Apologies if this has a ton of typos I wrote it on an iPhone.
So before the deltas showed up there was a pdl team that's still in the city and also plays in kezar stadium called San Francisco city. This team is sort of a city wide darling that doesn't do incredibly well attendance wise but is quite well known around the city. When they had a game on pride weekend they created a custom pride jersey that went over super well. They get front cover stories in local weeklys (for people in Toronto imagine a team that was featured in Now magazine). That sort of thing. It's a big community involvement type of team.
There is also a giant Latino community of soccer fans. When I went to the cali Classico 3 weeks ago there is a large contingent of Latino fans for all things soccer in the Bay Area.
Did the deltas try and reach out to either of these groups or integrate into their existing soccer cultures? Nope.
Now I know that doesn't sound terrible but the problems start when they launched their team. I don't know if anyone can find their website from when it launched but it wasn't about soccer at all and instead about how they're bringing a start up Silicon Valley culture to modern sports. They're going to use "modern tech platforms" and "augmented reality" to redefine the sports experience. I wish I could find the launch website but you can read about a small taste of it here:
For those unfamiliar with San Francisco there has been a giant love/hate relationship with the tech culture of Silicon Valley seeping into the city. And for the last 3-4 years it's been far more hate than love. Long time San Franciscans have been displaced. There's dumb cold press juice places on every corner and generally the middle class has been pushed out of the city. So now imagine a team rolls into town, ignoring the grassroots soccer communities, talks big about disrupting the modern sports experience oh and it turns out they're all Silicon Valley execs too. This is a clunky comparison but imagine a team in Hamilton starting up called "Toronto expat fc". Imagine how much derision there would be towards the approach that team took to launching in the market.
So that's sort of chapter 1.
So now we have a team that has no connection to the community and alienated a lot of the main soccer fans in the city without even kicking a ball. At this point I'd have to imagine their main target was tech bros (especially considering the prices they charged for tickets or concessions which were absurd). But here's the thing about the tech community in San Francisco. It's incredibly transient. Most people in the tech community aren't from here and rarely stay here longer than 5-6 years. They come in with their own allegiances from cities they consider their own hometown. So this team ignores the local grassroots community for a group of people that have no interest in becoming long term fans---again without even kicking a ball.
I'm going to put aside the fact that the San Jose earthquakes play down the highway for the time being but you'll probably notice by now that wasn't even the beginning of their problems.
Okay so they figure out their target and they launch their team with...probably one of the worst logos or names I have ever seen in my whole entire life. We concern ourselves with team names that may be too conservative or silly. This team name is just...nothing. Like the culture they've inadvertently come to represent their team name somehow sounds like meaningless tech jargon. And their logo is even worse. It's a fidget spinner.
So now all these things could still be surmounted if they perhaps delivered a ton of advertising in the market and become overwhelmingly visible in a saturated sports market. Did they do that? Nope. You didn't see them anywhere. So a team that had no inherent interest for some reason didn't at least pay to force interest.
But wait....maybe that could be surmountable if they somehow delivered on their promise of a cutting edge sports experience. Did they do that? Nope. Kezar stadium is...a dump. And when the deltas play it's an overpriced dump. Oh and on top of that there's no trains that go near there so it's impossible for people from Oakland, Marin or the South Bay to get there without driving and San Francisco traffic has a baaaad reputation. So it's an overpriced hard to get to dump. Oh and this is a weird San Francisco thing but in the summer every night a cold fog rolls over the city. And this stadium is really really exposed because it pokes up a little.
So at this point we're dealing with a team with no connection to the local community espousing some of the most alienating principals of the tech bro culture that a lot of people see as a stain on the city, targeting an inherently disinterested target market, that doesn't want to spend on advertising, that plays in a cold, hard to get to, overpriced dump...with the worst logo ever.
I could go on and on but there are probably two other pertinent facts worth mentioning
The San Jose earthquakes aren't that far away and charge similar prices for an mls game in a soccer specific stadium that is even near a cal train station.
Why not play in the usl? Put your nasl/usl differences aside because...Sacramento republic is an hour and a half down the road and DYING for a natural rival. I honestly believe that one game a year could've gotten them a near sell out despite all their other disaterous planning. I could be wrong but I think their closest rival is in fact Edmonton.
Apologies for the long winded response. I just really really disdained that owner trying to blame the fans after the garbage launch he did.