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MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

Ticket sales for Sounders-Timbers surpass 66,000

MLSSB032520110172

By JOSE M. ROMERO

One of, if not the hottest, soccer tickets in the world is in Seattle this weekend, where the Sounders will host their biggest Cascadia rivals the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

Ticket sales have surpassed 66,000 for the match, according to a Seattle Times report. CenturyLink Field, already the site of some of the largest soccer crowds for any match in the sport's American history, will be packed once again. And this time, for a regular-season match between a playoff team, the Sounders, and a team just trying to finish the MLS season on an upbeat note, the Timbers. 

A sellout, the Sounders first-ever capacity crowd at the downtown stadium, is expected. The crowd will break the record for the largest at a Sounders match — 64,140 came to say goodbye to Kasey Keller last October — and will push the mark for the largest crowd for any soccer match in Seattle history. That was 67,052 against Manchester United last summer. 

The Sounders won't get to the record for the largest crowd at any MLS match ever — 69,225 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., to see the inaugural L.A. Galaxy match — but Sunday's crowd could move into second place all-time.

Sunday's game (9 p.m. ET on ESPN) will be at least the sixth match seen live by at least 60,000 fans in Seattle alone. Crowds of 60,000-plus have also turned out for friendlies against FC Barcelona and Chelsea (2009) and earlier this year against the Galaxy.

The Cascadia championship is also on the line. A win for the Timbers will clinch the regional trophy given to the team with the most points among Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, despite the Timbers' underachieving season. If the Sounders win, they'll leapfrog into first place in the Cascadia Cup standings with nine points from six matches against Portland and Vancouver.  

80 comments
  • Me

    I think the point is that the cap puts sufficient restrictions on salary to make your margin of error with players that much smaller. You have to make your payroll count, or you will end up like TFC.

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  • Me

    I cross 3 rivers and a mountain range to go to Sounders games. I know a guy with season tickets who lives in Eastern Oregon and drives five and a half hours to go to games.

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  • whoop-whoop

    Beautiful city, well run franchise, nice stadium, great support. As a Galaxy fan, I am highly encouraged and optimistic about MLS and the game in the country….. developments in the PNW play no small part in this. Big ups from a soccer fan first.

    (to the above…… for the love of the game, and yourplayers, natural grass needs to be addressed… it just plays to big a role in the game itself not to…. small gripe at this point in the game though.)

    Like

  • Thatpageguy

    Soccer is headed for the big time. Now if only the mainstream press would pay attention. I’m a Galaxy fan and get the LA Times and their coverage of the Galaxy and Chivas USA is pretty pathetic. Much of the time for away games they’ll rely on AP for stories of their games, sometimes they don’t even report things like US Open cup games. And this is one of the better newspapers in the country, but their sports editor is myopic. This is all too common for US papers.

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  • Charles

    Why would they pay rent, the stadium was built for them and they have played there more games than anyone using the stadium ?

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  • Irrlicht

    The editors grew up with Football, baseball, hockey… think if soccer got the same ink/pixels even as hockey it would make a huge difference

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  • Turd Bradley

    Hello Turds-

    The turf does totally suck. What is stopping them from at least putting in grass when its not nfl season? You think with all the money in seattle they could afford to make grass work. I am sure nfl players would prefer grass too.

    Still even with the turf, 66k, makes me so proud.

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  • OneLegged

    Century Link is an awesome stadium. Why change?

    Fwiw even though timbers army ticket allotments were capped,any timbers fans could still buy tickets on the open market. There were no geographical restrictions placed on the sales. If the timbers wanted to send 10k, they could have.

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  • OneLegged

    Stadium landscapers tell us it would take 6 months for grass to “root” properly. Since there is not a 6 month period where Century Link isn’t being used, there isn’t time to lay down grass between seasons and other events.

    All this is besides the fact 3 major sports teams are currently using the stadium; grass would never hold up to that abuse.

    I can understand players clamoring for grass surfaces but I’ve never understood why so many fans make such a big deal. The game is hardly unwatchable in Seattle.

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  • lassidawg

    I love all the people not from Seattle telling us what we would like.
    I really hate having a 5 to 10 minute walk if I take the bus. I really hate the stadium is in Downtown and there are so many places to pre funk. I really hate that it is load in the stadium.
    Someday US soccer will wise up and bring a match up here and realize playing against El Salvador on a good turf with a minimum of 36K being the majority USA fans will be better than playing at Rio Tinto. or other places (I use Rio Tinto because I went to that game) with a less than full stadium and half the crowd rooting for El Salvador.

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  • Dale Chihuly

    You must be nuts.. all of those convenient bars and places to party before and afterward.. ? 66K?
    I’ll take the burbs any day

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  • Knuckles

    I was actually with the ECS at the last match with my son, but neither of us had any problems at all. My season tickets are very close to the away supporters and we all have to use the same restroom. I’ve never seen or had any problems with them at all. The whole “hostility” thing is way overblown, mostly on the part of the various supporters groups that have a few boneheads that think they’re hooligans.

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  • Knuckles

    I’m guessing (and this is purely a guess, no insider information or anything) that in terms of organized support, there will probably be somewhere between 1500-2000 PDX fans. Now, how many will be scattered throughout the stadium? There I couldn’t tell you.

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  • Kejsare

    You need to look up “multnomah stadium flood” on google images. The first image is what naturally happened in the past, and you think grass will do any better so close to the water table?

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  • Knuckles

    I’ve read a lot of really stupid comments on various forums throughout the years, but that might be the capper.

