Another weekend of Major League Soccer is complete, but the biggest soccer story of the weekend was the Commerce City based World Cup qualifier between the United States and Costa Rica. Played in blizzard conditions before a sellout crowd at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (recall that the game was a sellout on the first day tickets were available). The game was televised on ESPN with Ian Darke and Twellman on the call. Yet from a business perspective the game was notable because of the amount of publicity the conditions generated for the match. The images of snow soccer proved riveting for highlights producers and others and put American Soccer on recap shows and in newspapers 14 months before the World Cup in Brazil.
On to attendance, where a wide range of lingering cold weather may have contributed to some low numbers around the league. The weekend started on a high note with more than 26k in Montreal to see the Impact move to 4-0 with a win over the Henry-less Red Bulls. Later on Saturday, United played before a very disappointing 11k at RFK. The Revs opened their home season at Gillette before a smallish 12k crowd. History suggests that the Revs will struggle early in the season at the gate. The low numbers continued with just 11k in Dallas after some early season success at the turnstile.
On the West Coast, the Galaxy managed almost 20k for their home win at the (soon to be renamed) Home Depot Center. Buck Shaw managed a sellout of just over 10k for the Earthquakes. Dynamo attendance saw a substantial dropoff with only 16,500 at BBVA Compass Stadium . On Sunday, the Fire performed in front of a crowd of friends and family at Toyota Park. The reported crowd was less than 10k.
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