Toronto, like Kurt Cobain, is all apologies. As a compromise, Toronto FC will lower the ticket price, and offer their fans fewer games. Wait a minute.
It goes on like that, offering fans opportunities to further scream at them at various "town hall" meetings.
It's a much better letter than the initial season ticket renewal letter, which read:
But...geez. Vancouver is joining the league next season, Montreal the year after. There was no guarantee that Toronto was going to have a standing invitation to the CONCACAF Referee and Rodeo Clown Convention.
And if Toronto does make it to back to the Champions League, then whither the season ticket holders? They will either pay up or sit down. And season ticket holders usually hate to miss games - that's why they're season ticket holders to begin with. And they usually don't like the inconvenience of having to pay for added games - again, they're season ticket holders, as in, tickets for the whole season.
So after complaining about the price per game, fans who want to see every game will pay the same price. Now that's a good compromise.
Toronto FC is also forcing fans at gunpoint to attend MLS Cup, which is another reason the fans are burnt up about it. I would have thought that MLS Cup would have been included in this year's package, not next year's package, in any case. It's supposed to be a 2011 ticket package, after all. Toronto isn't eliminated from the 2011 MLS Cup yet.
Actually, in some way the "if it isn't us, screw it" attitude is admirable. But Fire fans still made the trek to Columbus in 2001 after buying tickets in advance. Dallas fans were amazing hosts, two years in a row, and were rewarded with two consecutive nightmare MLS Cups where deadly rivals won terrible games. Me, I had to watch Chicago, San Jose and DC United party in my house.
So sorry, no sympathy here. (Wow, it sure is Toronto fans' day for empty apologies.) Cheer for David Beckham to make it to the Final, so you can scalp your ticket. Or cheer for the Quakes to make it, so there will be at least one Canadian involved. Or hope for two Western teams, so you can kick back and party with teams who aren't your rivals, like LA fans got to do in 2008. Or tell Red Bulls fans "I think you're favorites to win the championship," and watch them put on their best "does...not...compute" face.
But wasn't Toronto FC supposed to have a yard-long waiting list that would make the Green Bay Packers weep with envy? Either the season ticket holder pool wasn't as deep as we thought, or MLSE pissed off everyone at once. And if that many people are that unhappy about having the league championship this year...well, then, that's the free market for you.
I'm glad the team acknowledged the fans at all - although early returns are showing that TFC fans literally aren't buying it. Stay tuned.