CARSON, Calif. – Midweek home games generally don't work so well for the LA Galaxy, who cap attendances – as low as 7,500 – because of night classes at Cal State Dominguez Hills, the university on whose campus the Home Depot Center sits.
Thursday's Knockout Round game against the Vancouver Whitecaps (10:30 pm ET, NBCSN/TSN), however, is something else.
The Galaxy and the university reached an agreement last week that will enable at least 20,000 to attend the playoff game, and Bruce Arena, for one, is pleased to see it.
“We're not playing in front of 7,500 ...,” Arena noted during his news conference following LA's 1-0 victory Sunday night over the Seattle Sounders. “The 7,500 doesn't work. It doesn't produce the type of atmosphere that we think we need to have. ... I think it's important that we get good support on Thursday, and it'll help the team.”
The agreement for Thursday's game has the Galaxy selling lower-bowl seats, about 20,000 of the 27,000 capacity. If those sell out, a decision will be made on whether to sell tickets for the upper deck on the eastern side of the stadium and for the grass berm to the north.
LA were limited to 7,500 this year for CONCACAF Champions League games in March against Toronto FC – a 2-1 defeat that ended their title hopes – and in late August against the Puerto Rico Islanders.
The attendance caps are part of an agreement with the university, which, like many Southern California colleges, is a commuter school with limited on-campus housing and a substantial number of older students with full-time jobs and families.
It's all about parking and traffic – the Galaxy use the school's lots for game parking – and LA have previously shuttled fans to the stadium from off-site parking lots in Carson and neighboring Gardena to deal with the loss of on-campus spaces.