The Sounders have already sold-out the 66,500-seat capacity at CenturyLink Field for Sunday’s 7 p.m. rivalry game against the Portland Timbers.
That means Seattle will set a franchise record for attendance in an MLS game, which was previously the 66,452 that attended last year’s 3-0 home win against the Timbers on Oct. 7, 2012.
The largest crowd the Sounders have ever had is the 67,052 for a friendly against Manchester United on June 20, 2011. That record appears in reach with the team adding additional bleacher seats, standing-room only tickets, plus the attendance in the stadium’s suites.
The largest crowd in CenturyLink Field history is 68,331 for a Seahawks game against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 12, 2007, thought I don’t think that mark is in danger.
The largest crowd for a stand-alone game in MLS history is the 69,255 that attended the Los Angeles Galaxy’s first home game at the Rose Bowl on April 13, 1996. That record also does not appear in reach due to capacity issues, but the Sounders will set a new mark for second place Sunday.
In fact, after the weekend Seattle will boast three of the five largest crowds for a stand-alone game in league history.
Here was coach Sigi Schmid earlier in the week on CenturyLink Field actually being too small for a regular-season game: “It’s a good problem to have. You never would’ve thought that as you started into the career of the Sounders in their second reincarnation here, in MLS. Now to realize that might’ve been the case. Maybe you could’ve sold 75,000 for this week. It’s a fantastic feeling to have.”
Here is a chart from the Sounders on the largest soccer crowds in Seattle history:
* * *
|67,052||July 20, 2011||Sounders FC vs. Manchester United (friendly)|
|66,848||Aug. 5, 2009||Sounders FC vs. Barcelona (friendly)|
|66,830||Aug. 9, 2006||Real Madrid vs. DC United (friendly)|
|66,722||July 22, 2003||Manchester United vs. Celtic (friendly)|
|66,452||Oct. 7, 2012||Sounders FC vs. Portland (MLS)|
|65,289||July 18, 2009||Sounders FC vs. Chelsea (friendly)|
|64,140||Oct. 15, 2011||Sounders FC vs. San Jose (MLS)|
|60,908||Aug. 5, 2012||Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy (MLS)|
|58,218||April 9, 1976||Sounders vs. New York (NASL)|
|56,416||April 16, 2008||Mexico vs. China (friendly)|