Sounders FC set to break single-season MLS attendance record in finale

With more than 53,000 fans expected for the club’s season finale at CenturyLink Field this weekend, Sounders FC is set to break its own record for Major League Soccer single-season attendance for the sixth time in franchise history.

The Sounders are averaging 43,547 fans per match this season heading into the huge season finale against Real Salt Lake on Sunday (4 pm PT; JoeTv/KIRO Radio 97.3 FM/El Rey 1360 AM), and after the game the club will set a new mark eclipsing the previous record of 44,038 fans per game, set in 2013.

Sunday’s game will be the fourth full stadium match of the season at CenturyLink Field, and the Sounders are 14-2-3 in those matches since the first crowd of 45,000 happened in 2011. The Sounders are seeking their seventh consecutive berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with a result against RSL, and can finish as high as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference if results across the league fall their way on the season’s Decision Day.

Prior to the Sounders joining MLS in 2009, the highest single-season attendance mark belonged to the LA Galaxy in the league’s inaugural campaign in 1996. This average attendance of 28,916 stood for over a decade until domestic topflight soccer reached the Emerald City. In their first season, the Sounders became the first club to reach the 30,000 plateau. The average continued to grow in a way that had never been seen before in league history, and by 2012 the Sounders averaged over 43,000 fans each match.

To date, the Sounders hold the top six single-season attendance totals in league history, including an active league-record streak of 124 sellouts.

Only one other MLS team eclipsed an average of 30,000 fans per game this season – expansion side Orlando City SC. MLS expects to set a new league record for average attendance this season with more than 21,000 fans per game across the league.

Here are the top five teams in the league by average attendance this season:

Team                                       Average
Seattle Sounders FC               43,547
Orlando City SC                       32,847
New York City FC                     28,695
Toronto FC                               23,451
LA Galaxy                                23,392

Here are the top 10 single-season averages in MLS history:

Year     Team                           Average

2015    Seattle Sounders FC   ???
2013    Seattle Sounders FC   44,038
2014    Seattle Sounders FC   43,734
2012    Seattle Sounders FC   43,144
2011    Seattle Sounders FC   38,498
2010    Seattle Sounders FC   36,173
2009    Seattle Sounders FC   30,897
1996    Los Angeles Galaxy    28,916
2008    Los Angeles Galaxy    26,009
2007    Los Angeles Galaxy    24,252
2005    Los Angeles Galaxy     24,204