Rugby America

Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective

APRC: Looking For Fan Questions

by Ted Hardy

The recent unveiling of the American Pro Rugby Competition excited fans across the globe and raised discussions and debates far and wide. With the competition planned to be a cross border venture with both American and Canadian sides, there is a lot at stake for North American rugby coaches, players and especially fans.

Is this the “one” we have been waiting for or just like the others that have teased us and passed? Will the APRC be able to get ten franchises in place by October? What are the overseas player restrictions? Is the APRC the real name of the league or just a placeholder?

There are so many questions that need asked. Probably enough to fill an entire book.

Fortunately, APRC founder Jason Moore has agreed to an interview with Rugby America which will take place after the holidays. Over the years, I have done many interviews, but never once opened the floor up to fans of Rugby America.

Not this time. I know how everyone feels about the APRC. I feel the same way. We want this to happen… big time. I also want to let the voice of the fans be heard. After all, when it comes down to it, fans will be the ultimate decider as to whether this (or any) competition survives for the long haul.

If you have a question that you want me to ask Mr. Moore, please log them in the comment section below. While I would love nothing more than to sit down and pick Moore’s brain on every detail and ask every single question that the fans want, that wouldn’t be fair to him. So, I will pick 5-10 of the very best fan questions to present to Moore in our upcoming interview to go along with a handful of my own.

There you have it. Fire away my friends.


36 comments on “APRC: Looking For Fan Questions

  1. Phill NZ
    December 31, 2012

    Will you run this competition along the lines of American sports franchises And how will you generate the interest and get forward momentum for Rugby Union in the States. Also Grand Prix is setting up a sevens club series with $1000000 prize money at stake will there be an incentive for teams in the APRC.-Phill

  2. Grant A Cole
    December 31, 2012

    Has Moore spoken with any specific rugby clubs or specific individuals about possible franchise ownership? What is his asking price for one franchise? How much money does he expect a franchise owner to spend in the first year of operation?

  3. Robert
    January 1, 2013

    What is the commercial structure of the competition going to be like? A centrally contracted slow growth model like Major League Soccer, profit sharing like the NFL or every man for himself.

  4. Mark
    January 1, 2013

    What will be the target range for player salaries? Will it be enough to at least lure the top American overseas players back to the U.S. (i.e. Clever, Wyles, Emerick, etc…) or will the players need to have a second job in the off season to supplement their salaries? (Assume salaries would be comparable to those in MLS?) What time of year will the competition be played? I think most folks would agree that the NFL’s off season would be best. Will there be a TV deal? If not, will we at least be able to get scores and highlights through a major TV sports outlet (ESPN, FOXSP, NBCSP, etc…)?

  5. nicolas s
    January 1, 2013

    1) what are the 10 specific locations you are looking to place teams, will the san fran, bay area be one.(2 part question there). 2) what ideal stadium sizes is the bench mark for all teams to be playing in. 3) we all want games to be broadcast on national tv(espn,cbs,nbc) but is it smart to start off small and work way up, such as local tv deals (CW,COX,CSN) and online streaming 4)will there be any partnerships between the aprc clubs and outside teams(like how the mls teams have partnerships with english and or mexican soccer teams) nick s-

  6. RugbyAmerica
    January 1, 2013

    Great questions so far! Keep them coming. For those that didn’t read my article a couple weeks back, it may answer some questions about the layout of the competition.

  7. Gregory Parkes-skelly
    January 1, 2013

    How confident are you in achieving the October deadline in terms of sign up of the necessary ten franchises?

    Regarding its broadcast. Will there be any online packaging of content for those living external to the US, or will traditional broadcasters of Rugby be offered content as a means to building awareness of the new league?

    And finally, and this one is for Ted. Would you kindly post your interview on the Australian based sports site ‘The Roar’ as there would be many Australian based fans who would enjoy reading your contributions.

  8. jcb3x4
    January 1, 2013

    Is there a T.V. deal and if so who has it. Is there any commitment for a team and where are they

  9. FrontRow
    January 1, 2013

    What would be the targeted attendance for each team to make it break even or make a profit? Any other information that can be revealed about the “business model” for this competition will be appreciated.

  10. RugbyGlobal
    January 2, 2013

    1. How much is the licence fee to hold a franchise ?
    2. Are you in negociations with Stade Français’ owner Oberthur Technologies ?
    3. What do you think about Grand Prix Rugby ?
    4. Will Moore Sports own some franchises ?
    5. What do you think about San Diego market ?

  11. MattD
    January 2, 2013

    How will teams be established? Will you go into a nationwide draft, just sign as many “Free Agrent” players as each team can or take over clubs all ready in existence?

    Do you plan on having a college draft in the future? And how do you plan on supporting youth, high school and college rugby development as those will be the fan base and players of your future.

