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View Full Version : Tim L interview (with other MLS execs)



Yohan
02-27-2014, 01:03 PM
http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/02/24/In-Depth/Roundtable.aspx

Forever from now on, any massive off season will be known as 'Leiweke offseason'


SBJ: Tim, did you monitor the reaction to your big signings?

LEIWEKE: My monitor was 17,000 season tickets in three weeks. Thatís all that matters.
The man's got panache, alright.

Detroit_TFC
02-27-2014, 01:14 PM
"How was your offseason?"
"Dude, we Leiweked."

ensco
02-27-2014, 02:06 PM
1) My monitor was 17,000 season tickets in three weeks.
2) We got about $3 million in new sponsorship already.
3) We just closed the books on renewals and came in at 96 percent.
4) My guess is — looking at our waiting list — we could average 30,000 this season if we only had the room.

I believe exactly one of those 4 statements. I think two of them are mega-whoppers.

imho. I know nothing.

Red CB Toronto
02-27-2014, 02:22 PM
1) My monitor was 17,000 season tickets in three weeks.
2) We got about $3 million in new sponsorship already.
3) We just closed the books on renewals and came in at 96 percent.
4) My guess is — looking at our waiting list — we could average 30,000 this season if we only had the room.

I believe exactly one of those 4 statements. I think two of them are mega-whoppers.

imho. I know nothing.



And which one is most likely the truth? Interesting

ensco
02-27-2014, 02:27 PM
And which one is most likely the truth? Interesting

Renewals at 96%. I believe that, mostly because I think the true SSH level had fallen to a much lower number than has been admitted (maybe 7-8K).

prizby
02-27-2014, 02:37 PM
Renewals at 96%. I believe that, mostly because I think the true SSH level had fallen to a much lower number than has been admitted (maybe 7-8K).

a few things to differentiate; season seat holder accounts vs. # of season seats
based on what they had been saying before about new season seats sold, i think they sold 14,600 season seats last year; and i'd believe that with the way a lot of the tickets were priced

mowe
02-27-2014, 02:50 PM
I think the true SSH level had fallen to a much lower number than has been admitted (maybe 7-8K).

I love your firm belief in this theory. Don't ever change.

Abou Sky
02-27-2014, 03:28 PM
I want a recount, I think Tim L may be the new record holder:

http://weirdnews.about.com/od/weirdphotos/ss/Worlds-Biggest-Penis.htm

ensco
02-27-2014, 03:42 PM
I love your firm belief in this theory. Don't ever change.

I'll change when the facts change. I went to two Montreal games last year, the one in May and the one in July. The May game was a CCL game, that game was included in the SSH package. I did a count and posted it here, I estimated 4000 at that game.

Use your eyes. Count for yourself.

http://www.torontograndprixtourist.com/2012/05/toronto-fc-beats-montreal-impact.html

The July game, beautiful summer night, I did the same count, it was about 50% full, so maybe 10,000 (I can't quickly find a good picture of the stands in that game)

Too many games last year with 5000-7000 people at them, and not just late in the season. We don't need to re-have the discussion about bad weather, or how 5000 people are in the beer garden or whatever.

The ratio of attendees to SSHs is not, will never be, 30-40% on a consistent basis, night after night.

Red CB Toronto
02-27-2014, 03:43 PM
Renewals at 96%. I believe that, mostly because I think the true SSH level had fallen to a much lower number than has been admitted (maybe 7-8K).

3 million dollars in sponsorship money is not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, MLSE could have very well brought that much in recent months.

ensco
02-27-2014, 03:59 PM
3 million dollars in sponsorship money is not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, MLSE could have very well brought that much in recent months.

Actually it's massive. Big sponsorships (like the naming rights) are big money, millions, but they only get announced every 5 or 10 years. Anyone see anything like that go by in January?

The usual offseason stuff are 20K and 50K deals. I'd be interested in understanding Leiweke's math there.

prizby
02-27-2014, 04:56 PM
http://www.torontograndprixtourist.com/2012/05/toronto-fc-beats-montreal-impact.html


a picture at kickoff on a weekday; the typical toronto fan doesn't usually show up until at least 30 minutes into a game

the same can be said for the July game; a 7pm KO on a weekday.

prizby
02-27-2014, 04:57 PM
Actually it's massive. Big sponsorships (like the naming rights) are big money, millions, but they only get announced every 5 or 10 years. Anyone see anything like that go by in January?

The usual offseason stuff are 20K and 50K deals. I'd be interested in understanding Leiweke's math there.

absolutely massive considering most of the luxery boxes are sold already to sponsors; usually if you spend x amount you get access to a box too.

Waggy
02-27-2014, 05:00 PM
Actually it's massive. Big sponsorships (like the naming rights) are big money, millions, but they only get announced every 5 or 10 years. Anyone see anything like that go by in January?

The usual offseason stuff are 20K and 50K deals. I'd be interested in understanding Leiweke's math there.

You know how TFC advertised it spent 100 million this offseason? Because it added up the total cost of the contracts over their whole length? 10 individual 50k a year, 5 year long sponsorship deals is 2.5 million in new sponsorships

mowe
02-27-2014, 05:14 PM
The July game, beautiful summer night, I did the same count, it was about 50% full, so maybe 10,000 (I can't quickly find a good picture of the stands in that game)

I happened to be at that game and did manage to take a picture: http://i.imgur.com/BSgIeMN.jpg

There were significantly more than 10k people in the stands. I was monitoring Ticketmaster and on the morning of the game there were less than 50 tickets available. The section I sat in was shown sold out, and although people were still filing into their seats well after halftime there were at least 10-15 seats around me that remained empty.

