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W/Warriors captain knocks ticket prices; but urges fans to support team

Trinidad and Tobago national senior women’s team captain Maylee Attin-Johnson has publicly criticised ticket prices for the upcoming FIFA Play Off second leg against Ecuador from 6 pm on December 2 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

Trinidad and Tobago and Ecuador played to a goalless draw in Quito on November 8 and the “Women Soca Warriors” need a win next month to qualify for the Canada 2015 Women’s World Cup. No Caribbean women’s team has ever qualified for a FIFA tournament.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (number 9) is congratulated by Dernelle Mascall (second from right) and her teammates after her successful penalty kick against Guatemala in World Cup qualifying action. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (number 9) is congratulated by Dernelle Mascall (second from right) and her teammates after her successful penalty kick against Guatemala in World Cup qualifying action.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

But the 28-year-old Attin-Johnson, who has a Sports Management degree from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, believes it will be harder to fill the Hasely Crawford ground at the $200 (covered stands) and $100 (uncovered stands) prices announced by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

The proposed price is a steep increase in the $50 fee (covered and uncovered stands) charged for the women’s last competitive game in Port of Spain three months ago; although it matches the admission charge for the men’s team, in October 2005, when the Warriors faced Mexico in a vital 2006 World Cup qualifier.

Attin-Johnson, a classy midfield player, thinks the TTFA should have mirrored the approach in Ecuador where a US$5 and US$2 entrance fee provoked a record women’s attendance of 17,500 patrons.

“I’m very much against those ticket prices (for the second leg),” Attin-Johnson told Wired868. “All we as players want is a full stadium and with those prices, unfortunately, I don’t think we will have one.”

The Warriors captain said she raised her concerns to TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips who replied that the goal was to have parity with prices for men’s games and that the special nature of the Play Off game needed a special price to match.

“That is Ecuador; Ecuador is not Trinidad and Tobago,” Phillips told Wired868. “We based our discussion based on feedback we got from the folks in Trinidad and Tobago. That was good and appropriate for Ecuador…

“When the tickets go on sale on Monday that is when the market will speak. But people are waiting to buy tickets and we already have pre-orders… So the overriding issue is the importance of the game and the level of excitement from the public.”

But Attin-Johnson suggested that, after all the women went through in getting to this stage, they deserved a break.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (right) collects the 2014 Caribbean Cup trophy from CFU president Gordon Derrick. (Courtesy Jinelle James/WOLF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (right) collects the 2014 Caribbean Cup trophy from CFU president Gordon Derrick.
(Courtesy Jinelle James/WOLF)

Phillips suggested yesterday that the TTFA would be happy to get between 12,000 and 15,000 fans on December 2 although he did think a full stadium was possible. The national captain thinks the volume of supporters and not revenue should be the motivating factor behind the local football body’s approach to the upcoming match.

No Trinidad and Tobago women’s player or local coach has ever received a match fee during the course of their international careers. They often received no per diems either and it was not unusual for players and staff to pool money to buy refreshments after training sessions.

After all the problems the Women Warriors overcame to get here; could the TTFA give them the favour of doing everything possible to provide a full stadium for the game of their lives in Port of Spain?

Phillips promised the players a match fee for the first time on December 2. But Attin-Johnson said the team is more interested in getting the emotional support from the public.

“We as players will not be exploited because it is exactly that what is going on,” said Attin-Johnson. “We are the main attraction and we want a packed stadium. What is the reason for the price? Where is the money going?”

In Quito, Trinidad and Tobago head coach Randy Waldrum predicted a full stadium in Port of Spain for the return leg and Attin-Johnson echoed his call.

Whatever the TTFA decides, the Warrior captain hopes Trinidad and Tobago football fans turn out to help push the team over the finish line and into the history books.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago women's players (from left) Rhea Belgrave, Maylee Attin-Johnson, Kimika Forbes, Arin King and Karyn Forbes pose during the team's pre-Caribbean Cup camp in Houston. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago women’s players (from left) Rhea Belgrave, Maylee Attin-Johnson, Kimika Forbes, Arin King and Karyn Forbes pose during the team’s pre-Caribbean Cup camp in Houston.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

“I’m just hoping the fans don’t see the cost as a reason not to come,” said Attin-Johnson. “I’m hoping they look at it as a chance to be part of history.”

Match tickets go on sale on Monday November 17 at all Kenny’s Sports Centre outlets, Trotter’s (Maraval Road, Port of Spain), Skinner Park (San Fernando), The Fan Club (Movietowne, Mucurapo), Ramsingh’s Sporting Goods (Chaguanas), All Out (Queen’s Park Oval), Econo Supermarket (Sangre Grande) and Heritage Sport (Scarborough)

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. There is no hope, I tell you, for this freaking place we call home. None!

  2. i read this article and wow the ttff is really full of it … the man admit he dont think we will be able to full the stadium … sad …. is this how management do things ? wow … he lacks so much vision … i guess thats what we get for putting the wrong people in management

  3. $100 to c my female warriors beat equador to go to d WC is small money…we does call a rounds of beers wit a $100 n doh get change n we dont complain so lewe doh complain fuh dis….FIYA FI DAT…

  4. No, I ‘ll be there as long as I have a ticket or two… I also went to a few games when we hosted the U-17. TBH, I would faster spend 200 to see a good match and lime than go to a fete, I did all that when it was proper fete, not the modelling show we have now

  5. There were 4,000 supporters at best who followed Trinidad and Tobago during the Caribbean Cup/World Cup qualifiers in August.
    That means that we are aiming for 18,000 “bandwagonists” to help full the stadium on December 2.
    So, it makes no sense to insult the people who want to watch the women play for the first time. The fact is those new supporters are vital at this stage.

  6. I hear you Savitri Maharaj. So they lost you. Imagine if they started there!? These people never filled a match at 50 and suddenly think they will at 200? For the team’s sake I hope they’re right. But I doubt

  7. Cause whatever they make is for them Collin.

  8. Well Fayola, I stop feteing now because I ain’t paying no $500 – $1200 to hear the same thing over and over, that money could buy me groceries including drink too.

  9. Ok. Let us drop the carnival argument because fete prices didn’t start where they are today. Hook people with low prices then raise it until the market tells you stop. I have never followed sports religiously, I am not a friend or family member, I can afford 200 (cuz I not sitting in hot sun or potential rain for a team I don’t know) but I won’t because I am not a loyal fan yet and that 200 can buy something else. E.g a cooler fete ticket – respectfully, bandwagonist who likes to fete

  10. The stadium can hold 25,000 but he is proud to set a goal of attracting 12,000 to 15,000 fans.

  11. They trying to make a dollar off the girls after they leave them hungryyy in Texas allyuh kno dem now, shame on ttff.

  12. Moot…this argument is…and keeps going round and round…hear this…I think all the people who say ‘$100 is not much and people does spend much more on Carnival’ should sponsor some minimum wagers tix for this game…you know…because they CLEARLY can afford it….but in all seriousness, I do agree with Lasana Liburd, it is more about the principle than the price…and I wholeheartedly applaud Maylee Johnson’s public critcism…she is standing up for her fans, the 12th man…it is the least she could do, in spite of potential risk of victimisation. And as some have mentioned…if we could be sure those gate receipts would be lining the girls’ pockets, we would shell out that much and more, probably.
    Honestly though, this no food and drink madness has got to be reversed…say no glass bottles…because honestly I feel l just might pelt one at any TTFF persons, if someone would point them out to me at the game….they want to sell food to me in styrofoam containers and plastic bottles I am sure…and I will not buy that…so I guess I will have to make sure I eat and drink before I go there! You know even in the cinema they let you bring your own water, right? So this amounts to a human rights violation that I cannot bring my own water….TTFF, please, get with the program!

