Ticket sales for Sounders-Timbers surpass 66,000



One of, if not the hottest, soccer tickets in the world is in Seattle this weekend, where the Sounders will host their biggest Cascadia rivals the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

Ticket sales have surpassed 66,000 for the match, according to a Seattle Times report. CenturyLink Field, already the site of some of the largest soccer crowds for any match in the sport's American history, will be packed once again. And this time, for a regular-season match between a playoff team, the Sounders, and a team just trying to finish the MLS season on an upbeat note, the Timbers. 

A sellout, the Sounders first-ever capacity crowd at the downtown stadium, is expected. The crowd will break the record for the largest at a Sounders match — 64,140 came to say goodbye to Kasey Keller last October — and will push the mark for the largest crowd for any soccer match in Seattle history. That was 67,052 against Manchester United last summer. 

The Sounders won't get to the record for the largest crowd at any MLS match ever — 69,225 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., to see the inaugural L.A. Galaxy match — but Sunday's crowd could move into second place all-time.

Sunday's game (9 p.m. ET on ESPN) will be at least the sixth match seen live by at least 60,000 fans in Seattle alone. Crowds of 60,000-plus have also turned out for friendlies against FC Barcelona and Chelsea (2009) and earlier this year against the Galaxy.

The Cascadia championship is also on the line. A win for the Timbers will clinch the regional trophy given to the team with the most points among Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, despite the Timbers' underachieving season. If the Sounders win, they'll leapfrog into first place in the Cascadia Cup standings with nine points from six matches against Portland and Vancouver.  

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80 Responses to Ticket sales for Sounders-Timbers surpass 66,000

  1. wildchild says:

    Oh please oh please Sounders beat the Timbers.

  2. TheFrenchOne says:

    i’m not a fan of either team, but this is a beautiful thing

  3. Idaho Brian says:

    One of the most positive developments in the history of MLS and US Soccer in general has been the passion and love of soccer in the Pacific Northwest. Now i will return to rooting for my beloved RSL to beat all cascadia cup teams. :)

  4. JJ says:

    This will be a fun day.

  5. A.S. says:

    I want to see where the match ranks among all soccer games globally this weekend. You have the Superclassico that will outdraw it, you have maybe the Milan derby, and what else? ManU is away.

  6. Edwin in LA says:

    I think there is a big game in Germany as far as the size of the Stadium Bayern Munich can fit 71K…but they would need to sell out, same thing with Roma they play Atalanta so doubt they sell out but they can fit 70K I think…so other than “El Clasico”, “Milan Derby”, Bayern Munich game and maybe the Clasico in Mexico for sure between America and Chivas since the damn things seats 103K and between Chivas fans alone they will have more than 67K….I think this Seattle v Portland game will be 5th most attended game in the world this weekend….

  7. Angry Sounders Fan says:

    Go Sounders Go!! GO! GO! GO!

    yelled into the ear of the guy next to me

  8. Jahinho_Guerro (TFC Fan) says:

    WOW 66k and you only offer a lil over 1k for away support…mockery

  9. Since 82 says:

    Will be coming, will be coming, will be coming down the road. RCTID

  10. acj says:

    They offered more seats than portland did and there are obviously Seattle fans willing ot fill up the other ones. So why should the team feel obligated to give more tickets to the portland fan base when their own fans want them as well?

  11. Adam M. says:

    The MLS attendance in Seattle is easily one of the most significant developments in US sports in the last decade. I’d go as far as to say that the Seattle Sounders fans should be considered for SI’s Sportsmen of the Year (and I’m from NY with no ties at all to the region). The notion that a fair team in a middle of the road league of a traditionally minor US sport can regularly get 30 and 40k people or more to show up for regular season games, and participate at the level they do, would have been unthinkable not so long ago, when “Americans don’t like soccer” was the common (if never exactly true) wisdom. My guess is that there are tons of professional sports owners in the US and abroad who look at the Sounders and wonder why they can’t replicate that kind of enthusiasm for their team. It really is a remarkable achievement for the city, the team, and the sport.

  12. Old School says:

    The most passionate region for soccer in our country.

    Love it.

  13. swoopy says:

    It’ll outdraw several — I’m guessing about 8 — NFL games this weekend. Not bad.

