If you're a fan of big soccer crowds, the next week is going to be quite a treat. The Seattle Sounders just announced that more than 50,000 tickets have already been sold for Saturday's game against the Vancouver Whitecaps (reminder: kick off has been moved to 7:30 p.m.). Just a few days later, a crowd that should be at least 35,000 strong will gather to watch the United States play Panama in a World Cup qualifier.
Suffice it to say, few North American soccer stadiums have ever hosted so many fans in such a short period of time.
I don't have an easy way of double-checking this, but I'm sure you'd have a hard time finding any such instances in which crowds that large have come together for two competitive matches in the United States.
It should also be said that having a crowd of 50,000-plus at the Sounders game is probably cutting into the ability for U.S. Soccer to sell out the 42,000-seat configuration for the qualifier. Add in the fact that tickets for the Sounders game can be had for as cheap as $15, while tickets in the same sections for the U.S. game are closer to $70 and it becomes less surprising that the attendance figure for that game is going to be a bit lower than many of us expected it to be.
Still, this is an impressive feat. To think that more than 80,000 fans are preparing to watch American teams is pretty remarkable. Why not make it closer to 90,000? Tickets for both games are still quite available.