SBD/April 24, 2013/Franchises

Soccer Franchise Notes: MLS Earthquakes Place Fan Group On Probation

The OREGONIAN reported the MLS Earthquakes have “placed supporters group 1906 Ultras on indefinite probation following an incident” on April 14 in Portland “in which a Timbers fan was assaulted.” The Earthquakes in a statement on Saturday said that the group’s travel privileges “have been indefinitely suspended until further notice.” The group “will not be allowed to utilize controlled smoke at any match” and language “within the group on matchdays will be strictly monitored” (OREGONLIVE.com, 4/21).

GOING, GOING, GONE: MLS Sporting KC yesterday announced that its allotment of 14,000 season tickets for the '13 campaign at Sporting Park is sold out, and beginning today, prospective season-ticket holders may join the club's Season Ticket Member waiting list by placing a $50 non-refundable deposit per season-ticket request. The club currently leads all MLS teams in the number of new season-ticket holders for '13 and has averaged over a 90% season-ticket member renewal rate for the last three seasons (Sporting KC).

GAME OF THORNS: In Portland, Geoffrey Arnold wrote “most of the postgame conversation” following the NWSL Portland Thorns’ home win over the Seattle Reign on Sunday was “focused not on the game, but on the crowd at Jeld-Wen Field.” Thorns coach Cindy Parlow Cone said, “It felt like that atmosphere we had at the World Cup and the Olympics." The game “attracted 16,479 fans,” which was “higher than at seven of the weekend's nine MLS games, including in San Jose, where 10,525 watched” the Timbers-Earthquakes game on Sunday. The Thorns “won’t see that type of crowd anywhere else in the NWSL, with most teams playing at stadiums that seat between 3,000 and 6,000.” No other game “so far has drawn more than 7,000” (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/23).

AGE HAS ITS PRIVILEGES: In DC, Steven Goff reported with the NWSL “trying keep costs down,” Washington Spirit execs “sought families to host several of the 18 players -- akin to what minor league baseball teams around the country arrange for their prospects each spring.” Some Spirit players were “placed at guest homes near the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds.” The Spirit “through a chain of local connections” also reached an agreement with retirement community Ingleside at King Farm that allows D Robyn Gayle and MF Diana Matheson “to live free of charge for the five-month season.” In exchange for housing, the Spirit will “provide residents and staff with 20 tickets to each of the team’s 11 regular season home games.” The club will “distribute an additional 300 tickets for a designated game late in the season” (WASHINGTON POST, 4/22).
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