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Soccer Sells

International soccer in the States this weekend drew big crowds:

Chelsea-Sounders in Seattle: 65,000
Gold Cup quarterfinals in Philadelphia: 31,000
Inter Milan-America at Stanford: 31,000
AC Milan-Galaxy at Carson: 27,000 (sellout)
Gold Cup quarterfinals in Dallas: 82,000
Average: 47,000.

More to come this week: Chelsea-Inter at the Rose Bowl, AC Milan-America in Atlanta, Gold Cup semifinals in Chicago, AC Milan-Chelsea in Baltimore, AC Milan-Inter at Foxborough, Chelsea-America in Dallas and Gold Cup final at Giants Stadium.

By Steve Goff  |  July 20, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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Next: Poll: Beckham an All-Star?

Comments

And don't forget the 18+ at United's game. Even if that is kinda normal, it's still nice.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 20, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

That actually seems like a pretty high number this year for RFK. Good to see it. Musta been the Real World effect....;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | July 20, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Gold Cup final at Giant's Stadium??? It's bad enough they played all of those games on artificial turf throughout the tournament, but Giant's Stadium???? I assume they will put down temporary grass, but that always has problems too with seams and bad patches.

Posted by: fedssocr | July 20, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

...or the cheaper college night promotion actually worked. There were quite a few young'ns at RFK on Saturday. Some were new, but many had all the official gear and SG stuff.

I wonder what tv numbers were like for this weekend's matches.

Posted by: sitruc | July 20, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Video of the hoo ha in LA via the BBC. Sure doesn't look like Goldenballs was trying to pacify the crowd with a handshake.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/8158547.stm

Posted by: delantero | July 20, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Eric Cantona for LA Director of Fan Pacification?

Posted by: addick | July 20, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

See what happens when you put the stadium in the city, instead of the outer suburbs, Dallas? ;)

Posted by: Reignking | July 20, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

My husband and I will be at Giant Stadium for the Gold Cup final.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 20, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

...or the cheaper college night promotion actually worked. There were quite a few young'ns at RFK on Saturday. Some were new, but many had all the official gear and SG stuff.

I wonder what tv numbers were like for this weekend's matches.

Posted by: sitruc | July 20, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

-----------------------

I don't know if having official gear (and SG stuff?) makes one a legit fan. The Real World poseurs actually had Barra Brava jerseys on and were waving flags obviously obtained from the Barra.

I'm kinda disappointed that the Barra decided to sell out like that - sure it's MTV exposure (that is if the United game footage doesn't end up on the cutting room floor). But man, they didn't even join the throng of supporters in the 100 section - they stayed at the back of the 200 section and waved the flags to make it look like they were part of the action. I'll bet the MTV production staff even had umbrellas to shield the cast from the flying beer.

Posted by: combedge | July 20, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Come on Virginia! Let's get a soccer stadium in the Dulles area.

Posted by: crimsonmac | July 20, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if tickets are still available for the AC Milan-Chelsea game without going through scalpers' sites? I've tried Ticketmaster and they claim no tix are available, but it's hard to believe the stadium in Baltimore is sold out.

Posted by: NoMad3 | July 20, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Here's ESPN columnist Bill Simmons' take on international soccer:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090717

"1. Americans enjoy watching the best (fill in any sport). We are elitists. That's why we like the Olympics, that's why we enjoy any finals, that's why we watch Wimbledon and the Masters, that's why we don't care about sports like the WNBA, MLS or arena football as anything other than a niche sport. International soccer plays into this. It's the best of the best. Hell, we even liked "The Best of the Best" even though Eric Roberts was the biggest star in it.

2. The games zoom along: no commercials, no sideline reporters, no corporate tie-ins, no four-hour games like in baseball, no "takes 20 minutes to play the last two" like in the NBA. You can sit down for a soccer game and say, "I'm going to spend the next two hours watching this and then I'm going to do something else." Like watch more TV.

3. Give credit to ESPN for committing air time in non-Cup years to elite international soccer tournaments like the UEFA Cup. I know that's how I started paying more attention. If you like sports, you cannot NOT get caught up in the level of play, the maniacal crowds, the intensity and tension and everything else. It's impossible.

4. Widescreen TVs make it easier to see the field; HD makes it easier to see faces and numbers (and the grass looks green and vibrant); and better camerawork (and also more cameras) make the games more intimate. Now you feel like the players are flopping right onto your living room rug! Just kidding, soccer fans. Seriously, settle down. Jokes.

5. International soccer never took off here for the simple reason that American sports fans had trouble following anything they couldn't attend in person and/or watch on television at their leisure. Now? We're turning into a sofa culture; since it's more expensive to go to games, many of us find it just as rewarding to stay home, save money and watch games on a nice TV. Throw in the Internet, DirecTV, fan blogs and everything else and you really can follow soccer from across the Atlantic.

That's why, over the next decade -- starting with the World Cup in 2010 -- I predict international soccer takes off to a modest degree in America during the '10s. Not to compare everything to "The Godfather," but for America, the NASL was Sonny (exciting, impetuous and ultimately self-destructive), the MLS is Fredo (weak) and international soccer is Michael (the heavy hitter who was lurking all along). That's how this plays out I think."

Posted by: Juan-John | July 20, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I went to the CA/Inter game yesterday. Just a great time all around and a great crowd. The Club America fan section was rocking with like 3 different huge banners unfurled and numerous smoke bombs. To say nothing of the rocking beats and pogo-ing. Nicely done supporters. Man, it gets hot in Stanford (not sticky DC stuff), but we are heat wimps here in NoCal. It was awesome to see Ibra close up. He looks even bigger than on TV. Balotelli looks like an NFL RB. And that kid is only 18? Yikes.

Posted by: EssEff | July 20, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

While some of Simmons' analysis is decent, he needs to stop declaring what it is that 'Americans' like or dislike.

Posted by: JkR- | July 20, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

3. Give credit to ESPN for committing air time in non-Cup years to elite international soccer tournaments like the UEFA Cup.

I'm pretty sure he meant the CL.

Posted by: Reignking | July 20, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

MLS as Fredo? A spineless, traitorous profligate? No way! MLS is more like Connie Corleone. A secondary character player who gets her share of injustices (as MLS gets from Eurosnobs, broadcasters, and Beckham). However, she carries out her role in supporting the family with the poisoned cannolis.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 20, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Fredo's not far from it.

"I want respect!"

Posted by: OWNTF | July 20, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I have a few tixs left for the AC Milan v Chelsea match Friday. It is sold out.
I just want face value for the tickets nothing extra. Just want to make sure I dont eat the tickets.
If interested email me pletts9@yahoo.com

Posted by: BmoreFan | July 20, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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