  12. NateG
    January 2, 2013

    Would your ten teams be built as new clubs or taking traditional teams already established & buying their rights? That to me seems like a very delicate balancing act with current Old Boys/Presidents/etc. How do you include those current players who aren’t at the paid level yet? Does the league use an American baseball style minor league to develop them for the future?

    • Shaun Shepard
      January 2, 2013

      I’m pretty sure these would have to be brand new teams/franchises OR an existing team that qualifies to be a team/franchise in the competition. To qualify though, just to start would mean having $10 million for the 2.5 buy in and 7.5 cash flow requirement. My best guess, only two existing teams might have the funds. That being Glendale and SFGG. That is a very big maybe though.

      • NateG
        January 2, 2013

        I was afraid that would be the case. I want the league to happen I just hate to see our already established clubs lose their tradition & level they’ve worked so hard to achieve. Thank you for responding.

        • Shaun Shepard
          January 2, 2013

          Yeah being a Raptor fan I would love to see the Raptors go pro. I just don’t see it happening though. There is already allot of politics and “other factors” that effect the current club game. We need teams that everyone can buy into and support collectively.

          For example here in Denver you got that Barbos and Raptors. If Raptors went pro the Barbo fans would not support the Raptors. Pro or not. Here in Denver we need a team we can all get behind and support equally.

        • Grant A Cole
          January 2, 2013

          However, the various Denver-area sides feeding players into a professional rugby team in Denver would make a great team (much like Curry Cup teams prep players for Super Rugby that preps players for Int’l tests).

  13. RugbyAmerica
    January 2, 2013

    The new franchises will be built from scratch. There is next to no chance that any current club will be developed into a professional franchise. Way to many obstacles and not one current club has facilities at the level in which the APRC is targeting… MLS level stadiums. If there was one possible, it would be Glendale.

    Grant makes a great point though. Just because we may be on the verge of having professional rugby doesn’t mean our club system will be rendered irrelevant. In fact, I’d argue that the upper level Division I teams (especially those in the same market as a pro team) will be more important than ever. They (and upper level college teams) will be vital outlets for developing players aspiring to become pros. I think the professional franchises would be doing themselves a disservice by not fostering relationships with their local clubs to serve as their academy or minor league teams.

    • Gregory Parkes-skelly
      January 2, 2013

      Exactly. The talent required to fill the majority of the roster places will need to be developed somewhere. While many will point to the college game as proven across the Rugby world there is a real need for a strong and well established club/representative structure to provide professional structures with strong competitive pathways particularly for aspiring players.

    • Nick s
      January 2, 2013

      There are two Bay Area (sf) locations that could house a rugby team in proper facilities , 1) old kezar stadium in sf, except for mainly high school use it sits pretty empty a majority of the time and seats around 5-10 k. 2) would be pal stadium in San Jose , same as kezar sits empty and has natural grass, only draw back is very small parking and not the best neighbor hood to park your car in. I’ve said it once before but the mls team San Jose earthquakes are building a 18k stadium an the owners want to target rugby as a 2nd avenue of money coming in, this could be used if not a prem. home of a team , a 2nd location for the bigger games if there is a local team. Benefit of the quakes stadium, right next airport and mass transit, up and coming shopping and dinning areas. Just a word on of a teams comes to this area. If they target mls stadiums they better be 1) deep pocket owners because these mls owners won’t want there field being torn up by another sport during there own season or 2) mls owners them selfs

      • Anonymous
        January 3, 2013

        Kezar stadium looks like it would be an appropriately sized stadium for a start team in such a proposed league. Playing out of a smaller venue where you could possibly fill looks better than in a 20,000 seated half full.

        • Nick s
          January 4, 2013

          Plus makes sense for a marketing view, you have a team based right in the heart of sf playing in a historic stadium , don’t know what rules are against it but I’m sure adding a few back seats to middle sections could help sell as season tickets

  14. Robert
    January 2, 2013

    1) Will there be a salary cap?

    2) Will the competition be open to only US eligible players?

    3) Will there be a ‘David Beckham’ rule for the league.

    4) How close are you to getting the required number of owners to start the competition?

  15. Brett Buote
    January 2, 2013

    What will the initial roster be like? Will the two Canadian sides be mostly Canadians and the American sides American or a mix of North Americans for all the teams?

  16. Mike Holzman
    January 4, 2013

    What lessons have they learned from the failures and successes of the various soccer and lacrosse pro leagues over the years?

    Would investors from existing pro sports leagues leverage their existing brands in the way that some European clubs have multiple sports (FC Barcelona has soccer, basketball, etc.)?

    Originally the IRB and USAR wanted the NA4 to grow into a pro competition and the IRB gave large funding to the NA4 in large part because of this. How much are they working with USA Rugby and the IRB for this competition and have the IRB offered any assistance?

