Home Global Game Europe A week away from kickoff, and “great seats” still available for MCFC-Whitecaps friendly

A week away from kickoff, and “great seats” still available for MCFC-Whitecaps friendly


It is Vancouver’s first season in Major League Soccer, and you already have to wonder if the city is suffering from the same friendly fatigue we have seen developing in other North American cities.

The Whitecaps just issued a release confirming Manchester City’s roster for the July 18 friendly at Empire Field, part of the Herbalife World Football Challenge, a series of exhibition matches featuring major clubs from around the world and MLS teams. Even though the game is being offered to season-ticket holders for free, there are still tickets left, good ones at that, a week away from kickoff.

“Manchester City is currently preparing for an important upcoming season, which will include the UEFA Champions League, and have brought an amazing collection of top internationals,” said Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi in the release. “Great seats are still available for what I anticipate will be a highly entertaining match in Vancouver next Monday.”

After a search on ticketmaster.ca, it looks as if there are plenty of seats, priced at $67.25 (with service charges) each, left. The 11 did a search for six tickets together, and had success (in section 202, row CC). Four tickets together? No problem. When you can find large groups of tickets available, it’s generally a sign that plenty of space can be filled.

By now, we have all got used to seeing the high-profile and, usually, high-debt clubs from Europe come over to North America for summer friendlies. There was a time when these games were novel, and supporters of said teams from across North America made sure stadiums were full when these clubs crossed the ocean. But, as more and more of these clubs need North American cheques (ahem, sorry, come to North America for “training purposes), the excitement is waning. Really, is the reaction to the Herbalife World Football Challenge anything more than ho-hum? Miss the big clubs this year? They’ll be back in 2012. When MLS teams are smack dab in the middle of their congested schedules, these friendlies get lost in the shuffle.

Toronto FC didn’t schedule a friendly this season, even though there were plans to try and get the team involved in the Herbalife WFC, as proven by the promotional material which had TFC’s logo all over it. BMO Field will get a game between Juventus and Sporting Lisbon instead. Last year, Rogers Centre in Toronto hosted three high-profile international friendlies. The likes of Manchester United, Celtic, Inter Milan, Panathinaikos, Fiorentina and Juventus were all treated to scores of empty blue seats in the stadium. The games simply didn’t generate the buzz or the interest that the promoters or the teams had hoped for. And it makes sense, in an over-saturated sports market, exhibition games can’t be elevated to elite status anymore, no matter how big the team.

If these European clubs need our ticket dough to help us with their financial messes — and, be assured, football across the Atlantic will soon be in crisis with the amount of debt the teams in the major leagues are carrying and no help in sight for the flagging European economy — they need to up the ante, and give us games that count.


Joe Hart (ENG), Stuart Taylor (ENG), Eirik Johansen (NOR), Loris Karius (GER) DEFENDERS: Micah Richards (ENG), Jerome Boateng (GER), Vincent Kompany (BEL), Joleon Lescott (ENG), Dedryck Boyata (BEL), Gael Clichy (FRA), Aleksandar Kolarov (SRB), Stefan Savic (MNE), Frederic Veseli (SUI) MIDFIELDERS: Shaun Wright-Phillips (ENG), Vladimir Weiss (SVK), James Milner (ENG), Gareth Barry (ENG), Yaya Toure (CIV), Nigel De Jong (NED), David Silva (ESP), Adam Johnson (ENG) FORWARDS: Mario Balotelli (ITA), Edin Dzeko (BIH), Andrea Mancini (ITA), Denis Suarez (SPA), Ryan McGivern (NIR), John Guidetti (SWE)

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One Comment

  1. Hmmm

    July 12, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I couldn’t find 2 together in the south end.

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