  14. Jahinho_Guerro (TFC Fan) says:

    Marketing my friend, marketing….

    Being technical, Portland offered more seats than seattle if JWF seats a max 22k, and they gave them 500-1k, percentage wise that destroys the 66k+ and the 1500…just saying

    the game is being played on everyone’s basic cable, to showcase an MLS game like never before, accentuates the look of the supporters culture.

  15. Knuckles says:

    Portland allocated 500 tickets to the Sounders. Seattle allocated 1K to Portland. However, these seats are, unlike PDX, available for anyone to purchase. There is no geographic restriction on purchases.

  16. Clayton says:

    Agreed, now if only they played on real grass …

    Love the support from Pac NW. Have the Sounders surpassed the Seahawks for most popular sports team in the city yet? Wish we could fill out our stadium like that.

  17. bcoug says:


    If they can sell out 67K, I don’t think they need any assistance with marketing.

    I believe that the number of seats each Cascadia team would offer to visitors was negotiated by the teams before the season.

  18. mcm says:

    A lot of PDXers got tickets outside that allotment. If you wanted to go it should not have been a problem. Not sitting with the Army, but still there.

    Nice thing I noticed at the last home game, some of the edge between the fans was off. Sounders fans wandered Jeld Wen with out problem. Assuming it will be the same in Xbox stadium.

  19. Edwin in LA says:

    Marketing is for the league as whole nationwide…this will be the crown jewel of the season for games on TV along with that Galaxy game but not sure if that was on regular cable as well…..the game in Portland was on NBC and that was priceless…..wish ESPN would grow some more stones and convince ABC to air a game like this!

    As for the seat allocation, the league had a lot to do with it and they agreed 1000-1500 was the max….depending on the stadium like more for Seattle and Vancouver when they hosted the games….

  20. QuakerOtis says:

    I think he was talking about marketing the league. It would be cool to see an entire section of Timbers fans — a la Dortmund fans at the Eithad — but if you’re in Seatlle or the Sounders ownership, who cares.

  21. AzTeXan says:

    Our baby’s all growns up!!!

  22. JRP says:

    Half of the reason they sell so many tickets is how cheap they are. I sat just off center six rows up and paid $36 per ticket which was the ticket price for the MLS final when it was played up there. The same ticket at RIO TINTO would have cost me $60+. They get a lot of fans because they can sell the tickets cheap and there are a lot of seats because they stadium is not a soccer stadium and every ticket is icing on the cake for the owners. If they had to build a real stadium for soccer and the fans had to pay the actual cost of that stadium then ticket prices would be higher and attendance would dip. They would still in the top five for attendance but it wouldn’t be so ridiculous if they built a real stadium. RSL has sold out its last 5 games at home in a legit soccer stadium. Maybe they under built but at least they are building the sport in the USA the right way and not on the backs of the NFL.

  23. The Imperative Voice says:

    The mindblowing thing financially is if they sold the 66K tickets at no less than $28 that’s $1.9 million revenues FROM ONE GAME. Plus another $18 million revenues based on 16 games of 42K average at no less than $28. Even with money going out that’s a mint for a MLS team. I’m not even sure LAG with sponsorships compares.

    At which point I’d start asking particularly pointed questions, eg, how the hell does a team with this kind of money run 4th in the West, lose to San Jose, run out a roster with EJ, Caskey, Burch, etc.

    Which leads me to a financial question. Does Seattle even pay rent? I mean, Houston’s attendance probably needs to stay pretty far up for rent purposes. For many SSSs it’s just a matter of changing the incoming and outgoing, fairness of the terms of the deal. But this……

    Bodes well for Seattle obviously but anyone’s best case would make the industry look promising. The NASL Cosmos once drew well in the Meadowlands too. I still think the more telling aspect is how the teams turning out 10-15K are faring, if the SSS teams are making rent, whether the expansion choices remain wise. Need to be looking at how lessons from Seattle and LAG can be transferred around the league.

  24. Sad Ronaldo says:


  25. Hopper says:

    Wow JRP. Your post smacks of envy and small mindedness.

    “If they had to build a real stadium.” Right … a packed CenturyLink Field is not a real stadium.

