I, like you, have had some questions I wanted answers to from FC Dallas. These are some of the questions I got answers to. Here's what FCD had to say.
Q. You said before the season that you expected every game to be sold out, what are your thoughts on attendance this season?
A. It is our goal to sell out every match, just like it’s our goal to win every match. So, obviously when we don’t sell out, there is some disappointment. We feel like we have a fantastic product. The team has been amazing and really solidified itself as one of the most exciting teams in MLS. We have the right formula on the field, so now it’s time to fill the building. We’ve had very steady growth each year and even though the overall numbers have taken a small dip lately, the people who are here are highly engaged fans.
Q. A lot of fans are questioning whether April 27th's home game vs. Sporting Kansas City was a sellout. Obviously the weather played a factor in attendance, but why was it so low if it was initially a sellout?
A. The match was sold out several weeks in advance after a large group sale pushed it over the top, but many in the group didn’t make it out… a lot of our usual fans and season ticket members were unable to make it as well. Everyone is a little weather shy at the moment. The Metroplex has had some pretty intense storms and the forecast early in the day was pretty dire. Had it simply been a question of maybe a little rain that would be one thing, but the storms here lately have been way beyond a little bit of rain and quite scary at times. They call it "tornado alley" for a reason.
Q. How has the National Soccer Hall of Fame affected sales so far?
A. It’s been a new story for us to tell people, and to help the education process. It’s been very well received and people are excited about what it means for the sport of soccer in North Texas. The seats on that end were some of the lowest priced in the building, so construction is affecting the available inventory of low-price tickets, but it’s important to note that we have tickets starting at almost exactly the same price points as we did last year and those price points are now receiving an upgrade into a sideline, chair-back seat for that investment (over the endline bleacher seat from last year).
Even without those seats, we still have some of the lowest ticket prices in all of Major League Soccer and certainly the best value ticket for a professional sports team in the Metroplex. The greatest thing is there really is not a bad seat in the house. Fans can find an affordable option from just about any angle and the view is fantastic from every section. We don’t see the pricing as a large contributing factor to any variance of attendance.
Q. What does the HoF add to the FC Dallas game experience for fans?
A. We are going to have a fantastic premium area for fans once everything is finished. From a match day experience standpoint, it will be unlike anything we’ve been able to offer before. Aside from the overall luxury of the new club areas, the large concourse patio and bar, the player and press conference access for fans, we’ll continue to see an uptick in national recognition and in U.S. Soccer’s presence here. Fans will see more opportunities to see international matches here, and we hope to eventually have an annual Hall of Fame weekend much like you see in Canton, Ohio with football where we have the Hall of Fame inductions, a Hall of Fame game and accompanying festivities to really make a great event for soccer fans. In addition to those things, as a fan of the game in general, to be able to see World Cup trophies, Olympic medals and a variety of memorabilia from the history of the game right in your backyard is pretty cool.
Q. When the HoF is ready, do you expect to sellout every game? Why?
A. Again, just like winning championships, selling out matches is always the goal. Coaches and technical directors are always studying things and putting pieces together to try to win a championships. We do the same thing upstairs where we are constantly studying the objectives in front of us, factoring in market and financial parameters and looking for ways to grow the sport, grow the club in this market.
We have a dedicated sales team who will strictly be selling the new 4,000 HoF Club Seats over the next 18 months, while the team side is continuing to work to fill the 16,000 seats consistently that we’ll have in 2016 and 2017. The plan to marry both of those teams’ efforts for a launch in 2018 should allow us to set that goal of selling out every match when it’s ready.
There are a lot of cool things about having been first, one of the original clubs in MLS, but there are challenges too. We see other teams coming into MLS now or existing teams building new stadiums and it’s exciting. It’s a great way to make a splash in the market, build buzz around something new and fresh.
But, we have a different challenge in a very unique market without the luxury of an automatic new kid on the block spotlight. We know we have an amazing product… we’re a young, exciting team. We win matches. We have a distinct style of play that people enjoy. Now we just have to persuade more people in the Metroplex to come check out a match for the first time. It’s tough to walk out of the building after watching these guys play and not be a fan.