Friday, May 16, 2008

Our Needs

It's been too long, but time for another post. The US Open Cup is upon us, and surprisingly, the Wizards will get to host either LA or Colorado in their qualifier on June 4th. For season ticket holders they can use their Special Game A ticket. For people that want to buy tickets, it's $20.

$20? For a US Open Cup game? The US Open Cup has been a tournament that has been notoriously undervalued by MLS sides, as they normally throw reserve teams out until the semifinals or finals. And in fact, we aren't even talking about the real Open Cup, we're only talking about qualifiers to get into the Open Cup. $20 to watch the Wizards play at a high school stadium with permanent football lines on it. Talk about trying to get a hung bang for your buck, how many people who aren't season ticket holders are going to drop $20 on a game that will likely be mostly reserves. In the past these games have been $5-$10. A double to quadruple increase in ticket prices from years past for US Open Cup games. What has changed so drastically that they can justify having fans pay that to go to a game? You can get cheaper tickets at Wizards league games then you can for this game.

The Wizards front office better be hoping and praying that LA beats Colorado so that they can play up the Beckham possiblity. He won't be there though if they get through. As has been pointed out on bigsoccer, England plays Trinidad and Tobago in Trinidad 3 days before the match, and they play the US 3 days before that. Beckham's been called into camp for the matches. The Wizards won't care though, they'll still advertise Beckham possibly being there. In the end when he doesn't show up, they'll alienate a few more possible fans who were led to believe Beckham was going to be there.

As for season ticket holders and their Special Game A ticket. How does this justify a “special game”. In the past when special game tickets have been used for US Open Cup games, there has been some kind of deal involved with it, usually a 2 for 1 type of deal where your ticket got you and someone else into the game that night. But that's ok they'll say, we're still waiting for that international friendly tournament we've heard about this offseason. I just can't contain my excitement waiting for that announcement (end sarcasm).

The front office is already spinning this site towards the positive, saying it best fits “our needs.” This is the same kind of talk we heard when CAB was announced as the temporary site, and there has only been 1 sell out at the stadium, only ONE game over 10,000 in a stadium that seats just over that amount. That doesn't sound like a site that fits all “our needs”. The site has really poor site lines for much of the paying customers, and the team has already realized that by making the part behind home plate GA along with the berm, because those seats were ALWAYS empty in the 4 games so far this season.

Forgive me for not being overly excited about spending $20 or my Special Game A ticket to watch a QUALIFER for the US Open Cup. The Wizards front office have shot themselves in the foot again and are overestimating their fan base's willingness to pay $20 for what will amount to a reserve game for the most part. As I said though, it won't be advertised as such. Should LA win it will be advertised as “Come see David Beckham on a high school field” cue my rolling eyes.

As always, this has been
Baine's Right Leg.