Stick it to the fan

Firing Mo and Preki apparently didn't solve everything instantly. Swear on a stack of adorable puppies, I honestly thought firing Mo and Preki would have solved everything instantly. I had that kind of unrealistic expectation. I guess Bruce Arena needs to remind me that the US isn't going to win the next World Cup, either.

There are two things Toronto fans are upset about - well, really, it's one thing: paying higher and higher prices for a team that can't make the playoffs in the MLS Big East. Solve one problem, and other becomes less of an issue.

Here's the thing that really jumped out at me, though:

In the words of E.T., ouch. Steep price rises hurt, even if there are more games on the schedule. But a thousand dollars a year for seats that bad? Holy cow.

Although those numbers sound huge, they're in that Monopoly money with that old bag on them, and not in real...oh, really? 1 to 1.03 exchange rate? Yeesh.

Anyhoo, the other thing that struck me is that the supporters section is so much cheaper than an equivalent section.

I used to think that the supporters should be charged more than general admission - as much as teams could possibly get away with. I was always shocked whenever it turns out that the supporters section are in the cheapest seats.

The supporters section should be a citadel of purity, unsullied by those who only want the cheapest seats. Being a supporter comes with certain privileges, like standing and drums and noisemakers and flags and whatever it is your group does to stand out.

I mean, if a bunch of drunken malcontents want to act out and I need to give them a separate section so they don't scare the normals? I'm making them pay.

Supporters choose to be supporters, after all. They're choosing to be more devoted to the team. And can you put a price on devotion?

Now? I'm not so sure.

Teams do get a lot out of mileage out of their supporters groups. "Well, those people are having a good time," says the undecided or less committed fan. "And, since I'm in the same building, I must be having a good time as well." If the supporters are put near the cheapskates and the uncommitted, they might realize that for the same price they could be having just as good a time as the supporters. Bigger supporters group - better publicity.

Although that makes the Toronto situation that much more baffling. The supporters are put in the lousiest seats, and charged the least- that's pretty standard. So why are equivalent non-supporter seats so much more expensive? Maybe supporters are so disagreeable, MLS fans will pay to sit away from them.

Someday, stadiums will be built along the lines of the society in H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine," with the Eloi in luxury boxes and the Morlocks in supporters sections.

Well, more likely, we will see the advent of the stadium made up entirely of corporate suites. Fortunately, MLS isn't there yet.

Do Toronto fans have a hope of getting a better deal? Well...probably not, short of hoping so few people renew that the prices come down. Which never happens.

Well, I suppose the team could go back to 2007 prices...and BMO Park could go back to artificial turf, and maybe invite the Argonauts to share the field.

It's the price of success - and the supporters pay.

Okay, well, maybe it would be nice for Toronto fans if they had competition success instead of financial success.