As was predicted when single-game tickets first went on sale in February, the Seattle Sounders will host five full-stadium games in 2016. The news was formally announced last week and tickets for the "five-match pack" went on sale today.
While not necessarily shocking news, it is still notable as this will be the one more full-stadium regular-season game than the Sounders hosted in 2015. The Sounders also hosted five full-stadium games during the 2014 regular season, but actually saw an average attendance decrease from the previous season due in large part to lackluster numbers in those games. "Only" one of the five full-stadium games in 2014 drew more than 56,000 and those games averaged "just" 54,933.
Part of the problem in 2014 was probably the quality of the opponents, as the Sounders drew fewer than 50,000 for an early season match against the San Jose Earthquakes and just a few more than that for a match against the Houston Dynamo. In the 15 other full-stadium games in Sounders history, they've drawn at least 53,000.
The opponents and dates for this year's full-stadium games suggest this year's games will be a better draw. The first two full-stadium games will be against star-studded New York City FC (June 25) and LA Galaxy (July 31). Those will be followed by Cascadia Cup encounters against the Portland Timbers (Aug. 21) and Vancouver Whitecaps (Sept. 17). The final full-stadium game will be the regular-season finale against Real Salt Lake (Oct. 23).
In order to break their own attendance record, the Sounders will likely have to draw a bit more than 55,000 per match for the five full-stadium games. They averaged 57,254 in their four full-stadium games last year.