World Cup soccer fans pack CenturyLink Field

by: Graham Johnson Updated:

Seattle —

Around 40,000 fans were expected to attend Tuesday night's World Cup soccer qualifying match at CenturyLink Field between the USA and Panama.

At midday, a U.S. Soccer spokesman told KIRO 7 that 36,500 tickets had been sold. A few thousand more fans were expected to buy walk-up tickets.

Because of a Mariners baseball game at neighboring Safeco Field, attendance at the match is capped. A Sounders spokeswoman put the cap at 42,000. A U.S. Soccer spokesman said the number was somewhere between that and 45,000. Either way, soccer officials did not expect the cap to be a problem because the game was not sold out.

The permit for building CenturyLink Field included limits on combined attendance when events are held at both stadiums. According to Bryan Stevens at the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development: "Dual events should be avoided when possible, but when they do occur (one sporting event beginning within four hours of the start of another event) then the cumulative attendance should be limited to 58,000 on weekdays and 65,000 on weekends."

A Mariners spokeswoman said the team expected to only draw between 10,000 and 12,000 fans Tuesday night.