It finally looks like we have some positive solutions to the issue surrounding Toronto fans ticketing for the MLS opener on March 19th, and hopefully for all other travelling supporters this season.
Following our blog on Monday, the Whitecaps finally addressed the problems and AFTN had a productive talk with the Whitecaps yesterday surrounding a number of the issues.
As we explained on last night’s It’s Called Football podcast, we’d much rather have a Club that admits they’ve made mistakes, listens and then corrects them than a club that is so pig-headed that it just ploughs on regardless, to everyone’s detriment.
The one thing which the Caps were keen to stress is that they want to welcome all fans. We’re all on the same page here. The Club, AFTN and the Southsiders all want healthy travelling supports at Empire, BC Place and throughout the MLS. It’s how to create an electric, must attend atmosphere and it’s the only way we will truly see the league move on to the next level.
The Whitecaps also confirmed that the Toronto fans will be based in sections 228 and 229. A healthy 250 seats have been put aside for TFC fans and this message has been conveyed to the supporters groups back east.
Tickets for the seats in the TFC area will go on sale on Thursday morning at 10am PST and away fans who are planning to attend the match in a group should call Tom Tompkins on 604 669 9283 (ext 2223) to get their tickets.
What is now important is that BC based Toronto fans also buy seats in that section. The Whitecaps want to point that they reserve the right to move away fans who are sitting in home designated sections, especially the Southside, to ensure a safe and friendly environment for all fans.
Let’s just hope that this message is properly conveyed to PNE security staff.
Another big area of concern to us around ticketing was the Ticketmaster website and the fact that both away support and families could end up unknowingly buying tickets right in the heart of the Southside.
The Caps admit that the current set up of it is not ideal and will be working closely with Ticketmaster to ensure that fans know exactly what kind of section they are buying tickets for. Until this has been done, the Club have tried to address this with an article which went up last night on the official site regarding supporters seating at Empire.
The Club want everyone to know just where the supporters group and the matchday atmosphere is going to be:
“There is no doubt that sections 216 – 222 (where our Southsiders, a South American drum troupe, and other supporters will be) will be among the loudest in leading the cheers at Empire Field, and I encourage everyone to join in. Empire is our home, now let’s get loud Vancouver!”
Carl Valentine explains that the Club want to turn Empire into a fortress. It’s a stadium that’s set up to enable that to happen. We all need to play our part in making that happen. Having the right seating arrangement will be a good start.