The Galaxy won’t sell tickets to the upper deck at Carson’s Home Depot Center for its first and perhaps only playoff game this year at the stadium (date and opponent TBD), the first time the club has done that since moving there in 2003. (Tickets went on sale Monday, BTW).
Of course, that’s slightly misleading because the Galaxy haven’t made the playoffs in the last three seasons. But then wouldn’t that mean there’s pent-up demand? Apparently not with the club averaging fewer than 20,000 fans per game, good for only No. 3 in MLS behind Toronto (20,000-plus per game) and Seattle (30,000-plus per game).
“What we’re looking to do is create a home field advantage and have as many of the fans as close to the field as possible,” said spokesman Patrick Donnelly. “We’re going to aim to sell out the lower bowl first and then open (the deck) up. We won’t do it unless the lower bowl is sold out.”
And it might not be because the Galaxy’s season ticket holders do not get into a playoff game for free as a “bonus” game this year as is usual. That’s because between various other competitions and exhibition games season ticket holders have received their five bonus games this year and so will have to buy playoff tickets.
That’s right, season ticket holders got to see Costa Rica’s Club Sport Herediano instead of a playoff game. Woo hoo!
BTW, upper deck season ticket holders are being allowed to sit on the lower level for the same price they would have paid to sit up top despite the higher ticket prices there. Of course, that doesn’t take into account that the cheaper tickets on the second tier are better – much better – in some cases than the more expensive seats. Fans on the upper deck essentially get the same view those of us in the press box or those paying thousands for suites receive for a fraction of the cost.
It’s just another sign that unless the Galaxy sell discounted group tickets to AYSO teams – whose young players prefer bonking their thunder sticks off some unfortunate parents’ head to actually watching a game – that they can’t count on the hardcore true soccer supporter as the Sounders or Toronto can to sell out the stadium. Even for a playoff game. And that’s pretty sad for a city that is supposedly the best futbol market in the country.
Of course, it’s hard to blame fans given the generally tepid quality of the Galaxy’s play this season (one long-time fan told me he walked out of the Galaxy’s last home game at halftime because it was so dull) or the over-priced tickets thanks to the presence of his Beckhamness. And his celebrity novelty has obviously worn off given the relatively small crowds the Galaxy has drawn this season.
Houston, it seems, isn’t having that problem.