Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ticket tracking

Back in 2009, as the hype began to build in advance of the Montreal Impact's CONCACAF Champions League clash with Santos at Olympic Stadium, I became rather obsessed with tracking the ticket sales for that match.

Now that Toronto FC is selling tickets for their quarterfinal match, some interesting comparisons can be drawn.

I don't any useful conclusions can be made, since so many significant variables are in play. For example:
  • Montreal didn't have the advantage of welcoming the most famous soccer player in the world to their stadium.
  • Toronto FC has been the recipient of largely glowing press over the last 5 years, as a fan experience if not a team on the pitch.
  • Both teams have engaged in promotional pricing and some house-papering to varying degrees.
But you just want the numbers. Back in '09, Montreal reached the 35,000 tickets sold mark on February 4th, just over 3 weeks ahead of their game. Toronto reached that number yesterday, with over 6 weeks to until their knockaround with the LA Galaxy.

The lesson, then, is that there is certainly a market for big one-off matches in big indoor stadiums during the soccer-starved winter months. And that the clubs' pricing suggests that the event as marketing opportunity exceeds its value as a sheer moneymaker.

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