Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MadMardigain

Final X - Now just 2 locations Nebraska & Rutgers. Thoughts?

Recommended Posts

Looks like Flo has comprised Final X to only two spots:  Nebraska and Rutgers.  Thoughts? 

 

Seems like a much better move than the three locations of last years event.  Rutgers allows the Pennsylvania and Cornel crowd to make it over.  Nebraska is friendly to the Iowa and Oklahoma crowd.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might work. I like it better in tried and true college towns or wrestling hotbeds, though. Rutgers might get a little eastern PA flavor, but it's 3:30 from State College and 5 hours from the Pittsburgh hotbed. And I'm guessing Burroughs gets put in the Nebraska event, not his hometown area?

Any Iowa guys probably get sent to Nebraska, but that's 4.5 hours from Iowa City too.

Still might struggle to get the kind of crowds we'd hope for but it should be better in attempt #2.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The RAC at Rutgers is a perfect wrestling facility for this event. Easy convenient parking, not too big where you might have a bad seat, sound is great. I predict this will sell out.  I went to state college last year, it was great, but not enough matches. Glad they’re bringing it down to two. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, maligned said:

Might work. I like it better in tried and true college towns or wrestling hotbeds, though. Rutgers might get a little eastern PA flavor, but it's 3:30 from State College and 5 hours from the Pittsburgh hotbed. And I'm guessing Burroughs gets put in the Nebraska event, not his hometown area?

Any Iowa guys probably get sent to Nebraska, but that's 4.5 hours from Iowa City too.

Still might struggle to get the kind of crowds we'd hope for but it should be better in attempt #2.

 

NY and the NYC is a hotbed of wrestling by any measure. per capita state college may have more fans but it is absolutely dwarfed in potential ticket buyers by the new york/new jersey market. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think breaking up the locations makes it infinitely more difficult to draw an actual crowd.  Example:  

* I want to attend.

* I'm like the other 99%, and need to budget

* I can afford one or the other, but not both

* By only going to one, I, as a fan, am limited by 50% as to what I can "consume"

* Thus... i choose NOT to go... along with another 10,000 people who feel the same way.

Kinda like playing the super bowl in two cities.  First half in Team A's stadium... Second Half in Team B's stadium, a week later.  

It's dumb... and NOT fan friendly.  

Edited by treep2000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, treep2000 said:

Kinda like playing the super bowl in two cities.  First half in Team A's stadium... Second Half in Team B's stadium, a week later.  

 

it's not really like a team sport championship. splitting up a superbowl would be like splitting up a match. one period in one city, the second period a week later in a different city. obviously, that's not what is happening. 

i think a better analogy would be splitting up wimbeldon. men's championship in one city, women's in another. or even better, like splitting up UFC title fights. instead of having every weight class' title fights on one card, at one event, in one city and date, you split up the number of events and locations and give more people an opportunity to attend a premier event. you won't get to see EVERY top ranked UFC fighter but you will see at least one!

so final x has its pros and cons. I think the pros are pretty good, but its clearly not going to please everyone!

Edited by Jaroslav Hasek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Jaroslav Hasek said:

it's not really like a team sport championship. splitting up a superbowl would be like splitting up a match. one period in one city, the second period a week later in a different city. obviously, that's not what is happening. 

i think a better analogy would be splitting up wimbeldon. men's championship in one city, women's in another. or even better, like splitting up UFC title fights. instead of having every weight class' title fights on one card, at one event, in one city and date, you split up the number of events and locations and give more people an opportunity to attend a premier event. you won't get to see EVERY top ranked UFC fighter but you will see at least one!

so final x has its pros and cons. I think the pros are pretty good, but its clearly not going to please everyone!

Meh... fair point regarding the analogies... Do I still "like" the concept?  Absolutely... it's just not fan friendly... "they" are putting business ahead of the actual sport, instead of the purity of the sport ahead of the business.  What most in business fail to realize is that if you speak with the people, and support full consumerism, the people will consume the "most".  Forcing folks to adhere to your business model only yields disdain and partial consumption.  

I want Wrestling to be more popular.. but... it starts with filling the stands.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, JasonBryant said:

Let’s remember the best draw the complete WTTs has had is maybe 5K, so the 10k fans who wanted to attend have had the opportunity in the past.

Although I truly respect you Mr. Bryant, I have to disagree.  This is akin to saying, circa  1940 pro football, "If they want 50,000 to attend, they had their chance", and then doing something really really really dumb to the sport/fan engagement model.  Instead, the AAFC, and the other pro leagues said... hmmm... what if we made the NFL, worked their way towards that, and blam-oh... 

I wonder if Gracie and the other founders of the UFC/MMA movement thought... "you know... if we wanted people to watch, they had their chance", and then do something non-fan-engagement centric.  

