So Let’s Talk About Phoenix FC For A Minute
This recent article in the Arizona Republic quotes the owner of Phoenix’s new USL Pro team as saying the combined number of people who had put down money for season ticket deposits and those who had purchased season tickets is “a little over 740.” That wouldn’t be a bad start, considering it’s a first year team in a third-division league and they only announced three months ago where they would be playing, but if your stated goal is to “sell out every time,” it leaves you with some work to do.
So I went on their ticket partner’s website this morning to see exactly how many seats were available for purchase. The results are after the jump.
Sun Devil Soccer Stadium seats just over a thousand people, they say, but Phoenix FC planned to supplement the existing seating with stands from the recently-completed Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament played just up the 101 in Scottsdale. (As far as I know, a month after the tournament, the process of installing those seats has yet to begin, though it was supposed to soon.)
The website you use to purchase season tickets shows which seats are available for purchase and which ones have (apparently) already been purchased for each section (existing and new) in the stadium. You can see what Section E looked like this morning here:
The greyed-out seats are apparently the ones that have already been purchased. The yellow seats were the ones the site wanted to sell me.
I went through each section of the stadium, counted the total number of seats and purchased seats and came up with this chart:
Now, there are a few notes here:
- Enlarged stadium capacity is supposedly around 5,000, but the number of seats on the North, East and West sides totals 3,973. Section 301, the Supporters Section, is obviously not sold out, but the actual number of tickets available in that section is unknown because it’s (apparently) a bleacher section without individual seats. Still, it’s not at all out of the realm of possibility that the additional 1,027 or so capacity could come from that section. We just don’t know how many tickets have been sold there.
- Section J is greyed out, and I don’t know if that means the section is entirely sold out or if they’re using those for internal use or sponsors or what. If it’s analogous to Section C (its mirror section, slightly south of it), there are about 85 seats there.
- Not surprisingly, Sections D, E, F, G and H, on the existing grandstand, have the highest percentage of tickets sold, with E and F especially desirable because of their position at midfield.
In any case, they haven’t yet sold a large percentage of ticket capacity, and the bulk of what they have sold has been on the existing West side. They’ve sold almost no tickets in the North side (which doesn’t actually exist yet), apparently and only marginally more on the East side (whose patrons will be looking into the setting sun most games).
Now, IF Section J is out of play entirely, they’ve sold 290 season tickets as of this morning PLUS whatever has been purchased in the Supporters Section. If Section J is sold out, they’ve sold about 375 season tickets plus the Supporters Section. Have they sold 400-500 Supporters Section tickets? I have no idea. You’d think those folks would be the first to plunk down money for tickets, but I’ve been told some of them felt misled as to what their price point would be.
A rough estimate of the ticket revenue based on each section’s prices and the number of tickets sold is $68,480. If they’ve sold 500 Section 301 tickets at $179 (which would seem like a lot), that would be another $89,500. Let’s say, based on the percentage of the rest of the stadium’s seats sold and adjusting upward for the commitment of supporters, that they’ve sold 200 Supporters Section tickets. That would add another $35,800 to the $68,480 estimate for a total of about $104,000.
Supposedly bringing in the stands from the golf tournament and upgrading Sun Devil Soccer Stadium was going to cost about $600,000, so you can see the need to get some more revenue in the door just to pay off the enhancements.
In any case, their first home game is three weeks from tomorrow, they don’t have all the seats in yet and they’re charging ticket prices that are higher than virtually any other team in USL Pro (with $26 ticket service fees and $35 “facility fees” – tacked on by ASU, which is not one to leave money on the table – added to each order).
If people are taking a “wait and see” approach, that wouldn’t be the first time, especially in this economy and in a market that hasn’t had anyone attempt pro outdoor soccer in a while. But time is ticking.