Ramblings of a Soccer Junky
Thursday, September 22, 2005
  Anyone else as fed up as me today?
So I ended up watching some of the Dallas-LA game online before leaving work last night. I wish I hadn’t. What an awful display. Dallas didn't even have Fish or Johnson playing! If that match isn’t proof that Steve Sampson wasn’t a great choice to replace Sigi Schmid, that Doug Hamilton has no business being in a position were he’s responsible for hiring and firing a coach, I don’t know what additional proof is needed.

I think what really has this fan upset the most was after seeing an awful first half display, we see a half-time interview with Hamilton which was nothing more than an infomercial selling tickets to the Open Cup Final next week. It was as if the first half never happened and selling tickets was the only thing of importance here.

As my hero, Alexis Lalas, likes to remind people, the “E” in AEG stands for Entertainment. But, as a fan, I’m failing to see where the Entertainment in LA is. Hamilton told us the reason he replaced Schmid was that he was looking for more than just a winning team…but a team that entertained as well. Guess what, it’s been a year now and fans in LA aren’t getting either.

But here’s the problem, LA are still selling tickets. Granted, larger numbers are going unused but that’s not a problem in the eyes of those paying the bills. As long as they are finding money to pay the bills, they’ll be doing more of the same—focusing on selling tickets to AYSO Groups, Family packs and Businesses.

Jamie Tracker is picked up the attendance numbers discussion lately. His article this week has some comments from Doug Hamilton and Peter Wilt. Hamilton didn’t really say much but Wilt nailed the situation for mid-week ticket sales for Cup games.

"I think the reason that attendance at these games is smaller is a function of the fact that many of our crowds are being generated by promotions, season tickets, group sales and youth sales. We don't have long, long leadup times to sell them and we don't have the weekend base. But, in general the word isn't out there for these games."
There’s too much reliance on the type of fans who may show up a couple times each season. I can’t speak for all 12 MLS teams, but my experience in LA was that once you’ve bought your season ticket, the organization could care less about you…until it’s time to sell you something else.

Why am I going on this tangent? Well, because it goes back to putting the best possible team on the field. There’s no priority for doing that. If most people buying tickets only show up to a handful of games each season, there’s no pressure to improve and those that are loyal and follow every match and see how poorly a team is doing are left to suffer.

Did anyone else find it interesting that the Galaxy will be capping sales for the Final at 10k? Hamilton said it was because there were night classes at CSUDH but I’m thinking it’s more to drive demand…limit supply and make it appear that the ticket is worth more…it also insure there’s fewer people waiting until Wednesday night to buy their ticket at the door.

Bottom-line, fans in LA are stuck. LA has made it to the Open Cup Final which they’ll be hosting. Until more people (fans) are attending their games on a more regular basis, there’s no urgency on the part of those running teams to put the best possible team on the pitch. Until then, we suffer performance like we saw last night.
 
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An American who fell in love with soccer while living in Europe.

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Location: Hoosierville, IN, United States
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