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Clint Dempsey’s home debut in Seattle: SOLD OUT

Aug 6, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT

Clint Dempsey didn't exactly flourish for Seattle, but he certainly made a big splash with his ballyhooed move from the Premier League back into MLS. Clint Dempsey didn't exactly flourish for Seattle, but he certainly made a big splash with his ballyhooed move from the Premier League back into MLS.

It will be interesting to see if the Sounders reconsider their thinking on seating around CenturyLink as the Clint Dempsey effect demonstrates its ongoing influence at the gate.

The Sounders have always resisted the urge to open up more seats, careful to retain the benefit of “demand,” even if it is artificially created.

The calculation ahead is fairly straight-forward: Can the far-and-away MLS attendance leaders consistently generate even more ticket revenue by opening additional seating areas? We know this for doggone sure: they can sell plenty for one big, massive, humdinger of an evening.

The humdinger in question is, of course, the U.S. international’s home debut. The Sounders play twice on the road, at Toronto this weekend and at Houston a week later, before home fans get a chance to see their new money man in person on CenturyLink turf.

And that bad boy, on Aug. 25, is already sold out.  It’s the “big” sellout, too, as the full upper deck is open plus additional seating being added. All that means 66,000-plus.

It’s not just the ballyhooed DP Deuce Debut (high-priced lawyers are trademarking that as we speak), it’s a Cascadia Cup contest against rival Portland as well.

CenturyLink is already the site of the second-largest stand-alone MLS crowd in 18 seasons; a crowd of 66,452 roared in the Pacific Northwest last fall for another Sounders-Timbers contest there.

The MLS stand-along record (that is, a match that was not part of an international doubleheader) is 69,255 for the Galaxy-New York match in 1996.

Here’s what Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said during Monday’s news conference on the CenturyLink seating matter going forward: “We’ll take it day by day, kind of see and get through this initial period and go into a deep dive with the business group and figure out the best way to monetize this, but because the reality is that generating some additional revenue would be good to defray some of the costs. But we’re a little too close to know exactly how we’ll do it.”

  1. phootsies - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    When is this game?

  2. hildezero - Aug 7, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Didn’t you read the article?

  3. charliej11 - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    It should be pointed out that they had already sold over 55k to this game WAY before Clint, but yes there was huge demand after too.
    Seattle has just taken it slow with the goal of trying to keep upping attendance every year, the four games where they opened the whole upper bowl this year was part of that plan to get attendance to the mid 40s average.

    The question really is how much demand is there for next year. If they had won the MLS Cup three years ago, I think they would close to sell outs every game. Others who have been fans for 30+ years too, think more like 50k, that is a big discrepancy.

    My second question is when does the rest of the nation catch up and quit whining about soccer in the US….Seriously. It has been 40-50 years of building now…can you whiners stop soon?

  4. charliej11 - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    Someone else has to find it funny they are ADDING the standing room only seats to a Sounder’s game, where almost no one has sat for five seasons now.

    • busterhawkins - Aug 7, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Someone else has to find it funny they are ADDING seats to an NFL stadium for an MLS regular season game.

  5. drywells - Aug 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Seattle area–highest % of college grads/highest % of libraries/highest % of soccer fans in the country.

  6. hildezero - Aug 7, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    No. That’s not funny.

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