Palermo, who, as Coppa Italia finalists, inherited the Coppa Italia winner’s spot (from Internazionale).

Palermo play the first leg of their Europa League 3rd qualifying round on Thursday, 28 July. The draw is on 15 July, with Palermo being in the category of seeded teams {see this}.

For Lazio and Roma, they will play in the Europa League Play-off round – to see the teams qualified so far {click here}. Draw for the Europa League Play-off round is 5 August.

One note: Juventus opens their new, 42,500-capacity stadium, temporarily being called Juventus Arena on 8 September, {see this, from Serie A official site [in Italian]}

Below is the second chart, which shows the locations of the 20 clubs in the 2011-12 season of Serie A. Listed are average attendances (home league matches), along with percent-change and percent-capacity data, from last season (2010-11).


Photo credits -
Photo of Milan supporters’ giant banners at San Siro originally from, via European, here. Photo of interior of San Siro by Alessandro Mogliani at, here. Photo of Massimiliano Allegri by Giusseppe Cacaace/AFP via, here.
Photo of Zlatan Ibrahimović by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe via, here. Photo of Alexandre Pato from, here.
Photo of Robinho by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via, here. Photo of Thiago Silva by AP via, here.
Photo of 2011-12 Milan home jersey from, here. Exterior photo of San Siro from, here.

Photo of Inter fans with giant banner in Curva Nord of San Siro by batrax at, here. Interior photo of San Siro from Exterior photo of San Siro from, here.

Photo of stands at Stadio San Paolo from, here. Interior photo of Stadio San Paolo by Inviaggiocommons at, here. Aerial image of Stadio San Paolo from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Photo of Udinese fans from Getty Images via, here. Interior photo of Stadio Friuli by Martaudine at, here. Aerial image of Stadio Friuli from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Photo of Lazio fans in Curva Nord by Andrea Buratti at, here. Second photo of Lazio fans from, here. Aerial image of Stadio Olimpico from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Photo of Roma fans in Curva Sud of Stadio Olimpico from, here. Interior photo of Stadio Olimpico during an AS Roma match by Gaúcho at, here. Aerial image of Stadio Olimpico from’s eye satellite view, here.

Photo of Palermo fans from Getty Images via, here. Interior photo of Stadio Renzo Barbera from via, here. Aerial image of Stadio Renzo Barbera by Vito Ruggiero at, here.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2011-12 Serie A‘.
Thanks to European-Football-Statistics site for attendance figures.
Thanks to Eric Gaba for the base map of Italy, ‘Italy topographic map-blank.svg‘.

July 8, 2011

Minor League Baseball: the New York-Penn League (Class A-Short Season).

Filed under: Baseball,Baseball: MiLB Class A — admin @ 8:34 pm

New York-Penn League (Short Season A)

The New York-Pennsylvania League is a minor league baseball league that is almost universally known as the New York-Penn League. Although part of the Class A level of minor league baseball, it is, along with the Northwest League, classified as a Short-Season A league. And they really are short seasons – the New York-Penn league regular season consists of 74 games played by each of the 14 teams in the circuit. By way of comparison, the Class A Midwest League plays 138 games in a season, and the Advanced-A California League plays 140 games in a season. The other Short Season A league – the Northwest League – plays 76 games in a season, and has 8 teams.

The shorter season and the player restrictions (see below) contribute to the fact that Short Season A leagues are viewed as effectively one level lower than the two Class A leagues (the South Atlantic League and the Midwest League) and two levels below the three Advanced-A leagues (the California League, Florida State League, and the Carolina League).

from –
“Player limits and requirements for the New York-Penn League…
New York – Penn League teams may have no more than 3 players on their active lists that have 4 or more years of prior combined Major League / Minor League service, with the exception of position players changing roles to become a pitcher or a pitcher changing into a position player. Teams may get to eliminate up to one year of time of Minor League service for players who have spent time on the disabled list.
By July 1 of each year, all clubs must have at least 10 pitchers.
Maximum number of players under team control is 35, 30 of those may be active, but only 25 may be in uniform and eligible to play in any given game.”

Last season, the New York-Penn League was the 6th highest-drawing minor league in Organized Baseball.
The New York-Penn League drew 3,490 per game in 2010, and had a better average attendance than 5 other minor leagues which are at a higher level.
Here are all the minor leagues’ average attendances for 2010 -
Average attendance of minor leagues in 2010…
International League (AAA) – 6,908 per game.
Pacific Coast League (AAA) – 6,120 per game.
Texas League (AA) – 5,264 per game.
Eastern League (AA) – 4,663 per game.
Midwest League (A) – 3,787 per game.
New York-Penn League (A-Short Season) – 3,490 per game.
South Atlantic League (A) – 3,306 per game.
Carolina League (A-Advanced) – 3,256 per game.
Mexican League (AAA) – 3,232 per game.
Southern League (AA) – 3,188 per game.
Northwest League (A-Short Season) – 2,920 per game.
California League (A-Advanced) – 2,237 per game.
Pioneer League (Rookie) – 2,158 per game.
Appalachian League (Rookie) – 865 per game.
[Arizona League, Gulf Coast League, Dominican Summer League and Venezuela Summer League attendances not available]
[Numbers from].

