Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A detailed look into how organizers use Census data and ticket lotteries to try to exclude Mexican team supporters from U.S. vs Mexico soccer qualifiers

Henry Bushnell for Yahoo:

The Mexican national team plays roughly three times as many games in the U.S. as it does on home soil, in part to attract those fanatics. 


When U.S. Soccer schedules friendlies against Mexico — when revenue is the primary concern — it tries to attract them too.

But when it schedules qualifiers, it tries to avoid them. It knows that the Mexican American population is concentrated in certain regions and hubs. And it surely knows, for example, that no major hub is within a four-hour drive of Cincinnati.


The first batch of tickets went to fans who pay a $500 annual membership fee. The second and third went to lower-level paying members. The fourth was available to recognized U.S. supporters groups, such as the American Outlaws, and to FC Cincinnati’s MLS season-ticket holders. Only the fifth and final batch was available to non-paying “Insiders.” In total, according to a federation spokesman, there were requests for more than 30,000 tickets. Requests for around 10,000 tickets were left unfulfilled. The general public never got access.