Personally my golden rule of being a footy fan and saying you love football is supporting your local professional club. Even if the quality isn’t top class or even if it’s semi professional, if you have the chance at watching the game live take that opportunity. Now there’s an abundant amount of issues that come with not being able to support the nearest club of the area you reside in. You simply might not root for the team that’s in your city, ticket availability may be scarce due to the teams popularity or the accessibility of the stadium may be difficult. That’s just to name a few and there’s still more, some other examples of problems can be in ticket prices being on the pricier end of the spectrum. On the worst note the team that’s situated in your city may have just not captured the hearts of you or local citizens.
My local club of Ottawa Fury are a club that face some of these issues. Now first and foremost I’ll go to any game that’s around I really don’t care I love the sport I mean footy first right? With that being said I’ve gone to numerous Fury games and had real great time and have enjoyed the fixture in front of me. The beautiful centrally located, newly renovated and highly comfortable new TD Place formerly known as Frank Clair Stadium is of the nations nicest sporting facilities. (speaking mostly about the south end) The stadium carries the characteristics of two open concept stands that attributes to the overall experience of the game outing. Plus with new owners and all these resources to win over hearts in the city it seems they have failed, they’ll continue to be successful hopefully and godwingly but are they reaching their full potential or even doing it right to begin with. After spending time in Asia this summer and going to all those games (MATCHDAY EXPERIENCE ARTICLES IN BLOG) and other games around the world during my life I have a new perspective. I saw how efficient and cost effective most K-League games were. Truthfully the K-League system is more developed and better than USL Championship league where Fury play in. The league isn’t better by much in terms of quality, but what really takes the prize here in comparing the two is atmosphere. The different stadium atmospheres over there are where you see real ultras, support groups either from the home side, away side and/or both passionately occupied with singing and chanting.
With both those advantages mentioned above the crucial one yet mentioned was the pricing of everything. Most games in the K-League in Korea that I saw this summer were ticketed in the range for two people from 20 - 50 Dollars. Plus with beer and snacks being much cheaper the whole experience rounds out to about 50 or 60 dollars. With that kind of cost plus the overall energy you receive from the fans in the crowd it’s really worth it and memorable experience as you can probably tell if you’ve read those other blogs by me. Now Fury FC play in a beautiful stadium and it’s really comfortable this and that, but for the quality on the pitch and atmosphere in the stands to a die hard soccer fan it doesn’t justify the price of the experience.
The last Fury game I went to against Nashville SC ended up costing close to 50 for tickets plus 20 for 2 craft beers it eventually starts to add up. Now for me a fanatic fan and living not to far I’ll make the trip over to TD Place a couple times a season. For the fan who supports big name clubs in Europe like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Etc making going to Fury FC an attractive day outing is somewhat difficult. Besides being easy to navigate to and reach having TD Place relatively close to the city Center in the hip and lively Glebe neighbourhood.
With all these reasons for my friends who are football lovers to go to they still aren’t convinced despite the back and forth exchanges on trying to get them to come. I’ve been in the situation multiple times with some even arguing they rather support their University soccer team before they do Fury FC. Even checking into tickets at Toronto FC approaching games seem to be relatively around the same price or not much higher. Obviously price depend on choice of seating arrangement so that will vary for Toronto FC in raising the price. We know MLS is the tier higher than USL where Fury play in and tickets don’t have a large difference which also raises eyebrows. Likewise in nearby MLS club occupied city of Montreal. Now this isn’t to bash Ottawa Fury as I still end up going to games and enjoying them. This is simply just an example of my personal difficulties that I hope change with my local club at some point. Maybe when Ottawa moves into the CanPL things will change and people will become more engaged. And hopefully operations will have fans and the ticket buyers in mind when they make decisions. Again it may be a test of time if they face any issues with fans and attendance with an average as it seems around 4k-5k they are doing alright. but with problems with previous professional teams in this city I’d advise to find ways of growing the club and brand to a bigger audience and the audience that really loves the product and that product being the beautiful game.