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SBD/Issue 157/Leagues & Governing Bodies
WUSA-MLS Doubleheader Draws Big Crowd At RFK Stadium
Published May 14, 2001
Attendance at Saturday's soccer doubleheader in DC, featuring WUSA Breakers-Freedom and MLS Earthquakes-United, drew 36,528, with 21,682 fans in attendance by halftime of the early WUSA game, according to Peter Brewington of the USA TODAY. Freedom GM Katy Button said, "We wanted a snapshot of where we were at halftime of our game." Brewington noted the attendance "left little doubt that there is a rivalry" between the two leagues. While a number of families left after the WUSA game, "the crowd crested during the MLS game" (USA TODAY, 5/14). In DC, William Gildea noted "most of the first-game crowd stayed to watch" Earthquakes-United (WASHINGTON POST, 5/13). Also in DC, Todd Jacobson noted the attendance figure for the Freedom match was less than the team's home opener that drew more than 34,000. But it was "still a substantial achievement in that much of the stadium was dotted with an eclectic mix" of United and Freedom fans. Button said, "That was the goal for both organizations: to be able to expose our product to a different market, and I think there is a lot of overlap. There are definitely distinct audiences and they are both unique and we are glad to have the chance to expose [United's] fans to our game, and vice versa" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/13). The 21,682 fans at the WUSA game offer "proof that it deserved the mantel of equal billing" (AP, 5/13).
WUSA ROUND-UP: In other WUSA matchups over the weekend, the Spirit-Beat at Bobby Dodd Stadium drew 7,745, the Courage-CyberRays at Spartan Stadium drew 5,543, and the Charge-Power at Mitchel Field drew 2,348 (THE DAILY). WUSA Spirit F Julie Foudy was miked for sound during TNT's broadcast of the Spirit-Beat Saturday. TNT's J.P. Dellacamera: "If you know Julie like we do, who knows what she's going to say during the game" (TNT, 5/12).