SBD/September 21, 2010/Franchises

Toronto FC Raises Ticket Prices; Top Ticket Pricier Than ManU

Toronto FC Will Increase Season-Ticket Base At 22,000-Seat BMO Field To 18,000 Next Year

MLS Toronto FC revealed that "season-ticket prices are going up again for next season," according to Christie & Attfield of the GLOBE & MAIL. MLSE Exec VP & COO Tom Anselmi said that the club will "boost its top season ticket price" to $1,999 (all figures Canadian) for 22 games at BMO Field. The season-ticket price for the same midfield club seat this season is $1,634 for an 18-game package. The new ticket package also "will include this year’s MLS championship game, which will be played" at BMO Field on Nov. 21. With the increase, TFC fans now will be "paying more to watch" the MLS club than Manchester United fans do to watch EPL action. Based on the top-priced tickets, a single game at BMO Field costs $90.78, compared to $79 for ManU games at Old Trafford. But Anselmi indicated that he "doesn’t feel the comparison between TFC and Man U is a valid one." Anselmi: "It’s difficult to compare the two, apples and oranges. We set prices according to the market in North America. It’s what it’s about here, driven by supply and demand. There’s also the relative financial health of Toronto v. Manchester." BMO Field has a capacity of 22,000, with the "season ticket base increasing from 16,000 to 18,000 for the 2011 season." Anselmi added, "We base our season ticket pricing on a number of things, including the demand here and the size of the stadium" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/21).

FOLLOW THE OREGON TRAIL: MLS Commissioner Don Garber yesterday said that the Portland Timbers are "ahead of schedule in selling tickets and marketing the team," set to join MLS next season. Garber said, "There's a buzz in the air about the Timbers, and it's exciting. Not in every market can I go and feel the presence of a MLS club. I definitely feel it here. From the time I get off the plane, when I check in to the hotel, somebody says, 'Hello and welcome commissioner.'" Garber said the sale of Timbers season tickets is "going a little bit faster than I thought it would." He added, "We always knew it would be successful here, but I wasn't quite sure how much of that would be through season tickets as opposed to the excitement of people going to a game" (Portland OREGONIAN, 9/21).

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