    That stadium was originally built as a dual-purpose venue for both football and soccer. Look it up.

  26. Hopper says:

    You are aware of the MLS salary cap right?

  27. Travis says:

    so having reasonably priced tickets is a bad thing now? are you serious? not seattle’s fault they have smart enough not to price the average joe out of being able to come to a game.

  28. THomas says:

    And it translates gorgeously on tv for soccer matches. It looks like it was made for soccer. Even when it’s half closed off, it still looks and feels great. Just look at DC and New England for examples of the opposite.

  29. QuakerOtis says:

    Sure, it helps that the NFL is there to “supplement”, but I’m not sure that moving a football team to LA would help Chivas sell to 15k, let alone 66k+. Props to Cascadia.

  30. QuakerOtis says:

    Cap shmap. Have you seen SJ’s payroll? Or, on the other end, ever heard of that Beckham guy, or these Red Bulls they have running around in NY/NJ?

  31. 2tone says:

    You do realise that EJ has 13 goals on the season? Someone is hater of EJ.

  32. Ezra says:

    Last I heard the Sounders didn’t have to pay any rent. Even their Wikipedia page says so.

  33. Tyler K says:

    Because one of their owners is the owner of the Seahawks, so it works out great for them.

  34. Yeah Right says:

    Don’t forget: Sounders had a bit luck in 2009 as the Sonics just left town, and the Mariners were terrible. If/when NBA and NHL come to Seattle, Sounders FO will have some challenges to deal with.

  35. Matt says:

    This is a great thing for MLS. Seattle has a population of 620,000 while NYC has 8,200,000 and my Red Bulls can barely muster 20,000 in attendance on a Saturday night.

  36. TGA says:

    it is particularly amazing or a sad commentary on the pacific northwest….that a game in MLS….as in Minor League Soccer….top to bottom the equivalent to the English 3rd Division…can draw that big a crowd…

  37. David s. says:

    Seattle is a perfectly lovely, ‘major league’ city, but it is orders of magnitude easier to be the toast of Seattle than it is NYC. With proper marketing, yes, Red Bulls should certainly fill their fine arena on a weekly basis and they don’t, so point taken. But the Sounders are the talk of Seattle in a way that’s just a lot harder to be in the very biggest cities.

  38. Skeeter says:

    Love it how the pundits blame Seattle still.. even when the stadium is packed.


    SSFC must rightfully pound Portland..done..over…Crush them. with only a hand full of games left we need to get the ship righted and stop playing down to the level of the Timbers

  39. Irrlicht says:

    Eurosnob much?

  40. Dale Chihuly says:

    Believe what you want but Big attendance/support numbers at Sounders – Timbers – Whitecaps games is not a anomaly….. Soccer is a mainstream sport in the PacNW. Front of the sports page– talk on the sports radio dial.. that kinda Mainstream.

    Do you think I’m gonna drop my SSFC season tickets to pay 3-4 times that amount for Sonics tickets?

  41. JRP says:

    No MLS Cup in your trophy case for all of CASCADIA. Envious of nothing. Cheap tickets don’t hurt attendance, right? That was my point. If all the MLS teams didn’t have to spend money building stadiums they would all be playing in college and pro football stadiums that hold a lot more people and could sell tickets for much less. Still, very few places would draw crowds like Portland and Seattle. But I think the money should be used to support a soccer specific stadium where the game is played on grass. Century Link was built for dual purposes just like every NBA arena was built to hold the circus and monster truck rallies and Disney on Ice and terrible concerts. These structures are built primarily for one purpose to make money. I just don’t see why Seattle fans don’t demand a real stadium. It makes no sense to me. In SLC we were part of the reason we got a real stadium. The fans were sick to death of playing on a college football field where the field is curved. Don’t get it.

  42. JRP says:

    I can get $15 KFC tickets to any game at RSL. I just can’t sit on the sixth row for $36 bucks. Everyone should be able to afford to go. You know darn well that was not my point.

  43. MensreaJim says:

    Troll Go Away.

  44. RCTID says:

    I’m a Die hard Timbers fan, I’ll bleed (FOREST) green till I die… But Damn this is beautiful.

