5,000. 13,151. 10,114.
The numbers represent fan attendance at each of the first three Scorpion matches in 2012.
From a ticket sales standpoint, NASL needs San Antonio more than any other team right now.
5,000 fans at sold-out Silverback Stadium in Atlanta watched San Antonio battle the Silverbacks during NASL’s Kick-Off Weekend. Was the X-factor to a sold-out game the Scorpions, or the fact that it was the season opener? Probably the latter. Let it be noted however, Atlanta drew only 3,261 fans during their next home game against one of the league’s more established teams, Tampa Bay Rowdies.
13,151 San Antonians squeezed into a standing room-only Heroes Stadium for the first ever Scorpions home game. Team President Michael Hitchcock was hoping for 10,000-12,000 fans, but nearly got more than he bargained for. Start time was pushed back half-an-hour due to a higher than projected number of ‘walk-up’ ticket buyers.
10,144 Scorpion supporters showed up a week later to watch San Antonio record their first goal, as well as a theatrical injury time score to draw even with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, 2-2. Whispers during pre-game tailgate festivities graciously estimated a crowd of 6,000-8,000. But once again, the city surprised the organization with an extraordinary show of dedication.
Attendance numbers are sure to return to normal NASL standards this week when San Antonio travels to Cary, North Carolina to play the Carolina RailHawks. Carolina, playing in the soccer-specific WakeMed Soccer Park (capacity 7,000) drew well under 4,000 fans for their home opener. An average crowd at any NASL match.
The NASL web-site boasts that 2012’s two-week attendance numbers have increased from 42,303 fans this year, compared to 29,947 in 2011. The web-site also gives much of the credit to their newest member, San Antonio.
As great a start as this is for the organization, the million-dollar question still stands. “Can the Scorpions organization continue to build off this momentum?”
History shows that initial home games for any expansion team are a novelty. The freshness is bound to wear off sooner or later.
Talk to any one inside the sacred hoop of Crocketteers, and they’ll tell you otherwise.
It was their passion over the past three years that helped bring professional soccer to San Antonio. It is the same passion they will put in for the next three years, to do everything in their power to ensure attendance numbers hover well above the current two-week NASL league average of 5,287.
After-all, in the minds and hearts of the San Antonio Scorpions and Crocketteers, the NASL is just a stepping stone to a higher calling. Major League Soccer.
Admittedly, 5,000, 13,151, and 10,114 do look more like unpredictable Wall Street figures.
Come to Heroes Stadium and experience a Scorpions soccer game with the Crocketteers and thousands of other fans, and you’ll understand why San Antonio is not your average NASL team.