At What Cost?

02/22/2011 2:53 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

—by Garrett Dittfurth

One thing I’ve enjoyed about being a soccer supporter in the United States is that it’s very affordable to attend every single match. This article I found at the New York Times on pricing out regular fans to the Champions League Final sort of struck a chord with me. Wembley Stadium is going to be full of people eating prawn sandwiches and discussing their stock portfolios while the match is being played rather than supporting a team. Obviously one of the drawbacks in a sport becoming more popular is that the demand for tickets drives the price up. In some cases it makes absolutely no sense at all. Take Toronto FC as an example. They sell out BMO Field for every match, have a waiting list for tickets, and put a terrible team on the pitch year in and year out. They are price gouging their supporters because they know they can, because what else is a supporter supposed to do but pay what they tell them to? To an extent the same thing is happening in Seattle, where supporters have seen their prices rise despite promises to the contrary. When questioned about it the team hems, haws, and says the supporters weren’t reading the fine print.

How many of you out there are Ducks fans? Were you able to get a ticket to the National Championship game or the Rose Bowl last year? Who here is a Blazer fan? Through pure luck I have a friend that regularly comes up with corporate courtside seats and nicely asks me to go to games every once in a while. The view down there is great. The last game I went to, I sat so close one of the assistant coaches was handing me the updated stat sheets throughout the game once he was finished looking at them. One thing I’ve noticed about sitting that close is there are very few supportive fans. A lot of the people spend very little real time watching the court. It’s really a travesty that the people up close can’t swap with the people in the 300 level—those who are genuinely interested and involved with what’s happening on the court are the ones who have to sit so far away. Sadly, it’s the nature of sport today to out price true fans. I hope MLS takes a lesson from watching what has happened in other sports and realizes that growing the game here in the United States requires making the highest professional level accessible to the most people.

Comments

  • 07/11/2016 9:49 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Scott V Swearingen says:
    Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I hope we learn the lessons from Toronto FC and do the exact opposite. My worst fear is us being Toronto FC 2.0. We have the fan demand, and we are conditioned to lose, so I hope the ownership doesn’t see us as a never ending cash cow.
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  • 07/11/2016 9:50 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    El Fur de Ball says:
    Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    As ticket demand increases, it’s imperative that the 107ist continue to work with the Front Office to ensure that Supporters Section tickets remain moderately priced. The TA section is only 1/4 of the stadium. The FO will need to understand that the atmosphere of the stadium is a huge draw. It may need to substantially raise ticket prices in the future, but it is in their best interest to keep the hardcore supporter seats affordable.
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  • 07/11/2016 9:50 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Joe Wilson says:
    Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I as well hope that 107ist can be the counter to the inevitable push for MOAR$$$.
    Scott, your point about us being “conditioned to lose” is a strong one. This is the danger with being die-hard, RCTID supporters. How do we balance our commitment to the club with a strong line on price-gouging? Again, this is something where I see 107ist and our solidarity behind its voice as being our best option.

    I fear that unfortunately, it is a matter of when, not if.
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  • 07/11/2016 9:50 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Ben Meaders says:
    Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Awesome blog post. I’m a huge Blazers fan in addition to the Timbers, and honestly, I’ve always been astounded at the fact that those guys down in the 100’s at the Rose Garden don’t even seem to care. Heck, give me those seats and I’ll be the only thing that the opposing team will hear all game.

    That’s why games are great at PGE, the best fans are right there. They keep it loud, all game every game. I hope that MLS sees the value of the fans. I also hope that the Front Office treats us well, and as far as I can tell, they’ve been good to us so far, maybe they’ll keep the prices to a humane level. I guess we’ll see.
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