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Come One, Come All: Sounders Opening Most Of Stadium For Red Bulls Match

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UPDATE: Just received confirmation that the Hawks Nest will not be opened. Not really a huge surprise since it is currently used as a rather visual billboard, this is a national TV game and there's no way every seat in the house was going to be sold anyway.

Dave basically reported on this earlier in the week, but on Tuesday Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer confirmed that the Seattle Sounders will be essentially selling as many tickets as people want to buy for Thursday's match against the New York Red Bulls. The match was originally being marketed as part of a package deal that also got you a ticket to the July 20 friendly against Manchester United and the home finale against the San Jose Earthquakes.

As of Monday, more than 43,000 tickets had been sold for Thursday's match and Hanauer said he was expecting as many as 50,000 to show up. That put him in the rare position of actually pushing the product.

"Beautiful day, come out for the game," he said. "Hopefully the teams play some good soccer and 15,000 newly exposed fans go home with a win."

Unless the stadium miraculously fills its 67,000-seat capacity, this will not go down in the record books as one of the top attended games in MLS history though. The top 5 single-game attendances were, unsurprisingly, part of double-headers, either with national teams or big international clubs. But there are at least four other MLS games that drew more than 60,000 people, the biggest of which was the first-ever meeting of the Los Angeles Galaxy and the New York MetroStars in 1996 that was seen by 69,255 at the Rose Bowl. The next biggest game was David Beckham's Galaxy debut, which was played in front of more than 66,000 people at the Meadowlands.