Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The ticket sale that just will not end

Joe over at We Call It Soccer has another great piece on World Cup tickets. Thankfully he got tickets to the first US match against the Czech Republic. Anyway, he makes a good suggestion on how the USSF could handle the ticket sale while still explaining what happened during the allotment:

“We were simply unprepared for the incredible levels of interest among U.S. soccer fans. We knew that the game had become more popular here in recent years, but we had no idea it had reached this dizzying height. A veritable throng of U.S fans are desperate to travel to Germany and see their heroes take the field against the world’s best. This speaks volumes about the rising popularity of soccer in America. We knew that there would be increased demand, but we didn’t think it would be this high.”

So I read this a little while ago and then I looked over at the US Soccer site and look what they say in a press release from 7:53pm CST:

“We knew from the beginning that the demand would exceed the supply and that, unfortunately, some of our fans would be disappointed,” said U.S. Soccer Director of Communications Jim Moorhouse. “The overwhelming response was incredible and shows the true dedication of our fans.”

So they do try to use this mess to get some good press (look how popular soccer has become), but they do not admit any mistake. In fact, they seem to contradict earlier statements such as this one from their World Cup Ticket FAQ:

7. Will U.S. Soccer be prepared for the anticipated number of orders to be received via fax?

Yes. Special accommodations have been made by U.S. Soccer in preparation to receive the large number of anticipated ticket orders via fax.

Now I'm sure when Mr. Moorhouse said "we knew from the beginning that the demand would exceed the supply" has was not talking specifically about the fax applications. However, if they knew that so many people wanted tickets, then why did they not have the available fax lines as promised? They cannot say "we knew we would have tons of people asking for tickets but we did not prepare for tons of people to ask for tickets" without losing face.

Anyway, I can say something positive about the USSF, at least it is better then what happened in Trinidad and Tobago. I was ecstatic when they made it into the World Cup, but that all seems for not since CONCACAF head Jack Warner is using the tournament in enrich his own bank accounts. He has diverted all the tickets FIFA designated for T&T to his family run football tourist company. If fans want to see a match, they have to purchase a $5000 package from his company.

I guess Warner shows us just how bad things could have been.


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