LOS ANGELES – For Thursday’s version of El Trafico (10:30 pm ET | ESPN in US; TVAS, TSN4 in Canada) in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, the media credential requests have already exceeded 300, according to a club source.
That’s a staggering number in and of itself, but what about ticket prices for the Western Conference Semifinal clash between LAFC and the LA Galaxy? Tom Penn, president and co-owner of LAFC, has seen how high those figures are.
“It’s not unlike our last El Trafico, where the demand for tickets is just super high,” Penn told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday.
Exactly how high are we talking?
According to SeatGeek, the league's official ticketing partner, as of Wednesday evening the lowest-priced ticket was just under $160, with the highest one listed at just over $750. The average resale price for the game is $307. Those numbers easily make it the hottest game of the MLS season, with the next being the regular-season matchup between these L.A. rivals in late August (average resale price of $214).
In fact, SeatGeek indicated that the last matches to garner a higher average resale price were the 2017 MLS Cup final between Toronto and Seattle (average resale price of $336) and the 2018 MLS Cup final between Atlanta and Portland (average resale price of $308).
But even before LAFC knew they’d be facing their rivals from down the 110 Freeway, most tickets had already been purchased.
“The vast majority of our tickets were already sold prior to the playoffs beginning, because such a high percentage of members took all their seats [for the postseason],” said Penn. “Like any other first-rate event in LA, it really rewards the people who are season-ticket holders because the members of LAFC have those tickets at a deep discount for what the market says the value is, which is great.”
The game comes days after the 2019 NBA season opened with the Clippers beating the Lakers, 112-102, bringing together stars like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard at the Staples Center. Tickets for that marquee matchup hovered at or below the asking price for the postseason El Trafíco.
That also doesn’t surprise Penn, who worked extensively in the front office of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers.
“I went to that game last night,” Penn said of the Clippers-Lakers meeting. “Our event is more exciting and better.”
For both regional and national attention – not to mention the global eyeballs that Vela and Ibrahimovic bring to the table – it’s shaping up to be a memorable LA night. And odds are as the game nears, ticket prices will continue to climb.
“It was really surprising to us, the last [match against the Galaxy], how high the value was [on the secondary market],” said Penn. “It’s a real good sign for the health of MLS here."