SBD/Issue 51/Events & Attractions

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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