Unless you want to believe that TFC were deliberately withholding tickets, it's clear that there were a large amount of tickets bought either by scalpers who couldn't sell them or people who just didn't want to or couldn't go to the game (it was a weeknight). Since people are unlikely to buy a ticket for a single game and not go to said game, we can assume these were season ticket holders.

There definitely were a lot of games last year where it was hard to believe TFC had 14k SSHs. But I also point to the last two home games vs DC and Montreal where the buzz around the team was at an all time low and there was no reason for any significant walk-up crowd. The announced attendances were 15k and 13k, which looked at most a 1-2k too high. Whatever the number, I'm willing to bet it was almost entirely SSHs.

You can't underestimate the sheer number of apathetic fans last year. It was the first time people were seriously concerned the team would fold. It was that kinda year. It makes sense that a large number of SSHs stayed home and scalpers couldn't give away their tickets.

ensco
02-27-2014, 05:16 PM
a picture at kickoff on a weekday; the typical toronto fan doesn't usually show up until at least 30 minutes into a game

the same can be said for the July game; a 7pm KO on a weekday.

OK so you're saying it was actually 4500? 5000? 5200 including everyone in the beer garden and the can?

These nuanced discussions about how everyone arrives late, and leaves early because of the Go Train, and hangs out in the beer garden, don't really change the picture. That stadium is empty.

prizby
02-27-2014, 05:52 PM
OK so you're saying it was actually 4500? 5000? 5200 including everyone in the beer garden and the can?

These nuanced discussions about how everyone arrives late, and leaves early because of the Go Train, and hangs out in the beer garden, don't really change the picture. That stadium is empty.

no, i'm saying a weekday kickoff, unless it is 8pm, won't be anywhere close to a full stadium at KO time...between all the trouble that the king street car caused this past summer, the 509 being completely ripped up, many people were stuck or didn't even bother trying to get to games; I remember it taking me over 2 hours one time; i think it was about 2 hours and 20 minutes...the AGM, it took me 53 minutes

if there is one thing I am looking forward to about the Argos moving to BMO, it is their fans bitching and complaining about how long it takes to get to a game.

ensco
02-27-2014, 05:53 PM
I happened to be at that game and did manage to take a picture: http://i.imgur.com/BSgIeMN.jpg

There were significantly more than 10k people in the stands. I was monitoring Ticketmaster and on the morning of the game there were less than 50 tickets available. The section I sat in was shown sold out, and although people were still filing into their seats well after halftime there were at least 10-15 seats around me that remained empty.

Unless you want to believe that TFC were deliberately withholding tickets, it's clear that there were a large amount of tickets bought either by scalpers who couldn't sell them or people who just didn't want to or couldn't go to the game (it was a weeknight). Since people are unlikely to buy a ticket for a single game and not go to said game, we can assume these were season ticket holders.

There definitely were a lot of games last year where it was hard to believe TFC had 14k SSHs. But I also point to the last two home games vs DC and Montreal where the buzz around the team was at an all time low and there was no reason for any significant walk-up crowd. The announced attendances were 15k and 13k, which looked at most a 1-2k too high. Whatever the number, I'm willing to bet it was almost entirely SSHs.

You can't underestimate the sheer number of apathetic fans last year. It was the first time people were seriously concerned the team would fold. It was that kinda year. It makes sense that a large number of SSHs stayed home and scalpers couldn't give away their tickets.

I love posts that come with data. A picture from that game. Well done!

You are right, there are more than 10K at that game. Assuming you are right about the October games, maybe my 7-8K estimate is too low. There was less apathy (but worse weather) for that May game, that was the day I really started to question what these guys are saying, that they weren't just shading it, they were full on making it up wholesale. Of course that was a different regime, but I'd say I'm not confident that this has changed.

I do believe that many teams, and this team in particular, are pulling back tickets to create the illusion of scarcity.

I'll go with your comment that I have boldfaced above, and leave it at that.

mowe
02-27-2014, 06:14 PM
Ha, I actually regret typing that sentence. More accurately I believe that a few games last year might make it hard to believe TFC had 14k SSHs. But on the whole, the attendances we saw last year do corroborate a 14k season ticket base.

Shakes McQueen
02-27-2014, 06:54 PM
The idea that all 17k season tickets were sold in a few weeks, seems like a big whopper (even giving him the assumption that 17k season tickets have, in fact, been sold). The 30k possibility also seems unlikely right now, but it's just a wild guess from him, so whatever. I can't imagine signing Defoe and Bradley more than doubled demand for tickets, before either have even played a real game for us.

This is just him justifying his spending and plans to the corporate community, so as a fan, I don't really care. He has a specific incentive to push the idea that TFC could fill 30,000 seats, while at the same time proposing an expansion of the stadium TFC play at. I don't think he's delusional - he's just pushing the same stupidly sunny and optimistic spin most corporate bigwigs do.

As long as he continues to invest substantial money into making TFC a contender, he can justify it however he wants. Again... from a fan perspective.

- Scott

ManUtd4ever
02-28-2014, 12:13 AM
Keep in mind that Leiweke deliberately pushed the renewal date forward several weeks to coincide with the DP acquisitions, so technically speaking, all of the seasons tickets were sold in a matter of a few weeks. ;) He's a spin master.