Archive for the ‘Attendance’ Category

Taking Attendance 7/22/2014: (Mostly) Final PDL Numbers

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

The USL Premier Development League regular season is in the books, and here (with some missing data) are the final attendance numbers for the top summer amateur league in the US and Canada. The Des Moines Menace led the league for the fifth time in the last six years, with an average announced attendance of 3,340 for their seven home games this season.

Team G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Des Moines Menace 7 23,377 3,340 3,333 3,711 2,871
Portland Timbers U-23s 7 16,291 2,327 756 8,207 130
Fresno Fuego #6 13,742 2,290 1,874 3,627 1,693
BYU Cougars 7 13,215 1,888 1,609 3,075 885
Carolina Dynamo 7 13,060 1,866 1,975 2,348 1,311
Austin Aztex 7 12,795 1,828 1,823 2,380 1,404
FC Tucson 7 9,717 1,388 1,098 2,983 1,012
Ventura County Fusion 7 9,256 1,322 1,121 2,100 900
Victoria Highlanders FC 7 9,201 1,314 1,378 1,461 1,057
Midland/Odessa Sockers FC 7 7,838 1,120 884 1,969 587
Albuquerque Sol F.C. 7 6,554 936 936 1,520 400
Western Mass Pioneers 7 6,367 910 1,048 1,456 317
Forest City London 7 5,436 777 650 1,307 369
Long Island Rough Riders 7 4,624 661 647 985 276
Thunder Bay Chill #6 3,691 615 615 690 557
Laredo Heat 7 4,273 610 609 746 549
Mississippi Brilla 7 4,182 597 604 890 402
Michigan Bucks 7 4,160 594 402 1,238 252
Kitsap Pumas 7 3,242 463 460 562 370
Lane United FC 7 3,192 456 400 800 300
Sounders FC U23 7 2,895 414 308 1,012 234
Chicago Inferno #2 749 375 375 403 346
Las Vegas Mobsters @3 1,125 375 350 450 325
Ocala Stampede 7 2,600 371 214 1,075 106
SW Florida Adrenaline @3 1,104 368 380 403 321
Ocean City Nor’easters @3 1,097 366 424 521 152
Reading United AC 7 2,546 364 316 609 209
GPS Portland Phoenix 2 650 325 325 400 250
K-W United FC $4 1,225 306 283 437 222
Vermont Voltage 7 2,106 301 300 450 156
Panama City Beach Pirates 7 2,043 292 265 450 215
San Jose Earthquakes @3 871 290 286 400 185
CFC Azul 7 1,950 279 250 450 250
St. Louis Lions 7 1,884 269 280 396 160
Cincinnati Dutch Lions 7 1,754 251 235 352 151
Toronto Lynx #6 1,350 225 175 600 100
Baltimore Bohemians 7 1,523 218 207 393 103
Northern Virginia Royals **5 1,018 204 189 323 126
SoCal Seahorses 7 1,385 198 240 270 105
Real Colorado Foxes #6 1,145 191 175 400 20
WSA Winnipeg 7 1,255 179 200 275 70
SWVa King’s Warriors 7 1,203 172 188 204 125
Seacoast United Phantoms 7 1,200 171 100 350 100
F.A. Euro $4 665 166 170 300 25
LA Misioneros FC #6 980 163 100 400 80
River City Rovers !2 325 163 163 175 150
Real Boston Rams 7 1,114 159 150 224 75
Jersey Express 7 963 138 125 205 88
West Virginia Chaos 7 965 138 135 220 50
Puget Sound Gunners FC @3 400 133 60 300 40
Springfield Demize 6 729 122 132 172 58
Houston Dutch Lions 7 833 119 113 200 80
Washington Crossfire 7 788 113 100 265 70
Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23 #6 660 110 93 175 75
NJ LUSO Parma #6 650 108 100 150 50
IMG Academy Bradenton 7 740 106 100 150 90
Floridians F.C. @2 197 99 99 105 92
Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 7 667 95 77 177 77
Montreal Impact U23 #6 550 92 88 150 25
Westchester Flames 7 520 74 65 135 40
Chicago Fire U-23 **5 353 71 78 116 16
OC Pateadores Blues 7 325 46 50 50 30
Orlando City U23 &0 0 0 0 0 0
SC United Bantams &0 0 0 0 0 0
PDL TOTAL 375 221,315 590 278 8,207 16
# Missing 1 game            
** Missing 2 games            
$ Missing 3 games            
@ Missing 4 games            
! Missing 5 games            
& Missing 7 games            

