The Seattle Sounders will open the Hawks Nest for the U.S. Open Cup final against the Chicago Fire. It's the first time those seats will be opened for a competitive match. (via upload.wikimedia.org)
With 30,000 tickets already sold, the Seattle Sounders announced on Wednesday that they will open the Hawks Nest for the U.S. Open Cup final on Oct. 4. It will be the first time the Sounders will have sold tickets in that portion of the north end for a competitive match. Tickets will sell for $17.
The Hawks Nest has the stadium's only bleacher-style seating and fits about 3,000 fans. The Sounders have elected to open those seats rather than sell tickets in the third deck, Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer told Sounder at Heart. In the original seating configuration, the Sounders fit 32,400 people into the stadium without opening the third level.
Fans have been clamoring for the Sounders to open the Hawks Nest almost ever since the Sounders started playing at CenturyLink Field. For the most part, the team has resisted opening those seats, partly because of the visible advertising they sold to XBox as part of their sponsorship agreement.
The Sounders have previously said they will open as many seats as demand warrants, but it will likely take another 5,000 pre-sales before the team seriously considers opening the third deck.