Funny thing about Clint Dempsey, Seattle and big crowds …
No room for debate here: the standard in larger European and Latin American leagues tops Major League Soccer.
The gap is gradually narrowing, not the yawning monster it once was, but still meaningful when measured against Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, etc.
But you know what we have – and always had? Great stadiums! Big behemoths of capacity, concessionary bliss and revenue generating suite-ness. For better or worse, we got ‘em, and God Bless America!
Here’s the funny thing when it comes to Seattle Sounders front man Clint Dempsey and his showy relocation to the Pacific Norhwest: He had to come to the United States to play before the really huge crowds!
We told you yesterday that Dempsey’s home debut is already sold out, which means a crowd of 66,000 plus change at CenturyLink on Aug. 25.
According to the books, capacity for Sounders’ soccer is around 40,000, the looming vestige of another day in MLS, when the term “down-sizing” was sadly overused and sadly necessary. They weren’t fooling anyone, of course; a baby in a grown-man’s suit is what it is – and it looks pretty goofy.
But Dempsey will do his initial passing and trapping before 67,000 – and perhaps all his Dempsey-ness will help achieve critical mass for the club, convincing Sounders officials to release the upper level seats for good. Either way, that game before 67,000 is something Dempsey saw little of in England.
Only one Premier League club has a capacity above that number; Old Trafford seats 75,000 for mighty Manchester United.
White Hart Lane, home to his former club Tottenham, is a 36,000-seat ground (not to mention a ground situated way too far from the nearest London tube stop – but that’s another matter.) Craven Cottage, home to Dempsey’s first stop in the Old World, Fulham FC, is famously cozy, seating a mere 25,000.
Eat your heart out, European soccer; our first touch may not be as savvy, but we sure have the sweet suites and seats. Lots of them.