The back story on this is that when MLS decided that two more games would be added to the schedule, the team decided not to add more tickets and increase the ticket price but rather to take away 2 special event tickets leaving the package with one remaining ticket. The team wanted to focus the package on MLS knowing that in years prior there were some special tickets that went over really well and others that well... didn't.
We raised the issue of value for money with the prices of season tickets of the other teams involved with this years friendlies (DC United, Seattle Sounders, Sporting KC, Chicago Fire), Bilello had this to say
"It's unfair to say that they are giving those games to their season ticket holders, if you look at the pricing on those tickets they are paying up front"
Bilello went on to tell us that the Revs have not priced their ticket packages to reflect including a high level friendly whereas these other teams have. The team does not want to not be able to deliver that high level friendly and then have STH's complain about the price of the season. Since they set prices and packages in September they have no way of knowing what friendlies may or may not happen. Bilello stated that if they had known that Manchester United would be coming way back in September they may have priced the package up and possibly even sold more season tickets as a result. Bilello thinks people would rather have the option of paying more than having the ticket built into the price.
Bilello asked us to price out the other teams involved season ticket packages compared to ours with the ManU game added in, so we have. We present what we have gathered for season ticket prices for the cheapest level:
- Seattle $436
- DC $342
- Chicago $200
- Sporting KC $324*
- New England $234 + $40 = $274
Here is my gripe, to myself there is more than on the field performance that goes in to my value for season tickets. Let's break it down team by team...
Ok Sounders fans are more than annoying, I hope we all realize that. That being said the gameday product in Seattle is second to none in MLS and there really isn't any denying that (Yes I have been to a Sounders game at Qwest Field). Seattle has also in it's short history signed 4 Designated Players, nevermind if they have worked out or not they have done something that to this point the Revs have not been able to do.
DC last year was worse than us and that was hard to do. DC has however won MLS cups and signed 3 Designated Players in it's history. RFK is a dump obviously and United don't control the revenue there... they are slumming it... In addition to hosting Manchester vs. Barcelona, DC will be playing Everton and Ajax this summer.
They have their own stadium, have signed DP's. On top of that they are playing Man U at Soldier Field and will have to pay for use of that facility in addition to paying Manchester's fee (All teams are paying the same).
Sporting KC will be opening their brand new stadium that may even rival Red Bull Arena this summer. They have launched a massive rebranding and marketing campaign and also have had 2 DPs in their history.
No stadium, no DP, no MLS cup wins. I absolutely expect our season tickets to be cheaper than most, we have very little to show in the new generation of MLS. We are not a team that can price the tickets high. The Revs have had a decent year increasing the base but we don't have much to help them other than their determination to sell more tickets.
On the field performance is only a part of the fan and STH experience, for the most part I think the other teams are doing better and therefore a higher season ticket price may be justified and not purely based on on the field performance and building in the price of a high level international friendly.
Don't get me wrong, the price of Revs season tickets is quite good, however when you include a "special event" ticket, a leak gets out(whether it was the Revs or not we don't know and won't assume) that Manchester United will be playing us and there is a track record of these special tickets being used for international friendlies, people are going to rightfully assume that they are already in.
This is a huge marketing opportunity for the Revolution, a great opportunity to showcase the team and the fans and hopefully convince people to come back. Instead of rewarding your most die hard fans, the ones who have put faith in the team that they are going to go out there, win, sign great players, build a stadium and eventually return to the glory days and finally win that MLS cup, the team has said that's great but you still have to pay for what should be a perk and a thank you to all of those STHs. We were very excited for this game but this fiasco has seriously soured many people's outlook on it. You will get free parking however... whoop-dee-do....
Oh and that special event ticket that we still have? It will be used for US Open Cup or Playoffs should we make either, if we don't the cost of that ticket will be refunded... A bit of advice, instead of calling it a "Special Event" ticket next year call it a playoff/open cup ticket up front...
*Sporting KC's STH package is based on the per game price for a ticket, we were not able to come up with the total price in their website