|This Could Be Par for the Course in 2012 (Photo by Dan Dickinson)|
Tomorrow, September 30, marks the end of the 2012 Red Bulls season ticket renewal period. Those RBNY fans who have not renewed their seats - either by payment in full or via an installment plan - will surrender them when the clock strikes twelve Friday evening. Longtime fans of MLS' most dysfunctional franchise would like to thank the powers that be - Chris Heck, I'm looking at you - for the massive 18 days they were given to scrape together hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. After the season we've been through, there's nothing we're more eager to do then clear out our savings accounts on short notice.
For those fans not able to pull together the requisite scratch by the deadline, do not fret. There should be plenty of midfield seats available next season at a discount. In fact, you may be better off waiting until the desperate Red Bulls front office starts unloading premium seats at a bargain basement price. Keep checking Val-Pak and Groupon and I'm sure you'll find what you need. They may even throw in a free hat or t-shirt!
Among the friends I made in section 107 when the team first moved to Harrison in 2010, not a single one is returning to "Boca" (as we affectionately called it) for 2012. Successive price hikes have seen to that. Instead, fans are migrating to the upper deck or the (still affordable) areas behind the goals and cutting the number of seats they are purchasing. Quite how the new front office regime plans to fill the swaths of midfield seats left abandoned is anyone's guess. The product on the field certainly isn't doing them any favors. Maybe it's all part of a plan to reveal more and more of the midfield bull logo.
At the same time, season ticket holders are seeing their longtime ticket reps dropping like flies, as they're replaced with Heck's NBA cronies (who probably don't have much to do at the moment anyway). To Heck's credit, he has done a fairly admirable job of filling up the stadium since coming aboard, though anyone who attended the Portland game knows that RBA was far from "sold out" as was proclaimed.
Maybe there's some ingenious logic to the new season ticket scheme that has eluded everyone. Maybe the Red Bulls will beat Toronto FC on Saturday, claim a few more scalps, climb to the top of the East and make a stunning run to MLS Cup. But that all seems very far-fetched at the moment. All we season ticket holders can do for now is scratch our heads - and get out our credit cards.