Deeper Thoughts: Greenville and You

10 - Published June 16, 2011 by in Commentary

We’ve had 24 hours to decompress.

It's OK, I felt the same way you did when you heard

We’ve heard the news, we’ve read the forums, we’ve gone through the five stages of grief:

Denial: We thought, “This is a joke right?  The tournament can’t be moving to a city that isn’t even one of the five largest cities in its own state, can it?”

Anger: Now it’s serious. “This is CRAP!  They moved it to Greenville?  Why the hell didn’t they move it to that field that is right down the street from me?  What? I needed to get a bid in?  That’s even more CRAP!  THE WHOLE BOD KNOWS HOW AWESOME THAT FIELD IS DOWN THE ROAD!!”

Bargaining: OK, we can make this work.  Some coaches started to realize, there are multiple options to get to Greenville.  Certainly we can find some way to get there cheaply.  Maybe we can carpool with the teams from Atlanta?

Depression: It’s done.  The tournament is moved for realsies.  Oh man.  Life is horrible.  No more Denver.  No more fun.  How can I move forward?  Is practice even worth it anymore?  I have to go to South Carolina of all places?

Acceptance: Ahhhhhh, the sweet goodness of the South.  This is cool.  We can do this.  Why fight it?  It’s time for a change.  Greenville it is!

If you haven’t accepted it, well it’s time to get on board.  It’s happening.  The tournament will be there for the next two years, so why not enjoy the hell out of it?

You want to complain about the price to fly into Greenville?  I thought the same thing.  But guess what?  I have an internet machine in front of me just like you.  And I did some clicking and bee-boop-beeping and found out that it is actually cheaper for me to fly from Portland, OR to Greenville, SC than it is to fly simply to Atlanta. Why?  I don’t know, I don’t work for the airline industry, but I heard this rumor about businesses wanting to move inventory and sell more stuff….soooooooo you can’t complain about the west coast teams and flights with that info can you?

There are grass fields that we have to play on.  That could suck.  But, after talking with tournament director Dan Morris, he assured me that there are contingencies in place to use two turf fields, similar to the situation in Denver.

It's grass fields here, but there are turf contingencies

I know what you are thinking now.  Why not some other site?  The short answer: There were no other sites to consider.  The long answer: There were no other sites to consider.

As I said before, there were only two bids submitted as of last month (which was a month BEYOND the original due date for bids).  One bid was for a return to Denver.  The other was for Greenville.  There was an apparent 11th hour bid by San Diego, of which we have very little detail other than it would’ve cost each of us our first born.  And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out some sort of haphazard, whipped-together bid is likely missing some crucial details.  It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if San Diego was never even realistically considered.

Does it suck that there were only two realistic bids?  Yes.  But can we just get off ourselves for a minute.  Take a step back.  Seriously, take a step back and look at our event.  Take a look at our league.  Is it crazy to think that maybe we jumped in production value and weren’t quite ready for the facilities we chose to inhabit?  How many sellouts have we had at these tournaments?  How many times have we even filled a stadium to 10% or even 5% of capacity?  Never.  Let’s not pretend we need some world-class facility.  We need a good little facility, and that’s what we’ve got.

Maybe we were smaller than we thought?

The more I hear about this site, the more I can’t help but realize the negative initial reaction, myself included, is really just fighting change for the sake of fighting change.  As a league, as teams, as a tournament staff, as Twitter critics, we were all getting too comfortable with Denver.

And furthermore, this decision sets the precedent to hold the tournament on the edges of the US geographically.  Are you listening Seattle?  Are you listening San Diego?  Are you listening Boston?  The tournament is all but begging you to put a bid together for 2014 and beyond.  The MCLA released its Request for Proposals in February of 2011.  That provided three months to get bids in.  Right now you have an unofficial RFP in front of you.

We’re looking at you, Seattle, San Diego, Boston, Baltimore, Kansas City, ……


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