[Source] - “The final should be bigger,” he says. “I can’t understand how the Super Bowl can feel bigger than the Champions League final. The Super Bowl, and the US generally, have this mindset, creativity and entertainment. That’s what I have suggested, to have an opening ceremony to the Champions League, to have one match on the opening night where the winners take on a big team — maybe it is not a good idea, but at least let’s challenge the status quo. Each match needs to be an event and entertainment.”
Sweeping out of a press conference in the Austrian capital, Al-Khelaifi is taking a brief pause from an increasingly relentless diary. His mind wanders further, outlining how he believes the UEFA Super Cup ought to be reimagined, while also stressing a need to consider “new venues, new markets, new formats”. Inspired by a presentation in Vienna, he says he has invited Harvard Business School into PSG to refine the way his club operates. More on that to come.
Yeah, listen there are two arguments here. Champions League is bigger on an international scale because Europeans care way more about soccer. But the Super Bowl feels bigger because nobody does sporting events like we do here. The entertainment, the fact we go crazy for commercials, the musical acts and everything else in between. The Super Bowl is an experience. The Champions League is a sporting event.
I say this as someone who loves soccer. I go out of my way to watch every Tottenham game. I make sure to watch as many Champions League games as possible - but it's also different for me. The games are on during the week at like 2:30 Eastern. I work quite literally from a recliner in my office where I have a TV on at all times. I'm not in a regular office and need to sneak the door shut and catch some of it streaming on a computer. Sure, once you get to the final and that's on the Saturday afternoon that helps.
But you're talking about America here.
I can promise you'll get the same cliche responses to this blog. Rico saying soccer is a waste of grass. People saying it's not a sport. Talk about flopping - which little secret. Every sport has flopping except for maybe hockey. Watch a wide receiver one time for me.
Now I have no idea how you fix this. Your market needs to include the US but it's not the US. Your market is Europe here. You need to walk the fine line of what time the game is on - which is why the EPL works. Nothing beats a little Saturday morning soccer action when quite literally nothing else is on TV. The other fact is most Americans aren't living and dying with club soccer like our sports here.
Well, I do have one fix. Just have Shakira always do something. She's in the soccer world and it worked for the Super Bowl.
That and as lame as it sounds just keep having the big names advance. Sure, the story of Sheriff was awesome but the casual fans here want to hear the names Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, not Arsenal, PSG, Munich, etc.
It'll never be bigger than the Super Bowl here. That's just a fact.