SBD/March 25, 2011/Franchises

MLS Whitecaps Supporters Group Upset Over Distribution Of Road Tickets

Whitecaps say fan group was not promised priority access to road game tickets
Vancouver Southsiders President John Knox said that his MLS Whitecaps supporters group "was 'blindsided' last weekend when it learned Uniglobe Vision Travel had received exclusive access to 500 tickets for Vancouver fans wanting to attend road games in Seattle and Portland," according to Bruce Constantineau of the VANCOUVER SUN. The Whitecaps, Sounders and Timbers "agreed last year to allow 500 visiting fans to attend each Cascadia game this season and Seattle and Portland gave those tickets to supporters clubs, who will sell them and arrange travel packages." Knox believed that the Whitecaps "would do the same but fans wanting to attend the June 11 Vancouver/Seattle clash at Qwest Field will have to buy tickets through Uniglobe." Knox said that Uniglobe "has told buyers that game-only tickets have been sold out and only the more expensive bus packages remain." But Whitecaps CEO Paul Barber said that "no one has to buy a bus package if they don't want one because there is no limit on the number of game-only tickets to be sold." Barber: "The Southsiders are one supporters club and we are simply making our tickets available to all season-ticket holders." He added that "no one ever promised the Southsiders or any other group they would get priority access to the tickets" (VANCOUVER SUN, 3/24). Knox: "We're not making any claims to these tickets, but fans were told they would have access to them at cost and now this whole process has been funnelled through Uniglobe. My members are shocked" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 3/24).

SMART START: Suns G and Whitecaps investor Steve Nash said there is a "very smart soccer community" in Vancouver. He added, "I think the fans really understand the game. This market demands it. The fans don't want you to try and sell them just anything; they want you to put a good product on the field. They love the game as it is. ... We're trying to be as authentic as possible while letting the game speak for itself" (MLSSOCCER.com, 3/21).
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