Another busy weekend in Major League Soccer, highlighted by the opening of beautiful BBV Compass Stadium in Houston. Before we get to MLS, “Survival Sunday” deserves a mention. If anecdotal evidence is any guide, the dramatic Manchester City victory over QPR and the remarkable finish to the EPL season certainly drew interest from mainstream sports fans. The results were major lead stories on sports websites and non-soccer fans who stumbled into the events of Sunday remained transfixed by the remarkable conclusion. Fox’s decision to televise all of the matches (save the most dramatic which was on ESPN2) was a great sign for soccer in this country.
On to the MLS slate, which started with a series of mid-week games. The week started at Red Bull Arena which saw record low numbers for their 1-0 victory over Houston. Less than 11,500 were in attendance for the game. Chicago was able to draw just over 13k for their mid-week tilt, while FC Dallas scraped past the 10k mark at what is now the smallest MLS facility in Texas. \
David Beckham’s only visit to Montreal drew a remarkable crowd of over 60k and all were treated to a classic Beckham free kick goal. The sellout in Houston was officially reported as 22,039. The Revs crept past 12k for their impressive victory over Vancouver, while Columbus was able to move past 11k at Crew Stadium. Chicago managed to slide past the 14k mark while Seattle managed a remarkable 39k plus for their home loss to RSL.
In a Sunday afternoon tilt, the Philadelphia Union managed more than 18k at PPL Park. The match was televised after the Manchester City match on ESPN2.
Overall it was a great attendance weekend for the league at the gate.