I'd rather have the WTT / Final X be in one location, same "long" weekend, and then:

a.) Wrestlers only need to make weight that one weekend (under the existing and current UWW rule set)

b.) The "most" fans that choose to attend could attend

c.) Add in a PPV option, i.e. one that can be available through all Cable and Internet TV providers (and not just Flo).  Similar model to UFC... Boxing... it works WELL...

d.) Be consistent... year over year... Super Bowl #1 wasn't as "big" and "grand" as Super Bowl #2, and not even close to #50 (a la today).  You got to "make the thing a thing".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.twincities.com/2018/05/29/minneapolis-super-bowl-lii-economic-impact-400-million-study-concludes/

It has to start somewhere.

Yes.  It took 52 years to get to this point.  But... Prior to the first Super Bowl, the economic impact was $0.  Professional Football is a wholly American "thing", made popular through some tremendous grassroots marketing efforts in the 1960s and 1970s.  In the 1940s and 1950s, was "Football" really that big of a thing?  Nah... not really.  Neither was basketball.  Instead, it was Baseball as "America's Pastime".  Other popular sports/games?  Golf.  Horseracing.  Boxing.  Tennis.  

Building a sport takes time and consistency.  The wrestling community... one that I'm tremendously proud to have said that I am a part of (to some degree or another) has unfortunately cornered itself in its own little box, refusing to think outside of it, and making the assumption that no one will like it.  Sure... there are elements that "common folk" may not like... Singlets.  Cauliflower Ear, etc.  But... dress our wrestlers in compression wear/fighter shorts, and we're not too far away from how Boxers "look"

My point is... we could get around a table, and truly be "strategic".  If we collectively want to be a niche sport, then let's accept that, but also embrace the "who gives a rats behind" attitude when it comes to how Final X is laid out.  Let's stop wanting Flo to be more than it is... and just be gratefully complacent and apathetic with mediocre service.  Why?  Because, we're small and we like it that way.  If we want the sport to be something that grows leaps and bounds.  I.e. one where our kids and our grandchildren could actually make a living out of, through excellent performances, sponsorship, speaking tours/demonstrations/coaching, etc... it CAN be done.  Hell... even Rodeo has it's own OTT Network for goodness sakes.  Who actually watches rodeo, except for the families of the barrel racer and steer wrangler?  

Note:  My comment about being an "American" thing.  The UFC now has foreign nationals participating, as does every major "professional" sport.  What if... what if... a global Freestyle league, centered in North America/USA, was founded?  What if Sadulaev, Sidakov, Saitaev, Yazdani, the Mongols, etc. all participated?  What if we joined forces, created American Teams, and wrestled the German League, the Indian League, etc.  Gwiz is doing it... but in Germany?  Maroulis did it... but in India?  We have so many great facilities... so many great options... I'm just shaking my head... sad... 

Edited by treep2000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the past 10 years, the streaming era and the social media era, fans around the country have known where and when the World Team Trials would be. This whole rigamarole about how fans would want to attend one event, but can't because it's in 2-3 locations, is a proven falsehood. I'm talking recent history here, I'm not reaching back in time to dig this up to try to validate a point. 

The combined World Team Trials have been in wrestling-friendly locations and areas where getting to the event was easy for the driving crowd and to decent-sized airports. 

As far as your first four points: 
A- They'll still make weight at their Final X location once, there won't be the same weight at multiple sites. 
B- Possible, but recent history shows people have shown up sparingly (Lincoln and the year Cael came back in OKC are relative exceptions, but it was never close to 10K, for example)
C- Flowrestling has the contract for these events, that's locked in and long term. I don't disagree, but it's not likely. The exception is events owned by the USOC or UWW. 
D- It should have been a big thing, because it's the most concentrated collection of excellence you can find at a single event. The fact there were barely 1,000 people in Omaha a couple of years and relatively low turnouts in other wrestling-friendly places is more to the opinion that our fanbases are college team-oriented, not individually oriented, like say the UFC market. 

I think you make some very good points, I'm not saying you're wrong with building up an event, but in the streaming/access era, the three events last year combined to draw more than Lincoln the previous year. What I like about the format is it can expose the sport more places, to more people and give you a 2-3 hour experience vs. trying to bring a first-time sports fan to an event to sit in an arena all day. Also easier to bring a pack of teams, kids, wrestling people who might not have two days to commit to traveling. I think the appeal is the reach to make these event-specific things. I believe we rely too much on our junkies to test the pulse of the sport in the open market. Sure, I want to go to all three. I was in a position to go to all three, but if I wasn't being paid to work the events, it would have been hard for me to justify going to all three, so I feel the junkie pain there. There aren't the same thousands of fans goign to all the UFC fights domestically, yet we seem to think the same are all expected to travel to every wrestling event. We should, in theory, have enough wrestling fans in every location to fill every event, no matter if it's one or three. 

Good stuff to consider, but having been on multiple fronts with WTT events, the right location, combined with the right social atmosphere and a "shorter" day makes wrestling fans more apt to make it a party like the NCAA's (they don't have brutally long sessions, there's plenty of gaps for nightlife and socializing). Although the NCAA tournament is the outlier in wrestling events, and really, it's comparison, even on my side of things, isn't truly apt here. 

