Whitecaps Bracing For Mass Exodus Of Season-Ticket Holders
Whitecaps season-ticket holders will be "emailed notification of the automatic renewal process" on Aug. 1, and team officials are "already bracing for a mass exodus of their annual base," according to J.J. Adams of the Vancouver PROVINCE. Just 22% of nearly 800 respondents to a poll on Twitter said that they "would be renewing their tickets." Meanwhile, 60% said "no," while another 18% said that they would be either "downsizing to a five-game pack or taking in an occasional game." With six games remaining, the Whitecaps are averaging 19,980 fans per game this year, the lowest figure since drawing 19,475 in '12, the "only other season they were under 20,000." Saturday’s crowd of 17,558 was the "third-lowest this season." Scandals "have dogged this organization in recent years," including the '17 sexual assault in the U15 academy program, plus the abuse allegations made by the '08 Whitecaps women’s team, which "sparked walkouts by the supporters’ groups during MLS games until it was given attention by the team." Throw in a front office that has "left fans feeling the club has underspent and underperformed its way to a decade of mediocre results, and many have decided to spend their entertainment dollar elsewhere." Fans are "unhappy with team’s results and unhappy with the team’s executive leadership on several levels" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 7/22).