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Originally published Monday, March 2, 2009 at 3:48 PM

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Sounders FC will allow more fans into Qwest for opener

Single-game tickets sold out quickly for the team's first match, March 19 vs. New York. The seating configuration will allow 32,400 fans for the game.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Latest from the Sounders FC blog

Single-game tickets for Seattle Sounders FC's opener March 19 sold out Monday morning, the team announced. Single-game tickets went on sale at 10 a.m.

The club has changed the seating configuration for the opener against the New York Red Bulls. Qwest Field will accommodate 32,400 for that game.

That means more seats in the lower bowl will be added for the opener. Also, the team will cap season-ticket sales at 22,000 after going over 20,000 last week. Sounders FC currently has the largest season-ticket base of all 15 teams in Major League Soccer.

"When we started this process 15 months ago, our goal was to successfully bring the world's game to the people of Seattle," Sounders FC majority owner Joe Roth said in a statement from the team. "Because of this region's passion and the overwhelming support for the Sounders FC, we wanted even more fans to experience our historic opening match in March."

The Qwest Field seating configuration for regular-season matches after the opener will be increased from an estimated 24,500 to 27,700 seats, making it one of the larger venues in Major League Soccer.

"This community once again showed why Seattle has the best fans in the country," said Tod Leiweke, CEO of minority partner Vulcan Sports and Entertainment. "The demand for tickets has exceeded our expectations, and the seating expansion to 27,700 will allow more fans to join us without jeopardizing the intimacy of the stadium."

Season-ticket sales will be capped to accommodate group, partial season and single-game ticket sales. Season tickets consist of 18 home matches — 15 MLS games and three friendlies, including the July 18 match versus Chelsea FC of the English Premier League.

Individual MLS game ticket prices are $20, $25, $30, $39 and $45. Ticket prices in Club Wells Fargo are $49 and $85 per match. Single-game tickets for the Chelsea match are not yet on sale.

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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