Thursday, September 18, 2008

TFC Fans agree: Grass would make the Reds easier to watch

"Long term we'd like to consider going to natural grass. That is what authentic soccer is all about."
Tom Anselmi on Prime Time Sports
Aug 12, 2008

"It's not something that's hot on the radar. It's something we've thought about only because we're asked the question."
Tom Anselmi in the Toronto Star
Sept 18, 2008

It can be difficult to defend MLSE sometimes. Especially when its COO is so adept at talking out of both sides of his mouth. When the concept is abstract it’s OK to wax poetic about the authentic nature of a grass pitch. The Mayor of Toronto makes one candid statement and suddenly its time back waaaaaaay off.

TFC fans are not reacting well to the idea that MLSE is “only” started to think about it because they were asked. It's’ difficult to stomach the idea that the owner of your favourite team could possibly be so clueless about the single biggest obstacle to getting better that the team faces. Of course, why would the owner of your team care when you lead the league in in-stadium spending per ticket holder at $15 a game.

The possibility exists, of course, that Anselmi is exercising the default reaction of a sports executive to being asked a question—lie. Maybe MLSE understands the issue and is prepared to deal with it. With season ticket holders facing a 40 per cent increase from the first season, MLSE had better understand that having them absorb the $2 million-ish they gained from Mo Edu’s sale won’t sit well with the increasingly grumpy fan base.

But it would be inaccurate to suggest that the fans are holding out much hope.

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