As Sounders 2 takes on UW in their third preseason scrimmage they do so making noise as a business entity. Already at 1600 season tickets sold, on Tuesday night they opened up sales for single match tickets.
The 1600 number is solid for season tickets by a lower league club, but leaves them with much ground to catch the leaders in USL. Last year that 1600 number would beat Orange County Blues, Charlotte Eagles, LA Galaxy II and the Dayton Dutch Lions. Dayton and Charlotte self-relegated to the PDL during the offseason. The Charlotte Independence replaced the Eagles.
Starfire will seat about 4,500 in 2015. Attendance will be somewhere between the current 1600 commitments and the 4,500 capacity, with the Cascadia games (4/11 and 7/24 against the Timbers; 3/29 and 8/8 against the Whitecaps) the most likely sellouts. Other possible full games could be the season opener against Sacramento on 3/21, LAG II on 6/11 and the final game of the season on 9/17.
Even if S2 sells out all 14 home games, they will not set attendance records like the first team. At the USL level, the top attendance team will likely be Sacramento Republic, which expanded Bonney Field this year from 8,000 to 10,000. In 2014 they averaged 11,293 tickets as they used Hughes Stadium for three matches, including a game with over 20,000 at their inaugural match. The median attendance in USL Pro last year was about 2400, so Starfire would have to average being about half full to be in the top half of the league.
Of course, S2's goals are not on a P&L statement. The team's purpose is player development and fan empowerment. Great fan support, of which Sounders supporters are known for, is just the icing on top.