    The only thing I will cheer for over the timbers, Is the game itself, and up here in the PNW, we do it right… Turf? who gives a F*&@. We do it right, like it or not…


    Respect to the enemy. Respect to the PNW.

    Go Timbers :)

  45. slowleftarm says:

    Was about to write the very same thing. I’m at RBA every week and almost without fail, I’m disappointed in the attendance. 66k in Seattle and NYRB can’t get 25k to fill up their beautiful arena. Oh I know, you have to cross a river to get there from the city. Somehow, I don’t think that would stop Sounders supporters.

  46. Sounders133 says:

    JPR, that ticket price is for season ticket holders who have kept their season tickets since 2009. those tickets are now 53 for single match ticket and if you are not an 2009 season ticket holder than they are at least 46 a match for this season. one of seattle’s goals is to sell out the entire stadium all season, and they are slowly growing the fan base to be able to support a 67k fans for every match.

    As for the stadium, it was built for soccer and football, currently they have the UW, Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC all playing a full season on that field, plus WSU playing a game their this year. a natural grass surface wouldn’t last. There is talk of switching to a natural surface and it can have a natural surface but currently this is not the best time to switch, they say it will take about 6 months for it to fully take root. so they would have to plant during the off season for both Sounders and Seahawks. this will most likely be reviewed again in the following year. some point I think they will have a natural grass surface to play on in the near future.

  47. ViC El Paso Texas says:

    I would have given Timbers 2000 tickets, just like it happens at Crew stadium, right. Another thing if i was part owner of Sounders, I would start looking around for land for a 50,000 to 60,000 SSS as soon as possible because the sounders fans DESERVE IT. How about make a survey, asking if you would want a SSS or do something with Clink that would benefit the Sounders. If the Sounders WOULD get a beckham signing, imagine the stadium situation. What about huskies new stadium, thats gonna be a rocking stadium without the track. Sounders owners are playing with their fans, its like college because at the end the college is only winning from the fan coming in and nothing big is coming the earnings.

  48. m3 says:

    Why would Sounders want a different stadium with smaller capacity? C-link is excellent. The location is unbeatable, near the transit hub for the whole region. I love going to soccer games at the current stadium, and I sit way up in the 300’s level. The Clink is already a “soccer specific stadium.”

  49. Me says:

    There is an entire section of Portland fans. It is plenty big. Most likely the corner section of the Clink and the upper deck section above it — just as with the Vancouver game.

    Pretty sure there are plenty of Portland fans who purchased outside the allotment. The Sounders FO is well known for finding tickets based on where people want to sit, so I imagine most Timbers fans will be seated close to each other.

  50. Me says:

    Wow, another person who has no idea what they are talking about.

  51. Me says:

    I think the point is that the cap puts sufficient restrictions on salary to make your margin of error with players that much smaller. You have to make your payroll count, or you will end up like TFC.

  52. Me says:

    I cross 3 rivers and a mountain range to go to Sounders games. I know a guy with season tickets who lives in Eastern Oregon and drives five and a half hours to go to games.

  53. Me says:

    Up Cascadia!

  54. whoop-whoop says:

    Beautiful city, well run franchise, nice stadium, great support. As a Galaxy fan, I am highly encouraged and optimistic about MLS and the game in the country….. developments in the PNW play no small part in this. Big ups from a soccer fan first.

    (to the above…… for the love of the game, and yourplayers, natural grass needs to be addressed… it just plays to big a role in the game itself not to…. small gripe at this point in the game though.)

  55. Thatpageguy says:

    You must be jealous that only Man U can draw that much in the EPL.

  56. Thatpageguy says:

    Soccer is headed for the big time. Now if only the mainstream press would pay attention. I’m a Galaxy fan and get the LA Times and their coverage of the Galaxy and Chivas USA is pretty pathetic. Much of the time for away games they’ll rely on AP for stories of their games, sometimes they don’t even report things like US Open cup games. And this is one of the better newspapers in the country, but their sports editor is myopic. This is all too common for US papers.

  57. Charles says:

    Why would they pay rent, the stadium was built for them and they have played there more games than anyone using the stadium ?

