On average, Sounders rout Mariners in attendance

Tri-City HeraldOctober 8, 2012 

— It seems to be the want of Seattle Mariners brass to throw obstacles in the way of Chris Hansen and his efforts to build a new home for NBA and NHL franchises in Sodo.

By now, M's CEO Howard Lincoln must be rather jealous of the Seattle Sounders Football Club.

Last night, the Sounders played at home in front of a crowd of 66,452. A longtime friend made sure I was among the throng, which drowned out the 1,500 or so supporters of the Portland Timbers.

It was the second-largest crowd in Major League Soccer history, and it boosted the Sounders' average home attendance for 2012 league matches to 43,755. That would rank No. 6 in the English Premier League, between historic sides such as Liverpool and Chelsea.

That figure is slightly more than double that of the Mariners in 2012. According to ESPN.com, the Mariners averaged 21,258 this past season. That is 44 percent of capacity at The Safe, and the club ranked 26th out of 30 in Major League Baseball.

And when it comes to big crowds, the Sounders come up big. Joshua Mayers of The Seattle Times pointed out the Sounders are 5-0-1 in MLS games in front of more than 40,000, outscoring opponents 16-1. In front of more than 55,000 fans, the Sounders are 4-0 with an 11-1 goal differential.

Seattle continues to warmly embrace the MLS and the Sounders, and fans have adopted some of the fun and passionate traditions established by football fans overseas.

Sunday afternoon, I experienced the March to the Match, which begins in Occidental Park. The blue and green smoke bombs detonated along the route near F.X. McRory's added some spice and sulfur.

Factions of Sounders fans also created songs for Sunday's match. For example, the Emerald City Supporters song card included 'The Timbers Family' -- sung to The Addams Family theme song. Several of those ditties carry a reference to the federally documented use of meth by many men arrested in the Rose City. All in good fun, right? Just like those "Ted Bundy was a Husky" T-shirts worn so proudly by University of Oregon supporters.

Should the Sounders reach the finals of the MLS Cup, my friend hopes I can make it. After all, the Sounders are 3-0-0 in their four-year MLS history with me giving my full 90 in Section 143. Considering the Sounders' history in the MLS playoffs, perhaps I should make it for the opening round.

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