SBD/Issue 51/Events & Attractions

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  • Rapids Win First MLS Cup In Front Of Sellout Crowd At BMO Field

    Rapids Became The Ninth Different
    Team To Win An MLS Cup

    The Rapids defeated FC Dallas 2-1 yesterday at BMO Field to capture the MLS Cup in a championship game that had "all the traditional cache attributed to a big-time American sporting event, with subtle, yet charming Canadian touches," according to Gareth Wheeler of the TORONTO SUN. MLS "couldn't have asked for any more from Mother Nature," as the temperature in Toronto at kickoff was the "same as last year's game in Seattle." But despite the game going to overtime, a "significant number of fans left the game early." While MLS announced a sellout crowd of 21,700, the "empty red seats inside a 'soldout' stadium didn’t look good." Wheeler notes "high ticket prices were a valid reason not to go." The ticket prices for the game "were insulting," and MLSE "let the city down charging what it did" (TORONTO SUN, 11/22). The NATIONAL POST's Sean Fitz-Gerald writes, "There was no Beckham, no Thierry Henry and no retractable roof to save fans from the chill of outdoor soccer in late November, but what Major League Soccer's title game lacked in glamour, it made up for with drama" (NATIONAL POST, 11/22).

    SOME FANS MISSED A GOOD SHOW: In Toronto, Ryan Wolstat writes as "showcase games go, it was not a jaw-dropping spectacle." But the MLS Cup was "far from a dud and the fans got their money’s worth." The crowd was "closer to 17,000 and a disappointing number of them checked out prior to the start of the extra thirty minutes," but those "not on hand missed a pretty good show" (TORONTO SUN, 11/22). SI.com's Grant Wahl writes, "It didn't look good at all that the stands here in Toronto were emptying during the deciding moments of the championship game." MLS "has said that it's considering changing the site of the final to the stadium of the higher-seeded finalist, and I'm all for it" (SI.com, 11/22). In a special to the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, the Toronto Star's Morgan Campbell notes there were "plenty of empty seats at BMO Field." However, Toronto fans "decided against boycotting the game, filling the sections reserved for supporters' groups at BMO Field." Renewing Toronto FC season-ticket holders "had received tickets to the MLS Cup, but members of TFC's largest supporters' groups had considered boycotting the game -- sapping BMO Field of its trademark atmosphere -- to punish TFC ownership for their poor on-field product" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/22).

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  • Paid Attendance For Pacquiao-Margarito Fight Just Over 30,000

    Second Pacquiao Bout At Cowboys Stadium
    Earns Almost $1M Less In Gate Revenue

    Manny Pacquiao's return visit to Cowboys Stadium sold about 15% fewer tickets and generated almost $1M less in gate revenue than his first fight there, according to documents filed with Texas regulators. Pacquiao's 12-round pummeling of Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13 delivered a paid attendance of 30,437 and ticket revenue of $5.4M. That was down from 36,371 paid and $6.3M when he beat Joshua Clottey at the stadium in March. Actual attendance for the two fights was similar: 40,154 this time, down from 41,843 last time. Comps increased from 5,472 to 9,717. The Cowboys announced a crowd of 50,994 for the first fight, but documents showed that figure to be wildly inflated. "Both were very successful," said Top Rank President Todd DuBoef. "There were some issues this time. Can the market bear a second fight? You have the Cowboys' season. You're coming off the Rangers in the World Series. High school football season. We feel like we did very well." Much like last time, Top Rank and the Cowboys found a robust market for lower-priced tickets. Though prices ranged from $40-700, those priced at $100 or less accounted for 50.2% of tickets sold. The event sold 9,536 seats at $100 and 8,727 at $50. "We decided to be more conscious about making cheaper tickets available, so we had a lot of $100s this time," DuBoef said. "Those did well. And the $50s, we couldn't keep in stock. People kept buying the hell out of them." The Cowboys sold 1,256 standing room party passes priced at $35 each for the last fight. Top Rank elected not to sell those this time because it feared they would cut into local PPV sales.

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