Is Soccer Underrated in the United States?

South Africa Soccer WCup US Algeria

The data has pointed out something funny. Soccer is dirt cheap in the United States. What’s more, the world of analytics in soccer is not  at the same level as other sports. In fact, Arturo lamented that to me at Sloan after he attended the Soccer Analytics panel just how little has been done relative to other sports.

By far one of our most popular pieces has been Arturo and Devin’s work “Could your city give a sports team a good home?” A Major League Soccer (MLS) team has less than half the upkeep cost of an NHL, NFL or NBA team. Compared to major league baseball team, a major league soccer team is a pittance at one sixth the cost! And, given the worldwide popularity of soccer, it’s possible this could change in the future.

Here’s a crazy note. Hockey teams are roughly the same cost as as football and basketball teams. The popularity of hockey in the United States has never been at the same level as these other sports. So, if someone wants to break into professional sports, perhaps soccer could be the land most ripe in terms of cost and finding a “Moneyball edge” On that note, Arturo may or may not have be looking into soccer analytics at this very second.


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