Why can't we have a week where things go well for soccer in western Canada? Just a week? Just one.
First, the Vancouver Whitecaps, with their infinite capacity to grub for nickels and dimes like a sociopathic hobo, sold every single ticket of the 500-odd allocated to the Whitecaps for our away game against the Seattle Sounders. Sold them to a two-bit travel company who now owns a monopoly on ticket distribution for the match and are selling the vast, vast majority in a heavily marked-up travel package on an alcohol-free bus marketed at the family-friendly soccertainment crowd. If you'd rather not spend a fortune experiencing a crappy atmosphere for a game with a bunch of folks looking to squeeze soccer between their shopping trips, then tough titty for you.
Of course, you could buy tickets through the Sounders on TicketMaster like an ordinary peasant. This is what many supporters with no tolerance for getting screwed will do. That'll lead to pockets of a few Whitecaps fans in a monolith of Sounders faithful, which I'm sure will go absolutely smashingly. It's not like this is the first time the Whitecaps have tried to rip off their most loyal fans with a unique-in-the-league screwjob. Remember their huge markups on season tickets sold in the supporters section? The views are worse, you're on benches instead of in chairs; you literally paid hundreds of dollars more because you wanted to cheer the team on.
Holy fuck, our beloved soccer club is run by the Million Dollar Man!
The news isn't much better for FC Edmonton fans either. Oh, their organization is doing some good work: they recently signed two new players including a veteran Trinidad and Tobago international. Instead, FC Edmonton fans got screwed by Rogers Sportsnet. They finally concluded the details of their agreement to broadcast the Voyageurs Cup, and it turns out that FC Edmonton - Toronto FC, Edmonton's first-ever competitive game, will take place at Commonwealth Stadium starting at 5:30 PM Mountain Time on Wednesday, April 27.
Now, I lived in the Edmonton area for most of my childhood. I'm trying to picture a way where a working schmuck could get from their place of work to Commonwealth Stadium in half an hour. If you work right by Commonwealth Stadium, you can probably do it. If you work downtown by an LRT station - or preferably in the LRT station - and go straight onto the train, straight to the stadium, have your ticket in your hand and don't have to compete with any lineups or delays, then you might make it to your seat by 5:45.
Otherwise you're screwed, buddy. A team which already has people worrying about their future is getting the shaft on biggest night in their history. How many people are going to book a day off work or find a way to skip the office early for the sake of a team they've never seen before? No wonder FC Edmonton hasn't started selling single-game tickets yet; people would be knocking their doors down asking for refunds.
This particular screwjob comes for the most transparent of reasons. Montreal and Vancouver are playing from Stade Saputo at the same time. Sportsnet didn't want to waste two broadcast slots in one night on soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association wanted the game on television, so FC Edmonton is paying the price. They found a way to show the Vancouver - Montreal game May 4 at 8 PM Pacific on Sportsnet One, but I guess FC Edmonton just wasn't worth the effort.
Nothing can ever be easy, can it?