The Women's World Cup bump has hit Seattle in a significant way. The Seattle Reign will be selling tickets in Memorial Stadium's south stand for Sunday's game against the Portland Thorns, the club announced on Thursday. The match was already anticipated to set a club record and the expanded seating will push capacity to about 6,500.
This is the second consecutive crowd of at least 5,000 for a Reign home match, with 5,778 showing up their last game against the Western New York Flash. That was about twice what they had been averaging this year. Prior to the Flash match, the only time the Reign had drawn more than 5,000 was for last year's home match against the Thorns which drew a crowd of 5,976. The Reign are expecting another big crowd for their next home match against the Houston Dash, as well.
This will mark the first time the Reign will be opening the south stands, though.
The decision to make extra tickets available came as the Reign were quickly running out of inventory, with only limited seats available by Thursday afternoon. The added capacity tickets will be "premium grandstand" and fans who already purchased that tier of tickets can request to be moved to the opposite side.
The Reign are currently one point behind the Chicago Red Stars for first place in the standings and this match will mark Megan Rapinoe's first appearance at Memorial since she and the United States won the Women's World Cup.