Since they arrived in MLS, Toronto FC‘s owners Maple Leaf Sports have done a great job off the field building and promoting the team. They have not done a very good job on the field, but that is a topic for another day.
But Maple Leaf Sports are now backpedaling after its ticket renewal fiasco. Toronto fans received their renewal forms in the mail and saw a 20%-30% increase iver 2010 due to the addition of four extra games next season.
That sparked outrage by the TFC fans who are still waiting to see a playoff game after four years in Major League Soccer.that, in some cases, added between 20 percent and 30 percent to the total price the customer paid,” Anselmi said, “and you know what? They’re right. It’s too much.”
“Two things happened,” MLSE executive vice president and COO Tom Anselmi said Wednesday in an interview with Toronto sports-radio station The Fan 590. “The season didn’t pan out the way it was supposed to and our fans are upset, and I don’t blame them and we are as well. This year it all piled on. The regular season expanded by two games, MLS Cup is added to the package and we added two more [Champions League] games and it was just too much at once. We screwed up.”
TFC has been one of the model franchises in MLS and has routinely sold out BMO Field with a season ticket base of 17,000. After missing the playoffs again this season Anselmi fired director of soccer Mo Johnston and coach Preki last month.
This is a huge off-season for Toronto as TFC has to make the playoffs next year or Maple Leaf Sports runs the chance of ruining all the good will that they have built up over the last five years. And based on the ticket fiasco, this off-season is not off to a very good start.