The Case for “Relocating” the Guardians to New Jersey

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frisco.vega
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The Case for “Relocating” the Guardians to New Jersey

Post by frisco.vega » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:56 pm

(Full Disclosure: I was born and raised here so maybe I’m a little biased, but whatever.)

Now there are the easy arguments and points for it that I feel I’ll just be repeating:
- They actually play in New Jersey already
- NY already has 2 football teams
- NY is saturated with so many other sports teams already

Although I agree with these points, they mean nothing when it comes to city selection. The bottom line for team location is butts in seats, and that’s something the Guardians were lacking. To be fair, their second and last home game was in the cold and rain after a 2 Game losing streak behind McGloin. They could have bounced back up as the spring went on, but we’ll never know that now.

Either way, I think a rebrand as New Jersey would lead to better game attendance. We love football here, and the numbers show it. Look at the average attendance of all the different alternate football leagues throughout the years.

USFL:
1983 New Jersey Generals - 35,000
1984 New Jersey Generals - 37,700
1985 New Jersey Generals - 41,200

WLAF:
1991 NY/New Jersey Knights - 31,200
1992 NY/New Jersey Knights - 25,900

XFL:
2001 NY/New Jersey Hitmen - 28,300
2020 New York Guardians - 14,900

I understand it is a span of time over 40 years, and things change, but I think New Jersey just wants a team more.

The Generals may be a bit of an unfair example as Herschel Walker was paid $3 million over the league salary cap to leave college after sophomore year. And maybe the ‘80s are a little too long ago to judge the fan interest today. Still, the Generals went 6-12 in front of an average sized crowd of 35,000 people in their first season of existence, and that’s gotta mean something.

The Knights were not flushed with talent. They went 5-5 in ‘91 and 6-4 in ‘92, making the playoffs in ‘91 and losing in the first round. Nothing too flashy or special about them, but they still pulled a sizable crowd both seasons.

And of course the Hitmen from 2001. They went 4-6, and only won 1 home game. But regardless of that they were actually 2nd in the league in attendance.

So why when the Guardians come around fans are no longer interested? I mean it’s not like the Giants or Jets are keeping any of their fans happy recently.

In the simplest way possible: New Yorkers don’t want to travel to New Jersey to see a new football team. If the new ownership can somehow get them playing in Yankee Stadium, than that will be an entirely different story. But if they move to Red Bull Arena like most were expecting, it will be in their best interest to rebrand as New Jersey. Acknowledging the fact that we even exist will honestly be enough to rally fans across the state to get out to the games, and remaining in North Jersey will keep the fans in NYC close enough to come to the games too. Even if the Guardians would have averaged their home opener, it still would have been less than the New Jersey teams of the past.

And seriously they’d have the perfect tag line:
#GuardinState

Sorry if I ranted for too long, but this has been stuck in my brain since April and none of my friends cared enough to keep up with the XFL through the sale process like I have. Would love to know your opinions.

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Tank55
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Re: The Case for “Relocating” the Guardians to New Jersey

Post by Tank55 » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:26 am

I'm pretty sure those teams only had "Jersey" in the name because it was required by the stadium authority as a condition for renting out the old Giants Stadium.
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johnnyangryfuzzball
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Re: The Case for “Relocating” the Guardians to New Jersey

Post by johnnyangryfuzzball » Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:12 pm

On one level, I'm not against this. The Guardians president talked prior to the season about how they were pushing the Guardians as a New Jersey team.

But there are a few problems:
—New Jersey already has two football teams: the Giants and the Jets. Plus, there's the Red Bulls and the Devils, though the Nets have since left town. It's not appreciably less crowded of a market than New York City, which despite being the largest city in America still has no professional football team.
—New Jersey is a suburban market. Sports teams in suburban markets have a history of not doing well at the box office (see any team based in Long Island or Anaheim as prominent examples).
—TV, TV, TV. That's the only reason the Guardians were established in the New York metro area in the first place. You make the New York team a New Jersey team and the networks might very well bail (though, as the USFL showed, that's not a given).