  58. Irrlicht says:

    The editors grew up with Football, baseball, hockey… think if soccer got the same ink/pixels even as hockey it would make a huge difference

  59. Turd Bradley says:

    Hello Turds-

    The turf does totally suck. What is stopping them from at least putting in grass when its not nfl season? You think with all the money in seattle they could afford to make grass work. I am sure nfl players would prefer grass too.

    Still even with the turf, 66k, makes me so proud.

  60. OneLegged says:

    You’re assuming that all Sounders fans were Sonics fans? I hate basketball.

  61. OneLegged says:

    Century Link is an awesome stadium. Why change?

    Fwiw even though timbers army ticket allotments were capped,any timbers fans could still buy tickets on the open market. There were no geographical restrictions placed on the sales. If the timbers wanted to send 10k, they could have.

  62. OneLegged says:

    Stadium landscapers tell us it would take 6 months for grass to “root” properly. Since there is not a 6 month period where Century Link isn’t being used, there isn’t time to lay down grass between seasons and other events.

    All this is besides the fact 3 major sports teams are currently using the stadium; grass would never hold up to that abuse.

    I can understand players clamoring for grass surfaces but I’ve never understood why so many fans make such a big deal. The game is hardly unwatchable in Seattle.

  63. lassidawg says:

    I love all the people not from Seattle telling us what we would like.
    I really hate having a 5 to 10 minute walk if I take the bus. I really hate the stadium is in Downtown and there are so many places to pre funk. I really hate that it is load in the stadium.
    Someday US soccer will wise up and bring a match up here and realize playing against El Salvador on a good turf with a minimum of 36K being the majority USA fans will be better than playing at Rio Tinto. or other places (I use Rio Tinto because I went to that game) with a less than full stadium and half the crowd rooting for El Salvador.

  64. Dale Chihuly says:

    You must be nuts.. all of those convenient bars and places to party before and afterward.. ? 66K?
    I’ll take the burbs any day

  65. Kejsare says:

    And MLS takes what, 30%?, right away.

    This is good for the league.

  66. Knuckles says:

    I was actually with the ECS at the last match with my son, but neither of us had any problems at all. My season tickets are very close to the away supporters and we all have to use the same restroom. I’ve never seen or had any problems with them at all. The whole “hostility” thing is way overblown, mostly on the part of the various supporters groups that have a few boneheads that think they’re hooligans.

  67. Kejsare says:

    You sound no better than troll artist commentators on OregonLive.com

  68. Knuckles says:

    I’m guessing (and this is purely a guess, no insider information or anything) that in terms of organized support, there will probably be somewhere between 1500-2000 PDX fans. Now, how many will be scattered throughout the stadium? There I couldn’t tell you.

  69. Kejsare says:

    You need to look up “multnomah stadium flood” on google images. The first image is what naturally happened in the past, and you think grass will do any better so close to the water table?

  70. Knuckles says:

    I’ve read a lot of really stupid comments on various forums throughout the years, but that might be the capper.

    People go to Sounders games because they love soccer, not because the tickets are cheap and they’ve got nothing better to do.

  71. Knuckles says:

    As much as I hope the Sounders crush the Timbers beneath their collective bootheel, I couldn’t agree with you more.


  72. Knuckles says:

    Jesus. Go read the freaking Wikipedia page, or the Century Link website. The stadium was built *for* soccer as well as football. It’s been that way since the very first design stages.

  73. Knuckles says:

    Get over it. It most likely never will. And the only people who give a damn are from somewhere else.

  74. Knuckles says:

    CenturyLink’s turf needs to be replaced annually, with the cost shared by both the Sounders and the Seahawks (the Huskies should be chipping in as well, right now).

  75. whoop-whoop says:

    Easy there knuckles. Tad bit defensive perhaps? It ain’t keeping me up at night, believe me. However, the Sounders players DO give a damn. As temporary residents, I guess you count them as not from there or I guess they aren’t important, I mean after all afterall, they only have to perform on the shite, right?

    What does Hanaur think? Seems to me he gives a damn. “For sure the turf is an issue, there’s no getting around it,” said Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer. “We’re certainly actively looking at a lot of different alternatives.”.

    And anyone who watches a game and has a scintilla of knowledge of the game can’t help but notice it.

