After creating one of the best sporting atmospheres in city history, Toronto FC has taken to Groupon.com to keep the party going.
Nearly 48,000 fans were on hand to see the MLS team kick start its season earlier this month with a star-studded CONCACAF Champions League contest against the Los Angeles Galaxy. And for Saturday's regular-season home opener against the San Jose Earthquakes, the team has offered 250 tickets through the discount website for either $26 or $38 – more than half the regular price – to ensure another full house, this time at BMO Field, the team's regular home.
It's an idea the Toronto Raptors of the NBA has also put to use of late.
While some might point to the move as a sign that support for the soccer team is waning after five successive seasons of failing to make the playoffs, TFC says nothing could be further from the truth.
"It's as good as ever," said Paul Beirne, senior director of business operations. "We always have trouble [selling out]in the early months, but we've been really fortunate with the weather right now, and a whole bunch of people [bought tickets for]the Rogers Centre game, too, so we're not surprised or concerned.
"I think the Champions League game, in a lot of peoples' minds, was the home opener."
Though the club currently has no plans to do it again this season, the Groupon offer also applied to the March 31 game against the Columbus Crew and the April 14 matchup with Chivas USA, with 500 tickets on offer in each case.