SBJ/November 12 - 18, 2007/This Weeks News

Toronto FC sells out for 2008 season tickets

Toronto FC played five weeks of soccer before it scored its first goal in 2007, but it took just 3 1/2 weeks for the expansion team’s front office to sell out of season tickets for 2008.

The team, which capped season-ticket sales at 16,000, had only 119 season tickets remaining as of press time and expected to sell out early this week. The early sellout comes despite a 13 percent increase in ticket prices for next season, from $31 to $35.

“The soccer avidity and passion for the sport is deeper than we thought,” said Paul Beirne, director of team business. “These people are like traditional soccer fans: Wins and losses are less important than love of team.”

Toronto FC has sold 2,000 more season tickets than it did in 2007, increasing its total season-ticket base from 14,000 to 16,000 for 2008.

The club has gotten renewals from 95 percent of its season-ticket holders. It sold the additional 2,000 season tickets through a waiting list that included 6,300 fans.

More than 1,800 of the people on the waiting list were season-ticket holders who wanted additional seats. An additional 4,200 were people interested in buying season tickets for the first time.

Beirne said the team plans to sell the bulk of the remaining 4,000 tickets to each game in 2008 through group sales.

The success comes on the heels of an inaugural season that saw the team sell out all 15 of its home games, drawing an average crowd of 20,130. A total of 301,947 spectators turned out to watch the expansion team even though it finished in last place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-17-7 record.

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