View Full Version : we wrote the book

03-24-2009, 05:46 PM

MLS boss says Toronto fans wrote the book on making home games an occasion
16 minutes ago
Soccer supporters in Seattle may give the fervent Toronto FC fans a run for their money this season in the MLS when it comes to home atmosphere, says league commissioner Don Garber.
"I believe they will," Garber said when the question was posed during a conference call Tuesday. "But listen, Toronto has set the stage. Their fans are incredibly passionate. Toronto FC fans have proven to the MLS family that you can create a dynamic, exciting environment in your stadium for a home game and it's what soccer ought to be.
"We didn't necessarily have that in many of our stadiums and Toronto is writing the book. They'll travel 1,200 people to Columbus at their game this weekend, as they did the first year."
The expansion Sounders' opening game last Thursday drew 32,000 at Qwest Field, with what Garber called "the feel of a super big-time event."
"I've been in the sports business for almost 30 years, involved in producing the Super Bowl for many of those years and countless other events. And I've got to tell you that was one of the most spectacular sporting events that I've ever been to. It brought tears to my eye, literally."
Seattle is the league's 15th franchise. Philadelphia enters in 2010 followed in 2011 by Vancouver and Portland, who each paid a US$35-million franchise fee.
Garber called the Seattle debut "surprising to us, I'd even say shocking to us," adding he believed the Sounders could have sold out all 60,000 seats if they had opened up the whole stadium.
"Everybody was clad in their team colours and waving the scarf. I think they learned that from the Toronto FC fans as well," he said.
"I think the ground has been set by Toronto and I'm hoping that fans in Seattle and Philadelphia and Vancouver and Portland will take it to a higher level. As importantly, I hope that all these new teams can show some of our current fans what it takes to be a true MLS fan of your local team."
Garber singled out Toronto FC again, saying the passion of its fan base "really proves that North Americans will connect themselves to a local team, given the right brand, if you put them in the right stadium, and in many ways, you hope and dream to have the right product on the field.
"We've got most if not all of that, certainly not quite the product (on the field) the way we want it to be in Toronto, but you've got everything else working there. That's in essence is what Seattle is trying to replicate, and certainly Vancouver and Portland is as well."
Toronto, in its third season, sells out every game at 20,000-capacity BMO Field. The team, owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, has capped season tickets at 16,000 and has a waiting list of 14,000.
The Vancouver franchise has already sold out its first 5,000 season ticket deposits at a league-record pace.
"It's really incredible what's going on up there," Garber said.
Garber said the addition of Vancouver will require further discussions of the league's rule on "home-grown" players. MLS officials will sit down with the Canadian Soccer Association, in consultation with Toronto and Vancouver, "and determine whether or not the current rules we have make sense.
"My guess is they probably don't and we'll have to adjust them, no different than we continue to adjust our rules with U.S. Soccer as we've expanded."
Ottawa, which was ignored in the recent round of expansion, will have to wait until 2012 for its next shot at entering the league.
The commissioner welcomed a questioner from Vancouver, who noted that - unlike Ottawa - soccer and CFL interests had been able to work together on the stadium front in Vancouver.
"I've been waiting for that question for a month now," Garber said dryly.
Competing stadium projects have muddied the waters in Ottawa.
NOTES - Seattle forward Fredy Montero was named MLS player of the week after recording two goals and an assist in the Sounders' 3-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls. The 21-year old MLS rookie from Campo de la Cruz, Colombia, is on loan from Deportivo Cali. Garber credited a former league intern from Argentina who is now scouting in South America for the league. "He found Fredy," the commissioner said.... Garber noted 22 goals had been scored the opening weekend of the season, for a record average of 3.14 per game. .. Given the growing support for the sport in Canada, Garber wondered what would happen if Canada's national team was competitive when it came to World Cup qualifying.
Copyright 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

03-24-2009, 05:49 PM
Damn straight.

03-24-2009, 05:52 PM
Thanks for sharing this Ed!
Thanks to Garber for reminding people that while there have been great supporters in the MLS before us, we are the ones that have raised the bar to a whole new level.

03-24-2009, 05:56 PM
it's a lot better than this bullshit


Toronto may have the makings of that environment, but not with the same fanfare.

03-24-2009, 06:15 PM
So that last Graph sure makes it sound like the league basically "awarded" Montero to Seattle. No wonder the established teams didn't sign him.

03-24-2009, 06:24 PM
Thats riiight! Toronto WROTE the book!!

EAT THAT Barra Brava and Shite Bulls!! LOL HAHAH

03-24-2009, 07:07 PM
I keep saying it.. Toronto is the story book of the mls . a model franchise with some seriously rabid fans(thats us baby!!).. Im glad that garber looked outside the box and saw that canadian teams would probably surpass alot of mls hopefulls in the US... I forsee alot of candian cities wanting entry into the usl becuase of this. the landscape of soccer is changing and as long as we bring up true canadian talent we could very well be on our way to the next world cup much like the way the US has done since they hosted the world cup back in 94..

03-24-2009, 07:48 PM
yes and yes
canada is now primed for soccer to be the # one sport
lets face it tons of our kids play and all of us want a serious cmnt for the future

hockey in canada is a dying sport especially in toronto where the leafs have not won a stanley cup since 1967 and expansion teams have done nothing but make the owners money and fans disappointed

sure acc is sold out by old boy networks who dont want to give up their seasons tickets

but toronto and the rest of the country wants a winner and our own tfc will be that team
so hold on for the ride and ten years from now soccer as it rightly should will be canada's game and we will be competative around the world with both our national teams -- by that i mean cmnt and cwnt

rock on

03-24-2009, 07:49 PM
I don't think it's too much of a longshot to see Ottawa and Montreal be the next 2 in 2012, especially if Vancouver continues it's season ticket selling success and Barca does not reignite it's bid

03-24-2009, 07:53 PM
well put scooter. however i don't think that hockey will ever fail in this country.. what i would like to see though is tfc becoming the second sport after hockey.. I do love hockey and would never want to see the sport die in this country.. thats whats made me a canadian boy and my dear leafs as shite are they are will always be in my heart however baseball.. thats another story all together.. I still can't passed the strike back in the 90's .. soccer for summer and good ol hockey in the winter..

03-24-2009, 07:55 PM
Thats riiight! Toronto WROTE the book!!

EAT THAT Barra Brava and Shite Bulls!! LOL HAHAH



Jeff s
03-24-2009, 07:57 PM
lol there was so much butt kissing in that article :lol: