SBD/August 31, 2012/Franchises

Real Salt Lake On Pace For Record Attendance With Club Drawing Younger Demos

Real Salt Lake is averaging 93% capacity at the 20,008-seat Rio Tinto Stadium
Attendance at MLS Real Salt Lake games "has skyrocketed in 2012," with the team seeing "record fan numbers, including eight sellouts so far at Rio Tinto Stadium this season," according to Martin Renzhofer of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. The club is averaging 93% capacity at the 20,008-seat stadium, which "mirrors, for the most part, a league-wide trend." RSL President Bill Manning said, "We're killing it, we really are. We don't even look at the Jazz schedule anymore when we make our schedule. We don't even look at BYU or Utah anymore. We've found we can still sell out when they do." Renzhofer noted it is "not that RSL has stolen the sports pie," but rather the "pie has gotten larger." A younger demographic, "between ages 18 and 30, has discovered professional soccer in Utah." By the end of the season, average attendance at Rio Tinto "will be at or near 19,000 -- a 10 percent jump from last season, which follows a 7.4 percent increase from 2010" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 8/30).

SHAKING THINGS UP: In San Jose, Elliott Almond noted the MLS Earthquakes on Wednesday announced a "pricing structure for general seating for the proposed 18,000-seat soccer stadium that will begin construction Oct. 21." Tickets will rise "by an average of $1.60 per seat for 95 percent of seating in the new stadium." The club will not require a PSL for season tickets. Prices range from $20-130 "for fans who are not season-ticket holders," and most seats are being offered for $25-55. The stadium will "feature a midfield club with 500 seats that include a season parking pass and an invitation to future events." The Earthquakes also "plan to feature a 1,400-person supporters' section with a private clubhouse" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/30).
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