Mood: Hey I have tickets again
State of Mind: Oh dear, what have I done?
Location: Surrounded by 6 years of SSH stuff...sigh
So I went ahead and did it. I renewed my season's tickets for 2013. I'll wait while you fall over in shock - you OK? Then I'll continue.
Unlike previous years, renewing my tickets for next season was not an automatic decision. Usually as soon as I get that renewal e-mail I don't even hesitate. But this year...oh this year. The drama that has swirled about our team this year certainly had an impact on my decision; as did the horrific season the team had on the pitch. If you had asked me during any game during the last month of the season I was still on the fence. A fence built of poor results, a poorly managed team, more drama than most soap operas, anger and apathy in the stands, and the team holding off on even announcing renewal information until just days before the final home game. Not really the recipe to get me pumped up about next season. The end of season presser also wasn't exactly inspiring and well, that cynicism I discovered this year? That was in full force for several days - I was angry at all the time, emotion, energy and money I'd put into supporting this team.
Let me clarify something - I'm known (even now) for my optimism and my belief that things will work out in the end. I've succumbed to cynicism, anger and have flirted with apathy this year yet even still, deep down there's still this hopeful, excited fan that just wants to cheer for her team - and for that I make no apologies. But this past season has taxed even my sunshiny persona. I know many folk who are far more cynical than I that immediately renewed their tickets and yet still I waited.
The rollback on the ticket prices to 2007 levels was a startling announcement - I had hoped for some kind of reduction but never expected them to actually do the right thing. A reduction of some kind yes, but all the way back to the beginning? That was a surprising move and for that I will give a small nod of approval. Until the price reduction was announced I was likely going to give up one of my tickets, as paying for two seats when one was often going unused at the previous year's rates was not sitting well with me. Then I received a very nice (what? It was nice, in a 'please, please renew your tickets' way) email from my TFC ticket rep reminding me off all the benefits of renewing my tickets, plus the added bonus of free Raptors tix - free Raptors tickets? Sold! What? I like basketball. This was part of my response:
"...I'd planned on renewing my tickets; well at least once the prices were reduced that is. Up until that point I was somewhat on the fence as I (as well as many of my SSH brethren) have not been well pleased with the way that the club has been run over the past six years and this year in particular....I was glad to see that the club took the first necessary step to stem the tide of anger and apathy"
I then received a very nice (what? It was nice, he was happy I was renewing) email in reply talking about the focus now being on the team and the team's performance - good news everyone! Sorry, cynical side putting in a brief appearance...but I'm reserving judgement (probably) until oh, at least later on this week when the first player cuts are announced. OK, back to ticket talk!
The bottom line is that after many long conversations with myself and pretty much ignoring what anyone else was doing - sorry folks, nothing anyone else said was going to influence me but me - in regards to renewing, I decided that affordable tickets were just enough to keep me on board. I have hope (see, still optimistic!) that over the next few years I'll see my team slowly make it's way back to respectability. Please note I said the next few years - I have zero expectations for a dramatic turnaround for our Reds in the upcoming season - but at the end of the day I want to be there to see it happen; when it happens. I guess six years plummeting to the depths of MLS aren't enough to completely eradicate that hopeful, excited fan that first walked into BMO back in 2007...hope I get to see her again in 2013 because I kind of miss her.
So; see you next year?