When the Los Angeles Galaxy beat Real Salt Lake to secure their seventh trip to the MLS Cup final, it marked another notch for the second-most storied franchise in MLS History. With this finals appearance, the Galaxy will have participated in 43 percent of all MLS finals, an impressive number that eclipses even the mighty Yankees who have appeared in 41 percent 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 third time in MLS Cup history that the host team has participated in the championship. It first happened in 1997, when DC United beat the Colorado Rapids in front of 57,431 at RFK Stadium. In 2002, the New England Revolution lost to 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-specific stadiums. With a capacity of only 27,000, and demand sky-high, the game is on pace to be the most expensive MLS Cup Finals in history. The current average price of $333 is 640 percent above the Galaxy's home average and is up 162 percent since the Galaxy clinched a berth in the championship game. (SB Nation ticketing partner TiqIQ has seats here.) The Galaxy's relatively high regular-season prices coupled with the possibility that this will be David Beckham's last game in LA, likely mean the 2011 Cup will only be going up over the next two weeks.