A crowd of 8,000 fills the stands of Bonney Field to watch Sacramento beat Pittsburgh on Sunday night. The crowd contributed to breaking the overall USL PRO attendance record with 118,107 through nine games. The previous record was 112,748, set by Orlando in 14 games. Evan Ream/Enterprise photo


Republic sets attendance record

By From page B1 | July 29, 2014

SACRAMENTO — Thanks to a sell-out crowd of 8,000, who witnessed a 5-0 win against Pittsburgh at Bonney Field on Sunday night, Sacramento Republic FC broke the single-season USL PRO total attendance record with 118,107 total fans.

Republic FC has five more home dates to augment its record, which broke the previous mark of 112,748 set by Orlando City Soccer Club in 14 games in 2013. Sacramento has played nine home games.

“I think this record, No. 1, just reaffirms something we’ve kind of said from Day One: Sacramento has some of the best sports fans in the country,” said Republic FC vice president of marketing and communications Erika Bjork. “The Kings led for years with one of the longest sell-out streaks and records, not once but twice. The River Cats have led attendance in all but one of their seasons.

“This is just one more goal that this region has reached as far as sports,” she added. “It also demonstrates that this is a very under-served sports community. Many of our sell-outs have been on the same nights that the River Cats have sold out. I think it shows that this region has amazing sports fans who love to support their local teams.”

Playing at Hughes Stadium for its first four games while Bonney Field was under construction, the Republic drew the four largest crowds in USL PRO regular season history, three times selling out the 20,231-seat facility.

The Republic has sold out eight of its nine USL PRO home matches, drawing 17,414 fans in the only game that it didn’t.

While Bonney Field seats just 8,000 fans, there are plans to expand it to up to 14,000 for the 2015 season, according to Republic FC president Warren Smith.

Republic FC currently sits in fourth place with an 11-6-3 record through 20 games and just one point behind third-place LA Galaxy II.

The top eight teams in the league make the single-elimination playoffs in which the higher seed hosts each match, starting in early September.

Sacramento has a 12-point cushion and game in hand over ninth-place Charlotte, making the playoffs all but mathematically assured with just eight games remaining in the season.

— Reach Evan Ream at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam

Evan Ream

Evan Ream graduated with a B.A. in journalism from Southern Oregon in Ashland, Ore. He loves soccer more than any person rationally should. "Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that." - Bill Shankly
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