NOTES:

  • Orlando City U23 and the SC United Bantams did not announce attendance figures for any of their games this season. I am missing 55 other data points for 2014, ranging from one to five missing games for various clubs. I don’t think the missing numbers reasonably impact the conclusions we can draw in most cases.
  • While 10 teams averaged 1,000 or more per game this season, more than half the league can’t get 300 a game on average.
  • If the World Cup raised interest in the sport throughout the country, it wasn’t expressed in PDL attendance. The league averaged 621 per game before the Cup, dropped to 556 during and then rebounded a bit to 585 afterwards.
  • FC Tucson has quietly built something over time. From an average of 681 in their first season (2012), they grew to an 800 average last year and ranked seventh in the PDL this season at 1,388. They’ll host the Western Conference semifinals and final this weekend.
  • Austin (with a game missing – anyone who can help a brother out, it would be appreciated) averaged 1,804 in its final season in the amateur ranks. The Aztex will move up to USL Pro next season, and hopefully it goes better than other PDL clubs that have tried their hand at turning pro.
  • As always, additions and corrections are welcome.

Taking Attendance Bonus: The World Cup

Monday, July 14th, 2014

World Cup attendance
The 2014 FIFA World CupTM is now over, and here’s a look at the attendance figures for the event, broken out by venue:

Stadium City G Total Average Capacity Pct. Cap
Arena Amazonia Manaus 4 160,227 40,057 40,549 98.79%
Arena Corinthians Sao Paulo 6 375,593 62,599 62,601 100.00%
Arena da Baixada Curitiba 3 117,680 39,227 39,631 98.98%
Arena Fonte Nova Salvador 6 300,674 50,112 51,900 96.56%
Arena Pantanal Cuiaba 4 158,717 39,679 41,112 96.52%
Arena Pernambuco Recife 5 204,882 40,976 42,610 96.17%
Estadio Beira-Rio Porto Alegre 6 254,280 42,380 43,394 97.66%
Estadio Castelao Fortaleza 6 356,896 59,483 60,342 98.58%
Estadio das Dunas Natal 4 158,167 39,542 39,971 98.93%
Estadio do Maracana Rio de Janeiro 7 519,189 74,170 74,738 99.24%
Estadio Mineirao Belo Horizonte 6 345,350 57,558 58,170 98.95%
Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha Brasilia 7 478,218 68,317 69,349 98.51%
WORLD CUP TOTAL   64 3,429,873 53,592   98.40%


Above, you’ll see where this year’s event ranks among them all in terms of average attendance. Twenty years on, the tournament hosted by the United States is still the best attended.

Taking Attendance 7/14/2014: A One And A Two And A Three..

Monday, July 14th, 2014

This week we’re looking at the Division I, Division II and Division III leagues, better known as (the) MLS, the NASL and USL Pro. Here are their average, median, high and low attendance figures through last night’s games (as always, unofficial and, in some cases, incomplete, additions and corrections are always welcome):

