The viewership of matches in the US has increased by nearly 60 percent over the last 17 years. Currently, only six domestic football matches attracted to the stadiums on average a larger number of spectators. The most, over 40,000, come on average for every match of the German Bundesliga, 5,000. less people gather on average the English Premier League meeting.
The growing interest of the sociologist, as football is defined in the US, in a way, explains the changes taking place in American society.
Growth will not disappear, because immigrants coming to the US come mainly from countries where football is very important explains Garth Lagerwey, sports director of the Seattle Sounders team, and earlier an MLS competitor. Now that you can opt for tickets for football the options are there.
The question of the popularity of soccer in the US should be considered bearing in mind the massiveness of other disciplines in this country. Extensive baseball (MLB) or football (NFL) games gather hundreds of thousands of Americans every week in the stands, and the matches of only one New York Yankees football team watch more TV viewers than the entire MLS queue. For this reason, even though football has ceased to be an elite sport of the upper class in the US, most American teenagers still dream of a footballer, basketball player, ice hockey player or baseball player more than about playing with Messi. The professional practice of these sports ensures not only more popular, but also guarantees better money.
But Lagerwey noticed that football has a chance to pick up some supporters and potential NFL players.
- In the long term, severe head injuries and related CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) can cause a departure from football. However, given the current level of prevalence of this sport, changes can take entire generations.
Although football will not become a mass sport in the United States for many years, it may soon be easier for young footballers to find their way into the courtyards of some cities. The vast majority of people are interested in the sport. In each country, there are cult sports disciplines, and athletes are often heroes for children and adults. For many, it is passion and even obsession. Sport plays a significant role in people’s lives. Sport evokes great emotions, passive sports consumption (e.g., fans in front of the TV), active consumption of sport (that is, practicing a given discipline amateurishly), and occasional consumption, i.e. during some events or sports shows.
Which sport is the most popular discipline? If we look in a given country, e.g., Poland, you can mention here football, ski jumping, volleyball, handball, side, athletics, handball, cross-country skiing, basketball, swimming, car races, ice skating. But how does it look all over the world? It is much different.
What makes a given discipline more popular than another? What criteria should be used to assess this? The most important seems to be what part of the population is interested in the discipline, how many fans it has. This involves the audience during games, competitions, the number of fans in front of the TV and on the Internet. This translates into offers of broadcasting rights on television, sponsorship offers.