Luis Bueno of the Press Enterprise doesn't think the Pan Pacific Championship will live past its inaugural season. Not in Hawaii, anyway. While the four-game tournament provided plenty of action and plenty of goals, attendance was abysmal. Saturday's doubleheader, which pitted David Beckham the L.A. Galaxy against Sydney FC, and J-League cup holder Gamba Osaka against two-time MLS Champ Houston Dynamo, drew just 23,087 fans. This might have been a record for soccer in Hawaii, but it was a tremendous disappointment for a match involving Beckham at a big stadium.
"It is perhaps the only time we've ever had a David Beckham game that was not sold out," MLS commissioner Don Garber told the Honolulu Advertiser. "That surprised us a bit because we've been around the world, throughout Asia, to small markets in the U.S. that don't have MLS teams, so to play tonight and Wednesday night to a less-than-sold out crowd is unusual for the Galaxy and probably unusual to David Beckham."
Bueno says that if the tournament makes it to a second year -- and judging by Garber's disappointment it may not -- a venue change would be in order. In the past, both Japan and Australia have delivered huge turnouts for preseason friendlies involving Beckham.