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Poll: How Far Are You Away From Your Nearest Professional Soccer Club?

How far are you away from your nearest professional soccer club?(online surveys)

Out of curiosity, I want to know how near or far the closest professional soccer club is to your home. Are you fortunate that one is nearby or, as in my case, are you far away from the closest professional club? The closest Major League Soccer club to me is exactly 1,000 miles away from my home in South Florida to the nearest “local” team, DC United?

I should add that I’m not including the USL or NASL in this poll. While I appreciate and support the league and realize that their footballers get paid as professional athletes, I’m basing the above poll on top flight football only (i.e. the Premier League or MLS or the top division in your country).

The reason I’m interested is getting your input on the poll is to get a sense of whether our attraction to the Premier League and its clubs is impacted by how far we live away from our local club, or not.

Thanks in advance for voting.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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32 Responses to Poll: How Far Are You Away From Your Nearest Professional Soccer Club?

  1. Raatzie says:

    @ 90 miles right at the moment (Red Bulls). 20 miles when next season starts (Philadelphia Union).

  2. pmarachi says:

    60 minutes from Redbull, but it can be a lot longer after you drive through NYC to get there. Also an expensive drive with tolls, making it not a real viable option.

  3. Flipkid says:

    Well, if we can’t count USL/NASL (I’m about 20 miles from the hometown Crystal Palace Baltimore club), then 50 miles… from DC United.

  4. Jeruleus says:

    Crew Stadium inches out RFK for me, 841 miles vs. 875 miles.

  5. AtlantaPompey says:

    Probably Columbus, with DC coming a close second. The new league that starts next season which will include several teams from the soon-to-be-defunct USL includes a team here in Atlanta. We’ll see what happens with them. With a possible MLS strike looming, there could be some good players available.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Buffalo to Toronto is about 100 miles…

  7. Leeboy says:

    I won’t spoil your poll but for comparision, over here in Manchester within 20 miles of me are:

    Manchester United
    Manchester City
    Bolton Wanderers
    Wigan Athletic
    (Stockport County)
    (Oldham Athletic)
    (Macclesfield Town)
    (Huddersfield Town)

    Just over 20 miles away
    Liverpool
    Everton
    Blackburn Rovers
    Burnley
    (Tranmere Rovers)
    (Preston North End)

    Including League 1, League 2 would give a longer list, as would going down to Conference level, however most teams down there are semi-pro. England is a small place!

    • Matthew N says:

      I am so jealous of you!!!

    • AtlantaPompey says:

      Leeboy: Your post points out one of the reasons the sport is so popular in England and not even remotely as popular here in America: availability. You have a plethora of teams to choose from that are close enough that you can attend matches on a regular basis. We don’t. I don’t live within driving distance of a MLS team. That makes it too difficult to support.

      I will also second Matthew’s assertion: I am very jealous as well.

    • Duke says:

      This is an interesting contrast to the U.S., where professional sports franchises are (generally speaking) purposely placed at some distance from one another, to avoid having multiple teams cannibilizing each other’s fan bases. Of course, I’m guessing that the majority of these clubs have been around for a century or more, long before marketing drove the business.

    • and what? says:

      me too i live in east manchester, city are on my doorstep practically i dont agree with fair weather fans and ppl who live hundreds of miles away just support your local team like your supposed to then maybe the mls will start to pick up a bit…dont compare yourselves to real fans who go to the games its an insult.YOU LIVE IN US SUPPORT AN MLS TEAM jesus whats with these ppl..shameless hangers on

      • Jay says:

        We all support MLS. You seem to not understand that most people live no where near an mls team. Which makes it sort of difficult to support the team that you live near when it can be a 1000 miles away and you have never even been to that location before. You seem a bit ignorant of how the mls is and how big our country is. You should be glad that foreiners support the epl because the epl wouldn’t be anything like it is today if it didn’t have all the supporters outside of england.

  8. Justin says:

    2.5 hours away from Columbus, OH. Still got a 5-game ticket pack and made the trips last year. 5 hours of driving in one day is pretty rough though.

  9. Ryan says:

    I haven’t been to a Fire game since they moved out of the city. Still close, but not worth it.

  10. scott says:

    I know you were meaning “how close to a [MLS] side,” but living in Las Cruces, NM I’m about 40 miles from the Indios de Ciudad Juarez from the Mexican Primera…never seen them play, but would like to. Too bad the violence in Juarez is such that I don’t feel safe to attend a match =[

  11. scott says:

    Oh, the four nearest MLS side’s to Las Cruces are…
    Colorado Rapids 681 miles
    FC Dallas 690 miles
    LA Chivas/Galaxy 774 miles
    Houston Dynamo 798 miles

    hmm, didn’t realize until now that I’m closer to LA than Houston…who’da thunk it?

  12. Duke says:

    I live about 90 minutes from Bridgeview, where the Chicago Fire play. Mapquest calls it 66 miles. I haven’t made it to a match yet, but would like to.

