Florida Atlantic announced on Tuesday ticket pricing for magicJack home games, which will take place at the school’s soccer stadium. Season ticket packages begin at just $75 for general admission and reserved seating season tickets can be bought for just $120. That is nine WPS games for $120.
Sounds like a bargain, right? It is a great bargain, but for a stadium that only seats about 1,500 fans (with conflicting reports about whether or not that will expand), how will this team generate any revenue? Let’s run a few numbers on some hypothetical attendance figures…
Say the team sells 200 season tickets at an average price of $85 (children’s season tickets are only $60 and we’ll keep these numbers rounded). That is $17,000 in revenue. Next, assume a walk-up crowd of 1,000 fans at an average ticket price of $12. That is $12,000 in revenue for one game, which (as pointed out below) is a total of $108,000 in revenue. That is a total of $125,000 in ticket revenue. That pays for the salary of a couple top players, at most.
Unless there are things going on behind the scenes (and there definitely can be, since there are not any updates coming out of Florida), there is little going on in the sponsorship department. The average WPS team has an operating budget of about $2.5 million. You do the math.
With that said, other WPS teams are obviously losing money too. There are other teams that offer $100 season ticket packages as the cheapest possible package. But they also draw more people on average than FAU’s stadium could even hold at maximum capacity, and those teams are much farther along in selling sponsorships.
Some money will surely be saved on staffing magicJack, since there essentially is no staff. Ticket sales and marketing have been outsourced to FAU and to nobody’s surprise, there is no public relations team. So, while every team in WPS is losing money, it seems that the club in Florida could be “The Biggest Loser,” in honor of NBC’s hit TV show. Only time will tell if this supposedly revolutionary business model in Florida will change WPS.
And clearly, players are living in style down in Boca Raton. We already heard whispers of this, but you can check out some hard evidence here.
Somebody might also want to tell FAU that in one press release, the team, which the media has been told to refer to as “magicJack,” is called “magicJack’s Washington Freedom,” “Washington Freedom,” and, my personal favorite, “majicJack’s Washington Freedom.” It also states that Erin McLeod is on the team, which is no longer true.
This all should not affect on the field performance much for magicJack, which could be a contender. But off the field, this could be a long roller coaster. The first big test will be seeing if anyone actually shows up at the stadium for the unpromoted team in the untested market.
In a video interview with Potomac Soccer Wire, magicJack Owner Dan Borislow said there could “possibly” be a match in Maryland. In the same interview he said WPS and Puma are the ones who wanted the team in Florida, even though he spent the winter talking about his plans to move the team down to Boca Raton, Fla. WPS CEO Ann-Marie Eileraas even said the plans were completely on Borislow. So, make of that information what you will.
Speaking of the Maryland SoccerPlex, check out Beau Dure’s attempt to follow the circle of W-League teams in the Washington, D.C. area here.
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