As a woman who follows soccer, I’ll never pass up an opportunity to correct Simon Borg, so when one of my friends posted a link to his blog defending Seattle’s US Soccer ticket sales, I had to comment. We can agree on one thing: it ain’t over til it’s over, and people need to see what Seattle pulls off Tuesday night before passing judgement. But that’s where it ends.
Here in Seattle, the biggest reasons I’ve heard about why people aren’t going to the game are 1. It’s a Tuesday night, and 2. The $50 ticket is too expensive. I’d like to reframe these: What else do you have going on on a Tuesday that’s more important than the first qualifier to come to Seattle since the 1970s? It’s not like you have a big weekend full of things…it’s a Tuesday, and it’s early enough you won’t even need an extra cup of coffee to get through work the next day…and if you did, it’s Seattle, I’m sure you can find one. $50 may seem like a bunch of money, but the $25 nosebleeds for Sounders are so high even I spent $32 to see the Sounders play last night, and I don’t even LIKE Seattle. In fact, I’m a Timbers fan, but I still coughed it up to see the Sounders play because if you love Soccer, you should WANT to see a game like Seattle vs Whitecaps, just because it’s the Cascadia Cup. $50 buys a supporter level ticket to US Soccer’s match, so yes, you’ll pay more, but this is your ONE CHANCE to see US Soccer play in your home city. It SHOULD be worth a little more to you. Many of us spent hundreds flying in for this match, because Panama is one of the contenders in this year’s qualifying, for $50 and an under $3.00 light rail, you can be there too, Seattle! To us out-of-towners, that’s a bargain!
Then there’s the whole club vs country thing. Why do we do this to ourselves? I know, I do it too…I dropped Chicago Fire like a hot potato when they brought in Blanco, and I hate him when he plays for Mexico. I get it. HOWEVER… I encourage you to do as I did last night: instead of looking for reasons to not go to a soccer game (club>country), find reasons to watch your country FOR your club. Brad Evans scored a thriller of a game winner just days ago in Jamaica. Do you really want to miss your hometown hero if he repeats that performance on Tuesday? A huge part of the reason I went to see the Sounders game last night was to watch Lamar Neagle, 2007-08 player for my hometown Des Moines Menace play in the big leagues. How devastated would I have been, had I opted to be a Timbers snob, and missed Neagle’s assist, PK draw, and game winning goal? Do you really want to take the chance that you’ll miss Brad Evan’s _______ Tuesday night? Watching your hometown hero live is not at all the same as sitting in front of a TV, Mr. Borg, particularly if you’re simultaneously making the argument that Seattle has one of the best soccer supporter cultures in the US.