    There are lots of calls to have the USMNT play there regularly…. if you count yourself as one of those, you should care, because until the turf is gone, it ain’t going to happen. Personally, with that change, I think it would be awesome. I’d buy a ticket tomorrow.

    As I said above… lots of admiration for the Club, but there is always room for improvement. 1 star turf is a good place to start. Cheers.

  76. RAMONE says:


    I always think it is funny when people mistake SSS for a 25k seat stadium.

    Sure, the Clink is oversized for most of S#ittle’s games and would be a little silly if they were only getting crowds on the order New England or Chivas … but they are not, they lead the league in attendance. DCU COULD rival them as RFK is capable of holding many more than what they open up (they put 50someK in there for WC’94 right?). Same with New England as their stadium COULD hold this 65+K too. But neither of those teams get anywhere near those numbers, not even half of Seattle numbers – which is why building a 25k stadium which is purpose built makes sense for them. Why would Seattle go out and build another 45,000 seat stadium when they already have a SSS that is a little too big but not cavernously empty like other places.

    Portland undershot big time when they re-did the stadium. Much of that had to do with political pressure and money (there are still Portlanders bitching and moaning about the City spending $22 million on a facility it owns to make it a SSS while Paulson kicked in $38 million himself to upgrade a facility he doesn’t even own). The other issue was space given that the stadium is surrounded on all 4 sides by city streets and an existing large building that isn’t going anywhere. The city is making 6% ticket taxes and it penciled out to pay off the bonds if the Timbers averaged 14k fans a game. Instead they have over 20k a game, 14,500 season ticket holders with a waiting list now over 7,000 for season tix. They could have easily put in another 10,000 seats and been fine (though I suspect just under selling out right now if it was a 30k stadium given the horror show of a season).

  77. Andy says:

    Can’t wait to go to a game there some day! Love that we have this kind of spectacle in the MLS finally.

  78. RAMONE says:

    So, anyone who has paid attention realizes that every single stadium in the NW US is turf. Luckily it isn’t the old style flat indoor/outdoor brillo pad that we used to have. The reason is simply the temperatures, rain and American football.

    JeldWen used to have grass and it was always a mud bowl with the exception of mid-summer and then nobody played on it while it was being rehabbed. It has long since been rumored that OJ Simpson would have won 2 Heisman’s if not for a #1 USC 3-0 loss at Oregon State in 1967 when the grass field better resembled a hog pen than a football field and neither team could do anything but fumble and fall down all day long.

    Portland shares JWF with Portland State’s football team. The floor of the stadium is built below the water table (there is a creek running through it which is channeled into a pipe right under the playing surface). The City owns the stadium, not the Timbers and PSU football isn’t going anywhere. There is literally almost zero chance that ownership arrangement will change due to the contract signed when the MAC club sold the stadium to the city (they have to sell it back to the MAC club if they ever sell it).

    Same issues in Seattle with the Seahawks playing there. NW weather doesn’t really dry out and the grass doesn’t really start growing until about mid June. You’d have to play on turf until then, put in temporary grass for about 10 weeks, then pull it out again when the Seahawks started tearing it up and the fall weather came around again making it a mud pit. That isn’t long enough for a real grass pitch to mature and be a reasonable surface.

    Vancouver essentially has a semi-indoor stadium where you’d have to put in some multimillion dollar growing system for grass to remain. The temporary grass fields that were brought into JWF for the women’s world cup and a WCQ in the 90s, to the Silverdome in 1994 were poor surfaces – arguably worse than turf.

    I do find it funny how many people complain about turf. Is it the same? No. But modern turf is light years better than the artificial turfs I played on in the 70s and 80s – those were flat and felt like an abrasive dish pad when you went down on them.

    MLS and the NW franchises have a lot better places to spend their money (better players, better players, better players) than spending millions and millions on elaborate drainage systems, grow lights and building new stadiums for Football teams so they don’t come tear up the grass.

  79. ryan says:

    with an unbalanced schedule, away-ticket allocation was also unbalanced:

    Seattle had two games at VAN and PDX…each time, the home team gave us 750 seats, which equals 1500. that’s why the official allocation to PDX is 1500, as it was for VAN last month. that makes it even. however, i bet there are around 3000 Timbers fans there, much like there were more than 1500 ‘Caps fans in Seattle.