Despite Slow Start, Copa Attendance Trending Up

While the Arizona Cardinals are off for the summer their nest, at times, has been occupied.

The University of Phoenix Stadium has hosted a pair of Copa America Centenario matches with the third place game set for June 25th. Attendance in Glendale and the other venues around the country have been hit-or-miss. Some games very well received, others not nearly as much.

“It’s kind of like a glass that’s half full or half-empty,” ESPN soccer analyst Tommy Smyth told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “Some of the stadiums have [looked] terrible. I mean, to see the top of a stadium completely empty, that really bothers me.”

Gillette Stadium outside Boston drew just 19,392 fans to watch Chile beat Bolivia last week.

The highest locally attended game was Mexico and Uruguay which saw 60,025 pass through the turnstiles.

In many ways Copa America is still finding their footing in the States.

“It’s always played in South America,” Smyth said. “They would like to get it [regularly] to the United States because obviously there’s a lot more ‘bang for the buck’ than in South America.”

The tournament is averaging over 40,000 fans per game and it’s safe to assume those figures will increase in the knockout rounds. Last year host country Chile averaged just over 25,000. Some believe the ticket prices (least expensive is $50) may be keeping more people at home to watch on television instead of attend in person.