Saturday, February 20, 2016

What can we learn from Liverpool soccer fans' protest of ticket prices?

Yankee fans and Red Sox fans have more in common than we want to admit -- especially with The Rivalry being so snoozeworthy these days. The latest example of this is something my Boston friend Tyler has been griping about. Tyler, who mashes for Monstah Mash, wrote about the recent uprising with Liverpool Football (Soccer) Club fans, and how team owner John Henry, who also owns the Red Sox, had to back down and apologize to that fan base.

Here's the story. The team announced that they were raising the best ticket prices to 77 pounds (approximately $112) for next year. (Gee, I think both Boston and New York fans would be jumping for joy if that were our top ticket prices!) Liverpool tried to spin the price increase as only affecting some tickets but Liverpool fans were outraged. So the fans planned an in-game protest. At least 10,000 fans walked out in the 77th minute of a game, when their team was leading, 2-0. Their team, apparently flummoxed by the fans leaving, ended up giving up two goals. That got the powers that be's attention.

All it took was this one walkout for John Henry to cry uncle, apologize to Liverpool's fans, and roll back the price increases. He wrote a letter of apology to the fan base that Lonn Trost and the Yankees could learn from.

And my Sox friend Tyler is irate. He wants to know when Boston fans get an apology:

Here’s my big issue with all of this though, where the hell is OUR apology? Where is the apology for ridiculously high ticket prices (sh*t I’d love it if our tickets capped at $112), the second mortgage I had to take out just to buy a hot dog, and not to mention the classless buffoonery we’ve seen from the three stooges in their cushy box seats since they came here? Where’s our apology for gutting Terry Francona, screwing up the Jon Lester negotiations while insulting him in the process, and ruthlessly canning Don Orsillo or putting “sexy” star power over actually good players? Honestly I’m so sick of the Sox ownership and management I just have nothing left to say. Heck, maybe we could take a cue from Liverpool fans and stage a walkout or boycott at Fenway Park because apparently nothing is getting through to these bone-headed greedy pieces of crap who pretend to care.
Remember what I said about us having a lot in common with Boston fans? See what I mean?

Lonn Trost still has yet to apologize for his offensive comments about fans.  And now Boston fans are losing StubHub; the Red Sox are starting their own ticket service, with a price floor, of course. Whatever happened to the free market?

Anyhow, I wonder what we fans can do to show our disgust. Would a walkout work? Petitions? Simply not buying tickets? It's a conundrum, to be sure. Any thoughts of what might get team owners' attention? Please leave it in the comments section below.

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