    People go to Sounders games because they love soccer, not because the tickets are cheap and they’ve got nothing better to do.

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  • Knuckles

    As much as I hope the Sounders crush the Timbers beneath their collective bootheel, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    +1000000

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  • Knuckles

    Jesus. Go read the freaking Wikipedia page, or the Century Link website. The stadium was built *for* soccer as well as football. It’s been that way since the very first design stages.

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  • Knuckles

    Get over it. It most likely never will. And the only people who give a damn are from somewhere else.

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  • Knuckles

    CenturyLink’s turf needs to be replaced annually, with the cost shared by both the Sounders and the Seahawks (the Huskies should be chipping in as well, right now).

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  • whoop-whoop

    Easy there knuckles. Tad bit defensive perhaps? It ain’t keeping me up at night, believe me. However, the Sounders players DO give a damn. As temporary residents, I guess you count them as not from there or I guess they aren’t important, I mean after all afterall, they only have to perform on the shite, right?

    What does Hanaur think? Seems to me he gives a damn. “For sure the turf is an issue, there’s no getting around it,” said Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer. “We’re certainly actively looking at a lot of different alternatives.”.

    And anyone who watches a game and has a scintilla of knowledge of the game can’t help but notice it.

    There are lots of calls to have the USMNT play there regularly…. if you count yourself as one of those, you should care, because until the turf is gone, it ain’t going to happen. Personally, with that change, I think it would be awesome. I’d buy a ticket tomorrow.

    As I said above… lots of admiration for the Club, but there is always room for improvement. 1 star turf is a good place to start. Cheers.

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  • RAMONE

    LOL.

    I always think it is funny when people mistake SSS for a 25k seat stadium.

    Sure, the Clink is oversized for most of S#ittle’s games and would be a little silly if they were only getting crowds on the order New England or Chivas … but they are not, they lead the league in attendance. DCU COULD rival them as RFK is capable of holding many more than what they open up (they put 50someK in there for WC’94 right?). Same with New England as their stadium COULD hold this 65+K too. But neither of those teams get anywhere near those numbers, not even half of Seattle numbers – which is why building a 25k stadium which is purpose built makes sense for them. Why would Seattle go out and build another 45,000 seat stadium when they already have a SSS that is a little too big but not cavernously empty like other places.

    Portland undershot big time when they re-did the stadium. Much of that had to do with political pressure and money (there are still Portlanders bitching and moaning about the City spending $22 million on a facility it owns to make it a SSS while Paulson kicked in $38 million himself to upgrade a facility he doesn’t even own). The other issue was space given that the stadium is surrounded on all 4 sides by city streets and an existing large building that isn’t going anywhere. The city is making 6% ticket taxes and it penciled out to pay off the bonds if the Timbers averaged 14k fans a game. Instead they have over 20k a game, 14,500 season ticket holders with a waiting list now over 7,000 for season tix. They could have easily put in another 10,000 seats and been fine (though I suspect just under selling out right now if it was a 30k stadium given the horror show of a season).

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  • Andy

    Can’t wait to go to a game there some day! Love that we have this kind of spectacle in the MLS finally.

    Like

  • RAMONE

    So, anyone who has paid attention realizes that every single stadium in the NW US is turf. Luckily it isn’t the old style flat indoor/outdoor brillo pad that we used to have. The reason is simply the temperatures, rain and American football.

    JeldWen used to have grass and it was always a mud bowl with the exception of mid-summer and then nobody played on it while it was being rehabbed. It has long since been rumored that OJ Simpson would have won 2 Heisman’s if not for a #1 USC 3-0 loss at Oregon State in 1967 when the grass field better resembled a hog pen than a football field and neither team could do anything but fumble and fall down all day long.

    Portland shares JWF with Portland State’s football team. The floor of the stadium is built below the water table (there is a creek running through it which is channeled into a pipe right under the playing surface). The City owns the stadium, not the Timbers and PSU football isn’t going anywhere. There is literally almost zero chance that ownership arrangement will change due to the contract signed when the MAC club sold the stadium to the city (they have to sell it back to the MAC club if they ever sell it).

    Same issues in Seattle with the Seahawks playing there. NW weather doesn’t really dry out and the grass doesn’t really start growing until about mid June. You’d have to play on turf until then, put in temporary grass for about 10 weeks, then pull it out again when the Seahawks started tearing it up and the fall weather came around again making it a mud pit. That isn’t long enough for a real grass pitch to mature and be a reasonable surface.

    Vancouver essentially has a semi-indoor stadium where you’d have to put in some multimillion dollar growing system for grass to remain. The temporary grass fields that were brought into JWF for the women’s world cup and a WCQ in the 90s, to the Silverdome in 1994 were poor surfaces – arguably worse than turf.

    I do find it funny how many people complain about turf. Is it the same? No. But modern turf is light years better than the artificial turfs I played on in the 70s and 80s – those were flat and felt like an abrasive dish pad when you went down on them.

    MLS and the NW franchises have a lot better places to spend their money (better players, better players, better players) than spending millions and millions on elaborate drainage systems, grow lights and building new stadiums for Football teams so they don’t come tear up the grass.

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  • ryan

    with an unbalanced schedule, away-ticket allocation was also unbalanced:

    Seattle had two games at VAN and PDX…each time, the home team gave us 750 seats, which equals 1500. that’s why the official allocation to PDX is 1500, as it was for VAN last month. that makes it even. however, i bet there are around 3000 Timbers fans there, much like there were more than 1500 ‘Caps fans in Seattle.

    GO SOUNDERS GO!

    Like

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