For those of us watching Friday’s pre-season match between Manchester United and Club America, there was a notable lack of bums in seats. Let’s take a look at attendance for United’s last three visits to Seattle:
- 2003 vs Celtic – 66,772
- 2011 vs Seattle Sounders – 67,052
- 2015 vs Club America – 46,857
That’s pretty much 20,000 less seats sold for the International Champions Cup encounter than previous friendlies held in the same venue.
At time of writing, I haven’t seen a media report on why attendance was so low. I’m also skeptical that the club will ever acknowledge what happened.
Could this be fallout from the club’s decision to move the next match of the tour [against San Jose Earthquakes] from the 63,000 capacity California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, CA to the minuscule 18,000-seat Avaya Stadium that is the actual home of the ‘Quakes?
The change of venue is supposedly down to Louis van Gaal’s desire to minimize travel during the tour, but must surely have ruined travel plans for thousands of supporters who had bought tickets for the previous venue. Or, is it possible that demand was low – prompting the change?
In any event, it can only be a disappointment for club brass who last year saw the biggest ever attendance for a match in the USA – the 109,318 ducats sold as MUFC took on Real Madrid at Michigan Stadium.