Last night’s CONCACAF Champions League game featured one of the most frenzied endings to a game in Carson I can remember.
But at least one fan didn’t even see the beginning.
I received the following email last night from frustrated reader Antonio Marquez
who saw an apparent ticket screw-up compounded by the largely unpublicized 7,500-spectator limit imposed at Home Depot Center for the game in an agreement with the neighborhoods around the stadium.
Here is my story from tonight:
Last week I called my Galaxy ticket representative, Tiffony Warner, and told her I really wanted to go to the Morelia game. Anyway, I also told her I was interested in MLS Cup tickets. So she said that the best option was to buy a three ticket mini-plan which included the MLS Cup and she would comp me the Morelia game. I said great, because for the same price I could go to the two games I really wanted to see, plus as a bonus get to see RSL and Chivas. So I purchased four ticket packages.
OK, so I am all pumped up all week looking forward to a good game. Pick up my son and wife, and we drive to the HDC from San Dimas. I walk up to the will call window to pick up my tickets, and they said sorry nothing for you. My heart sank, I called Tiffony, but no answer. Ok I think, there was a mistake, so I get in line to buy three tickets. When I walk up they say sorry, we are sold out!!!
I feel like the Galaxy office scammed me and I am really upset. There were many people outside the stadium wondering how the game could be sold out when we could see a nearly empty stadium. Regardless of the result of the game, tonight was a disaster for me. I have been a loyal fan since 1996, and I feel like the Galaxy robbed me tonight.
Incidentally, the Galaxy never (to my knowledge) publicized the severely reduced capacity for the game beyond tweeting a picture of the seating configuration earlier in the day that grouped fans together of just two sides of the stadium (and made it appear from outside the gates that the stadium was half empty, as indeed it was).
Given that the previous two Champions league games at the stadium this season drew announced crowds of 8,196 and 9,855 you would have thought the Galaxy could have sensed a possible PR debacle brewing (unless, of course, those figures were inflated as they often are and the Galaxy thought there was no reason for concern).
Anyone else locked out of the game?
I’ll see if I can get a response from the Galaxy front office.
I heard Friday from Tom Payne, Galaxy president of business operations, who observed that the Galaxy opened up another 100 or so seats before the game when they realised they had fans who couldn’t get in.
He said only a few fans suffered the experience the letter writer above did and couldn’t get in at all. And he acknowledged the club should have done a better job of letting fans know about the small capacity for the game in advance, which by the way is exactly what Antonio wanted.
A larger than expected walkup from Morelia fans caught the club by surprise, Payne said.
The 7,500 stadium capacity was imposed by Cal State Dominguz Hills to ensure students attending night classes had parking available, incidentally.
Let’s hope the school doesn’t make a similar request to limit the the stadium capacity during the playoffs; the Galaxy are likely to host a midweek game.
As for Antonio, the club gave him playoff tickets for his trouble. Hopefully they’ll mail them out to him in advance so he doesn’t have to take any chances at will call before the game again.