The World's Game In The Heart of the Sun Belt

Do we call it soccer in Atlanta? Football? Fútbol?

Atlanta Fútbol’s Scott Moran, whose group was heavily involved in getting this summer’s matches at the Georgia Dome and is part of the city’s World Cup venue bid, has penned a guest column over at the Global Atlanta site, which is devoted to the international business community in the city.

“The Business of Fútbol” delves into the nomenclature of what to call the game, a good topic for introductory purposes. It’s a funny old polyglot name game, is it not?

“Americans, being the endearing xenophobes that we are, chose our own path.  We took rugby, changed the rules a bit, donned leather helmets, and called the whole thing football.  But what of that oddly-foreign concoction that the European immigrants on our shores called football?  Those Yanks must’ve scratched their heads until some Englishman passing by kicking his round ball may’ve helpfully called out ‘we also call it soccer.’ Let’s buy that Brit a pint for triggering the drawn-out soap opera that is soccer vs. football.”

In any part of the U.S., them’s fightin’ words, probably no more so in the South, where another kind of football rules. And we’re going to have the College Football Hall of Fame coming here to prove it. And so?

“Finally, for my fellow Americans who will still demand I call it soccer because to not do so is an insult to US-football, I’ll tell them that I played full-pads, full-contact American football for 20 years (with the scars to prove it) and love BOTH sports, so I’ll call them whatever the heck I want.”

He promises to get down to the business of the business of fútbol in future installments, and specifically why that business has been such a difficult one in America.

If the U.S. should get either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup events, the soccer business in America might get a whole lot better.

In the Southeast, the business of bidding for a World Cup venue is heating up, especially for Atlanta’s rivals on the gridiron. Notice how they dovetail with cities in the NFC South Division, save New Orleans, which is out of the running:

Soccer officials tour Tampa for possible U.S. World Cup bid (Tampa Tribune)

Does Charlotte have shot at World Cup? (Charlotte Observer)

September 25, 2009   No Comments

Georgia Dome soccer a financial bonanza

Hispanic Market Weekly has an interesting numbers breakdown of last week’s friendly between Mexico and Venezuela, estimating that Soccer United Marketing reeled in around $2.5 million in ticket sales from the first soccer match played at the Georgia Dome.

Local Latino business owners and media entrepreneurs are also buzzing:

“It opened the eyes for this city on how powerful and vast the Hispanic market in Atlanta is.”

My friend David Tulis, who photographed the game for SUM, has offered up a couple of videos from that event. First, a nifty collection of fans and a cool soundtrack:

And he also put together a fun time-lapse video of the Dome preparations, from the laying of the sod four days before the match to rolling it up and out. Rinse and repeat to follow in late July for Club América and AC Milan:

June 29, 2009   No Comments