The ticket price hike in Dallas has gone over like an explosive-filled, lead balloon. Much has been vented, written, and inscribed on bathroom stalls (picture needed) already about the crisis. An excellent interview done by Peter Welpton over at the Dallas Morning News is the first straight out of the horse’s mouth, that horse being VP of Ticket Sales Kris Katseanes. I apologize if equine references have already offended anyone or eliminated my shred of credibility.
Regardless, the constant imagery referenced in the interview is one of a “30 piece puzzle.” It may be more palatable than “30 seating section price increase,” but this is still a story unfolding.
“Puzzle” itself was dropped ten times in the interview and will probably be dropped ten thousand times more in weeks to come. Also, we’ll be signing players only with the last name “Ravensburger.”
However, all cynicism aside, the aforementioned “puzzle” seems to mean that season tickets will be tied to something bigger that the club is doing regarding the stadium or area around it. Once again, the speculation provided by Peter Welpton suggests this exactly, and I tend to trust his judgment.
What might this elusive big ticket item or large puzzle piece be?
Roof? Roof. Misting roof. Refrigerated roof. This would be first on my wish list. In all honesty, the club won’t be selling out Toyota Stadium on a regular basis with higher prices, but supposing they do, this is a sure fire way to make conditions evermore enjoyable in Frisco, but is highly unlikely.
Marquee signing? Don’t bank on this, you dreamer, you! You’re adorable, you and your hope. We buy ’em young, from the Ecuadorian 5th division, and lightning quick in North Texas. In all sincerity the club’s transfer approach is quite refreshing. I know this opinion may not be shared amongst many, but I don’t want a 37 year old Steven Gerrard boiling in our Texas heat and I enjoy seeing our boys (Acosta, Ulloa, Hernandez, etc.) come through and succeed. There are hits and misses, but that seems to be the consensus with every club’s transfer lists. We miss you, Pipico.
The US Soccer Hall of Fame? Possibly. This idea actually has the most traction. Again, Mr. Welpton’s excellent analysis on the ticket price saga saw this idea brought up yet again. It first emerged in December of last year as a possibility. After all, the current US Soccer HoF sits in Oneonta, New York (we’ve all been, right?), which sits about four hours north of New York City in upstate New York. You know what else lives in upstate New York? Conspiracy theories. The guys who created “Loose Change” are from Oneonta apparently, and are probably the source of every cryptic puzzle reference coming from the FC Dallas front office. As a result, I will not be surprised when we can all blame higher ticket prices on George Bush.
USL side? Possibly as well. More money would be needed to support an FCD II. For a club that is seen as stingy that wouldn’t be out of the question. Frankly, giving academy players a fresh set of opportunities at the USL level is a winning situation for all involved. Heck, the league will have 26 teams by 2016. That’s roughly half a billion more games than FCD reserves would see in the reserve league three years ago. So, this ranks up with the Hall of Fame as a possibility, and has been an idea floated around Frisco for some time. Give free tickets to FCD II matches to season ticket holders and you might see some groans suddenly silenced.
If anything, the US Soccer Hall of Fame idea has the most traction. It would be a huge pull for the surrounding area, but ultimately maybe something that benefits the club in the long run through exposure and not necessarily the squad on the field. The only way to make it palatable would be to give free admission to season ticket holders. Then again, how many times do you need to visit? It’s tough to see how this would justify a hefty price increase in the Beer Garden, that is unless there is a huge distillery/brewery located in the back of the Hall of Fame out of which the Beer Guardians and Lone Star Legion can own and operate.
But look at the bright side: 26 more puzzle pieces to come! They will certainly be more expensive pieces, and possibly unexpectedly so. But hopefully the club has something big envisioned to counteract the amount of ill will they have created towards themselves since Wednesday’s announcement. The three USWNT qualifiers to be played in Frisco are a good idea, but let’s face it: the team would sell out those matches, regardless, like they have every other USWNT match in Frisco. Still, it shows that the club and front office are willing to bring bigger things to Frisco that were normally rarities. Perhaps this gives us reason to hope that what is left in this puzzle will be worth waiting for.