After ending the regular season with an average attendance of 16,682, their highest since 2008, the New England Revolution had an impressive turnout at Gillette Stadium for the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In fact, the 20,184 people in attendance set a record for largest crowd for a home playoff game in Revolution history. It should be noted that although 61,326 were at the 2002 MLS Cup hosted at Gillette Stadium, the location was technically a neutral site.
After hoisting a Jaws-inspired tifo before kickoff, the Foxboro Faithful were boisterous throughout the match. The extended Fort was loud as always while a large portion of the stadium shared their enthusiasm. The spirit from the crowd was felt by Revolution personnel as they secured a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.
"I love when we have a crowd there, because there’s an energy," head coach Jay heaps commented. "You can feel it. The oohs and the ahs, and the game itself just has a little bit more life. It was awesome, there were times you couldn’t even hear the referee blow the whistle."
This is the second straight home game that the Revolution have drawn a sizeable crowd. For their regular season finale, 32,766 were on hand to watch the Revs defeat Toronto FC. That crowd was the third-highest for a stand-alone Revolution game in Gillette Stadium history, which opened in 2002.
The large crowds help create a positive environment for all involved.
"That’s the kind of environment you want, and it’s the kind of environment I think people want to be a part of," Heaps said. "I think the better crowd, the better the experiences."
Teal Bunbury, who is in his first season with the Revolution, had nothing but good things to say about his move to New England. Bunbury was spotted kissing the Revolution badge after scoring against the Columbus Crew. Not only did he praise the region and his teammates, but also the fans.
"I love it here in New England," Bunbury said. "The guys have been very embracing for me. The fans have been unbelievable all season long. Credit to them, another great crowd tonight and [I’m] really happy to get a good result at home in front of them."