Part of the reason for the popularity of the New York-Penn league with fans is that some franchises in the league have relocated to certain areas in the last decade…well-populated areas that have enough people that basically have embraced the lower-minor-league fan experience. Specifically, those areas are Greater New York City; Greater Boston, MA; and Greater Washington, DC/Baltimore, MD. The teams that now sit at the top of the NY-Penn attendance list each season are the Brooklyn Cyclones (a New York Mets farm team), the Staten Island Yankees (a New York Yankees farm team), the Lowell Spinners (a Boston Red Sox farm team), and the Aberdeen Ironbirds (a Baltimore Orioles farm team). All 4 of these ball clubs regularly draw over 5,000 per game, and Brooklyn and Aberdeen drew over 6,500 per game last season. The Brooklyn Cyclones play in Coney Island and drew 7,147 per game to their MCU Park (MCU Park in Brooklyn, from,{see this}. That was good enough for the 15th best attendance in all of minor league baseball in 2010 [list of all 334 teams' attendances in minor league baseball in 2010 {click here} (}.Those are astounding numbers for a league that is 5 steps below the Major Leagues. Over half of the 30 Triple-A ball clubs didn't draw that well in 2010...18 Triple-A teams drew below that 5,300 per game figure that these New York-Penn teams drew above...
The Brooklyn Cyclones (7,147 per game at MCU Park/15th best in MiLB).
The Aberdeen Ironbirds (6,548 per game at Ripken Stadium {see this}/22nd best in MiLB).
The Staten Island Yankees (5,806 per game at Richmond County Bank Ballpark {see this}/34th best in MiLB).
The Lowell Spinners (5,446 per game at Edward A. LeLacheur Park {see this}/44th best in MiLB).

And the success of teams like this has blown away the received wisdom that minor league baseball teams cannot survive within close proximity to Major League Baseball teams. With the low prices of an outing to a NY-Penn League game, the opposite is pretty much true now. For example, why pay an arm and a leg to see a game at the elitist and over-priced Yankee Stadium, when a fun and affordable outing at the Staten Island Yankees or the Brooklyn Cyclones ball park can be had for a fraction of the cost. Besides, you can just see the next Yankees or Mets game on television anyway.

The only loser in this state of affairs are the small towns and cities that have lost New York-Penn League teams in recent years, like Geneva, NY; Watertown, NY; Oneonta, NY; Utica, NY; and Pittsfield, MA. But the fact is, if there are larger crowds to be had elsewhere, you can't criticize the franchises for pulling up stakes and seeking greener pastures. Most of the municipalities that lose lower minor league teams find replacement ball clubs in independent minor leagues from outside the Organized Baseball set-up. Personally, I hope that the current smallest municipality with a ball club in the New York-Penn League, the Batavia Muckdogs, does not fall to the same fate and relocate, but that is because Batavia, whose population is only around 16,256 {figure from 2006} is nearby my home in Rochester, NY, and I have seen around 15 or so Batavia Clippers games (that was their old name before 1997) and Batavia Muckdogs games. And I have had a blast each time, and have never spent more than $25 per game there (including ticket), no matter how much I ate and drank. Now that's value. [The only reason the Batavia Muckdogs, the oldest member of the New York-Penn League [with a team consecutively since 1961] have not moved elsewhere is that Rochester Community Baseball, Inc. which runs the Triple-A ball club the Rochester Red Wings, took over operation of the Muckdogs two seasons ago. The Rochester Red Wings are the second largest sports franchise in North America that is completely supporter-owned – the largest being the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.]

Photo credits -
Aberdeen IronBirds/Ripken Stadium…Photo from, here.
Brooklyn Cyclones/MCU Park [formerly Keyspan Park]…Photo from Uncle Bob’s Ballparks 56 site, here.
Hudson Valley Renegades/Duchess Stadium…Aerial image from’s Eye Satellite view, here.
Staten Island Yankees/Richmond County Bank Ballpark…Aerial photo from, thread, ‘Little Ballparks‘.

Auburn Doubledays/Falcon Park…Aerial image from’s Eye satellite view, here.
Batavia Muckdogs/Dwyer Stadium…Aerial image from’s Eye satellite view, here.
Jamestown Jammers/Russell Diethrick Park…Aerial image from’s Eye satellite view, here.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers/Eastwood Field…Photo from, here.
State College Spikes/Medlar Field at Lubrano Park…Photo from State College Spikes’ page at, here.
Williamsport Crosscutters/Bowman Field…Photo from, here.

Connecticut Tigers/Dodd Stadium…Photo from, here.
Lowell Spinners/LeLacheur Park…Aerial image from’s Eye satellite view, here.
Tri-City ValleyCats/Joseph L. Bruno Stadium…Photo from U.W. Marx Construction Co. site, here.
Vermont Lake Monsters/Centennial Field…Photo from, here.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘New York-Penn League‘.

