San Francisco Deltas owner warns about poor crowds

The San Francisco Deltas finished second in the NASL spring season, an encouraging start for the expansion team,  but poor attendance has owner Brian Andres Helmick warning that they won't survive unless that changes.

In an open letter to Delta fans, Helmick said the Deltas average about 2,500 people per game -- the actual turnstile gate, not the numbers he said other teams often inflate two or three times -- at Kezar Stadium. He blamed the fact that the majority of San Francisco residents don’t know the Delta exist.

"Chalk it up to Donald Trump, an incredibly noisy market, or the competitive entertainment options facing fans on a Saturday night," he wrote.

Helmick said more than 88 percent of fans attended one game and did not return -- a bad retention rate. He said almost all fans said they enjoyed the experience. The problem: almost 65 percent said they "were too busy with other priorities to make it to more games."

Helmick's ideas:

-- Find a high-profile local investor or investors.
-- Partner with a local pro sports team.
-- Fans get friends and family and help us spread the word about the Deltas.

One suggestion put into place: move kickoff times up to 5 p.m. because of the cold weather on San Francisco summer evenings, beginning with the Aug. 5 match against the New York Cosmos.

13 comments about "San Francisco Deltas owner warns about poor crowds".
  1. Elvis Epstein, July 28, 2017 at 9:22 a.m.

    Chalk it up to Donald Trump? The business failure of a San Francisco Soccer team? Probably said in jest, but Nancy Pelosi has represented that area for 30 years. With college football, pro football right around the corner, high school sports starting up, and school starting back up,... they will fall even farther back down the list of priorities. NASL days are numbered. 2 more teams coming in next year, but how many are dead or leaving?

  2. Fire Paul Gardner Now, July 28, 2017 at 4:16 p.m.

    This clown league is lucky to even be around in 2017. I doubt it makes it to 2018. How about putting teams in markets that don't have them instead of trying to pretend they are competitors of MLS? The Bay Area already has an MLS team. This just isn't a large market for minor league soccer in places that already have an MLS team.

  3. R2 Dad replied, July 31, 2017 at 12:41 p.m.

    I'm generally quite congenial, but I've had my fill of your ass-hattery. Now I guess you're an expert on the Bay Area as well? The Earthquakes do NOT cover the entire Bay Area, which has a population of about 7 million and San Jose proper is only 1 million. Few people in San Francisco/Oakland will want to drive down to San Jose on a weekday at 4pm to watch a match--that's crazy talk, traffic is a complete nightmare. Possibly, for a 7pm weekend match once in a blue moon but seriously, 99% of soccer fans in SF/Oakland will watch it on the tube if at all. Also, some people are unhappy that MLS let Anschutz decamp with our team to "rebrand" in Texas. Soccer, as even you might know, is a burgeoning sport at the youth and professional level, so SF/Oakland can easily support another MLS franchise but the politics of a stadium site is a tough row to hoe. This isn't like Texas or Arizona, where you just keep paving new development further and further out from the city center.

  4. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, August 1, 2017 at 9:42 a.m.

    That's fine. Perhaps SF can support an MLS team but we aren't talking about an MLS team. We are talking about a minor league team playing in a stadium that makes RFK look sleek and modern. That's why they're getting 2,500 a game in what will likely be their only season of existence.

  5. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, August 1, 2017 at 9:43 a.m.

    As far as allowing the old SJ team to move - my advice would be to get over it. They replaced the team within a couple of years.

  6. R2 Dad, July 29, 2017 at 1:14 p.m.

    Both of you have valid points, but you also seem to have burning bile for NASL. There is a small, important detail you're forgetting: NASL teams regularly spank USL teams. Shouldn't quality of team play determine which division they live in?

  7. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, July 30, 2017 at 5:31 p.m.

    When did these "spankings" occur? As recently as 2015 USL teams went 7 for 7 against NASL in the cup. Last year it was 6-2 NASL (although a couple of those were on penalties). This year it is 3-1 NASL with one game left. And that's with two NASL teams getting bounced by amateur sides. Sounds like they are pretty comparable. And that's with many of the better USL teams (the MLS reserve sides) not being allowed in the open cup.

  8. R2 Dad replied, July 31, 2017 at 1:11 a.m.

    FPGN, it reads like you responded, then decided you should probably do your homework, looked it up, documented that NASL teams HAVE been beating USL teams, but then couldn't be bothered to actually refute my assertion. So no, they're NOT comparable--it's men vs boys, as everyone knows. Pick up your game.

  9. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, July 31, 2017 at 9:07 a.m.

    What are you talking about? It's 10-9 USL over the last three years and probably would be more favorable to USL is NASL teams didn't get knocked out against amateur PDL sides (including Cosmos). I provided actual data while you just made an incorrect and conclusory assertion that NASL/USL games have been onesided. Please try harder. Thank you.

  10. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, July 31, 2017 at 9:08 a.m.

    Maybe you misread my earlier post. USL was 7-0 against NASL in 2015. Did you forget that?

  11. R2 Dad replied, July 31, 2017 at 11:14 a.m.

    FPGN, stop trolling so hard, dude. Lets look at 2017. In May during the second round of the Lamar Open Cup, NASL teams finished 4-1 against of bunch of teams that may or may not be USL because who really knows, there are like 50 teams in the USL that no one can name. In the 3rd round, again, 2017, stay with me, NASL finished 3-1 in head to head, when matches start to count:
    L-May 31 Jacksonville Armada 0–1 Charleston Battery
    W-May 31 North Carolina FC 4–1 Charlotte Independence
    W-May 31 Miami FC 2–0 Tampa Bay Rowdies
    W-May 31 Phoenix Rising FC 1–2 San Francisco Deltas

    This constitutes a beat-down. You can butter it up any way you want, but NASL trounced USL teams. Spin away, troll.

  12. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, July 31, 2017 at 5:32 p.m.

    Laughable. Over the past three years, it's 10-9 USL. That doesn't constitute a "beat down" in my book but it does show that the leagues are pretty equal. And everyone but you can figure which teams are in which league. A moot point since the sad sack NASL will be defunct come 2018.

  13. Nick Daverese, July 30, 2017 at 7:48 p.m.

    yes it's trump fault my daughter just came back from Iceland. There is a little lake their now its trumps fault the lake is there. She actually told me that. Before she went to Iceland she went to Ireland to see U2. Bitched how much the tickets were man they were cheap. I think they spent 180 euro's for 5 seats. I see a Broadway show I spend anywhere from 400 to a thousand a seat because I like to be close or I can't hear.My Grandson Henry is here 6 yrs old and can he shoot the ball he has got a live foot off the dribble. Fun to watch him play.

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