Sounders vs Portland is set to become the second biggest match in MLS history.
The Seattle Sounders announced on Tuesday via their official Twitter account that Clint Dempsey’s first game back in MLS is a sell out, with 66,800 tickets sold:
Sounders vs. Portland on August 25th is sold out. Scattered singles only available. 66,800 sold. Warned you yesterday, didn't we?
— EmeraldCitySupporter (@WeAreECS) August 6, 2013
It is a safe assumption to make that even more tickets could have been sold were it not for the fact that the Sounders’ Century Link Field has a maximum capacity of 67,000.
Should every fan who purchased a ticket attend the game, the attendance figure will be the second highest in the history of MLS. The figure currently sat in second is also one for a Sounders game, set on October 7th 2012, which coincidentally also took place against the Portland Timbers. It drew in 66,452 spectators.
The highest ever attendance for a MLS match may not be topped for some time. The second week of MLS’ debut season in 1996 saw the LA Galaxy draw an astonishing 69,255 for their game against the NY/NJ Metro Stars. This was largely made possible due to the Galaxy playing in the Rose Bowl at the time. The stadium, famous for the College Football game of the same name, could hold 92,542 at the time.
Whilst an impressive figure, the average attendance over the course of the 1996 season for the Galaxy was actually lower than that of the 2012 Sounders – 28,916 for the Galaxy vs and impressive 43,114 for the Sounders. Sounders’ 2012 average attendance is by far the highest in MLS history and, thanks to Dempsey’s presence, could well be bested in 2013 should the final quarter of the season continue in the style of his home debut.
Dempsey should be fit to face the Timers following a brief bout of illness, the forward completing his first full training session with his new teammates on Wednesday.