MLS Union Revels In Best Ticket-Sales Revenue Since '13, But Looks To Grow Base
Union Chief Business Officer Tim McDermott said that the MLS club this season saw its "highest ticket-sales revenue since 2013, and the first year-over-year increase since 2011" despite finishing 19th in average attendance, according to Jonathan Tannenwald of PHILLY.com. McDermott added that there was around a 20% "difference between tickets sold and tickets actually torn at the gate." He noted the figure was "not too different than what it's ever been." McDermott "wants to grow" the season-ticket base to 12,000 next year from its base of around 9,500 in '17. Tannenwald noted the Union's average home attendance of 16,812 at Talen Energy Stadium "was the worst" in the venue's seven-year history. The club has made the playoffs just twice in its eight years, and crowds would grow "if the team starts winning, or if it signs better and more recognizable players." However, McDermott's job is to "sell the experience of a soccer game ... no matter who's on the field." That is part of the reason the team's ticket staff "has doubled since he took the job" in January '16. Meanwhile, other team goals this offseason "include negotiating a new TV deal with NBC Sports Philadelphia, as the current deal expires this year." McDermott also wants to "add radio broadcasts for Union games, though they might be online instead of over the air." Another desire is "Spanish-language simulcasts of TV games, and perhaps a radio deal" (PHILLY.com, 11/21).