Ideally, one could set up shop in New York City, though the choices are slim—the best choice might have to be to take the soon-to-be-vacated ballpark in Staten Island and do what the league did in Dallas and renovate it for football.

But either way, I do like the truth in advertising. It's silly to have "New York" football in New Jersey.

frisco.vega
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Re: The Case for “Relocating” the Guardians to New Jersey

Post by frisco.vega » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:32 pm

johnnyangryfuzzball wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:12 pm
On one level, I'm not against this. The Guardians president talked prior to the season about how they were pushing the Guardians as a New Jersey team.

But there are a few problems:
—New Jersey already has two football teams: the Giants and the Jets. Plus, there's the Red Bulls and the Devils, though the Nets have since left town. It's not appreciably less crowded of a market than New York City, which despite being the largest city in America still has no professional football team.
—New Jersey is a suburban market. Sports teams in suburban markets have a history of not doing well at the box office (see any team based in Long Island or Anaheim as prominent examples).
—TV, TV, TV. That's the only reason the Guardians were established in the New York metro area in the first place. You make the New York team a New Jersey team and the networks might very well bail (though, as the USFL showed, that's not a given).

Ideally, one could set up shop in New York City, though the choices are slim—the best choice might have to be to take the soon-to-be-vacated ballpark in Staten Island and do what the league did in Dallas and renovate it for football.

But either way, I do like the truth in advertising. It's silly to have "New York" football in New Jersey.
I think the disappointment the Jets and Giants have been may push disgruntled fans towards the Guardians (provided they are actually good). I did not consider the Red Bulls and Devils though.

And yeah you make a good point about suburban markets. But if they were able to play at Red Bull somehow, there’s very easy and cheap public transportation to the stadium from Newark, Jersey City, Hoboken and Manhattan, as well as already being right in Patterson. I think this is something they should try to make happen regardless of what city/state they brand as. MetLife is notoriously difficult to get in and out of.

And yeah the TV market can’t really be beaten. Part of me wants to think that a New Jersey team will fill a stadium better in the start up days, and ultimately look better for TV. Once they are more established as a league they could have an expansion team for New York once they can situate a field for them actually in New York City. I know this it be foolish to double down on one media market in a start up league and is not at all going to happen, but god damn the rivalry games would be amazing.

However the more I think about it now, I’ll say an NY/NJ branding would serve them best. The size of the New York market won’t accept them until they are proven winners. Adding New Jersey to the name will give you stronger support through the start up phase, and I think you’d see more support from New York if they are able to establish themselves as a top team in the league as the season progresses.

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HVGuardian
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Re: The Case for “Relocating” the Guardians to New Jersey

Post by HVGuardian » Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:07 pm

I don’t think the issue is New Yorkers not wanting to travel to Jersey. I mean, the Giants and Jets do fine. Much of that crowd comes from upstate. I think the issue is more that the same crowd who is willing to travel to watch the NFL, the Hudson Valley area for example, is not necessarily willing to make the same trip for an XFL team.

I was more into the XFL 2020 than anyone else I knew (I watched every game) and even I wanted to hold off on heading down to MetLife until it’s warmed up.

The Red Bull arena may work better for getting butts in seats but I don’t think it helps a TV contract.

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Re: The Case for “Relocating” the Guardians to New Jersey

Post by Sounder » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:46 pm

Look.....even the Red Bulls don't call themselves *New Jersey"....that despite the fact that New York City has it's own team. Assuming they could gain access to it, Red Bull arena has to be it. MetLife looked dreadful on TV....they should've at least made an effort to "shrink" it by tarping the upper tiers. It looked only marginally better than what the Covid NFL games are looking like. So what else? Take them up to Syracuse? It's still New York.

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Re: The Case for “Relocating” the Guardians to New Jersey

Post by 4th&long » Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:29 pm

That's like preferring hamburger over filet migon.... aint happen'in

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