No matter how you think of it, the number is impressive. That's how many season ticket holders New York City FC now has; a stout number, a firm foundation from which to grow. Even more impressive: according to the club, more than 60% of season ticket holders are buying their first season tickets for any sport.
That speaks volumes for the outreach that the team has done in the weeks and months leading up to the match. A club doesn't just sign up 15,000 people on a wing and a prayer.
"It is incredible how fast our fan base is growing," said New York City sporting director Claudio Reyna. "We've added another 1,000 [season ticket holders] in less than two weeks. Our team's excited for Sunday, and can’t wait to play for New York City and for our new fans."
That excitement isn't limited to people signing up for tickets, either. The team also announced that they'd be opening up the 400 level for Sunday's inaugural home opener, against the Eastern Conference defending champion New England Revolution.
"Demand for seats for this historic game has been tremendous, and momentum is growing by the day," said New York City president Tom Glick. "It was only ten days ago that we announced that the 300 level will be open. Now with more than 30,000 tickets sold, we've decided to open even more seats. New Yorkers clearly want to be part of this landmark moment for our club and for soccer and we are giving them every opportunity to come and support their new team."
Let's break that down what that means. Normally, the soccer configuration for Yankee Stadium will typically hold 27,528 fans, like this:
With the opening of the 400 level, that means that the capacity could increase by tens of thousands. A friendly match between Liverpool and New York City partner club Manchester City saw a crowd of 49,653. Normally, those seats wouldn't be open to the public, but an exception is being made to expand and open up the entire stadium to accommodate the huge demand for this historic game.