  13. Lol. Touche Tony. I’m referring to the 4,000 fans who watched the women play in the Caribbean Cup.

  14. This is a game that i ain’t missing…. Our ladies need our support… As for the TTFA. SMH….. A bunch of Jacket AND TIE criminals….. seriously??/??? Dont be suprised if the TTFA screw our national team over again…. 19000,12000, 1000. 0r even 3…. i believe our women can reach the top on the grandest stage of all…..

  15. Kind sir I was not comparing women’s football to men’s I was simply stating that if we couldn’t full the stadium for a friendly with new Zealand and the cost of the tickets was about the same price also on a day during the week, how do they expect to do same on this occasion, said that to say this, at the end of the day which is more important the money made or the support for the team!

  16. Lasana, who are these “supporters” that are being exploited. Are you referring to the people who will be seeing these ladies play for the first time?

  17. I feel I gonna be saying Again. Again. Again with this thread yes lemme go an sleep.

  18. Again, it isn’t the price. It is the principle.
    The TTFA tried to say it had not choice but to charge a premium price as it was a FIFA play Off. Good thing I found out the ticket price while in Ecuador eh?
    When I mentioned that the response was: That was there and this is here.
    It all seems a bit ad hoc. Particularly from a body that doesn’t produce audited statements.

  19. Again it’s not about who can afford it! Its about getting people there! Tell me someone getting minimum wage paying rent can afford it an I’ll hush my mouth.

  20. Ian R Briggs that is precisely it. Anthony Sherwood, you don’t set prices solely based on if people can afford it. And it actually is wrong to try to exploit your supporters because you think you can wring a few extra dollars out of them.
    Following that thinking, Jack Warner was right to sell a package worth $9,000 at $40,000 for the 2006 World Cup and put an ad saying: Ticket or Leave It.
    That is the kind of disrespect people are happy with.
    In other countries, laws are in place to stop club owners from simply hiking the price when they see an opportunity. But we are so accustomed to abuse here that we think it is perfectly fine for them to hit us a big price because it is an important match.
    Taxpayers have funded this team all the way. Whether you are a football fan, bandwagonist or whatever, you have already contributed to this team.
    It is not like the TTFA developed this product from scratch and trying to reap the rewards of that.

  21. Who in TnT cannot afford a 100 TT? Come nah man. No KFC 4 a week and they will be there.

  22. I think people still missing the point. Its not about who can afford it, its about getting more people there but zwooshhhh fly over everybody head..

  23. This is not Carnival, which delivers on a tremendous experience and has demand as well. We should look beyond this comparison.

  24. before you do anything about pricing you have to decide what is the motive and driver behind the event…. every business wants to make a profit… but in this instance shouldn’t the motive be support for one of the more dedicated teams that Trinidad has produced in years and not profit?……… in a one-off winner take all game, trying to make a profit cannot be your driver for determining ticket prices especially if your pricing for prior games were not driven by demand…… the strategy may work because Trinis are still bleeding hearts for REAL talent and fight… but the pricing strategy is not built on sound business logic and is playing on the emotional sentiment of the footballing public towards the girls …quite frankly EXTORTION …. and ANYBODY who feel because a man who pay $600+ for a fete or $4000 for a costume are not fully comprehending the meaning of value… Just because I can pay $300 does not mean I WANT to pay $300 for a product if I believe I will not get $300 worth of value…. and the fact that people actually using this type of logic is a probable indicator as to how TTFA came up with the pricing structure in the 1st place…( possible excerpt from TTFA pricing meeting)….”Man does pay $600 for all inclusive and pay Tribe and dem plenty money to play mas…. so leh we hit dem a small $300…. dat is small money dem aint go feel it” …”hmmmm… that sound like a plan…$300 it is”…..

