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Opinion: MLS should fix TicketGate

LA Galaxy and LAFC fans deserve better

Los Angeles FC v LA Galaxy - MLS Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

They had it right the first time.

When a mob of hundreds, if not four figures of Black and Gold slimed its way into the StubHub Center for the inaugural El Trafico last May, the massive crowd got people’s attention. Packing the northwest section of the stadium like a swarm of angry bees, it was quite the visual. Loud and proud, their chants echoed around an otherwise empty stadium well over an hour before kickoff.

Of course, we all know what unfolded next. Zlatan wrote himself into the Galaxy history books in 20 minutes as LA roared back to defeat LAFC in the greatest league match of all time.

Part of what made that afternoon so special was the electric atmosphere. I’ve seen four MLS Cups in Los Angeles and countless big matches in Carson and Pasadena, and nothing compared to the atmosphere that day.

LA Galaxy fans were naturally furious staring at such a grand visual, after all word from Banc of California Stadium was only 120 or so tickets would be allocated for the return leg.

The effort wasn’t for naught: Corralling the 3252 in their own section maximized both the atmosphere in the stands and the security in the venue. Tension were high and there were arrests that day, but as we’ve argued over the past year, prioritizing the safety of attendees was the right call in more ways than one.

Unfortunately with due respect, the LAFC organization did not show the same level of commitment when hosting their rivals and the result was a s***show.

With a scant number of readily available tickets, fans flocked to SeatGeek and other third-party sites to gain entry. The Banc was scattered with rowdy Galaxy supporters, creating an atmosphere ripe with skirmishes, shoving matches and even blows.

6 arrests and 14 ejections that night tells the story.

It’s not the most comfortable venue. Like a pair of overly tight skinny jeans, there are spots where the architects at Gensler chose looks over functionality. There’s the roof that doesn’t work, which is admittedly more funny than sad, but the snug seats and narrow concourses only add to the intimacy of the venue. Good for atmosphere, bad for a crowd of heated rivals full of liquid courage.- LAG Confidential, For better or worse, El Trafico is very real

The unofficial mantra amongst Galaxy supporters has been “Don’t take your loved ones to El Traficos” ever since.

Which brings us to the latest incident. Thursday night, LAFC supporter’s groups across So Cal raged with anger as the Galaxy rescinded hundreds of away tickets for El Trafico IV. As it turned out, the whole thing was a scam.

Scam or no scam, hundreds of fans willing to go to extreme measures to get a foot in the door were shut out despite an allotment of three hundred tickets for Friday’s showdown.

Clearly this is a problem that needs fixing, luckily a solution isn’t overly complicated. The Galaxy and LAFC organizations should mutually agree to sell a considerably higher number of tickets to away fans, either individually or perhaps with help from the league. It wouldn’t hurt for security at the Banc to evaluate what’s gone right at Dignity Health Sports Park as well.