Busy week in Major League Soccer with Champions League group stage matches, important jockeying for playoff position and the opening of Bell Pitch Downtown in Vancouver. Before we get to attendance, here are a couple of thoughts on the inagural match at the league’s newest showpiece. First, it is unfortunate that the game was not part of a national telecast. It is always fun to open stadiums to broader audience. The new field looked great on television, but the curtains used to close off the upper levels looked odd and fairly low rent. It is expected that a new title sponsor for BC Place will be announced within 2 weeks. That will make the official name of the venue for soccer Bell Pitch at ____.
Now on to attendance, where a pair of midweek games started the count in a very positive direction. Sporting drew its usual 17,800+ on Wednesday night while RSL boasted a sellout (and a 3-0 loss) for their midweek tilt against Chicago (20,700+). Philly followed those number with almost 18k for their match against DC on Thursday night.
The weekend games started on Saturday afternoon with more than 17,500 in Houston for a Fire/Dynamo draw. The Revs rode a college/youth soccer night promotion to a staggering 21k while TFC gave up a lead late in front of more than 20k against the Red Bulls. Colorado managed almost 14k for their MLS Cup rematch against Dallas, while San Jose eclipsed 10,500 in one of the late night games while the Galaxy sold all 27k tickets in the other MLS nightcap. In Sunday action, Vancouver sold out their new arena with 21k, while Columbus managed a respectable 15,500 plus for their Sunday game.