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Editor’s note: Michael Coroneos files dispatches for pitchinvasion.net from behind the lines of the Red Patch Boys, one of Toronto FC’s supporter’s groups. Here he brings us more news on the scalping frenzy as the LA Galaxy Travelling Beckham Circus shows up north of the border.
The Beckham craze has finally hit Toronto. To be honest, I had always envisioned the local media frenzy in the days leading up to this match to be more intense. Don’t get me wrong, it is a big story here in Toronto, but the real frenzy is being played out on scalper sites like Craigslist and EBay. Scalpers are nothing new to sports, but what may be new is the valiant attempt by Toronto FC’s largest supporter group the Red Patch Boys to stop them — or at least throw them for a curve.
Last week, members of the Red Patch Boys started to post links to tickets being sold on cragslist and EBay for the Galaxy match. The idea has been an attack on scalpers by making false claims on tickets and even posting on Craigslist to make it clear Beckham will not play in this game. Even now, as it has become increasing clear that if Beckham enters the game it will be short lived, scalpers are looking for upwards of $125 per ticket for what is normally a $15 seat. The scalpers have been fighting back with claims such as:
Contrary to the scare tactics that are going on on this site, LA Galaxy have confirmed that Beckham IS travelling to Toronto. He’s resting for tonight’s game, so should be revived for Sunday.Don’t believe the sour grapes of those that don’t have tickets!!!
We have no idea if these tactics are working but the Red Patch Boys are passionate about their club and the cry has been to have real fans in the stadium, not Beckham glory hunters. It’s also interesting to note that (while not to the extent of this game) this battle with scalpers has been an ongoing fixation for the Red Patch Boys. Toronto FC sold out every ticket for every game before a minute was played this season so scalpers have been out in force since April.
The Beckham effect around MLS has been interesting to watch, but here in Toronto the supporters of the club want people to know this stadium is sold out every match with or without Beckham. He is the sideshow in Toronto this week: TFC is the main attraction. On the supporter message boards, the arrival of wrist kissing midfielder Landon Donovan is more anticipated with the chance to shower him with streamers on every corner kick.
There is excitement that this match will be televised from the U.S.A. to Scandinavia to the U.K., as the world will get a chance to see how Toronto has embraced soccer. The supporters thank Beckham for making that possible. However, for the fanatical supporters of TFC, the real injury news this week has been that cult hero Danny Dichio is out.
Photo credit: martingroove on Flickr