Different strokes for different folks: Was the Rose Bowl near capacity? You tell us, some think not

Above: Staff Photo by Watchara Phomicinda

Having been to many soccer games at the Rose Bowl, I thought the announced crowd of 81,224 was spot-on for the Chelsea-Inter Milan friendly on Tuesday night, but you would have thought colleague Scott Wolff and I were at different games. “The game between the Italian domestic champions and one of England’s most star-studded teams looked like they drew about the same as a UCLA-Fresno State football game,” Wolff wrote. “There was an announced crowd of more than 81,000, but the actual turnout was clearly less. This is Los Angeles, the melting pot of the world. And it failed to sell out the Rose Bowl.” Wolff also wrote, “Soccer boosters in the U.S. always pin their hopes that some event will cause us all to come to our senses and embrace the sport. But that won’t happen until teams the quality of Chelsea or Inter Milan are actually based here and playing every day. And if you actually follow soccer, you know that will probably never happen.” If you read my column, you might find former U.S. President Alan Rothenberg’s quote very interesting on why he believes soccer already has arrived, and it’s the media that needs to catch-up. “The problem is that media is still dominated by a bunch of old white men who grew up on baseball, football and basketball, and maybe occasionally golf or tennis,” the 70-year-old Rothenberg said. “As far as they’re concerned, everything else is a foreign sport. A new generation is growing up with the game. A new generation is growing up that’s very international and soccer won’t get short-changed with them. What’s going on now didn’t happen 20-years ago when we were walking around the Rose Bowl with 200 or 300 people watching a (L.A) Aztecs game. It’s a different time now.”

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