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ECS boycotting Austin FC away match due to high ticket prices

Austin FC was asking more than $70 for the weekday match.

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ECS at Rio Tinto with thanks to RSLSoapBox Photo courtesy of RSL Soapbox

UPDATE: Austin Anthem and Los Verdes — the two main supporters groups for Austin FC — have issued a joint statement calling on the team to price away-supporter tickets more in line with the rest of MLS and asking that it be reconsidered.

Throughout their history, Emerald City Supporters have taken a good deal of pride in their traveling support of the Seattle Sounders. Almost every away game the Sounders have played has featured a significant contingent of their fans, sometimes numbering well into the hundreds even outside of the trips to Portland and Vancouver. For their two trips to Toronto for MLS Cup, the away support ticked into four-digits.

With travel restrictions now lifting and Texas being a relatively short flight away, the Sounders’ trip to Austin FC on July 22 promised to entice a significant traveling party.

ECS won’t be there, however — at least not in an organized way.

The Sounders’ largest supporters’ group announced on Tuesday that they’d be boycotting the match after learning that tickets would cost “upwards of $70.” That seems to be in line with what Austin is charging other supporters’ groups.

“We know many of you were excited about traveling to Austin. We know this will likely be disappointing to many of you,” ECS wrote on their blog. “We also know that we’ll never stop fighting for affordable ticketing, irrespective of the club you support.”

To put those prices into context, ECS noted that the most they’d ever been charged for regular-season tickets was $53 (including fees) for a match against the San Jose Earthquakes, which doubled as the first-ever sporting event at Levi’s Stadium. ECS also boycotted that match.

Since then, the annual trips to Portland have traditionally been the most expensive, most recently costing $49 in 2019. The average cost for away tickets has never exceeded $35, or less than half of what Austin FC was charging.

In fact, the only time ECS was asked to pay more than this match was for MLS Cup 2017, when tickets at BMO Field were running $99. A year earlier, ECS was asked to pay $57 for the same tickets. When the Sounders hosted MLS Cup in 2019, ECS members were able to get tickets in the Brougham End for about $50.

Of course, none of this precludes Sounders fans from buying tickets on the open market, where they look to be significantly more expensive. On SeatGeek, the official ticketing partner for Austin FC, most tickets currently cost at least $150 apiece.

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