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Unprecedented demand for USA-Mexico tickets
by Paul Kennedy, by Ridge Mahoney, August 2nd, 2013 3:30PM

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TAGS:  men's national team, mexico, mls, real salt lake, soccer business, television, world cup 2014

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By Paul Kennedy and Ridge Mahoney

Demand for tickets to the USA-Mexico World Cup 2014 qualifier on Sept. 10 in Columbus was, not surprisingly, unprecedented in U.S. national team history as more than twice as many requests for tickets were made than could be accommodated for the game, which is sold out.

The seating capacity at Columbus Crew Stadium for the game will be slightly more than 24,000. The crowd will include the largest organized supporters section in U.S. history with more than 9,000 members occupying 27 sections, which is more than three times larger than any group of organized supporters for a previous match.

Individuals who applied through the lottery phase were being informed on Friday via email whether they were selected or not to purchase tickets.

On the Monday night before the match, U.S. Soccer will host a pep rally with U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and select players at The Bluestone.

CONSTRUCTION RESUMES ON SLC COMPLEX. A ceremony was held Thursday in Salt Lake City to mark the official re-launch of construction on a sports complex that will include 16 soccer fields.

Mayor Ralph Becker and RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen were among those present at the ceremony, at which a gift of $7.5 million from Real Salt Lake that will complete funding of the project was accepted. The $22.8 million project, which was begun in 2010, had been halted by legal action.

The Jordan River Restoration Group sought to protect the site northwest of downtown as open space. It filed several suits to stop the project, the last of which was dismissed by the Utah Supreme Court in December.

A bond issue approved by voters in 2003 will provide $15.3 million to fund the Regional Athletic Complex, which is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2015. The complex will feature 16 fields suitable for soccer and other sports. One field includes bleachers, artificial turf, a scoreboard and concession facilities. Softball and baseball diamonds, which were part of the original design plans for a 160-acre site, could be added after the project is completed.

RSL opened its training site, America First Field, in March 2012. It is within a mile of Rio Tinto Stadium, which has been the team’s home field since October 2008.

BREAKAWAY IS BACK. The second edition of MLS Breakaway, in which multiple games are covered on NBC Sports Network, will be aired Saturday.

Following the broadcast of the Sporting Kansas City-New York Red Bulls match on NBCSN that kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET, a 90-minute studio show covering five other games will be presented. Those matches are: D.C. United-Montreal; Philadelphia-Chicago; Colorado-Real Salt Lake; Houston-Columbus; and San Jose-Chivas USA.

Steve Cangialosi (play-by-play) and Robbie Earle (analysis) will cover the SKC-Red Bulls game. John Strong hosts the studio program with analysts Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe.
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4 comments
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: August 2, 2013 at 6:26 p.m.
    USSF officials who selected Crew Stadium for the Mexico v USA qualifier have zero business sense. The Meadowlands site would have been perfect.

  1. Frank Cardone
    commented on: August 2, 2013 at 10:54 p.m.
    I disagree with I W Nowozeniuk re the NJ Meadowlands. We do not need big crowds. We have past that stage. It is no longer unusual for big soccer games to attracted crowds in excess of 50, 70, 70,000. What US Soccer needs now is wins, especially against Mexico. I would rather see our team be cheered on by 24,000 overwhelmingly USA fans than see them play in front of 80,000 at the Meadowlands, half of whom may be rooting for Mexico.

  1. Paul Roby
    commented on: August 3, 2013 at 10:36 a.m.
    Frank is absolutely right. US Soccer no longer schedules games against Concacaf opponents in cities with a large Hispanic population. We want a home game at home, not another Azteca, which is what NY-DC-LA etc. games turn out to be.

  1. Joy Hottington
    commented on: August 3, 2013 at 10:36 a.m.
    I'm not sure we'd want to play in front of 60k Mexican fans and 20k American fans. USSF knows that going to Brazil is the bigger prize here, not some extra revenue from a qualifier. It would not be 50-50 at the Meadowlands.


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