The topic comes up from time to time about a pro-league for ultimate (specifically recently on RSD). What the discussion ultimately boils down to though is - would people come to watch, and more importantly would they pay?
So here are a few questions for you on the topic, given the following...
-The rules of ultimate would remain as is, utilizing observers with consistent uniforms across all league games, making the calls they do currently.
-There would be 5 divisions with 4 teams in each. For the sake of more specific discussion - lets classify them as such -
Northeast: Boston, New York, Philly, DC/Baltimore;
Northwest: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Vancouver;
Southwest: LA, San Diego, Vegas, Phoenix;
Southeast: Atlanta, Florida, Raleigh, New Orleans?;
Central: Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver;
- Similar to the NFL, over the course of the season (summer into fall maybe?) each team plays those in opponents in its division at least twice, regular season record dictates berth into playoffs, culminating in a national championship.
- The games would be individual one on one contests, held in arenas at least as big as high school football stadiums (depending on ticket sales), either at night or on Saturdays to allow for attendance, there would be concession stands, half-time entertainment, merchandise available, announcers for the games, stats provided online (along with player profiles, pictures game highlight videos) etc. etc. - consider all the amenities provided by the most basic of minor-league baseball programs as requisites.
So given those basic constructs, as a high school ultimate player...
- would you pay to watch a local pro-team play another pro-team?
- would that be affected whether the games were to a certain number of points or timed?
- how much would you pay for a regular season game ticket?
- would you consider buying season tickets?
- how much would you pay for a playoff or finals game ticket?
- would you travel to another city to watch your home team play?
- how much would you pay for a replica jersey for your team?
- would you consider bringing your family, friends or others not involved with ultimate to a game?
- if a home game were televised would you go to the game or would you watch it on tv?
- would you support limits on who could play on these pro teams? (similar to NBA, must be over age 18, can't currently be playing for a college team etc)
- how much would you pay for a poster of a favorite player from your home team?
- would you aspire to play in such a league? even when salaries paid to athletes probably wouldn't amount to the median household income in the US?
- would you be interested in this idea at all or is it entirely unappealing to you?
I realize these are all highly hypothetical questions, and feel free to make suggestions that i do not specifically ask, but i feel like this is an important discussion to have among this community, without fans of some sort, no pro-sports league works. Additionally to even begin to produce ideas for such a league there must be some base level of interest, and while the comments here might not provide Nike with motivation to sponsor such a league, surely they will demonstrate whether this idea is appealing at all in the first place.
im interested to see the responses, feel free to leave them in the comments...