Looking at the Major League Soccer Preseason

Over the next few days, Major League Soccer teams will be continuing their preseason preparation for the 2012 campaign.  A number of those teams will be gathered in Orlando, Charleston or Tucson as part of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, Carolina Challenge Cup or the Desert Diamond Cup.  Each of the events feature multiple MLS teams performing in intimate venues in small tournament set-ups.  We thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at some of the business aspects of the events.

A visit to the Charleston Battery or FC Tucson websites finds the local event prominently displayed and easy to access.  The same is not true for the Wide World of Sports website. Unless you know the name of your event, “Pro Soccer Classic” it is pretty difficult to find information about preseason soccer on the site.

Pricing for the events also bears mention. The Disney event is selling session tickets (two games) for $19 including all fees.  Seating is general admission.  Tickets in Charleston range from $15-$25 for a full day session depending on where you want to sit.  Tickets for three days of the event can be purchased for $35-$50.  In Tucson, an array of price points are offered, including a VIP option that includes a food and drink ticket.  Prices range from $20-$75 for a full day session.

Also notable is local coverage of the Spring events. The Arizona Daily Star has devoted a substantial amount of ink to the MLS teams spending time in the Tucson area validating the importance of these teams to the local economy.  Coverage in the local Charleston paper is far more muted.  Finally, in Orlando, the Sentinel has started to increase its coverage of soccer in advance of the coming tournament.