Home MLS Montreal Impact Impact decision to reduce ticket prices sure to fuel calls for TFC to do the same

Impact decision to reduce ticket prices sure to fuel calls for TFC to do the same

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The Montreal Impact has 12 wins, more than the other Canadian MLS teams. The Impact has won five in a row. It has 18 more points than its Canadian Eastern Conference rival, Toronto FC.

And, on Wednesday, the team announced that it would be dropping ticket prices for the 2013 season, something owner Joey Saputo hinted at on Twitter the day before. Tickets have dropped 15 per cent on average, while season-ticket holders will get what the Impact is calling a “10 per cent rebate” on 2012 packages.

“We listened to the calls of our supporters and we have adjusted our prices,” said Impact president Joey Saputo. “I am proud to confirm that there will be a price reduction and we will be rewarding the loyalty of our current season ticket holders. Even though we are currently having success on the field and in the stands, we will never take our ticket holders for granted.”

Now, the cynic will point out that, after the completion of Stade Saputo, the Impact struggled to get anywhere close to capacity until a decision was made to lower ticket prices — and that these reductions for 2013 merely continue that trend. The cynic will point out that early-season games at the Olympic Stadium boosted the club’s average attendance numbers.

But, this move is much more about optics. It is a massive PR exercise for the Impact — and no doubt the reverberations will be felt in the front offices of Toronto FC, where futility has reigned supreme since 2007 and ticket prices have continued to climb for seats at BMO Field.

The fact that the Impact has lowered prices the day after TFC has been all but eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League — its last ray of hope in a bleak, bleak season — is sure to give Reds’ supporters groups, who have been calling for price reductions, plenty of fuel. And, empty seats have been more and more apparent in Toronto this season, so you have to question if the mix of economics and poor on-field performance has now gone sour for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

For them, they aren’t going to care that the Impact need to find a price point that will ensure high attendances at Stade Saputo. What they will care about is the optics of what Joey Saputo has done.

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