MLS Tickets Still Best Deal in Town
By Simon Allen
It seems like every few years the issue de jour in football in England is ticket prices. While soccer fans in Spain claim they can get a ticket to Barcelona Vs Cordoba for about $15.00 and German fans can get to watch top teams in the Bundesliga for $30.00, EPL fans are paying top dollar for matches.
This week 900 Manchester City fans sent back $99 tickets to the away match at Emirates Stadium and only about a thousand City fans made the trek down to London to watch their team. Even one of the ref's assistants made it a point to remind Gareth Barry to go thank the fans when the match was done. “Go and see them, they've paid 63 quid over there, go and see them.” Paying 62 Pounds is a bit high even if it was the first time Manchester City have had a League win at Arsenal in 38 years. Paying $89 to watch Queens Park Rangers or Spurs sounds a bit high to me especially if you consider the other entertainment options most Londoners have.
I've had discussions with lots of people about the modern game. Soccer clubs around the world are jockeying for every cent of your disposable income with other segments of the entertainment industry. Some people will claim that Sports isn't Entertainment. I disagree. Whatever your philosophy is on the game itself, the sport of soccer is now in direct competition with every other form of entertainment for your hard earned dollar.
In England, gone are the days of affordable Top Flight Football. Soccer in America, however, is still relatively affordable. While Spurs fans are paying a 100 bucks to watch a match, a General Admission ticket to watch Major League Soccer Champions, Los Angeles Galaxy is about $28 and if you're really on a budget, a General Admission ticket at the gate is $16 for a ChivasUSA match.
If you're closer to Orange County you can watch the Pro Arena Soccer Leagues, Anaheim Bolts for about $23.25
For the best soccer deal in LA you can watch the Los Angeles Strikers of the W-League for about 10 bucks. Los Angeles is actually home to three W-League teams, The LA Strikers, The Pali Blues and The Santa Clarita Blue Heat. You can watch Three Los Angeles Derbies and pick up a Strikers t-shirt for about 50 dollars.
Some folks will argue that the prices of American Soccer is low because the quality doesn't compare to European Soccer and that the salaries are lower. Understandable but I've been saying this for years on my podcast “dollar for dollar it's the best show in town.”
It will cost you $46 to watch the LA Lakers in a nosebleed section of Staple Center play the Bucks. $35 to watch the Clippers in the same section of Staple Center to play the Portland Trailblazers.
When The NHL starts up you can expect to pay $40 for a ticket in section 304 of the Staple Center to watch the LA Kings play the Dallas Stars. I've never actually paid for a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball ticket and don't know anyone who has so I can't compare prices. But compared to other sports in Los Angeles, Soccer in most cases is a less expensive ticket.
But Soccer in America (especially in LA) is competing with not just main stream sports but with other forms of entertainment. After all, LA is the entertainment capital of the world.
I think as a “night out”, watching Major League Soccer is more affordable than...lets say Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. For $37.95 spectators watch staged jousting and armored fights while eating food. For real fighting you can purchase tickets for Bellator 85. Mixed Martial Arts in Irvine for $38.00.
If blood and guts isn't your thing you can watch Fleetwood Mac at the Hollywood Bowl May 25. It will cost you about 60 dollars but the entertainment budget might be blown if you want to go watch LA Galaxy host Seattle Sounders the very next day. That's always a fun match. On Saturday March 2nd, Orchestra seats are $76 at the Pantages Theater for the production of Jekyll & Hyde or you could save your money and pick up two tickets to see LA Galaxy Vs Chicago Fire the next evening.
Monday night bowling at Pickwick Bowl in Burbank is $25 per lane for two hours not including shoe rental. Had to throw that in. Bowling is more expensive than Professional Soccer.
Universal Studios Hollywood's one day pass will set you back about $80 and if the roller coaster ride you want is more literal then you can pony up $64.99 and go to Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Tickets for Eddie Izzard go for about $25 at the Largo on La Cienga Blvd. $25 gets you into the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale. But if you add up drinks and food, watching ChivasUSA will be the more budget friendly ticket.
I had the most value packed time of my life at The Home Depot Center. It was a ChivasUSA match where the franchise handed out Francisco Palencia Bobble Head's. My ticket cost less that 20 bucks and I parked nearer the University to avoid the parking fees. I walked across the campus and met some fans that handed me everything from hamburgers to carne asada to a couple of bottles of Corona. When I finally got into the ChivaTown area someone handed me a bag with a ChivasUSA blanket in it and I proceeded to walk around before the match started. I took photos with the Chivagirls and went to the booths that were stationed around the pitch. I tried my hand at kicking a ball through a hole which for my efforts and to the surprise of the man running the booth got me some sort of a power tool and a hat. When the match started I went to my seat in general admission where I watched the team lose and sat around with the other fans cursing the luck the Rojiblancos had or didn't have. It was a fun match to watch nonetheless and I walked out of the stadium with more ChivasUSA tat than I could imagine. Major League Soccer gets it. Soccer is not only competing with the other Sports but with all other forms of entertainment.
MLS knows that fans, especially newer fans, will choose going to the Arclight and watching a movie for $14 rather than watching live soccer if the prices of tickets are too high. The fans at MLS matches are the ones that create the atmosphere. Whether your team wins or loses the supporters of the team are the ones that make the event even more exciting. Mark Burke's article on this very website is a must read on ticket prices and the fans. Without affordable tickets, soccer just won't work. Can MLS make tickets more affordable? To bring in new fans MLS franchises have to see that as an option. Is watching Soccer still the best deal in town? I think so.
At the end of the Manchester City Vs Arsenal match some of the fans said that even with the high price of the ticket that watching City beat The Gunners was well worth it. Worth it but for how long?