"I cannot believe it!" This was the reaction from Vancouver Whitecaps FC fans regarding our first Major League Soccer game when we beat Toronto FC 4-2 on March 19. There were lots of goals, the right team won, and the fans were FANtastic. In my opinion, it was a perfect home opener.
Before the game against Sporting Kansas City, our videographer Zac Ratcliffe decided it would be a good idea for the two of us to walk throughout the concourse at Empire Field and get the reaction of the fans regarding our home opener. The reaction from fans blew me away, and I am really glad we got it on video, so you can see I am not exaggerating. Some of the fans I spoke to thought it was the best sporting/soccer event they had ever been to, and this before our incredible comeback against Sporting Kansas City last weekend.
I was interviewed before our home opener on TEAM 1410 radio and one of the questions asked was what fans can expect when they come to Empire Field to watch a game. My answer was a soccer experience, which means fans getting involved in the game and becoming the 12th man. What has happened in our first two games has exceeded all our expectations, and I think I can speak for everyone in the club when I say that. The crowds have been loud and crazy, and if you listen to the players, this has inspired them on the pitch.
Never mind that we are currently third in attendance in MLS with an average of 21,555 (behind only Seattle Sounders FC and LA Galaxy) …the atmosphere, excitement, and fan participation in our first two home games was through the roof. Sorry about that phrase. It’s because I am lost for words to describe what has happened at Empire Field so far.
The fans now know they have a team they can be proud of, a team that will not give up and a team that will not be outworked. We have seen this combination work in Seattle over the last two years and now it is very hard to get your hands on tickets to Sounders FC games in the Emerald City. The word here is out now and I see the same thing happening in Vancouver with tickets becoming a hot item. We are not just attracting soccer fans, we are seeing fans who want to come to a soccer game and experience a unique atmosphere.
I have said it before and I will say it again. The Whitecaps FC love affair with the fans and the city of Vancouver is back on!
On Wednesday night, Whitecaps FC take on New England Revolution at Empire Field kicks off at 7 p.m. PT. Individual match tickets start at $20, plus applicable service charges, and are available at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centres, online at ticketmaster.ca, and Charge-by-Phone at 1.855.6.GO-CAPS (1.855.646.2277). CLICK HERE for more information on individual match tickets for the club's inaugural MLS season.
Whitecaps FC Major League Soccer 2011 season tickets start at a base price of $319, plus applicable tax and a $10 processing fee per order, and more than 60 per cent of seats are available for less than $31 per game. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, suites, and loge boxes, call 604.669.9283 or visit whitecapsfc.com.