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Think Tank FC: Owning, running a soccer club in Washington State


Today marks the debut of what could be an ongoing conversation on goalWA.net about owning and running FC’s in the state of Washington. Do you have a dream to found your own soccer club? Just curious about how it might get done in our state? Let’s look into it together.

by David Falk

One of my favorite things to do is to welcome new soccer clubs into the Washington scene. These debuts are a sign of growth and interest in the sport. Not only that, but they give goalWA.net even more soccer to cover.

I know I am not the only one out there who has dreamed about starting his or her own “Football Club.” I’ve seen ideas, dreams, possible owners come and go around here over the years. As long as we play the sport the dream of founding clubs will live on.

 

Right now I am particularly fascinated with the idea of seeing the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) expand in the state of Washington. The initial success of Bellingham United is intriguing. Could that be duplicated on some scale somewhere else? Tacoma? Olympia? Port Angeles?

What about the eastern part of the state? The American National Soccer League (ANSL) has clubs in Chelan, Tri-Cities and Yakima. When will Spokane get a men’s club again, and in which league?

So…this is your invitation to join the Think Tank FC conversation. Comment and post in the the “Comments” section below.

Answer This

Post your answers to these questions in the comments box below.

1. Where would you start your club in The WA?

2. What kind of club would it be? (Pro, Semi-Pro, Amateur, Youth, Men’s, Women’s, Indoor, etc.)

3. Where would it play?

4. How would you finance it?

5. What league would it play in? Why?

Links to Ponder

Here are a few links to check out. Read here about how Fargo Youth Soccer Club was founded. AllExperts.com has a useful to-do list here. This list of “Seven Steps” is aimed at the amateur level. Here’s a 5-Year Business Plan for the other ‘football.’ Here’s a plan from Scarborough Athletic. Here’s a Marketing Plan for an FC from Kings Lynn. Here’s a UK-centric list of “How to Start a Football Club.”  This website is called BusinessofSoccer.com. This one is SoccerBusinessWorld.com.

Youth focus: How WA club Kajumulo FC got started.

More will follow in future posts. Please post links in comments section, too.

Money Matters

The league entry free for an indoor club in the PASL is $500 per season. This soccer owner-hopeful is $10 towards a goal of $1,000 to put a PASL team in Seattle this winter. Would you think about getting capital for a club via social media?

The annual fees for the PDL and NPSL are around $8,000. That’s just league fees. Operational costs are at least triple that amount, in addition.

Learning from the past

I wrote extensively about the death of the PDL Spokane Spiders. Part One. Part Two.  The shorter version is: don’t be underfunded, understand your soccer community, have a defined vision of why you exist, have a decent place to play.

Learning from the present

Welcome to The WA, Bellingham United! A club that from day one has done things its own way, and understood both football culture and soccer playing history in the city of Bellingham. What can we learn? Where you start a club is crucial, and the town / city needs to match your goals. Don’t expect a rural, non-soccer town to suddenly embrace the sport and your new project.

I’ve said more than enough for now. Please answer the questions above and jump into the Think Tank FC conversation below!

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8 thoughts on “Think Tank FC: Owning, running a soccer club in Washington State

  1. Port Angeles a possible fit for the PCSL? Like Bham it is far enough away from rest of Sound area that it could have its own audience. Plus, Peninsula CC is a strong NWAACC school for both men and women. Then, it is also closer to BC / most of the other teams. What boats go for there to the mainland?

    http://www.cityofpa.us/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Angeles,_Washington

    http://www.pc.ctc.edu/life/athletics/soccer.aspx

    http://portangeles.chambermaster.com/list/category/ferries-page-159

    • I grew up in from 10-21 yrs of age and attended Pen CC. Booming program enjoying a lot of success and a beautiful area. Traffic can be a nightmare on the Peninsula (one way in/out) but you are right. Boats from Victoria and easy access to the Kitsap Peninsula make this a viable candidate for something larger.

  2. OK, It’s only fair for me to answer these questions, too. ;)

    1. Where would you start your club in The WA?

    —Olympia, WA

    2. What kind of club would it be? (Pro, Semi-Pro, Amateur, Youth, Men’s, Women’s, Indoor, etc.)

    —Semi-Pro

    3. Where would it play?

    —South Sound Stadium, Lacey (several venues are possible)

    4. How would you finance it?

    —local investors and business sponsors (Hey, Kasey Keller…)

    5. What league would it play in? Why?

    —PCSL, especially if a Tacoma or Port Angeles team came on board. Travel costs and drag back and forth to BC a concern.

    BONUS: I would call the club The Olympia Grasshoppers. Hmmm….must google OlyHoppers.com Not that I have given this any thought, or anything. ;)

  3. 1. Where would you start your club in The WA?
    Like David, mine would play in Olympia. The crowd last night at the Sounders U23 game proved that there are soccer fans in Oly. It would take some work, promotion, sales to get them out for a non-Sounders named team though.

    2. What kind of club would it be? (Pro, Semi-Pro, Amateur, Youth, Men’s, Women’s, Indoor, etc.)
    Semi-pro or amateur and possibly an indoor team to have a year round presence.

    3. Where would it play?
    Realistically: South Sound Stadium or Tumwater Stadium. Ingersoll Stadium is nice and would be ideal but wouldn’t work because of the limited amount of events the neighborhood association allows.
    Dreaming: A privately financed combination soccer and baseball facility in Hawks Prairie complete with party decks and premium seating and a reduced overall seating capacity. Could host both a PDL or PCSL soccer team and a West Coast League baseball team.
    Indoor: Tumwater Indoor Sports

    4. How would you finance it?
    Local investors for the outdoor soccer team with a strong focus on sponsorship and group ticket sales. I do think the indoor soccer team, especially the $500 for the league fees, could be financed through a Kickstarter campaign.

    5. What league would it play in? Why?
    Ideally, I’d be most interested in the PDL due to the higher quality of play, but that does come at a price. PCSL would be the second option but the travel costs associated would be a major hindrance.

    Might as well give you my name: The Olympia Roundabouts. I even have a logo and started a hypothetical Twitter account (that I rarely update anymore). YIELD OR DIE!

  4. Olympia would be a good location for PDL, within driving distance of the other teams, would have a natural rivalry with Tacoma/Sounders and Kitsap. Basic stands at Lacy complex could work, already has turf & lights. Has enough population and businesses to support a team.

  5. Pingback: Think Tank FC: Ideas for teams in Tacoma, Port Angeles « goalWA.net

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