Boosters who purchased fan packages for the soccer game between Manchester City and Liverpool on July 30 at Yankee Stadium got an unwelcome surprise when they discovered they received Liverpool scarves instead of the Man City scarves they were expecting.
New York-based event promoter Relevent Sports offered fan packs that include seats in the supporters' section for the selected team, an oversized commemorative ticket, a lanyard and a team scarf. Liverpool supporters did not fare better, receiving vouchers for a Manchester City scarf redeemable at the stadium on game day.
Man City supporter Tom Komaromi of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., said he was really excited when the three fan packs he ordered arrived. "Then I opened the box, and saw that red. ..."
Added Victoria McPeak of Las Vegas, who ordered a fan pack for her husband, Cliff, who is a Liverpool fan: "It is pretty close to being worst-case scenario."
The $99-per-ticket packages were scheduled to be shipped around July 1, but many fans did not receive the packages until this week and then discovered the error. In addition, no one who spoke to The Times had received a lanyard.
Benjamin Spencer, Relevent Sports' director of communications, said the company worked with outside vendors on fulfilling the orders and they had not yet determined how the mix-up occurred. "The most important thing is this did not live up to the very high standards we set for a fan experience regardless of how it happened, and we are working with fans to make it right."
Spencer said he is not sure how many orders were affected by the mix-up, but dozens of people reported the problem on social media. He said the sales team is getting back to customers as quickly as possible with instructions on what to do. Those affected have been told to bring the Liverpool scarves and Manchester City scarf vouchers to the game and they will be exchanged for the correct item.
"It actually made me feel better it wasn't just me," Komaromi said of the mix-up, although he added he's not excited about the prospect of carrying a rival's scarf around on game day. "I was thinking I could bring them in a paper bag."
McPeak said she and her husband had to change travel plans and, much to his disappointment, he will not be able to attend the game. "We basically have a $100 certificate for a Man City scarf," she said.
The match is part of the International Championship Cup, a second-year tournament being played across the U.S and Canada that includes top European clubs. This year's field includes Real Madrid, AC Milan, AS Roma, Olympiacos, Inter Milan and Manchester United as well as Manchester City and Liverpool.