Well, that was quick.
After selling more than 23,500 tickets for the women's soccer friendly between the U.S. and New Zealand national teams in just two hours, soccer officials said the St. Louis game is on track to be largest home game in eleven years.
The U.S. women's team, which includes two St. Louis natives, originally limited seating for the April 4 game to the lower levels of Busch "Baseball Heaven" Stadium, but after selling those seats in a couple of hours, officials are opening the upper level sections for ticket sales.
Ticket sales that high are unusual for a city like St. Louis, which doesn't have a Major League Soccer team. But soccer fans in the STL, known as the birthplace of American soccer, have proved thrice in the last two years that they'll turn up in droves to watch international friendlies. Chelsea F.C. and Manchester City F.C. sold out Busch Stadium with a crowd of 48,000 fans, and more than 30,000 people turned out for the game between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina. The match between Real Madrid and Inter Milan packed the Edward Jones Dome with 54,000 fans. Senior writer at Sports Illustrated Grant Wahl pointed to St. Louis' high level of interest in soccer as proof that the city deserves an MLS team along with an owner who won't be an asshole (like another other local sports team owner we could mention).
Way to represent, St. Louis! Over 23,000 tickets sold for our #USWNT game on April 4, keep it going!— Becky Sauerbrunn (@beckysauerbrunn) January 30, 2015
Fans can still get tickets for the game, which is the team's first domestic contest after a six-game stretch in Europe and the only Midwest exhibition before the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, at ussoccer.com, by calling 314-345-9000 or at the Eighth Street window at Busch Stadium.
More than 23,500 tickets sold in less than a day for USWNT-NZ in St. Louis. Fan interest that deserves a top-flight club (and owner).— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) January 30, 2015