Argentine Side Olimpo Sells Provisional Membership Passes, Raises Estimated $75,000
Argentine first division side Olimpo, which is located in the city of Bahía Blanca in the Buenos Aires Province, launched a "member campaign" that took place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fans paid 250 Argentine pesos ($31) to purchase provisional memberships, which included a bonus "club day" that was required to attend Sunday's match against River Plate at Olimpo's Roberto Natalio Carminatti stadium (Olimpo). OLE reported "even Olimpo's team office and stadium were tinged with River Plate's red and white." For River fans, "it did not matter whether the cards were for a day or for 90 minutes, these cards allowed them to enter Olimpo's stadium." During the game, they "could not encourage their team while wearing their colors, but the only thing that mattered was being in the stadium to see a decisive game for River." Argentine football regulations "prevent the sale of tickets to 'neutral fans,'" but Olimpo leaders "launched a lightning campaign over three days to attract people." The "ticket stores, though, were not open for neutral fans, they were open for local visitors." The passes were "only available to fans living in Bahía Blanca or within a 300km radius of the city." Olimpo President Alfredo Dagna said, "We are very happy because we have around 1,400 new members and it is all people from here, because we fulfilled what the provincial authorities required." Dagna estimated that the club raised 600,000 Argentine pesos ($75,000), as regular club members also had to pay an additional 100 Argentine pesos ($13) for the "club day." River Plate fans "were expected in the crowd, without flags or shirts but with the River flag in their hearts" (OLE, 4/27).