mls all-star game

MLS All-Star Game comes to Toronto

Written by guest contributor Bryen Dunn.

Despite Toronto's lack of winning sports teams, there still seems to be a thirst for high profile sporting events in this city, but at what expense? The upcoming Major League of Soccer (MLS) All-Star Game this evening may prove to be a healing factor for the boisterous fans who recently watched the Toronto FC get eliminated from a spot in the Champions League tourney.

The biggest names of the MLS will face off against West Ham United at 7pm down at BMO field. This is only the fifth such meeting of these international sports heroes, so we should feel privileged to have this opportunity. But with tickets in the hundred dollar plus price range, it's most likely only the financially privileged who will be in attendance. Apparently there's a new section of tickets available starting at $42.00 if you don't mind sitting up with the pigeons.

The pre-game Soccer Jam starts at 11am outside the gates and is free to all. There are several interactive soccer related activities, music, and appearances by some of the somber-faced FC players (don't ask them to smile for the camera). For those more inclined to spend their hard earned bucks on beer and pizza, the game is being broadcast on CBC as well. So gather your peeps round your new HD play thing or hit the local watering hole and spend your dolsh wisely.

Tourism Toronto jumped in on the sports rage and offered up their exclusive allotment of 500 tickets for purchase, which quickly sold out at $250 a pop. This package also included accommodations, breakfast, and access to the sold-out Official Player's Party. Andrew Weir, VP of Communications, says "our main goal is to get people into the city and spending money and this is the reason tickets are only sold as packages with hotel stays". Weir wasn't certain who was buying these tickets or where they are from, but predicted most would be out-of-town visitors. I predict a swift scalper operation could likely get a hold of these tickets, sell them off on game day, make a sweet profit, and still have a swanky hotel to crash and party in at the end of the night. Or better yet, scalp off the hotel rooms and rake in even more illegal funds.

It seems this Tourism Toronto initiative might be here to stay as their site also indicates package deals for Buffalo Bills football, tennis, golf, and baseball. No sign of Leaf packages as yet. Surf over to and keep up with what your tourism board is hawking these days. Are we a sports crazed city or just money hungry?

Photo by blogTO Flickr pool member sthursby.

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