Sounders Insider

Sounders to have smaller crowd for first time?

And that will mark the first time ever that Seattle's home attendance is the smaller crowd in any home-and-away series in club history: MLS or CCL.

In previous two-game, aggregate-score series, Seattle outdrew Houston, Los Angeles, Salt Lake, Salt Lake again, Los Angeles again, Metapan, Marathon, Saprissa, Monterrey, San Francisco of Panama, Communicaciones, Monterrey again, Herediano, Santos Laguna, Caledonia, and Marathon again. But unless there is the walk-up crowd of all walk-up crowds tonight, Seattle won't outdraw Tigres.

Here's what general manager Adrian Hanauer had to say abou that yesterday:

"I always wish that our Champions League games would draw bigger crowds, but I also know that we’re up against the realities of a general sports fan for whom Champions League is foreign. And I know that because I have a lot of really good friends who are huge sports fans who ask me to explain what Champions League is every time we get together. But I think over time it will continue to grow, as the tournament gets bigger, as there’s more money, as there’s more TV exposure. It’s just going to take time. We could probably do a better job of continuing to drive the message in the marketspace. We’ve spent a considerable amount of money promoting it, but it’s just been a tough sell. People plan their lives around a season ticket, often, and then to ask them to come out to another game, and then another game, and then another game – I understand people have busy lives and they can’t always do that. Hopefully we’ll maybe bump into the 20s for this game, and with a little luck we get through this game and maybe we have a chance at selling a semifinal.

Here's what he said to a follow-up question about whether it is encouraging that the Tigres fans seem to have treated this as an important competition.

"Yeah, for sure. I think in a lot of the Central American and Mexican markets, the competition is becoming more important. If the Mexican fans, and Central American fans and the Caribbean fans treat it as a big tournament and think it’s important, then that will drag along American/Canadian fans, I think. But Houston did well with their game, I think. I think they had 17-18,000 in their building, which is a big step. I’m not sure three years ago there would have been 17-18,000 for a first leg game in Houston."
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