Tickets! We got Tickets!
You could say that for the first time in five years of business the Toronto FC Account Managers finally have a real challenge to deal with in the weeks and months ahead. And as a business TFC needs to get creative with the composition, scale and price of their partial and half packs if they intend to meet their goal of 18,000 season tickets sold going into 2011. Because it looks like getting there is going to be real tough slog.
Late last week we received confirmation from Toronto FC that what many have suspected has indeed happened It now looks like that the individuals that did not renew their seasons tickets primarily came from the more expensive parts of the stadium. As well it looks like that there was a significant migration from the more expensive seats into whatever less expensive options were available. Four years of rising prices and of poor on the field performances have finally had a measurable impact on what has been up to now a strong performer at the box office. Many MLS clubs would probably kill for the problems TFC has when it comes to attendance and seats sold, but nevertheless this must be a disturbing trend for MLSE.
The Supporters Section seats, the least expensive option to get to all the games, are all spoken for once again heading into 2011. Whatever few seats were not renewed in those sections were snapped up by fans moving down from more pricey parts of BMO Field during the recent seat relocation event. Below is a rough thumbnail of what is still available and what the price for new season seat holders will be if they choose to purchase them. Those of you on the waiting list, including yours truly, may have already received calls or emails from the club offering some of these pricier seats to you. If you have not already you definitely will very very soon be hearing from TFC.
- RED – Over 300 $1604
- DARK BLUE – Under 100 $1295
- DARK GRAY – Over 600 $1190
- LIGHT BLUE – Under 150 $1053
- MEDIUM GRAY – Under 250 $822
- LIGHT GRAY – Under 200 $521
- SUPPORTERS SECTION – Sold Out – $433
So there are roughly 1600-1800 season ticket packages still remaining to be sold. With a tough economy and heading into the Christmas season it will almost by the day become harder for the club to offload some of their most expensive seats. And with that cold hard fact to deal with I think that for the first time we are about to see the club getting creative with what packages are being offered.
There has to date been no information released on partial packs. For those of you that do not know, TFC supporters have been able to purchase packages of seats for half the games every year since day one. There will be of course those that will want to renew those seats and there will be others that will prefer to purchase a smaller number of games. The math is simple again here… two partial packs equals one full season seat sold. That will to some degree help the team get closer to their goal.
On the creative front I think they will take a page from what their fellow corporate citizens the Toronto Raptors of the NBA are doing, namely offering a large list of even smaller packages that in aggregate might get them closer to their goal of 18,000 season seats sold. For example the Raptors sell a ton of small packages of 4-5 games that may contain one marquis match like the Miami Heat, LA Lakers or Boston Celtics partnered with less glamorous games for example like New Jersey and the LA Clippers.
We theoretically may see TFC offer a 4 or five game pack with a desirable MLS side like LA or New York, or even Vancouver, along with one or two Voyageurs Cup Games thrown in. We might see 3 or four game packs where if you buy one you get a discount on the second or third, and so forth. Again this is all speculation on my part but at the end of the day the club is going to have to get real creative in getting to 18,000 aggregate season seats sold for 2011.
I would be shocked if there are not any “new” types of packages offered between now and the end of the year. And with a long history of working for the Raptors organization before coming to TFC, Director of Business Operations Paul Bierne may definitely already be looking at this kind of approach.