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When Is A Crowd Not A Crowd?
Columbus Dispatch, July 18th, 2008 2:30PM

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There was an announced crowd for Thursday's MLS game between the Columbus Crew and the Kansas City Wizards of 16,117. But how many people were actually there?

Shawn Mitchell examines the discrepancy between the Crew's announced crowds, the number of people actually showing up for the games (that is, tickets scanned on the night), and the number of people paying for tickets -- the Crew this season has given away an average of 2,901 tickets per game. The numbers decrease in each category.

"Officially, the Crew has averaged 12,881 fans while going 5-2-1 at home," Mitchell wrote before Thursday's game. "In reality, an average of 9,638 people have had tickets scanned this season." It's policy for all MLS teams to do the same, and explains why games that have supposedly sold out have large sections of empty seating visible to TV viewers. Mitchell's instructive report is well worth reading in full.

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