346 readers participated in the poll, which is a fraction of our daily readers, but good enough for a sample size of tastes. The results challenged and reaffirmed some of our assumptions about who reads and listens to our site. For one, there is a large number of “quieter fans” that aren’t on social media.
Our respondents mostly hailed from the Twin Cities metro. While this reflects what we know from analytics, it is also from a reader poll that was very Twin Cities-centric (and we’ll try to adjust our poll next year).
Our chief census-taker forgot to ask the ages of our respondents and has been duly fired. But we do know that a majority of our respondents do not have any children and one reader is going for a reality show.
Every four years, the world comes together to obsess over the greatest competition on the planet: the World Cup. And every four years, that obsession radicalizes a number of people to become lifelong fans. Our respondents follow that pattern, showing the biggest spikes of when they became ardent soccer fans in the years of World Cups (with the biggest spikes being the 1994 US World Cup and the 2006 German World Cup.
When asked to rate their level of soccer passion on a scale of one (I dabble here and there) to seven (it is my greatest passion), not unsurprisingly most readers were on the higher end of the spectrum. A few readers were here perhaps just for the chance at winning a gift card to Town Hall Brewery, but more power to them.
Most of our respondents have not been to a University of Minnesota Gophers’ soccer match.
Likewise, most of our respondents have not been to see any of the NPSL North teams, but roughly 10 percent of those who had, saw two different teams’ home matches.
A majority of our respondents are season ticket holders for Minnesota United.
As would be expected from this set of respondents, then, a majority of respondents will end up going to most of the Loons’ home matches.
A large number of respondents did not associate with a particular supporters group. As one would expect, Dark Clouds were the largest segment of those who do associate with a supporters group, but the results was also a reminder of the colorful proliferation of niche supporters groups. There are the anime lovers of Fists of the North Star, the marxists and progressives in Red Loons and Mill City Ultras, the one guy who really loves Black Stack Brewery in the BlackStackers, the Duluth residents in Wolf’s Head, and the 1 Percenters of OpuLoons, among the many represented.
Most of our respondents became devotees of Minnesota professional soccer in more recent years, especially if you compare to the previous question about when they started following soccer. Unlike that poll of more general soccer fandom, the build up of fandom for the local team has been more gradual over time (and less tied to the big events of World Cups).
The most interesting comparison between the dates of when fans started following soccer in earnest and when they became devotees of the Minnesota team is that the median amount of years for this transition to happen was six years. About 17% of respondents, though, indicated their first year of becoming a fan of soccer more generally corresponded with their interest in Minnesota United, suggesting that the Loons were their first entry to the sport.
We asked our readers to weigh in on perhaps the most important question in world soccer, whether they want Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger in or out. Our respondents on the whole spared him the axe.