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Paid tryouts - not just for fly by night leagues anymore

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by dixiehack, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Noticed on Facebook where Atlanta United, Arthur Blank's new MLS team that starts up in 2017, is holding tryouts in our little burg this week. After clicking through a couple of pages, I was surprised to find out that the tryouts (excuse me, the American Family Insurance Dream Tryouts) require a $150 entry fee.

    American Family Insurance Dream Tryouts - Atlanta United FC

    This sort of thing was always a red flag for a scam back when I worked in newspapers and semi-pro football and basketball teams wanted in the events calendar. I frankly wasn't expecting to see it in MLS, especially not from such a well-known owner. Is this commonplace in the league?
  2. cjericho

    cjericho Well-Known Member

    Don't know of any other MLS team that has done this. But MLB teams used to (not sure if they still do) hold tryouts where you'd have to pay $50 or $100 and sign a waiver.
  3. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    The latest version of the ABA (no relation to Dr. J) is also guilty of this.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    We have an ABA team in our area that seems to be fairly reputable. The owner/GM/coach also works as an agent, so he's trying to find guys he can sign not only for his team but overseas leagues, the D-League, and other minor leagues. He also has a football tryout camp a couple of times a year that a few CFL teams send scouts to. From what I've seen, the fees he charges probably make him some money but also help offset overhead costs like facility rental.
    I have no doubt, though, that he's an exception to the rule. So many ABA teams are shady it's ridiculous. There's something like 100 teams in the "league" and about 20 that seem to be anything more than fly-by-night scams.
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    We have a Braves' minor league affiliate near us, and they do a free tryout camp every year.
  6. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    I can see how they might want to weed out the non-serious participants from the start. A fee also defrays the considerable cost of holding a tryout. I assume the idea is to find good players and improve the team rather than as a community relations program.
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I remember in Paul Zimmerman's book on the NFL that the Jets used to hold open kicker tryouts in the 70s. They would get 60-year olds who could kick grounders 20 yards.
  8. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    The Braves' camp I mentioned is limited to 16-22-year-olds. It's obviously a longshot for anyone to get signed off the street out of there, but maybe they're using it to identify some high schoolers to keep an eye on.
  9. cjericho

    cjericho Well-Known Member

    That is pretty cool they do that. I would think if they hold an open tryout where it's usually guys just out of college or a few years out of college it would be about a $50 fee.
  10. JohnHammond

    JohnHammond Well-Known Member

    Don't D-League teams charge a tryout fee? As for Atlanta United FC (have to love all the football lingo), there will be plenty of older Europeans, OK South Americans, and NASL/USL players to choose from. Nice racket, though.
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