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Beyond the Lens - Market Oversaturation?

How much is too much

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not here to bash TSS Rovers, but with their introduction and inaugural PDL home match a mere two weeks away, the question has to be raised. TSS has taken an interesting approach to building their roster. TSS Academy has been around since 1997, opening as a pay-per-use academies in the Lower Mainland. Obviously, as an academy they focus on skill development through teaching and learning.

Why are they worthy of covering by someone other than the official media partner? Well, for those who believe that Canadian content is the way to go, well TSS can boast an all Canadian coaching staff and roster. I wouldn’t expect many to recognize some of the names, unless you follow PDL, U Sports or Whitecaps Residency. Not to mention, a local kit sponsor in Parallel 49 Brewing.

What does all this mean to the sporting landscape in Vancouver? Yeah, the PDL season runs from May-July, but in a market that already has 2 pro teams struggling to draw people, the Caps have seem to have hit a wall as far as a growing fanbase and WFC2 who are drawing rather poorly. Then there’s the WHL Giants, NLL Stealth and NWL Canadians, all of whom are after niche markets, so it’s hard to gauge how much room for growth there is.

There was also talk about the Whitecaps trying to get an NWSL franchise. However, the belief, although unsubstantiated by anyone, was that WFC2 was gonna have to be sold. However, that buzz died rather quickly. To me, it wouldn’t make much sense after the time and money they’ve invested in getting a USL affiliate in place, to push it off to the side in a matter of a couple years.

I would suspect for most people, that they could handle 1 set of season tickets, picking up single game tickets for specific games. I currently have Whitecaps and Lions season tickets, although I don’t know how much longer I can sustain the continual trips to BC Place between June and November.

It’s a good time to be a sports fan in Vancouver, if all you’re after is a night out of casual sports watching somewhere. If you have your chosen teams, you may be a little discontent with where things stand. The Canucks, as a result of the Draft Lottery, slipped 3 spots in the order, picking 5th instead of 2nd, the Caps are off to a slow start in MLS, despite making it to the CCL Semi-Final round and the Lions have just gone through a major re-tooling of the roster. Time will tell about the gridiron co-tenants of BC Place.

Getting back to TSS, it should be interesting to see who shows up to these matches. I already hear there’s a supporters group in place and an official media partner. On the schedule for TSS are the following teams: Timbers U-23, Sounders U-23, Victoria Highlanders, Calgary Foothills and Lane United (Eugene, Oregon). If Foothills sounds familiar, current Cap Sam Adekugbe got his start with Calgary Foothills, as did his younger brother, Elijah, a current member of the Trinity Western University Spartans. Erik Hurtado spent some time in the PDL with the Timbers U-23 team as well.

I will most likely check out a game or two, as Swangard Stadium is only a few skytrain stops from the place I call home.....