  17. Rugby America
    January 5, 2013

    Thanks to everyone for all of the great questions. I would have loved to ask them all. It was hard whittling down the list.

    Stay tuned…

  18. JJ
    January 8, 2013

    I know this will sound crazy, but I can’t let the moment just pass.
    Mexico has already a national tournament with a second tier division, the development it has been slowly but regular, Is there any possibility to add a mexican franchise to this Professional North American League in order to develop the regional rugby in the continent?

    • Robert
      January 8, 2013

      Could not agreed more! Put a team in Mexico City and then expand from there. Can you imagine the rilvary with Texas and Californian teams?

      Since the proposed league is in the North America & Carribean Rugby Association why not put a team in Puerta Rico and the West Indies like the Cayman Island?

      • RugbyAmerica
        January 8, 2013

        I can say that they are not currently looking at any location outside of the USA and Canada. Long term? Who knows? Anything can happen. For starting, I think it is best if they focus on getting everything running and stable. Large markets in the USA and Canada provide the best opportunity to accomplish sustainability in the short term.

        • Mark
          January 8, 2013

          A bit off topic here, but as long as we’re talking about Mexico…would love to see the the Mexican national team added to the August test series with the U.S. and Canada to make it a true North American championship. The old Tri-nations format would be perfect with each team playing the other two in a home-away series. I realize Mexico is a bit behind the U.S. and Canada, but what better way to develop (all three teams) than to play meaningful test matches in close proximity to home?

        • RugbyAmerica
          January 8, 2013

          I 100% agree with you on that. I’ve long thought Mexico, USA, and Canada should have some sort of formalized plan to play each other yearly. Mexico will take their lumps but there is a need to develop them. Before the USA got back into the PNC, I thought there should be a Americas 6-Nations with the USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

    • nicolas s
      January 8, 2013

      that is a question ive always asked and my common response from other is ether, they ignore it or say bad idea and move on. ive always thought we can replicate what is done over in euro and super rugby by building up canda and usa clubs first. and after clubs have been established and money has started to flow in (look how long it took mls teams to become money makers) why not add/start a club or two in the carabbiens and same with mexico. doesnt have to mexico city to start with, other parts of mexico are huge sports lovers such as , vera cruz, baja california, monterray, cancun are would actully be a good place to start. from there have a heinikin cup type with of course the majority clubs comeing from usa and canada and maybe two from both mexico and one of the island’s. on top of all that usa rugby, canada rugby,mexico rugby, and carabbien rugby should all be working together on building up this region. politics aside , mexico has pleanty of wealthy , half of the soccer owners down there are million/billionaires. imagine with there money thrown behind plus american money supporting major tournaments.

      • rj
        January 10, 2013

        Nicolas, because in almost all sports it’d be like sending your local high school’s football team out to play the New England Patriots. The only one that works is soccer because scoring is rare, the U.S. and Canada are not superhot on the game, and those Caribbean sides bunker.

        • jcb3x4
          January 10, 2013

          A little off topic last year we got a rumor of a new league starting soon the North American Professional Rugby League is this the same group.

  19. RugbyAmerica
    January 11, 2013

    This is one of the two (or more) professional leagues in development. The one you’re thinking of was mentioned at RugbyMag around this time last year. At that time, Goff stated that it was a Western based competition and a announcement was weeks away. I don’t believe that he specifically named the group, but there was rumor of a group that started a company called North American Professional Rugby LLC. It’s been a year and there hasn’t been a announcement, but could there be one soon? The one mentioned at RugbyMag is a smaller scale model compared to the APRC. It is Western based, but not as California-centric as one would think. Word on the street is that their plan is to start with four teams.

    So, we have a good old fashioned race to pro rugby going on. Two (or more) completely different approaches. Stay tuned, I’m working on digging up info on the smaller competition. I have some great leads, but no one is talking. Could be a sign that it may be on.

    I mentioned this a while back in a discussion… in the early days of professional rugby in America I would not be surprised to see multiple professional leagues get off the ground. The early years of most of our professional sports saw birth to many different professional entities until the time came that one stood out from the rest and gobbled up all of the others. NFL… MLB… NBA… all of them began in this fashion.

    • Robert
      January 13, 2013

      I say bring it on. The more pro rugby competitions that pop up the better. If we have two leagues one could act as the minor league competition to the other.

      • Anonymous
        January 13, 2013

        I agree wholeheartedly. last year I read somewhere that their 6 to 8 group trying to bring professional rugby the US. 1 bean sevens 2 being rugby league and then the rest being Union. I got the name from the blog the Roar from Australia (North American professional rugby league )I wasn’t sure if it was the same 1 with the planed teams in the west coast. thanks for all your hard work just trying to figure out how many groups are.

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This entry was posted on December 31, 2012 by in Rugby News.

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