Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A certain team keeps selling tickets

Remember this chart?

That was the trend in ticket sales for the Montreal Impact's Champions League quarterfinal match against Santos, to be played at Olympic Stadium.

It was a nice straight line that allowed us to make easy predictions. Itt worked out nicely: every 6 days, 5000 tickets were sold.

Everything was holding true to form. Locked-out Journal de Montréal writer Martin Smith, posting at the employees' site Rue Frontenac, reported that ticket sales had reached 25 000 as of Monday:
«On sent qu'on a notre place bien à nous dans le coeur des Montréalais!» Richard Legendre, premier vice-président de l'Impact et du stade Saputo, se dit très content du soutien populaire pour le match le plus important de l'histoire de l'équipe montréalaise.

«C'est impressionnant, dit-il. On est rendu à 25 000 billets après trois semaines de vente et il nous reste encore autant de temps avant le match (Ligue des Champions de la CONCACAF). Comme le rythme des ventes semble se maintenir, on révise notre objectif de 30 000 spectateurs à la hausse.»
(If you need help with the French, shame on you. This is Canada.)

This number came 7 days after the report of 20 000 tickets sold, meaning things were more or less on track.

But there is a new release on sales from the Impact today, and all of a sudden, our chart looks like this:

It's not nearly as tidy, but that spike upwards indicates that over 35 000 tickets have been sold. Here's the data in another form:

Date Tickets Source
01/14/09 10000 (Impact)
01/20/09 15000 (
01/26/09 20000 (Impact)
02/02/09 25000 (Rue Frontenac)
02/04/09 35000 (Impact)

More and more, I feel like this match in late February is going to be a seminal moment in Canadian football.

I won't name any names, but a certain well known blogger of Canadian and MLS soccer stories predicted a number in the low 13000s.

The last time there was soccer at Stade Olympique, it looked like this. Could this month's crowd be larger?

* * * * *

After being snowed under recently by a variety of educational and professional responsibilities, I now have at least a few moments each day to spare for a little blogging.

Stories we're following (forgive my use of the majestic plural, but I find it suits from time to time):
  • A certain high profile Canadian soccer player has consented to be interviewed by yours humbly and truly. This same player has been interviewed recently in the mainstream Canadian media. What should I ask that hasn't been asked already? My own inclination is to focus on things to come, and not dwell on the past.
  • A certain 2-inch statuette has crossed the Atlantic and now resides in the hands of a Canadian soccer fanatic in New England. We await reports of mini-Radz' adventures.
  • A certain BC native, formerly of Feyenoord and Celtic, is now formerly of Seattle's MLS entry and the Vancouver Whitecaps. My understanding he is looking to become present somewhere else, perhaps in Europe. We will certainly keep you posted.
  • A certain national soccer organizing body has still not announced the winner of its 2008 Fan's Choice Award. An inquiry with the communications director of said body was met with a response that the announcement is forthcoming. Yet we wait.
  • A certain favourite Dutch side now has a 9 point gap atop the Eredivisie, and 11 points separate them from likeliest challengers, Ajax.
So stay tuned.


Duane Rollins said...

I'll out myself...

I touched on it today. How many of those 35,000 paid full price? How many are currently in the hands of school children that have next to no interest in the game? We just don't know.

Good on the Impact for doing what they have to do to get butts in the seats, but we need to wait until we actually see the turn-out to gage how impressive it is.

J said...

I think you're right - the turn-out is what is important. Hopefully they get a real number on that as well.

But I don't think it really matters how much people paid for the tickets. This game isn't about making money, it is about just how many people in Canada are big enough fans of the game to take in a match indoors in February.