  25. To be honest, I thought the price would hv been higher…$100/$200 TT to witness history in the making is not that much to ask…actually I’m more concerned about the logistics of getting inside the Stadium…T&T vs New Zealand was a nightmare – car park in the Stadium empty but the Rasta at the entrance blanking everyone – guy pulled up in a Range and they were scampering to open the gates. $100 dollars – come on. After eventually finding a parking spot about a mile away, I mentioned to the same Rasta that I once broke my leg playing for T&T, he said” that is ur problem padnah.” Ticket price – small thing, logistics and customer service at the venue – that will be the real story!

  26. The ppl who are complaining about the ticket prices are the same ones who will pay thousands for a carnival costume or pay thrice the ticket cost for an all inclusive fête !

  27. personally i have no problem with the price, however if im looking at it from Maylee Johnson position, it’s a tuesday, its xmas time, so already they 0 for 2 cause NEVER has a weekday game sold out with the exception i think of the games the men played against Mexico & Bahrain. The men played New Zealand during the week and if there was a thousand ppl that was plenty. so why not drop the price abit to encourage ppl to come out and throw their support, not because u want to cater to the wagonists but because u trying to pack the stadium with both sets of fans to show these ladies that everyone is behind them. also wht couldve been done is sell tickets and include jerseys with numbers as part of a package if you wanted to just make money, cause im sure ppl who spend $600 or more for club jerseys here would jump on tht.

  28. Clearly for there to be major discussions on price points says something. Nowhere in todays game does women football command equally with the mens game; not in wages, attendance or media rights. So the mere fact that one could use a previous T&T Mens qualifier as their explanation, defies simple reason and logic. You cannot sell meaningful sport packages without an atmosphere (Cricket World Cup ?), so the “short sighted” decision to risk a “sell out” crowd shows a lack of strategic vision as qualification to the Women’s World Cup provides a far greater platform and benefits in the long run. Lastly, such a decision can alter the teams performance as it appears as though the “twelveth man” is in jeopardy, reason for the Captain to speak out (they do not have representation to speak on their behalves). One also wonders if the coach stormed into the offices wondering why those decisions were made without his “strategic” input. Only time will tell ! Lasana Liburd Kester Lendor Anthony Sherwood Brent Sancho Brent Bennett Maylee Johnson Ian R Briggs

  29. Fulton Wilson – nothing will happen now with the full glare of publicity. Wait until this is all over and check. It is only when this team was on the verge of qualifying that people began to take interest.

    Having said that, I would like to be wrong. I just know how petty and vindictive these characters can be. It would not be the first time something like that happened.

  30. You don’t something once and get an immediate response Kester Lendor. That would be the very definition of a quick fix. Nothing good happens like that in life.

  31. Lasana I too was in J’ca for that WC qualifier in 2001 where there was a concert b4 the game and at half time. As was expected we copied that and our next games there were concert type performances featuring some artists. This did not seem to induce more folks to attend games because as far as i can remember there was no spike in attendance after this.

  32. Hey guys thanks for the discussion…..and Debbie ah looking for yuh on Dec 2 if not lock down in d office….

  33. Apples and oranges. Why defer attention from the real issue with talk about all inclusive fetes, cigarettes and Shakers on the Ave. If people have money who the hell are we to tell them how to spend it. I thought this conversation was about the mistreatment these Women have experienced from the start of their campaign. They fought tooth and nail in every match leading up to this final with everything that was not thrown at them. Maylee herself said after their games, including practice sessions, they had to pool together to buy food drinks etc while the Administrators flying high everywhere some boasting that they only fly first class. Personally i have no problem paying the $100. or $200. if i were confident the players/ game will benefit from it but that ent happening because they bound to find a reason to say they buss or some other crap so they can pocket the money. And corporate Tnt has seen this happen over and over again. Hence the reason for their hesitance in sponsoring anything to do with this administration and i cannot blame them. To Maylee and Team mates i say hats off to you. Doh study the leeches. You gave it your all in every game despite all your adversities and am confident you will do so come Dec 2nd because you’re genuinely doing this for pride and love of Country. I sincerely hope and pray that you all get the desired support. God willing My Husband and i will be there regardless. Good luck!

