Waiting List to Gone List
Yesterday afternoon TFC Director of Business Operations Paul Beirne stated on a live chat on the TFC website that the preliminary numbers on the season ticket renewal rates for 2011 were in the low 80% range for renewals.
If taken at face value this is a number that frankly has surprised me and a lot of other TFC observers. Anecdotal information many of us were hearing heading up to the deadline stated that the renewal rate would be considerably lower than this amount, perhaps down into the 60-65% range. It might be a little early to pass judgment, but it does look like that the club’s response to fan anger and the town hall process did indeed have much of the desired effect.
Doing some rough arithmetic using the 16,000 season ticket base from 2010 means that there was about a 3,000 seat decline from 2010. I would guesstimate that as of today there are somewhere between 13,000 and 13,500 season ticket holders committed for next year. On top of this the club publicly stated previously that their goal for 2011 was to try and increase the season ticket base up to approximately 18,000. So the math means there are about 5,000-5,500 season ticket packages for 2011 up for grabs.
What Paul did not mention yesterday was the breakdown on where in the stadium renewals were actually going to be coming from. Again anecdotal information I have heard from fans that stated that the plan for many was to either downgrade their seats to cheaper sections or cut the number of seats they held. In the absence of real numbers all we have is guesswork to go on but I think the picture is going to become much clearer over the coming days.
Toronto FC has of course their vaunted season ticket waiting list to go through. And if TFC is to be believed there are about 17,000 positions on that list. Many on that list are people like myself that already have season tickets already. Others are people who have been there since 2007 who may have lost interest in four seasons of waiting. And of course there are people on that list also chomping at the bit to get their hands on season tickets of their own. And for those of you on that list I think there will definitely be a blitz of phone calls and emails from TFC headed your way over the coming weeks. At that time we will likely see that the bulk of the packages available for sale in 2011 will be those at the highest price points in the stadium as well.
To reach their publicly stated goal TFC will likely have to convert 30% of this waiting list into season ticket holders for 2011 to hit the 18,000 number. I for one think that every single person who is on this list will be offered a season ticket package in the coming weeks of some kind. And once that process ends depending on how successful they were the half season packages will be announced and the likelihood with those is that there will probably be even more of them offered in 2011 than 2010 in order to fill out the ground.
We do not have much to go on other than what the club is saying this week about renewals, so just about everything is just guess work or conjecture on my part I guess. What the season ticket/half season ticket numbers for 2011 will end up being is going to be hard to predict. What I think I can fearlessly predict today is the following. There will not be much of a waiting list for season tickets remaining after this year. TFC will have to burn through just about every name and number they have in their database in the quest to fill the stadium in 2011.
If you are on the list you will be getting a phone call…or ten.