BY SPNW Staff 05:30PM 08/06/2013

Dempsey inspires Clink sellout against Timbers

Latest confirmation that Clint Dempsey is kind of a big deal is that the Sounders have sold out the entire CenturyLink seating manifest for the new star’s home debut Aug. 25 against Portland. The Sounders said Tuesday they will expand capacity to include 400 additional upper-level bleachers and standing room only.

The expanded seating is a first for a Sounders MLS match.

For two other games, Sept. 13 against Real Salt Lake and Oct. 27 vs. the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Sounders have created a two-match ticket package. The tickets are available 1-877-MLS-GOAL or online at SoundersFC.com.

The Sounders again lead the league in attendance for a fifth consecutive year at more than 40,000 a game. As of Aug. 1, attendance was up 2.8 percent in 2013, while MLS overall was down three percent.

Dempsey, captain of the U.S. Men’s National Team, was lured back from a six-year stay in the English Premiership by the Sounders’ offer of a $24 million deal over 3½ years, plus a $9 million transfer fee to Tottenham Hotspur. His first game with the Sounders is Saturday in Toronto. The Sounders play Aug. 17 in Houston before the home match with the Cascadia Cup rival.


YourThoughts

  • RadioGuy

    Kudos to the Sounders for how well they’ve been able to sell their product and doing the very un-MLS thing by keeping top domestic players in the USA. Most really good Americans have to go overseas to make top dollar so we’re left with what are generally developmental-level teams augmented by some imported talent.

    Don’t believe me? Here’s what Thierry Henry (who knows a thing or two about top-flight soccer) was quoted as saying earlier this year in the Deseret News:

    “If you’re in any other league in the world, you keep your good players. Not in this league,” said Henry in an interview with MLSSoccer.com. “It is an American way of dealing with things, salary cap, draft, trade. In Europe, we don’t do that. In Europe, if you perform for your team, you’re sure of staying. But here it’s different and if you want to be compared to some of the big leagues in Europe, something has to be changed. I don’t know what, but something has to be changed.”

    They’re changing it in Seattle, but the Sounders are an anamoly.

    • art thiel

      Garber and MLS owners have to exercise restraint in growing the league faster than the audience. It’s a chicken-or-egg question, but the old NASL went down in flames because it spent before the audience was there. TV ratings don’t justify yet raising the $3M salary cap.

      The Dempsey signing will be looked upon years from now as a breakthrough episode. But at the moment Seattle was the only market outside of LA that could have done the deed.

  • Hammtime

    Let’s not forget last year (without Dempsey) the last game against Portland had 66,452.

    • Hammtime

      Also, does anyone know what the largest crowd CD played in front of in the EPL was?

      • Kirkland

        Probably the usual 67K in Manchester United.