Why soccer/football will never be popular in the US

And by popular I mean rivaling (American) football and baseball, or even basketball and (ice) hockey.

This CNN article gives a glimpse of the various facets the author sees that can be blamed, and he does touch upon the two primary reasons I feel know, why it is very difficult for soccer to even come close to other sports in the US.

Food and drinks. The two reasons why soccer will never be popular in the US.

Let me explain.

What is the running time of a NFL game? 1 hour. What is the running time of a NBA game? 48 mins. What is the running time of a NHL game? 60 minutes.

How long does an American football game last? Three to 3 and half hours. How long does a basketball game last? Around 2 and half hours. The hockey game? Two and half hours. And let’s not even talk about baseball. Not for nothing is it called America’s pastime.

So, on an average, fans attending these games will have plenty time on hand to:
a) Eat
b) Drink
c) Stand in line to purchase the edible and drinkable stuff
d) Stand in restroom lines to relieve themselves of a) and b)
e) Walk back and forth between their seats and numerous trips for c) and d)

Time on hand to do the above stuff:
1. NFL – 2 and half hours
2. NBA – 1 hour and 42 mins
3. NHL – 1 and half hours
4. MLB – The whole 3 and half hours!

A soccer game is on for 90 minutes, plus any added minutes for injury time in either half. So let’s say a grand total of 100 minutes of actual playing time. Add to that the only 15 minutes of time between the 2 halves, in which you get a drink, go to the restroom, and come back to your seat. In anticipation of not missing out on any goals. You know that if you miss the action for a few seconds, you might miss out on the solitary goal in the entire game. Anticipation – this is what makes watching soccer for 90 minutes so worth it.

You see, the gameday experience for Americans is all about having a good time – with food, drinks and a win for the team you are rooting for, to cap it off. If the team loses, oh crap. Life goes on.

What say, ya’ all?

Categories: Demystify | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Why soccer/football will never be popular in the US

  1. Makes plenty of sense, I am from Switzerland, where soccer is the main team sport, I worked in a snack food booth on Sundays where there were matches, , you get people buying the food before the match, then nothing for 45 minutes or maybe a mom coming with the kids while her husband still watch the action, then during the 15 minutes half time you have an onslaught of people coming for big orders, no time for the staff to waste. To make things faster my booth was not relying on cash register, so much that you can prepare an order for a customer while calculating the amount in your head then listen to the next guy in line telling you his order while you hand the grub and take the money from the first guy and reapeat, a person can do about 20 order max in these mad rush 15 minutes, and then again a long 45 minutes of nothing, and as soon as the game finish people storm out, few linger to have another beer or hot dog.
    I was a placement hostess in VIP section during ice hockey matches in winter, and because the game is longer, people are far mor likely to get more food all through the match, because there are 3 periods of 20 minutes each and 15 minutes break between each.
    I’m more of a hockey person, so I actually enjoyed the placement hostess job more :) Once the people found their place and you checked all the tickets you can watch the match while getting paid and have free food :)

  2. that way… cricket should catch on pretty quick, huh?

    • It should, though only the T20 format, as the typical timespan of a sporting event is around 3 hours. It will not though, as baseball is too similar in nature.

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