L.A. rivals target MLS record with Rose Bowl game

Featured image credit: LAFC

LA Galaxy is seeking to break the Major League Soccer (MLS) attendance record set earlier this year by playing its 2023 regular season opener against local rival LAFC at the Rose Bowl Stadium.

The game on February 25 will see the Galaxy return to the venue it called home for its formative years. The Galaxy played its first-ever match at Rose Bowl Stadium in a 2-1 win over the NY/NJ MetroStars on April 13, 1996, setting a club attendance record of 69,255.

The Galaxy moved out from the Rose Bowl in 2002, setting up home at the stadium now known as Dignity Health Sports Park. The derby match with LAFC is regarded as the fiercest rivalry in US soccer and officials are confident that a new MLS attendance record can be set at the 92,542-capacity Rose Bowl.

“The LA Galaxy are excited to write a new chapter in the storied soccer legacy of Los Angeles as we kick off our 2023 campaign against our intercity rival LAFC at the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium,” said LA Galaxy president, Chris Klein.

“We have a great history at the most legendary sports venue in the United States and know this will be a great spectacle for fans as we place one of the most exciting new rivalries in the world on LA’s biggest stage.”

LAFC co-president and chief business officer, Larry Freedman, added: “This rivalry has, from day one, delivered an energy and electricity that together with incredible moments and memories on the pitch, has established it among the most engaging not only in Los Angeles but across MLS. It is only fitting that we are now taking it to one of the most iconic venues in all of sports.”

Charlotte FC set a new attendance record for MLS after 74,479 fans watched its first-ever home game against the Galaxy at Bank of America Stadium on March 5. The figure surpassed the 73,019 who attended the 2018 MLS Cup match between Atlanta United and Portland Timbers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.