The ambiance is too good in this rivalry to just give it a normal buildup, and ESPN realizes this.
This game is getting a higher degree of promotion than other MLS matches, and it is rightfully deserved.
Expectations are different when the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers play each other.
Besides two of the best nicknames in all of pro sports, these are arguably the most supported MLS teams in the U.S. from their respective communities.
ESPN can be assured that this match will have rip-roaring intensity and a frenzied crowd. It will surpass just about every other match this season in MLS for crowd participation and general ruckus.
So, why not promote it nationally in a way that reflects its meaning to sports fans of the Pacific Northwest?
ESPN has chosen to do exactly that. It is not the ordinary MLS promotion.
For MLS, the timing is right. The game happens to come after the NBA season has concluded. If sports fans are thinking about soccer and MLS as an alternative, maybe this is the game to turn them on.
The promotion is noteworthy as it is decisively different than past MLS promotions for games. It is heavy on soccer history and culture.
Possibly, this is just one more way to promote MLB. The Seattle-Portland game is the direct lead-in to ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
It is a rare moment in sports television in the U.S. to have two of the five major pro leagues playing consecutive games on the same sports channel.
Hopefully, this Northwest passage lives up to expectations on the field. It will be a day game and sometimes day games don’t pull off the drama as well as night matches.
It’s in a tougher ratings slot than its counterpart, the Yankees at the Mets. Generally speaking, more people are apt to settle back and spend time watching sports later on a Sunday.
Even though everything would seem to favor the Subway Series (it’s a night game and it’s been America’s pastime), the Cascadia Series and the world’s sport is setting up for somewhat of a TV ratings showdown.
MLS would like to take a higher rating than how it has performed in the past, which has been really weak.
There is rivalry between teams and there is rivalry between sports this Sunday. Will sports fans make any new decisions about which is more exciting to watch?