MLS G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Seattle 9 384,935 42,771 38,582 64,207 38,441
Toronto 8 180,728 22,591 22,591 22,591 22,591
Los Angeles 7 148,744 21,249 20,847 27,000 14,615
Vancouver 9 188,883 20,987 21,000 22,500 19,383
Portland 10 208,140 20,814 20,814 20,814 20,814
Salt Lake 8 161,475 20,184 20,485 20,513 18,881
Kansas City 9 178,574 19,842 19,838 20,858 19,073
Houston 9 177,810 19,757 20,558 22,320 15,030
Montreal 9 172,305 19,145 18,068 27,207 14,135
Philadelphia 8 144,514 18,064 18,587 18,843 15,691
New York 8 144,306 18,038 18,271 23,776 13,278
Dallas 10 169,313 16,931 16,640 21,182 15,039
DC United 10 168,388 16,839 13,102 53,267 8,224
New England 8 122,889 15,361 14,533 23,950 11,293
Chicago 8 122,375 15,297 15,745 17,487 12,699
Colorado 10 145,668 14,567 14,509 18,432 10,086
San Jose 10 142,183 14,218 10,525 50,006 9,114
Columbus 8 104,611 13,076 13,270 18,026 4,680
Chivas USA 9 62,416 6,935 6,082 15,008 3,702
MLS TOTAL 167 3,128,257 18,732 18,396 64,207 3,702
 
NASL G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Indy 5 52,324 10,465 10,285 11,048 10,285
San Antonio 5 32,381 6,476 6,484 7,381 5,595
Minnesota 4 22,309 5,577 5,306 6,784 4,913
Carolina 5 24,536 4,907 4,066 7,856 3,080
New York 6 29,009 4,835 3,968 7,906 3,091
Tampa Bay 6 28,887 4,815 4,501 7,003 3,896
Atlanta 4 18,922 4,731 5,000 5,000 3,922
Ft. Lauderdale 5 18,393 3,679 3,109 5,572 3,092
Edmonton 5 17,886 3,577 3,609 4,399 2,961
Ottawa 5 13,418 2,684 2,432 3,457 2,158
NASL TOTAL 50 258,065 5,161 4,535 11,048 2,158
 
USL Pro G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Sacramento 7 102,107 14,587 17,414 20,231 8,000
Rochester 8 42,196 5,275 5,290 6,385 4,007
Orlando 10 47,134 4,713 4,801 5,029 4,206
Charleston 7 27,948 3,993 3,773 5,415 2,674
Oklahoma City 8 30,460 3,808 3,819 4,230 3,405
Pittsburgh 7 19,265 2,752 2,485 3,902 2,005
Richmond 9 22,204 2,467 2,333 3,507 2,010
Wilmington 8 18,169 2,271 2,119 3,256 1,757
Arizona 10 22,406 2,241 2,128 3,014 1,482
Harrisburg 8 14,112 1,764 1,746 2,233 1,417
Charlotte 8 6,348 794 706 1,261 556
Orange County 9 6,591 732 638 1,221 431
Los Angeles 10 6,866 687 575 1,259 410
Dayton 9 4,548 505 456 1,026 213
USL PRO TOTAL 118 370,354 3,139 2,202 20,231 213


NOTES:

  • Last night’s crowd of 64,207 in Seattle was a season high for MLS, slightly off last year’s similar fixture (in late August), which drew 67,385. It may have also contributed to the lowest crowd in the brief history of the Portland Thorns, who hosted FC Kansas City a couple of hours before the Timbers played up the road. Still, having 9,672 as your lowest crowd in history is something almost every club in America outside MLS would take.
  • The NASL’s Fall Season began this past weekend, and no home team cracked 4,000 announced (not even the vaunted Cosmos). The week’s average of 3,497 for five games was the lowest for the NASL since Week 8 of the spring season in 2013 (when they averaged 3,394 for the three matches). This coming week should be a positive one for the second-division league, though, as both Indy Eleven (which has sold out every game) and Ottawa (which moves into TD Place and seems to feel confident about a five-figure crowd) are at home, as are San Antonio and Minnesota.
  • USL Pro-leading Sacramento didn’t have a home game this week, but fellow expansionist Oklahoma City did. OKC has had a very positive debut, filling about 95% of its seats through its first eight games. The league projects – if everyone holds their averages, which won’t happen because Sacramento’s is going to go down now – to average about 3,328 for the season.
  • While we’ll continue to monitor the impact of the World Cup on attendance stateside, it’s hard to advocate MLS completely standing down for the month when they drew 19,807 on average for 30 games during the knockout stages of the Cup (after taking the group stage off). USL Pro saw a slight dip during the festivities (going from a 3,177 average prior to 2,901 during).