Thanks to David Kronheim at Attendance figures from’s Minor League Baseball – 2010 attendance analysis [pdf] (Note, league attendances begin on page 28 of the 60 page pdf.)

July 1, 2011

France: final table of 2010-11, with clubs playing in Europe in UEFA competitions for 2011-12 / Plus location of clubs in 2011-12 Ligue 1, with attendance data.

Filed under: Football Stadia,France — admin @ 9:02 pm

France: Ligue Un clubs playing in Europe for 2011-12

Note: to see my latest map-&-post of Ligue Un, click on the following: category: France.

This post has 2 charts – one chart, above, that features all 6 clubs from France that qualified for Europe in 2011-12; and the second chart, further on down, which includes a location-map of the 2011-12 Ligue 1 season and attendance data for the 20 clubs.

The chart page, which you can see by clicking on the image above, shows the 6 clubs in France that will play in Europe in 2011-12, including the 2 clubs – Lille OSC and Olympique de Marseille – who have automatically qualified for the lucrative promised land of the UEFA Champions League Group Stage. Lille won their first title in 57 years. And by winning the Coupe de France title, Lille became the 16th French club to win the double. Lille’s Rudi Garcia bucked the stereotype of the ultra-cautious, clean-sheet-obsessed French manager by having Les Dogues play with an attacking style. And so for the second straight year, Lille had the most goals scored in Ligue 1. Featured on the chart page is top scorer in the league, FW Moussa Sow, a Senegalese international, who netted 25 times. There are also photos of 3 other Lille players instrumental in their scoring onslaught…Côte d’Ivoire international FW Gervinho (who scored 14 times and accumulated 10 assists); MF Yohan Cabaye (9 assists); and Belgian international MF Eden Hazard (8 assists) [note: Cabaye was transferred to Newcastle United this off-season]. If I had more room, I would have added a photo of Lille’s goalkeeper Mickaël Landreau, whose shot-stopping ability was crucial to Lille’s title run. The photo of Rudi Garcia (who played for Lille as a midfielder from 1982 to 1988) was taken right after the final whistle had blown after Lille’s final match, in Paris, and Lille had clinched the title with a 2-1 win over PSG.

I have included an architects’ rendering of Lille’s new Grande Stade Lille Métropole, projected for a summer of 2012 opening, as well as a photo of the ongoing construction of the ~50,000-capacity stadium. So after the 2011-12 season, Lille will finally say good riddance to the inadequate and running-track-scarred Stadium Lille-Métropole, which only held 17,700. This, combined with the fact that Lille finally won a national title in the modern era, may signal a bit of a shift in the balance of power in French football…because if Lille can continue their fine form and regularly fill that new stadium, Les Dogues won’t have to sell players like Yohan Cabaye and (possibly) Eden Hazard, and Gervinho – because all that ticket revenue will allow Lille to afford such top-shelf talent.

Below is a graphic depiction of the formation, in 1944, of Olympique Sporting Club Lille Métropole, featuring old club crests – Click below for a larger image…


Old Lille OSC crests from this page at the following site:

Below: attendance data from 2010-11, and location-map of clubs in the 2011-12 Ligue 1 – Click below for a larger image…



Photo credits -
Lille… Photo of construction on new stadium (Grande Stade Lille Métropole) from, here. Architect’s rendering of Grande Stade Lille Métropoe from, here. Background art of architect’s rendering, here. Interior photo of Stadium Lille Métropole from, here.

Photo of Moussa Sow by Bob Edme/AP via, here. Photo of Gervinho from, here. Photo of Yohan Cabaye by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via, here. Photo of Eden Hazard from, here.

Photo of Rudi Garcia from Getty Images via, here. Photo of new 2011-1 Lille home jersey from, here. Aerial photo of Stadium Lille Métropole from [Collection of Postcards of French football stadiums].

Olympique de Marseille… Photo of main stand at Stade Vélodrome with fans spelling out ‘O-M’ with placards by Fred GLLS at, here. Exterior photo of Stade Vélodrome at night from, here. Aerial image of Stade Vélodrome from, here.

Olympigue Lyon…Photo of Lyon ultras at Stade Gerland from Lyon v. Schalke UEFA CL match [14 Sept. 2010] by S. Guiochon/Le Progres via, here. Photo of the interior of Stade Gerland from Ticket$, here. Aerial image of Stade Gerland from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Paris Saint-Germain…Photo of PSG ultras Boulogne Boys by ngari.norway at, here. Exterior photo of Parc des Princes by at, here. Aerial photo of Parc des Princes from, here.

FC Sochaux…Interior photo during a match at Stade Auguste Bonal from, here. Interior photo of Stade Auguste Bonal by Arnaud 25 at, here. Aerial photo of Stade Auguste Bonal from, here.

Rennes…Interior photo of Stadee de la Route de Lorient by Kuso at, here. Exterior ground-level photo of Stade de la Route de Lorient from, here. Aerial photo of Stade de la Route de Lorient from, here.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2010-11 Ligue 1‘.
Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendances.
Thanks to European football Club Logos site at
Thanks to, for the base map of France, Demis Web Map Server.

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