  34. Clearly TTFA doesn’t have a clue….$100 and $200 tickets? Sometimes I wonder why we are saddled with these nincompoops. In this case the mean will never justify the end result.

  35. Maximus Dan had problems getting paid and felt he was treated with discourtesy. At least that was his feeling at the time.

  36. I saw Maximus Dan perform at a game. Wonder why he stop? Wait I imagine a whole team getting $500 and it clearer.

  37. I went to a normal Jamaica World Cup qualifier once and there was a two hour show before the game with live entertainers. And you’re talking about Beenie Man and so on. Not a lame house DJ.
    And in Trinidad? Artistes probably don’t even want to show up because of the past mistreatments.
    Then the TTFA will be quick to say that people in Jamaica pay X amount so Trinis should too.
    Fay Ann Lyons is actually an excellent footballer. I bet she could have been national material if she wanted it enough.
    If the administration knew what they were doing and treated people right, she could have been pumping up the crowd before kick off. And the place would have been full and lively.
    The TTFA seems to be a one-trick pony. Leak the taxpayers directly or indirectly.

  38. All that they could do. Marketing! Add that same event at the end or even a lil concert at a discount price for all who attend..

  39. We, Trinis, have greater loyalty to the promoters of breakfast fêtes than to the T&T National Football teams. $200 entrance fee is joke to the amount of TTD$ each Trini spends ‘in total’ to enter and partake in a breakfast fête.

  40. Really disappointed about the price… but it was expected… Trinidadians take anything and we won’t stand for nothing…. but no cooler and my child not free in covers… geez!

  41. After my daughter and her friends nearly got smothered to death while we were getting into the stadium in 2006 (took us about 2 hours to get in) I too have hardly ventured forth for any big game. There was absolutely no concern paid towards the fans who were trying to get into the stadium and there would have been mass casualties had any emergency arisen. We have a long way to go!

  42. The stadium was full for the final qualifier in the build up to the 2006 World Cup. It was not full for Bahrain because they rose the price further.
    And it was not full for Latapy’s farewell game against Peru or for England’s visit. Those were all instances when greed lost out.
    You cannot overshoot your market. And you will pay eventually if you make fans feel you are exploiting them.
    There are many people who said they refused to go to a national game for years after Nov 19. Because they felt cheated.

  43. The current TTFA doesn’t do audited statements. Not one since Tim Kee took charge.
    I mean who would make someone with such a record their treasurer. Ahmm… Ooops.

    • What do you mean by “audited statements”? Because an ‘audit’ could only come from an objective, independent 3rd party reviewer. To engage any such reputable reviewer is expensive. If the insinuation however, is that the TTFA under Tim Kee hasn’t provided financial reports outlining all revenues streams and expenditures then you are wrong.

        • That is about all yuh could do… you just not used to people challeging you on the lies and halftruths yuh does be telling. Criticize them where criticism is due, but this brand of yellow journalism is disgusting now.

          • Lasana Liburd

            I’m being called yellow by someone who hides behind the pseudonym “Bakes”. Chalk that up as one of the delicious ironies in life.
            Your two points are that you dislike me saying the TTFA is not financially transparent and the prices are not unprecedented.
            Yet you concede that the TTFA has not audited its books once in two years under Tim Kee and that the price is indeed unprecedented in the women’s game and I clearly said it wasn’t for men’s football.
            You flatter yourself if you think you annoy me. If that is your intention, you might as well run along and do something useful with your time.

  44. Because you are one of the few who are really either a football fan or a sports fan….there are few, the stadium hold on average 23,000 ppl, no club team could attract half of that……when last was the stadium was at capacity for any sport…….1989?

  45. New book suggestion. How to Alienate Fans and Lose Money for Dummies.

  46. Gee wonder why I pay to see football then

  47. From a marketing stand point if ppl go out and support sports then sponsors will get on board knowing fully well that their product is being seen. One of the main reasons business rather donate than sponsor is because we have no sports fans in T&T……