Toronto FC Sees Boost In Season-Ticket Sales Following Blockbuster Signings
MLS Toronto FC said that it has "sold more than 2,000 new season tickets in the last week in the buildup and hoopla surrounding Monday's announcement of the signings" of F Jermain Defoe and MF Michael Bradley, according to Neil Davidson of the CP. The renewal window for the club's existing 14,600 season-ticket holders "runs through January, with the team expecting" about 95% to be renewed. Season tickets at BMO Field, which "has a capacity of about 22,000, will be capped at 17,000 with club officials expecting a possible return to a waiting list." Toronto FC also is "looking to create more premium seats, perhaps via a lounge on the North side of the stadium given existing field seats and tables are sold out." The team last year "ranked 10th in the 19-team league with average attendance of 18,131" (CP, 1/14).
HOW THE DEAL WAS DONE: GOAL.com's Ives Galarcep wrote it was a "shrewd idea" from Bradley's agent, Ron Waxman, which "sparked the series of events that would lead to Bradley returning to MLS eight years after leaving, becoming the highest-paid American in MLS history after signing a record six-year, $40 million deal that has turned the league on its head." Bradley said, "When I learned about Toronto FC’s interest and was able to speak to [MLSE President & CEO] Tim Leiweke and [GM] Tim Bezbatchenko and [coach] Ryan Nelson, I realized really quickly how committed they were to building something special here." With Bradley "struggling for consistent minutes" at Serie A club AS Roma, and Waxman" exploring options for a new destination for the 26-year-old American star, he came up with the idea of approaching Toronto FC, a club he knew had grand ambitions under new leadership." Waxman said, "I know Tim Bezbatchenko well from deals we had done together and I know Tim Leiweke gets things done and is a winner." Bradley was "sold on the idea of coming back to MLS" once the two sides met (GOAL.com, 1/14).