Crew Stadium drew thousands for World Cup
Nearly 10,000 fans flocked to Crew Stadium for live telecasts of all 64 games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, culminating with Sunday’s final in which Spain defeated the Netherlands, 1-0, in overtime. The month-long tournament kicked off on June 11 and became the most-watched ever in the United States.
This year marked the third straight World Cup that every game was shown live in the Stadium Club tent, but in high definition this time, on Panasonic HD televisions provided by Best Buy – one of which was given away Sunday as a raffle Grand Prize.
“It was once again a pleasure to open our doors to the community at large this year, as interest in the World Cup reached unprecedented levels in this country,” said Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers. “To be reminded of the diversity of our community and the passion it has for soccer is inspiring.”
Sunday’s final, televised by ABC and Univisión, was the most watched soccer match in U.S. television history. A total of 24.3 million viewers (15.5 million on ABC and 8.8 million on Univisión) tuned in to watch Spain capture its first-ever World Cup.
In fact, the match garnered more viewers than did the deciding games of both the 2009 World Series between the Yankees and Phillies (22.3 million) and the 2010 Stanly Cup Finals (8.28 million). The numbers are also comparable to the 28.2 million pulled by Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals between the L.A. Lakers and Boson Celtics.
The 15.5 million viewers that tuned in to watch the 2010 World Cup Final on ABC were the most for any men’s soccer match in U.S. television history, surpassing the U.S.-Ghana match earlier in the tournament (14.9 million). The audience of 8.8 million on Univisión proved to be the second largest audience ever for a soccer match on Spanish-language television, trailing the Round of 16 match-up in the same World Cup between Argentina and Mexico (9.4 million).
The 2010 World Cup’s 64 matches drew an average audience on ABC/ESPN 41 percent higher than the 2006 World Cup in Germany, while Univisión scored a 15 percent increase from 2006.
Founded by American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the league's Charter Members, it won its first MLS Cup Championship in 2008 and has also won the 2002 U.S. Open Cup championship and MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. It is currently in its 15th season overall and 12th in first-of-its-kind Columbus Crew Stadium.