As the year continues to wind down the issue of the ticket price increase in 2013 is being brought up more and more (as it should be). We do know there is about a $1 per ticket, per game increase this year, but in 2013 we are expecting a much larger jump than that. I’m not going to go into the Front Offices reasons, as they sent out an email already. I think what we all want is a way to prevent our tickets from going up in 2013 and that is what I want to focus on. Below I have outlined different thoughts and suggestions on how I think we can keep or even have our ticket prices lowered.
1) If we want the away support in our section, 133 can not become a Supporter Section. Per MLS rules, the Union are not allowed to have the Away Supporter’s Group in the same section as a Home Supporter Section. This makes sense to me and I am fine with that. However, I do believe that the FO should acknowledge what we give up. Many of us, in addition to being IllegitimateS, are members are the Sons of Ben. We could easily go over there and get cheaper tickets, but we have a pretty stable group of individuals who have been in 133 since the beginning and understand what it is like to sit with the opposing fans. We choose to sit in 133 and DEFEND THE CORNER, to help drive the River End’s atmosphere around the corner – we should not be punished for that in the way of a big ticket price increase.
2) We need to become more unified – The SoB’s, the Corner Creeps, the BearFight Brigade all have something we don’t have – UNITY. These groups all chose to sit together from the very beginning, the knew each other, hung out with each other, tailgated together, etc. Many of us were thrown together and forced to create our own group. In the first 2 years, I would say we have done a great job. We have met many new friends and DURING the game, we know we have each others back because we are all in the same boat. My proposal is that next year we try to get together more often prior to the matches. We are spread out all over the place between lots A, B and C. Lets pick a lot and have a 133 Tailgate. It doesn’t have to be anything major, but I think it will go a long way in bringing us closer together as a group and will inevitably will help increase our number and eventually, the pull we have with the Front Office. There has even been discussions of combining tailgates with the Corner Creeps.
Another way we can keep I connected is via a email list of 133 STH’s only. The FB page is nice, but a lot of different people post there. We need a list of 133ers – Please help us create that list by sending your email address to theIllegitimates@gmail.com – but only if you are a STH or sit in 133 most of the time.
3) Standing Section – We did not have enough support to get 133 to be a Standing Section next year and quite honestly the number of overall responses we got from Season Ticket Holders in 133 was VERY low. I was a bit surprised by the lack of responses myself. I pushed this because it would have been virtually no different than it is now. The ONLY difference would have been people’s ability to complain if others are standing. Clearly there are those that still want that right to complain. (Although there were very few during the year). HOWEVER, when we do speak with the FO about not raising our ticket prices, we need to bring something to the table. It would be A LOT harder for them to justify a ticket price increase in a “Standing Section”. It’s not like the FO is going to say “Hey, you sit where the opposing fans occasionally bring fans, we won’t increase your tickets”. The “Standing Section” designation would have given more leeway in that conversation. Something to think about next time this survey goes out.
4) Lets Help Ourselves – During the off-season talk to 133 about people who you think are like-minded. Our goal is to have the entire section filled with people who want to Defend The Corner, not sitting down and complaining that people are standing in front of them. We will certainly create a marketing campaign to try to get others to move into 133 with us – Remember, power in numbers and for the FO it’s money in numbers.
My Proposal – We should approach the FO with this. Due to the fact that we are constrained from becoming a Supporter Section or a Supporter Group in 133, we request that the Union offer all members of the IllegitimateS a reduced rate on Season Tickets in 133 (Half the discount the SoB’s get). (To be a member of the IllegitimateS – for this particular discussion, you must sit in 133 and support the rights of those in 133 to stand and cheer for our Philadelphia Union) – There are many reason why I think they will give us a fair shake on this, but we would REALLY need to get a lot more organized than we are now and by organized, I mean a way we can all communicate with each other and get a general consensus on certain points. We have about 8 months to make some of these things happen…there is a lot more to discuss and a ton of other ideas and thoughts. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU – Jeff Mitchell, Nick Cifelli and myself have been doing a large majority of the work for 133 (Tailgate, Tifo’s, shirts, scarves, etc), but we are ALL leaders. 133 has no hierarchy…please give us you feedback, so we can make sure everyone’s voice is heard in a very important matter.
(Proud Member of The IllegitimateS)