TORONTO - After yet another failed run at the MLS playoffs, Toronto FC is freezing prices for existing season ticket-holders, as long as they renew by Dec. 15.
"Last season, Toronto FC embarked on an aggressive plan to put this club on a path to success and make the playoffs in 2014, but despite our best efforts, we fell short," GM Tim Bezbatchenko said in an email to ticket-holders. "With that said, important strides were made towards our long-term goals and we are excited about building on that progress.
"We also promised you that renewal pricing would be tied to the team's performance. With that commitment in mind, we are pleased to tell you that you can renew your season seats for the same prices as last season up until Dec. 15th."
In one example, a season ticket would cost $760 prior to the deadline and $950 afterwards.
A club spokesman said the total price for existing season tickets — before the deadline — ranges from $190 to $1,596 for a non-premium seat with some 29 price points.
The prices for a new season ticket-buyer ranges from $342 to $1,273 before Feb. 6 and $380 to $1,402 after.
Single ticket prices have yet to be determined.
Despite spending millions on designated players Jermain Defoe, Michael Bradley and Brazil's Gilberto, Toronto (11-15-8) failed to make the playoffs for the eighth straight year since entering the league in 2007.
Two seasons ago, the club rolled back season ticket prices to the 2007 level because of poor performance on the field. The freeze continued last season — for those already holding season tickets — with the club delaying the date to renew so they could see the off-season signings.
The big-ticket additions did boost total 2014 attendance to 375,463 fans to BMO Field, up 30,928 over the previous franchise record of 344,535 set in 2011.
Toronto averaged 22,086 a game this season, second only to the Seattle Sounders (43,734) and well above the league average of 19,147.
The club had a record 17,000 season tickets in 2014 with a waiting list of 3,500. Toronto had 14,600 season ticket-holders in 2013.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is biting the bullet with the temporary ticket freeze given it is sinking $95 million in stadium renovations.
"With the first phase of renovations already underway, BMO Field will be a world-class home to match our vision of being a world-class club," Bezbatchenko said in his letter to ticket-holders. "In 2016, a canopy will be installed over the stadium that will not only protect our fans from the elements, but also make BMO Field one of the loudest buildings in MLS.
"While the renovations to BMO Field are an important part of our commitment to you, we know that the improvements you care most about are on the pitch and that is where we are most focused. Toronto FC has a core roster now that is much improved and is only going to be stronger as a result of their experience together last season.
"Our goal is within reach and we are working tirelessly this off-season to build on our progress and deliver you a winning side."
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