Don Ruiz checked in with Seattle Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer regarding ticket sales for Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal,
first-leg games in Seattle and Toronto.
The Sounders, who averaged 38,496 fans for league games last season, have sold "only" 18,500 tickets for their game against Santos Laguna quarterfinal on Wednesday.
“It’s just not of the American sports conscience at this point,” Hanauer said. “It’s going to take time. And so I think it’s beholden upon us to do whatever we can to educate and hopefully bring our fans along. Twenty-thousand-plus is still going to be one of the biggest crowds to see a Concacaf Champions League game in the U.S., so I think we have to keep that in mind. Would I hope for 30-, 40-, 50,000? Absolutely. Some day I think we’ll get there.”
Toronto, however, expects a crowd of more than 40,000 for its Concacaf clash with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Said Hanauer: “No disrespect intended, but they haven’t had a lot of big games in Toronto in recent years. They haven’t had playoff games ... they haven’t been in Champions League [knockout stage]. I think that’s one. Two, the Galaxy, I think, is a big opponent still. David Beckham draws fans. … And they’ve turned that into a special game because it is at Rogers Centre. But testament to that soccer market and what’s possible.”