Sydney FC's Del Piero Signing Already Paying Financial Dividends
The commercial payback that A-League Sydney FC budgeted for with the signing of Alessandro Del Piero "is solidifying" 10 days before the Italian star is even seen on home turf, according to Tom Smithies of THE DAILY TELEGRAPH. The club has sold "more memberships than ever before." However, the size of walk-up crowds "remains the unknown factor." Sydney CEO Tony Pignata said, "In terms of memberships, we've beaten the record, which was 7,500, and I'm confident we'll go on to beat 8,000. I'm happy with that in terms of the market in Sydney and there's still 10 days until our first home game. If we get some good performances straight away we might see another surge, hopefully." He added, "I've had sponsors calling me -- there are a few properties left, like a community partner and a coaches sponsor." Pignata admits the remaining challenge is to "lift the sparse crowds that have greeted Sydney in recent years." Pignata said, "So far, certainly in terms of that first home game against Newcastle on Oct. 13, it's looking very positive" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 10/4).