SBD/October 8, 2012/Franchises

Second Largest Crowd In MLS History On Hand For Timbers-Sounders FC In Seattle

The first match in league history is the only one to outdraw Sunday's Timbers-Sounders match
The Sounders' 3-0 win over the Timbers yesterday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle marked a "franchise-record crowd for an MLS game" with 66,452 in attendance, according to Joshua Mayers of the SEATTLE TIMES. It also marked the "second-largest crowd in league history for a stand-alone game." MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, "I'm not even here on official duty tonight. I'm here just to experience it. I knew this would be a historic event" (SEATTLE TIMES, 10/8). The AP's Tim Booth noted there have been "doubleheaders featuring international friendlies to go along with a league match, but in terms of a match between two MLS teams, the only one to top what Portland and Seattle drew was the first match in league history when Los Angeles hosted New York at the Rose Bowl in 1996 in front of 69,255" (AP, 10/7).

FROM THE DESK OF THE GENERAL MANAGER: Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer on Saturday said of the anticipated crowd, "First and foremost it speaks volumes about the league overall. ... I personally have never been as bullish as I am today about the continued growth in the league." He added, "I don't know that crowds of 60,000 are going to be regular. The reality is obviously there are only a few markets that can accommodate that. But I think the bigger story will be stadiums sold out in advance of the season for the entire season, teams having to try and figure out how they're going to add capacity to their stadia, the sport continuing to compete and grab mind share from the other four major league sports in this country, so I do think there are going to be more of those types of issues." Hanauer said of the organization holding a fan vote to determine if he retains his role as GM, " I really like this process. For sure it's easier for me as an owner to like the process. ... What does this vote look like for someone who does count on this job to put food on their table and for whom it is maybe a precarious commitment? But I love the fact that it is a fan-driven thing. That's not to say, by the way, that an ownership group in our organization couldn't do the same thing. To be honest, I don't know what the charter says, but I assume it says that if Joe (Roth) and I and Paul Allen and Drew want to get rid of a general manager, we can do that. So I think it's sort of the best of both worlds" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 10/6).
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