SBD/November 2, 2012/Franchises

MLS Dynamo In Push To Sell Out First Playoff Game At BBVA Compass Stadium

The Dynamo will be competing with the Texans-Bills game for fans
The MLS Dynamo are "on the clock in a race to sell out the first playoff game in BBVA Compass Stadium history," according to Jesus Ortiz of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Sunday's 2:30pm CT MLS Eastern Conference Semifinals match against Sporting KC is "in many ways a test of the team's popularity in a town that loves the other football's Texans." Under "any circumstances, less than 72 hours wouldn't give the Dynamo much of a window to sell out a game." In a way, Sunday's match is "a referendum on the Dynamo's -- and MLS' -- popularity, and their match in Chicago was proof that Major League Soccer still has a long way to go." The crowd of 10,923 was "embarrassingly small, especially on national television." Dynamo F Brian Ching said of BBVA, "To have a playoff game there, it's just a great opportunity to reward our fans with a meaningful game and a great game. We're hoping that even though it coincides with the Texans' game, our fans will still come out." Dynamo President Chris Canetti had his sales force "busy with a social media and email campaign even before the final whistle blew Wednesday night." Canetti said, "It's basically all hands on deck. Whatever it takes in terms of manpower and hours. If there's 72 hours until kickoff, many of those hours will be used working (to sell the game)." He added, "Good news is we've been through this before several times. We pre-sold around 10,000 tickets over the last month or so because we've had a campaign going for people. It's pretty amazing" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/2).

: In N.Y., Jaime Uribarri notes Hurricane Sandy "forced a change of venues for the Eastern Conference semifinals after power was knocked" out at Red Bull Arena, the intended site of Saturday's DC United-Red Bulls match. MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, "I'd like to impress upon everybody that when we made the decision, we took into consideration all the issues that will impact all involved and made the best decision we believe is in the best interest of all parties." Uribarri notes on a "competitive level, the venue swap favors the Red Bulls." DC United President & CEO Kevin Payne said, "Our club worked very hard to try to earn home-field advantage in the playoffs and we're proud that we've achieved that. But there are times in which circumstances override competitive concerns, and this is clearly one of those times" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/2).
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