Better than Toronto? You Decide!
As the 2012 Euro Tournament gets underway, Major League Soccer sits on the potential of a great boost in status.
The league has generally done a good job of marketing and growing itself to this point. Instead of the old NASL, which grew too quickly and bankrupted itself by emphasizing expensive imports, the current MLS has focussed more on rearing young North American talent and existing on more modest budgets.
Vancouver has in particular worked hard at building and promoting the home-grown artefact.
The quality of the league has in turn gained steadily from year to year, and the focus on local talent has helped bond the fans to their teams, rather than a group of mercenaries.
The timing of the Euro matches, which have been 9am in the morning and lunch time the past few days could further help boost attendance for the MLS, because as the excitement of the high quality Euro matches stirs the blood, it could encourage casual fans to come and check out the growing MLS product.
Soccer spectating provides a much different experience to the traditional North American sports viewing experience and there are many great reasons why watching a Vancouver Whitecaps game is pure entertainment for newbies.
The singing support
Near non-stop action
Watching basketball, hockey and football games is marred by one truly frustrating element, and that is the incessant use of whistles coupled with timeouts and stopped clocks.
Soccer uses a running clock, except for the sole halftime break, and the urgency engendered by time continuously ticking away contributes to extended periods of action.
Bell Pitch at BC Place
The home venue for the Whitecaps is a truly inspiring place with the open roof and cosy atmosphere that ensures comfort with either warm open summer nights, or closed relief from cold, rainy evenings.
The turf is designed by German company Polytan, and its widely regarded to be the best in the MLS according to FIFA.
The artificial surface has been designed to meet the international body’s two-star certification, which would enable BC Place to host major international soccer fixtures.
The Vancouver Southsiders
This dedicated, ultra keen supporters group helps liven up matches, in a clear antithesis to the smart phone gazing, socialite type, there-to-be-seen crowd that frequently contributes negatively to the underwhelming atmosphere at Rogers Arena for Vancouver Canucks games.
Affordable ticket prices
Whitecaps games run a very family and fan friendly range from just $20 to about $75 for seats in the main stands.
Compared to the BC Lions from $35 – $85, and in stark contrast to the Canucks who require a second mortgage to cover the prices, which run from $60+ to over $200.