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For the second year in a row, a record crowd has attended a June Eagle test at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. 20,181 turned out to watch the Eagles fall to Ireland,15-12, Saturday, the most for any domestic test or 15s match. Last June, 17,214 watched the USA lose to Italy, 30-10.
The previous record is disputed, but many believe it was around 16,000 for a 2001 loss to South Africa at Houston's Robertson Stadium.
The bump in attendance is notable, especially considering a raise in ticket prices, which means a better rake for USA Rugby. The national office is rumored to be expecting to clear $600,000 from the weekend, a great pay day for a non-profit organization that has struggled to draw big crowds before.
Another rumor floating around BBVA Compass has in the neighborhood of 10,000 tickets already sold for the Eagles` upcoming bout with Tonga at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. A good turnout in Southern California, followed by an expected sellout at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC in August for a World Cup Qualifier against Canada, would make for a profitable summer for USA Rugby.