According to the Sounders, ticket sales for Wednesday’s friendly against Chelsea FC are at 49,000. Tickets are still available by calling 1-877-MLS-GOAL, online at SoundersFC.com or through a deal on LivingSocial (until about 5 a.m. Friday).
It’s not an overwhelmingly number but should reach the mid-50,000s, I’d think, by kickoff, which is hardly a figure to scoff at.
There are a couple possible explanations as to why the turnout won’t rival some of the bigger crowds we’ve seen at CenturyLink Field, even if the English visitors are the reigning UEFA Champions League winners.
First off, Chelsea came here three years ago, so there might be a little opponent fatigue. Secondly, we haven’t seen a travel roster, so there’s no guarantee the top stars will be available. Also, this fan base hasn’t wholly embraced the idea of midseason friendlies if it might affect actual competition.
As a comparison, the Sounders had sold 64,000 tickets a week before the Manchester United friendly last year. The game went on to set a Pacific Northwest attendance record for a soccer game at 67,052 (beating the 66,848 that watched Barcelona here in 2009).
* * *
What do you think of the ticket sales number? Are you going?