I'm curious on what the 2 locations will bring with NJ and Lincoln, which has shown solid crowds for the last traditional WTT and the first Final X. 

I'm just not 100% sold the fans who believe if it were combined (like it was for pretty much eternity) would now magically draw 5-10x its previous attendance. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, treep2000 said:

I think breaking up the locations makes it infinitely more difficult to draw an actual crowd.  Example:  

* I want to attend.

* I'm like the other 99%, and need to budget

* I can afford one or the other, but not both

* By only going to one, I, as a fan, am limited by 50% as to what I can "consume"

* Thus... i choose NOT to go... along with another 10,000 people who feel the same way.

Kinda like playing the super bowl in two cities.  First half in Team A's stadium... Second Half in Team B's stadium, a week later.  

It's dumb... and NOT fan friendly.  

Who do you think there are more of:

”I’d really like to watch the team trials final, but I can’t go to both events, so I’m not going”

or

”I’d really like to go watch the team trials, but I can’t afford the plane ticket and hotel and all of that. I wish I could just drive to it”

 

Theres some that are going to go no matter when or where. There’s a whole lot more who can/desire to only go if it’s within their reach. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lurker said:

Who do you think there are more of:

”I’d really like to watch the team trials final, but I can’t go to both events, so I’m not going”

or

”I’d really like to go watch the team trials, but I can’t afford the plane ticket and hotel and all of that. I wish I could just drive to it”

 

Theres some that are going to go no matter when or where. There’s a whole lot more who can/desire to only go if it’s within their reach. 

I think the Venn Diagram overlaps between those two groups substantially... however, I think that if the "thing is made a thing", and its an annual "destination"... with food, additional entertainment, interactive booths/**** to do, etc. kinda like a "fan Village", it'll work WAY better. 

I worked as a Marketing Director in a Professional Sports League the past 4 years (now chose a different industry this past year).  In that space, if you don't give the fans a "reason" to come (and, it's not just the core sport or game btw), they will not.  Wrestling needs two things to "grow":  a.) Butts in Seats, and b.) Eyeballs watching.  

Making the "thing a thing" can help get the butts in seats.  It can help get local and regional sponsorships to help pay for the interactive attractions and such.  Partnerships with local hotels, chamber of commerce, restaurants, etc. etc. etc will help with this.

The PPV option works.  Much better than I ever thought possible.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, treep2000 said:

I think the Venn Diagram overlaps between those two groups substantially... however, I think that if the "thing is made a thing", and its an annual "destination"... with food, additional entertainment, interactive booths/**** to do, etc. kinda like a "fan Village", it'll work WAY better. 

I worked as a Marketing Director in a Professional Sports League the past 4 years (now chose a different industry this past year).  In that space, if you don't give the fans a "reason" to come (and, it's not just the core sport or game btw), they will not.  Wrestling needs two things to "grow":  a.) Butts in Seats, and b.) Eyeballs watching.  

Making the "thing a thing" can help get the butts in seats.  It can help get local and regional sponsorships to help pay for the interactive attractions and such.  Partnerships with local hotels, chamber of commerce, restaurants, etc. etc. etc will help with this.

The PPV option works.  Much better than I ever thought possible.  

You're 100 percent dead on with the fan village concept. There HAS to be something to give fans something to do/drink when they're disinterested in consolations, etc. That's why a location with a good bar scene is imperative to making fans want to return to places. Lincoln has the Railyard (And a number of places close) and that right there helped add to the experience. It's probably why people like St. Louis so much, despite the urban decay surrounding Union Station and the pop-up of Ballpark Village. People used to flock to the Landing, not as much now. 

The wrestling SHOULD sell itself, but there's also gotta be stuff to do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, JasonBryant said:

You're 100 percent dead on with the fan village concept. There HAS to be something to give fans something to do/drink when they're disinterested in consolations, etc. That's why a location with a good bar scene is imperative to making fans want to return to places. Lincoln has the Railyard (And a number of places close) and that right there helped add to the experience. It's probably why people like St. Louis so much, despite the urban decay surrounding Union Station and the pop-up of Ballpark Village. People used to flock to the Landing, not as much now. 

The wrestling SHOULD sell itself, but there's also gotta be stuff to do. 

We're effectively saying the same thing... just coming from different POV's... and I like it.  Wrestling SHOULD sell itself... but it just doesn't.  When the other "stick n' ball" sports got their start, there was a bunch of hesitation, and a lot of head scratching of "why the heck should I go watch this" kind of mentality.  It took YEARS (and a bunch of local, city/state, federal lobbying) to get Football, Baseball, and Basketball where it is today.  

The sheer fact that Cornhole was on ESPN yesterday was "wild".  The World's Strongest Man (an IMG production) almost "owned" Christmas Day on ESPN.  There is a ton of opportunity.  We just need to evaluate a.) what is working, and b.) what is not working (but we keep doing anyways, expecting different results), and c.) what could we introduce that is new, fresh, and exciting to help make it more appealing overall.  But... back to the Scuffle... :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×