But that’s a 21,000-seat, lower-bowl sellout.
Like the Sounders, the Whitecaps play in stadium with lower and upper-deck seating. But unlike the Sounders, the Whitecaps aren’t opening the upper deck for the Cascadia Cup or big draws like the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“I think you have to create the urgency,” Lenarduzzi said. “We played the Galaxy here this year, and we were sold out two or three days before the match. There was a huge debate that was taking place about why are we not opening up more seats. We probably left money on the table, but our feeling was that if people really believe that everytime we get a big match that we’re just going to open up more seats, then the likelihood of selling those season tickets will probably stay remote. So we’re really just trying to ensure that people understand that that’s going to be our capacity until the demand necessitates more.”
In addition to creating demand, the club also wants to keep as strong a home-pitch advantage as possible.
“We don’t want to compromise, and especially for a Sounders match with the Sounders fans coming up,” he said. “… I was talking to (Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer) about the (2011 match at Vancouver’s Empire Field) … The atmosphere there: That was crazy. I felt like there were more Sounders fans in the building than Whitecaps fans. And I know that were was an allocation (of tickets for Sounders supporters), but it seemed like they were all over the place. So anytime you get the derby matches – and you’re going to have the one against Portland (next weekend) – they’re special games.”