Whitecaps Offer Best Ticket Prices in Vancouver

Pricing model tops other teams in the city, including Canucks and B.C. Lions
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, December 13, 2012

Made in Canada - coverage of the Canadian MLS, NASL & USL Clubs, CSL, PCSL, Canadian Championship & Canada National Teams

If you’re a returning reader, you’ll know that I’ve been rather negative with Canada-related soccer topics, like Joey Saputo’s strategy in Montreal, the Canadian culture of the Whitecaps, that horrendous Canadian Men's National Team game in Honduras and structural issues that hold back Canadian development.

I have tended to look at what is broken in Canadian soccer.

But in the spirit of Christmas (and other applicable holidays), I’ll look at some of the right things being done in Canadian soccer.

Specifically, let’s look at Vancouver and its ticket pricing.

Looking over the prices of 2013 tickets for the Whitecaps, one word came to mind: affordability. This was an impression that stood alone, but was confirmed when I compared the prices to those of TFC, the Impact, the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks and the Canadian Football League’s B.C. Lions.

These are standard prices, excluding premium seating and time limited discounts:

  Single game tickets Season tickets
Toronto FC (MLS) $27 to $121 $285 to $1,140
Montreal Impact (MLS) $20 to $85 $295 to $1,070
Vancouver Canucks (NHL) N/A* N/A*
B.C. Lions (CFL) $35 to $85 $260 to $615
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS) $22 to $75 $349 to $999

*The NHL lockout has made pricing unavailable. All earlier prices have been way higher than those of the Lions or the ‘Caps.

**These are the 2012 prices for which 2013 tickets can be bought for a limited time, meaning the 2013 prices will be higher, but these are unavailable.

It is clear that the Whitecaps have not only the cheapest single game tickets in Vancouver, but also fare well compared to its Canadian MLS counterparts – especially as the most expensive tickets outside of the premium section are cheaper.

It becomes a bit more complicated when it comes to season tickets. The cheapest Whitecaps tickets are notably more expensive than those of the Impact, Toronto and the B.C. Lions. And although the top priced tickets are below TFC and IMFC, they are more expensive than the Lions’.

The Whitecaps front office has, however, thrown a curveball – to use an expression from a 4th sport – by introducing student season tickets at only $199 in a designated section and nine-game tickets at the $249 to $539 price range, something not offered by TFC or Montreal.

To conclude, the Whitecaps have a good price strategy. Having cheaper single-game tickets, discounted season tickets for students and multigame tickets compensates for the high starting price of season tickets.

Making it an attractive option for students and people who aren’t ready to commit to an entire season regardless of their age, the ‘Caps are making an investment in the future. As a major league team – albeit still a new team – and by offering cheap single tickets and student discounts, they are more likely to attract those who are price sensitive or those that haven’t committed their dollars to a specific team yet.

If the great atmosphere and this season’s improvement continue, the Whitecaps’ price level should help build an even larger and stronger fan base in Vancouver, and perhaps even make the Whitecaps open up more sections of B.C. Place, just as Seattle did with CenturyLink Field.

Henrik LONNE

Copenhagen Business School
Club Domestic:
AGF Aarhus
Club Foreign:
Toronto FC
Born and raised in Denmark, the US performance in the 2002 World Cup dragged Henrik into the world of North American soccer. Subsequent trips to Canada made him a Toronto FC fan from abroad. The passion he now has for MLS outshines most European leagues.