When The Galaxy Beat the Real Salt Lake to secure the 7th trip to the MLS Cup final, it marked another notch for the 2nd most storied franchise in MLS History. With this finals, the Galaxy will have participated in 43% of all MLS finals, an impressive number that eclipses even the mighty Yankees who have appeared in 41% of World Series since they became the Yankees in 1913.
Unlike baseball, however, where the two best teams have a chance to play in front of their home crowd, MLS, like the NFL, plays their championship game at neutral site. That means that unless fans are willing to take it on the road, they'll have to settle for watching their soccer heroes on TV. This year, however, marks the exception, and the the third time in MLS Cup history that the host team has participated in the championship. It first happened in 1997, when the D.C. United beat the Colorado Rapids in front of 57,431 at RFK Stadium. In 2002, the New England Revolution lost of the LA Galaxy in front of 61,316 at Gillette Stadium.
Unlike those multi-purpose facilities, The Galaxy play their home games at the Home Depot Center, one of the original soccer-only stadiums. With a capacity of only 27,000, and demand sky-high, the game is on pace to the most expensive MLS Cup Finals in history. The current average price of $341 is 655% above the Galaxy's home average and is up 180% since the Galaxy clinched a berth in the championship game. The Galaxy were already had the 3rd most expensive average home price, behind only Vancouver and Toronto. Couple that with the possibility that this will be David Beckham's last game in LA, and it may be a while before another Cup finals comes close to matching 2011's price.