John E. Sokolowski-US PRESSWIRE
After years of mishandling their season-ticket holders and seeing attendance dip, Toronto FC has finally done something smart by severely rolling back prices.
The last six years have not been kind to Toronto FC. Since bursting onto the scene in 2007, it has gotten incrementally worse each year.
Once creating arguably the best environment in MLS, boasting of a robust season-ticket waiting list and playing in front of sold out crowds every game, they have seen that all vanish as ticket prices have gone up as the team has set a record by missing the playoffs for six straight years.
Ownerships seems to have finally noticed, announcing on Thursday that season-ticket prices are being rolled back to 2007 levels. They are branding as a restart, something this franchise badly needs.
On the most extreme end, some tickets have been reduced a remarkable 47 percent. Supporters will once again be able to grab season tickets for just $190, one of the best deals in the league. The team reports that 90 percent of their season-ticket holders will see a reduction of at least 20 percent.
They seem to be saying all the right things, too.
"Our fans built this franchise, we didn’t," President and Chief Operating Officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Tom Anselmi told the team website. "They set the tone for what it means to be a supporter in North America, they changed MLS. They set the stage for expansion and the bar for what it means to have great atmosphere in the building."
For all of this to really stick, the team is also going to need to turn it around on the field. Anselmi seems to understand that part, as well.
"The thing that upsets fans the most are team performance and price," he said. "Performance, atmosphere and price are all related."
After years of seemingly tone-deaf responses, this is a positive sign. Hopefully, for the good of the team and the league, it's more than a sign.
For more reaction to season-ticket prices being reduced, check out Waking the Red.