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06.08.2009 08:09

Qwest Field: the football fiesta

David Saura (enviat especial)

A total of 66,848 fans filled the Qwest Field Stadium, the biggest gate for a soccer match in the state of Washington, as Barça continued to be the focus of attention on their US tour.

In Los Angeles Barça broke the record for a soccer crowd since the World Cup in 1994, and now in Seattle they’ve set another. 66,848 fans filled the Qwest Field stadium to beat the record set by Real Madrid and DC United on 9 August 2006. For the second game in a row the sold out signs have gone up on Barça’s tour.

Dominant green

2009-08-05_LAPORTA_03.jpgUnlike Los Angeles, this time round the home fans were more numerous with green the dominant colour in the stands. The Seattle Sounders supporters are some of the most loyal and passionate in North America.

Festive atmosphere

2009-08-05_LAPORTA_02.jpgAs with every home match, a large group of fans met up in Union Square, just over a mile from the ground. The green throng (everyone wore a shirt or scarf in the local team’s colours) was accompanied by Barça chairman Joan Laporta as they marched to Qwest Field. A noisy group of musicians rounded off an attractive scene that is rarely to be found in Europe with a real festive atmosphere outside the ground.

Recognition for Bill Russell

2009-08-05_AFICION_01.jpgBefore kick-off the home fans welcomed basketball legend Bill Russell, who came out onto the pitch and was presented with a Sounders scarf. Russell, who won 11 NBA titles with the Celtics, currently lives in Seattle. The pre-match ceremonies also featured Sounders owner Joe Roth, Barça chairman Joan Laporta, and local artist Dale Chihuly, whose glass sculpture will be auctioned off to raise money for UNICEF and the FC Barcelona Foundation.
Qwest Field: the football fiesta
Same ground, smaller capacity
The Seattle Sounders play their MLS games at Qwest Field, but the stadium’s capacity is smaller as the upper stand is closed. The upper part is covered with a canvas which generates a very special atmosphere for the home team. In these games the maximum attendance is 32,400.

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