10 Reasons Why Ticket Sales Are Slow for the Bosnia, Ivory Coast Soccer Match in STL

Categories: Sports

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Jon Gitchoff
It's been a busy year for St. Louis soccer fans.

More than 40,000 of them raced to get tickets to Busch Stadium when Manchester City challenged Chelsea in May 2012. The same thing happened three months later, when more than 54,000 football fanatics packed the Edward Jones Dome to catch Real Madrid beating Inter Milan. The game set the record for the most fans at a St. Louis soccer event ever.

By November, when the Argentinian national team challenged Bosnia-Herzegovina at Busch Stadium, sales started to slip a bit. The crowd, mostly of die-hard Bosnia fans, wasn't record-breaking, but at 30,000, the message seemed clear: St. Louis is still a soccer-loving city.

Now, soccer lovers are wringing their hands as ticket sales for a pre-World Cup match between Bosnia and the Ivory Coast national teams seem stagnant.

"Early results ticket sales-wise have not been as strong as two of the three matches that were held last year with Real Madrid and Inter Milan and then the game last spring at Busch with [Manchester] City and Chelsea," says Jake Bye, the St. Louis Rams' vice president of ticket sales and premium seating, in an interview with FOX Sports.

"It's a little tricky because it's not apples-to-apples in a lot of ways as well, comparing the participating teams, the type of match that it is. Until you've sold 30,000-plus and you're on par with last year's numbers, I think the answer is always going to be, 'Yeah, we wish more tickets would have been sold.' But that's always the answer."

See also: One Step Closer to the MLS? St. Louis Soccer Club Owners Want USL Pro Team by 2015

So if the Bosnia v. Ivory Coast game doesn't match "apples-to-apples" with the other three games played in St. Louis in the last year, what's different?

Here are ten reasons why ticket sales might be slow this time:

1. There's no Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Jon Gitchoff
Fans at the Real Madrid v. Inter Milan game at the Edward Jones Dome.
Superstars sell tickets, and love him or hate him, Ronaldo is a soccer superstar. Fans rushed onto the field to meet the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner when he played against Inter Milan at the Edward Jones Dome, giving us this amazing image:

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Jon Gitchoff
Don't get us wrong. Both the Ivory Coast and Bosnian teams have talented players poised to take their countries far in this year's tournament -- and who are well worth buying tickets to see. But players like Ronaldo are more than just talented players; they're world-wide brands.

2. Some fans wait until the prices go down.
The St. Louligans aren't worried about slow ticket sales.



3. There's no Messi.
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Jon Gitchoff
Fans display (and kiss) a Messi jersey.
See No. 1. Lionel Messi was scheduled to play with the Argentinian national team against Bosnia, but an injury pulled him out. It's possible that Messi, a world-renowned player and insatiable scorer, would have drawn thousands more fans to Busch Stadium if he'd set foot on the pitch. But there's no one like Messi on the national teams for Bosnia or Ivory Coast.

See also: St. Louis Flares Up Over Bosnia Soccer Celebrations at Busch Stadium

4. There's no media coverage.
Local and sports outlets were all over St. Louis' first big friendly games. The New York Times even profiled Vedad Ibisevic, the talented Bosnian player with roots in the St. Louis soccer scene, before the big game against Argentina. But for this World Cup preview match, things are much quieter. Some fans may not even know the game is coming.

Read more reasons why sales are slow -- and find out how to get your own tickets -- on page two.


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21 comments
Deb Woods
Deb Woods

Only Bosnians care about this. Truly.

Jason M Parker
Jason M Parker

Maybe we should have hosted the Deportation Match between USA and Mexico

Stu Katz
Stu Katz

Maybe only Bosnians and immigrants from the Ivory Coast give a snot about the game.

Ryan Witt
Ryan Witt

Tickets are too damn expensive. When the first two friendlies came around, I was so excited to actually get some pro soccer in the Lou, I payed the price without flinching. Now that the hype has settled, I'm just going to wait until they are cheaper.

Sam Houston
Sam Houston

Maybe USA should have played Bosnia then it would have sold out

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Congratulations RFT. You didn't play the race card on this one.

Phillip McClure
Phillip McClure

I heard about it once before, but nothing since. Guess the is why no one knows anything about it.

Nicholas Frisella
Nicholas Frisella

The media coverage and promotion of this game is nothing compared to the last three. This is the first time I've heard about the match! Were they hoping the Bosnian community would single handily promote this by word of mouth or am I just not paying attention?

Colin Feeney
Colin Feeney

Did you ask everyone in the whole area? Probably not.

Galin Rizov
Galin Rizov

I'm buying one as soon as the prices are going down. WTF last time I checked it was $500. I'd be cheaper and better to just go to Europe for a month and see 5-6 games.

Chris Westfall
Chris Westfall

Ticket sales are slow because it's Bosnia-Ivory Coast. If STL had their own team, this wouldn't be a debate. Soccer would be hugely popular!

D.c. Small
D.c. Small

So you're saying that St Louis is a fair weather soccer city?

David Bee
David Bee

Ticket sales are slow because nobody cares about soccer.

Hjasic
Hjasic

Maybe we all should learn how to ignore rednecks like you.

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