Some Final Business Thoughts on Toronto

The coldest MLS Cup Final in league history is complete and Toronto was certainly a big part of the story from last night.  There were discussions about the weather, the fan protest and the field conditions.  For a few days, Toronto was the center of the MLS universe, with sponsors, fans, media and league personnel descending on the City.  A couple of our readers checked in with e-mail thoughts on what they saw and the media coverage.  We thought we would present those today.

A large booth city was setup outside the main gate with a large presence from Adidas, XBOX Kinnect and Home Depot.  Adidas had the typical kick soccer balls into holes for a prize promotion.  Kinnect had a bunch of XBOX stations set up with the various Kinnect games. I didn’t get a chance to check out the Home Depot area but they were giving away MLS construction helmets and had a sign-making station.

The local morning headlines were a subdued mix of “so what” and “decent game, but…” All gave the game fairly high marks and the crowd, slightly less. The reports I’ve read estimate the actual attendance at about 80%, somewhere around 17,500. Well-written and dead-on article from Gareth Wheeler, at the Toronto Sun, “MLS Cup was eh okay.”

The Toronto Star had a short op-ed: “No glamor, no buzz and no circulation in my feet” that claimed Torontonians were too good for MLS. There was a pre-game concert (which we missed) with Matt Good, a band popular in the late 90’s  – thus, too old to be relevant but not old enough to be nostalgic.  Can’t say how many people attended the concert but I can assure you people were likely more interested in play with the Kinnect.

Inside, regular merchandise stations were selling MLS cup, Dallas and Colorado merchandise. There was some TFC stuff for sale also.  Booths were not busy but did ‘brisk’ business.

Contrary to what other people have been saying I was quite happy with the turnout.  There was only one area way up in the corner that was visibly empty but there seemed to be a good presence in all sections.  Yes there was plenty of empty seats but that can be attributed by the growing anger at MLSE of TFC season ticket holders, the coldest sporting event held in Toronto since the SkyDome was built and 2 teams no one in Toronto gave a rats ass about.  Game was relatively quiet – save for the regular Danny Dichio chant in the 24th minute and again in the 24th minute of extra time – compared to a typical TFC game but the Rapids supporters were quite loud for the small group of them.

Obviously it was disappointing to see people leaving during a tie-game in extra time, but one thing to keep in mind – The main mode of transportation into BMO field is the Go Train. Which yesterday would have come once at 11 PM and once at midnight.  I have to assume a lot of people left to catch the 11 PM train.   Is that a good excuse? No, but typical of Toronto crowds. I went to a Raptors playoff game a couple of years back and people were leaving with 32 seconds left in a one possession game! CRAZY. (Raptors won)