It’s not very often that a crowd of 38,500 seems pedestrian. That’s exactly what happened on Sunday night when the Seattle Sounders hosted the Portland Timbers. Despite the match being nationally televised (ESPN) and one of the clubs being completely out of playoff contention, an astounding 66,452 fans packed CenturyLink Field to full capacity for a heated rivalry match.
Sunday’s attendance figure made the Seattle – Portland match the highest attended match of the 2012 season. Seattle also holds the second spot in this regard, as the club hosted 60,908 when the Los Angeles Galaxy came to town on August 5. Sunday’s match was also the second highest attended regular-season match in league history.
Buoyed heavily by this match, the 31st week of the 2012 Major League Soccer season registered a very healthy total figure of 244,106 and average of 22,191 per match.
When compared to the 30 other weeks of the season, this average figure ranked third.
A total of 303 matches have been played throughout the 31 weeks of this season, with a total of 5,650,882 fans making their way to MLS stadia. This is the largest regular-season total achieved in the history of the league, surpassing the 2011 season’s figure of 5,468,030. The 303 matches of this season have been played in front of crowds averaging 18,650 per match.
Los Angeles and Seattle collected the two sellouts of the week. An even 27,000 packed The Home Depot Center on Saturday to witness a 2-1 loss to visiting Real Salt Lake before Seattle posted its massive attendance figure in the Cascadia Cup match against Portland. (Keep in mind, the large capacity percentage figure for Seattle’s match is due to the fact that the Sounders play normal MLS matches under a soft cap of 38,500.)
Following the upcoming international break, Week 32 of the 2012 season begins on Wednesday, October 17 when Seattle hosts Real Salt Lake at 10 pm EST.