Columbus Crew SC's rollout of the 2016 Season Ticket drive highlights some of the positive moves the team has made off the field and continues the moves that the team has made under the lead of investor/operator Anthony Precourt. There are waiting lists in certain sections, expanded supporters sections, and strong efforts to tie into the pride in the city.
The most premium ticket in MAPFRE Stadium is now on a waitlist. The Field Seats, Center Circle, and Preferred East sections are locked out as current demand is high enough that the team has to wait on renewal decisions before possibly opening the section. The team boasted of a 1,000 seat increase in season ticket numbers in a recent Sports Business Journal article. The team doesn't release season ticket figures, but they've consistently improved from a low of under 5,000 in 2011
The expanded Nordecke now encompasses half of section 102, in addition to 101, 139, 140, 141, and 142. Building a strong supporters section has long been a goal of the club and the Nordecke expansion is another step towards that goal in the team's eyes. The ardent support from the corner helps create the special atmosphere that several senior Crew SC executives wish to cultivate within MAPFRE. Pricing remains flat for 2016 memberships in the general admission area.
Most intriguingly, the program rollout also comes with a new slogan. The team now uses "Club and City. Together as one." when referring to the 2016 campaign. The graphics related to the drive heavily reference the seal of the City of Columbus. This is another strong signal that the primarily white jersey that Massive Report reported on in June will feature the seal and colors of the city.
Precourt's original vision during the rebranding process was to strengthen the ties between the city and the club. Columbus was added to the team crest and marketing materials referenced the vibrancy of the city. The new slogan is an overt effort to link the two. Crew SC is vying to become a Columbus institution. The team has pride in its home and Columbus should feel pride in Crew SC (and maybe buy a few more tickets too).
Columbus Crew SC still falls towards the bottom of MLS attendance rankings. The 2015 average of 15,359 is 19th in the league with only D.C. United having a lower total. The total is down off of 2014's solid 16,881 average with five games to make up the difference. A sold out MAPFRE Stadium, at 19,968, would rank 11th in MLS.