Wednesday’s “ticket nightmare” for Galaxy fan who missed must-see game

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.

Updated

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.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Benny Dargle

    Galaxy President Tom Payne alluded to this in a tweet earlier in the week when he mentioned the limited seating capacity. The only place where I saw more details was in the LA Galaxy forum on the BigSoccer website. It may have been one of the LA Galaxy ambassadors who spread the news there.

    To be fair, Chivas screwed me over the same way earlier in the season. They gave away vouchers for free tickets to participants in the LAUSD middle school soccer tournament and the vouchers were designated for the Chivas/Galaxy game. When we showed up for that game, though, the vouchers were useless because they had been sold out for several days and they never publicized that information because they were hoping vouncher receipients would show up and claim tickets to other less attractive midweek Chivas games as a substitute.

  • http://www.shirtees.net shirteesdotnet

    These sorts of fiascoes do not help promote Major League Soccer in any way.

    I am curious if there is word that AEG will move the LA Galaxy to the new Farmers Field in downtown LA? I havent seen anything about this (and havent kept up) but I think it would be a great move to get away from the HDC and leave Chivas in the dust there.

    As always, I always appreciate your reporting Nick!! Thanks.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Antonio’s experience proves the point I’ve been making for years. AEG = Arrogance. Evil. Greed.

    Benny, you got ripped off by the good ol’ fashion’ bait-and-switch trick — which I think constitutes fraud in this state. You should make a complaint to the Better Business Bureau, if not to the state.

    Antonio, you did get scammed. I recommend the same advice to you as to Benny.

    As far as Potters…I mean, Farmers…Field goes, the thing hasn’t even been built yet, and might not be if Ed Roski has anything to say about it. Everything so far has been based on Tim Leiweke’s bluster and intimidation. Besides, Chivas USA is considering moving to Santa Ana, among other places, so they might not be at HDC in a few years.