No Frills pricing for No Frills football. - Mike Stobe
"This is really about a relationship with the fans" said Tom Anselmi. Prices are back to 2007 levels, will that be enough to repair that relationship and get things back on the right foot? It's a start, but there's a long way to go.
So, after a 2007esque season on the pitch (we need 3 points in the last 2 games of the season to tie the points total of the 30 game 2007 season.) TFC decided that 2013 will be like 2007 in the stands, rolling back prices across the stadium back to what they were when they started out, back when TFC was all keen and eager to make a great first impression and build a relationship.
It worked back then, but of course, once they figured out that there was a buzz, there was demand and that they had a hot ticket, they set about exploiting it for all it was worth. Prices were jacked up, complaints were dismissed with talk of the pricing being initially too low, and talk of supply and demand, apples and oranges and all that. Now they had us wanting more, this was no longer a relationship, it was merely business, malcontents would be easily replaced, after all look at the waiting list. What's that, you actually want to work your way up that list? Well then you can go buy some Marlies games you don't want, then we'll talk.
That attitude, along with repeated failure on the pitch caused the initial love affair to fade, and once the business wasn't going so well, when fans started to tune them out, then that's when all of a sudden it started being about a relationship again. It was about loyalty, you wouldn't dream of running out on your football club would you?
I guess this year they finally figured out that yes, enough of us would be willing to give up, that enough of us had had enough of following incompetence and being charged way too much for the privilege, and so now here we are. Discounts of up to 47%, and tickets as low as $10/game. Both of those numbers apply to the supporters sections, the further you go up the food chain, the lower the percentage discounts though the $ amount saved is higher (except for the north stand which wasn't around back then, so sees only a minor downgrade). Also they're paying for a ticket to see the season opener next year which will apparently be in Montreal, at the big O, with limited transportation to and from the match, whatever exactly that might mean.
It's a good move, one that I can't complain about, and more than I thought would be given, so thank you for that.
It did of course come with all sorts of hyperbole, Tom Anselmi bringing his best 'Come on baby, give me one more chance' puppy dog eyes. There was all sorts of sucking up to the fans and everything they've done for the club, that praise mixed in with a lot more reinforcement of that whole loyalty thing, along with promises that this time they'll get it right and when they do, it's going to be spectacular. To sum up:
We want to thank people for their loyalty, thank them for hanging in with us and make sure the price isn't an irritant.
In that respect, for me at least, mission accomplished. The bigger issues are on the pitch and remain to be fixed, and there seems to be little sign of a plan as far as that goes, Anselmi must still be trusting in that whole cyclical thing, John Molinaro absolutely nails that issue in this article here, but the amount I pay next year won't irritate me, it will seem fair.
It's a shame it took management so long to realise the error of their ways, and that it needed so much anger, and worse, apathy to get their attention. It comes off as an act of desperation, not of genuine appreciation.
Anyway, for now they've done the right thing, so again thank you, but there's two much more important things still to be done to really bring back that loving feeling.
1) Get it right on the field.
2) If you want to convince us that you have really changed, then when you do get it right on the field, when things do get to being spectacular, remember what happened the first time around. Don't start thinking you're too good for us again. Treat us right when things are going well and I'll start to trust again.