By Zachary Baru
The Revolution have had many great double-headers over the years in Foxborough, welcoming international teams to play exhibitions following the Revs' matches. And while they are great for attendance, there always seemed to be less focus on the Revolution match preceding the international event.
Saturday at Gillette Stadium it was a different story. The Revolution were the main-event, drawing a season-high 32,766 fans on the team's regular season home finale. The massive crowd was good enough for the Revolution's third-largest stand-alone regular season attendance, factoring out all of the international double-headers the Revs have featured in Foxborough over the years.
The boisterous crowd filled the lower level, and in a rare occurrence caused the Revolution front office to open up the mezzanine seats for fans who could not secure a seat in the lower level. Typically, the Revolution do not sell mezzanine seats, opening up only the lower level and one of the club levels in the stadium.
Had the front office wanted to, the event could have been deemed a sell out, and fans could have been prevented from entering. But the Revolution wisely chose to scratch the sellout in favor of a large crowd, which can only help the franchise's chances of luring fans back to future games once playoff soccer returns to Foxborough next week.
As the Revolution travel to Columbus to face the Crew in the MLS Cup Playoffs, the front office is hoping for a big response from fans for the Revs' first home playoff game. When the Revs host the Crew on November 9 at Gillette Stadium, Revolution President Brian Biello told Boston.com that he expects 20,000 fans for the match. Early-round playoffs in MLS can be tough for teams to draw large crowds, as many of the promotions do not exist and the length of time for pre-sales are minimal.
As the Revolution's play on the field continues to improve, their success off the field improves along with it. Next Sunday's match at Gillette looks to be an exciting atmosphere, as the MLS playoffs return to Foxborough for a second consecutive year.
Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.