Around 54,000 fans are expected at CenturyLink Field on Sunday for the Sounders’ 4 p.m. regular-season finale with Real Salt Lake.
That crowd is expected to put the Sounders over the top for yet another MLS season attendance record.
“I think Adrian said the other day that he was always nervous that was it really going to last,” coach Sigi Schmid said Saturday. “I think everybody felt that way, because we’ve all been in situations soccer-wise: I was there when the Galaxy started and there was like 65,000 at the Rose Bowl, and then it went straight down and the crowds were a lot less from there on. Initially you always have that feeling, OK, when is the bubble going to burst and that kind of thing. But the fans have been great, and it’s been so consistent and setting another attendance record possibly this year with our fan total this year is extraordinary. I don’t know if you can say it completely, but it’s become part of the fabric now, rather than just being a novelty. I don’t think soccer here in the Northwest is a novelty anymore, it’s part of the fabric.”
The Sounders suggest that attending fans arrive early, and there are giveaways and other incentives as part of the game-day plans. Here’s the word from the club:
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Seattle Sounders FC is encouraging fans to arrive early ahead of Sunday's pivotal, regular season-ending clash with Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field (4:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM). Sunday's match, presented by SUBWAY® Restaurants of Western Washington, is a part of the first-ever MLS Decision Day, with all Western Conference clubs simultaneously kicking-off their regular season finales at 4:00 p.m. PT. Over 53,000 fans are expected for the club's fourth full-stadium match of the season, with Sounders FC able to clinch a spot in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs with a win. Additionally, Sounders FC will set a new MLS single-season attendance record, breaking its own benchmark of from the 2013 campaign (44,038). Fans are encouraged to be at CenturyLink Field early, as the club is hosting Fan Appreciation Day, which includes a myriad of giveaways, a Scarf Drive presented by Starbucks, a special National Anthem performance from Mike McCready, a silent auction at THE NINETYand a special 20% off promotion for all retail at Sunday's match.
Throughout the week, the Sounders FC Scarf Drive presented by Starbucks has been accepting donations at various locations throughout Seattle. The drive concludes Sunday, as fans are invited to bring scarves and warm clothing to donate at the gates to benefit local homeless youth at YouthCare. Starbucks is matching each item donated with a one dollar donation (up to 15,000 items). Complete information on the Sounders FC Scarf Drive presented by Starbucks can be found at SoundersFC.com/ScarfDrive.
Gates open at 2:30 p.m. PST ahead of pre-match festivities that include a National Anthem performance by Pearl Jam's Mike McCready. As lead guitarist for the Grammy Award-winning, Seattle-based rock group, McCready will serenade the Sounders FC faithful with an instrumental rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. McCready is appearing on behalf of Treehouse for Kids, a local organization dedicated to giving foster kids a childhood and future.
Presenting sponsor of the match SUBWAY® Restaurants of Western Washington is giving away 10,000 SUBWAY® Sounders FC beanies and 30,000 SUBWAY® yellow cards at stadium gates (while supplies last). Additional Fan Appreciation Day giveaways include the following:
- Twenty (20) $15 Starbucks Gift Cards
- 200 adidas full-size soccer balls
- One (1) autographed Lamar Neagle jersey, provided by adidas
- 250 CenturyLink & Sounders FC scarves
- 250 Chipotle buy-one-get-one Burrito certificates
- Twenty (20) McDonald's $25 Arch Cards
- Twenty (20) Starbucks $15 gift cards
- Twenty (20) SUBWAY® $5 gift cards
- One (1) SUBWAY® $250 gift card
- One (1) Tirebuyer.com $500 credit toward a set of new Continental Tires
- Two (2) Tirebuyer.com $150 credits toward a set of new Continental Tires
- 100 Free 'zaw Artisan Bake-at-Home Pumpkin Patch Pizza Certificates
Dubai Tourism is also giving away a trip to Dubai at Sunday's match, with fans able to enter to win at a booth in Soccer Celebration starting 90 minutes prior to the match. The package includes roundtrip airfare for two to Dubai, four nights at the Hyatt in Dubai, a city tour excursion and a desert safari excursion. A fan will be randomly drawn during the first half and brought on to the pitch during halftime to be recognized. For complete information and to register to win, visit SoundersFC.com/Dubai.
Halftime ceremonies will also include an on-field presentation from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), who has donated $500 to the Boys & Girls Club of King County for every home goal scored as part of the Goals for Success program. PwC is presenting a check for $20,000 to YouthForce, the 2015 grant recipient of the Goals for Success program. YouthForce is the teen internship program of the Boys & Girls Club of King County that is dedicated to helping teens become engaged in the workplace and plan for college.
Sounders FC is hosting a MatchPass Silent Auction at THE NINETY, Sounders FC's event space located at the club's Pioneer Square headquarters. THE NINETY will be open to the public from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. PT on Sunday, with Season Ticket Members able to bid on select MatchPass items. For more information, visit sndrs.com/87zh.
March to the Match activities begin at 2:00 p.m. PT at Occidental Park in Pioneer Square with a performance by Whiskey N' Rye, a Seattle-based Americana and country-tinged rock outfit. The March itself, one of the best traditions in American sports started by the Emerald City Supporters, departs from Occidental Park at 3:00 p.m. PT for CenturyLink Field.
Sunday's kickoff is slated for 4:00 p.m. PT as part of MLS Decision Day, and the match is being carried on JOEtv, THIS-TV, Kiro Radio 97.3 FM and El Rey 1360 AM. Seattle is aiming to qualify for its seventh consecutive MLS postseason berth in as many seasons since entering the league in 2009. Tickets are still available for Sunday's match and can be purchased via the following link: http://sndrs.com/zeqq.