CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Tuesday, August 6, 2013
It will be a capacity crowd when Portland travels to Seattle for the first time this season on August 25.
Tickets have sold out at almost 67,000 some 19 days before the date, with anticipation for the rivalry at an all time high after Seattle's unveiling of new Designated Player Clint Dempsey.
The game will be Dempsey's home debut for the Sounders, and not a single seat is left available. A record crowd of 66,452 were sold for last year's clash between the two teams, and that number has been surpassed. However, it is still shy of the attendance record set between the Galaxy and MetroStars during the league's inaugural year. With demand as high as it is though and the game more than two weeks away, it seems possible that additional tickets could be made available for standing room.
Seattle currently enjoys an average attendance of just over 40,000, and it will be interesting to see how the Dempsey addition affects those numbers. The rivalry with Portland always draws a large crowd, so the home games beyond the August 25 date will likely reveal more about the greater impact of the league's newest acquisition.
With MLS rule interpretation as foggy as ever with the Dempsey deal, the Timbers are especially heated as they held the top allocation spot. Fans on both sides have been hurling words with Timbers owner Merritt Paulson getting in on the act as well, building a never-before-seen atmosphere for a regular season game.