    And for the record, my growing interest in the EPL is what caused me to start following my local MLS franchise more closely. If I didn’t happen to live near a MLS team, I’m not sure how interested I would be in the league.

  13. Gaz says:

    Philly Union will be less than 10 miles or so from me next season.

  14. just wanted to throw in a dig at MLS for not putting a team in NYC. I’m from Manhattan, technically not far mileage-wise from the Red Bulls’ home at Giants Stadium in New Jersey but it’s still a river too far for myself and many other footie fans from New York. Their new home in Harrison, NJ looks nice, but it’s still in Jersey.
    MLS’ strategy, for a variety of reasons, has concentrated on the suburbs (the Fire, the Revs, the Red Bulls) yet the most successful teams have played near or in the heart of cities, Seattle, Toronto, and DC. There’s a lesson there.

    • Duke says:

      I think the move to the suburbs has to do with getting a stadium built. The Fire played in Soldier Field for a number of years, and I don’t remember there being any problems with their schedule vs. the Bears’ schedule.

      The problem is that Soldier Field belongs to the Chicago Park District, and unless you have a real sweetheart deal (like the Bears do), you’re not going to get the extra stadium revenue. Also, getting a new stadium built in the heart of Chicago (or Toronto, D.C., etc.) is going to be WAY more expensive than buying some land in the ‘burbs.

      So I would guess the move away from the city center is actually better for the team, at least financially.

  15. Evan says:

    I support the Red Bulls and they are 268 miles away. The nearest team is New England revolution at 171 miles.

  16. Tom says:

    I said less than 20, but I looked it up and I think it about 25 miles. Can’t complain, I usually get there in 35 minutes. As an evening or day out, it’s much shorter than the college football games because the football game takes 3 1/2 hours.

  17. Dan says:

    Live in Gainesville, FL so it would take a day or so to get to an mls club.

    Wish the mutiny would come back,
    Carlos Valderrama was the best!

    LONG LIVE EL PIBE!!!!

  18. Steve the Arsonist says:

    I’m about two hundred miles from Bridgeview and the Fire. I get to 5-7 games a year, often round trip on the same day. Next year will include some road games. I’m finding fellow travelers in Springfield and Normal to do the drives with and it’s all worthwhile. I spent six years in Philly and went to Fire matches in the swamps of Jersey, DC and Fboro. Harrisburg City Islanders matches (USL2) are tons of fun also.
    Whatever it takes, being part of the crowd at a match is something you’ll never get watching a sheet of glass bolted to a wall in a pub (fun as that can be).

  19. edgar says:

    Hey thanks leeboy for rubbing our faces in the dirt… I would trade positions with you anytime, seeing as i am a Manchester United fan from Texas. I still support my local Mls team being FC Dallas ( whether they win or not. It’s still my league.) Anyway…FC Dallas is just over 1 hr away, and 1 hr back. The closest USL team would be Austin Aztecs…bout 4hrs away.

    Texas

  20. Leeboy says:

    Duke – “Of course, I’m guessing that the majority of these clubs have been around for a century or more, long before marketing drove the business.”

    You’re right, many English clubs were formed in the late 1800s and are tied geographically to a specific area. Despite living in Manchester I’m from Leicester and support Leicester City (Championship team), so I make that 120 mile journey to watch my local team when I can. I’ve been to games at Man Utd and City but none of the others on that list

  21. Alistair Hendrie says:

    I am a Reading fan and live about 4 miles from the stadium. Horray!

  22. The Gaffer says:

    As of today, the latest poll results show that 36% live less than 20 miles to their nearest top-flight professional soccer team. Just goes to show the power that the Premier League has no matter how close you may live to a top flight team in your area.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  23. Gunner JD says:

    I live in the suburbs near Denver CO., and the Colorado Rapids play at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, which is about 15 miles from me. I have yet visit the new installation to view a Rapids game. I have not as yet come up with any motivation to do so, and am unsure of the status of this football, uh, sorry, SOCCER organization’s claim that it is in fact “professional,” although I have heard rumors that they actually are. I also question the label of “top flight” with regards to the club. Our top flight football club is the Denver Broncos by all accounts. Everyone knows that.

    • Jay says:

      If you are just going to talk lame trash that all soccer fans have heard before, why are you even on this site and posting comments. Just don’t say anything if you feel this way.

  24. rej4sl says:

    I think Chicago and Kansas are just over 400 miles from us – so they are our Local Team !!!!!

  25. CrazyMike366 says:

    299 miles to Carson, CA from Vegas, NV for me. I started following soccer on a regular basis when most MLS games weren’t on TV, so I started following the EPL because I could do so easily. United had the Glazer connection and Tim Howard had just transferred there so it was a natural fit. To this day, I can’t watch about half of Galaxy’s games on tv, but I’ve been to a couple games live; and I can watch every single United game on tv in HD. I’m more of a supporter of both than a fanatic of either. That’ll have to wait until Sin City United/Vegas FC/etc is started.

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