MLS First Kick: Salt Lake at San Jose
It was my last night in the Bay Area and there were three games to choose between. My top priority was the San Jose Earthquakes game since I have never attended a game at Buck Shaw Stadium. The other two options were the San Jose Sharks game at 7:00 pm or the Golden State Warriors game at 7:30 pm. Since I had already attended a Warriors and Sharks game earlier in the week, the Earthquakes was the obvious choice.
This time I went with my family – Mom, Dad and Brother. Since my mom broke her foot three weeks ago we had no choice but to park in the closest parking possible. The lot cost $20, although under normal circumstances we would have parked in one of the further away for $10.
Beg, Borrow and Deal
Yesterday, my mom commented that the Earthquakes had wheelchair tickets available at $50 each. I asked her if she really wanted to pay $50 each and the conversation was dead. Instead we showed up to Buck Shaw Stadium without tickets as I planned.
There were a handful of people who had stacks of SRO tickets outside of the Buck Shaw Stadium ticket office. One of the sellers said they had received a coupon from the Earthquakes they could turn in for the tickets. I am not entirely sure how they received the “coupon” but it made for a buyers’ market. We ended up paying $10 for four tickets (read $2.50 each) and sat in the wheelchair section anyway.
This was a classic case of a team outsmarting themselves selling tickets. The Earthquakes must have had a ticket deal stating buy tickets for a later game and receive free tickets to the game on March 27. Instead several fans ended up with over 20 tickets for tonight’s game. A goldmine for anyone smart enough to buy tickets on the secondary market but a nightmare for the Earthquakes as my parents were ready to buy tickets directly from the ticket office.
A Sold Out Stadium?
The Earthquakes hosted their largest crowd ever at Buck Shaw Stadium (10,589). The game appeared to be “sold out” since all of the seats were full. However, we heard one of ticket takers on the way in comment that he felt management gave away too many SRO tickets. The small SRO section they planned for would not accommodate all the tickets that were available. Thus, fans started to fill up the entire stadium.
Another first for the day was beer in the stadium. Tonight was the first game in which the Earthquakes were allowed to sell beer even though the team has played there since their return in 2008.
In the end, the Earthquakes were smoked on opening day. They lost 3-0 and gave up brilliant goals by Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola. Earthquakes’ Chris Leitch was sent off on a “by the book” red card by the referee.