Taking Attendance: Ranking ‘Em (Almost) All

Monday, July 7th, 2014

For this week’s Taking Attendance update, we’re going to look at all the teams in MLS, the NASL, USL Pro, the PDL, the NWSL, the W-League and even a handful of NPSL teams and see where they all rank in terms of average announced attendance.

Caveats: There are two teams (Orlando City U-23 and SC United Bantams, both from the PDL) for which I have no data points and I have almost no crowd figures for the NPSL. I have included the few NPSL teams for which I have data just because I’m making an effort to include them and this is another step in that process. Announced attendance does not always equate to actual butts in seats or tickets sold. And outside of MLS, the NASL and the NWSL, there are some clubs for whom I am missing a game or two (or three or four). Not everyone is as reliable about announcing attendance figures as I wish they were.

With that said, here’s the list, from 1-144:

Rk Team Lg G Total Avg.
1 Seattle Sounders MLS 8 320,728 40,091
2 Toronto FC MLS 7 158,137 22,591
3 Los Angeles Galaxy MLS 6 128,862 21,477
4 Vancouver Whitecaps MLS 8 169,500 21,188
5 Portland Timbers MLS 10 208,140 20,814
6 Real Salt Lake MLS 8 161,475 20,184
7 Sporting Kansas City MLS 9 178,574 19,842
8 Houston Dynamo MLS 9 177,810 19,757
9 Montreal Impact MLS 8 155,150 19,394
10 New York Red Bulls MLS 7 127,278 18,183
11 Philadelphia Union MLS 7 125,835 17,976
12 FC Dallas MLS 10 169,313 16,931
13 DC United MLS 10 168,388 16,839
14 Sacramento Republic FC USL PRO 6 94,107 15,685
15 New England Revolution MLS 7 107,483 15,355
16 Chicago Fire MLS 8 122,375 15,297
17 San Jose Earthquakes MLS 9 131,658 14,629
18 Colorado Rapids MLS 10 145,668 14,567
19 Columbus Crew MLS 8 104,611 13,076
20 Portland Thorns FC NWSL 8 100,054 12,507
21 Indy Eleven NASL 5 52,324 10,465
22 Chivas USA MLS 9 62,416 6,935
23 San Antonio Scorpions NASL 5 32,381 6,476
24 Minnesota United NASL 4 22,309 5,577
25 Rochester Rhinos USL PRO 7 38,189 5,456
26 Carolina Railhawks NASL 4 21,456 5,364
27 New York Cosmos NASL 5 25,203 5,041
28 Tampa Bay Rowdies NASL 5 24,991 4,998
29 Atlanta Silverbacks NASL 4 18,922 4,731
30 Orlando City SC USL PRO 9 42,215 4,691
31 Houston Dash NWSL 8 36,839 4,605
32 Chicago Red Stars NWSL 5 21,265 4,253
33 Charleston Battery USL PRO 6 23,250 3,875
34 OKC Energy FC USL PRO 7 26,841 3,834
35 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers NASL 4 15,301 3,825
36 FC Edmonton NASL 4 14,277 3,569
37 Tulsa Athletics NPSL 3 10,317 3,439
38 Seattle Reign FC NWSL 8 27,240 3,405
39 Washington Spirit NWSL 8 26,037 3,255
40 Des Moines Menace PDL 4 12,708 3,177
41 W.New York Flash NWSL 8 24,655 3,082
42 Detroit City FC NPSL 5 14,082 2,816
43 Pittsburgh Riverhounds USL PRO 7 19,265 2,752
44 Ottawa Fury NASL 5 13,418 2,684
45 Portland Timbers U-23s PDL 6 15,816 2,636
46 Richmond Kickers USL PRO 8 20,069 2,509
47 Fresno Fuego PDL 6 13,742 2,290
48 Wilmington Hammerheads FC USL PRO 8 18,169 2,271
49 Arizona United SC USL PRO 10 22,406 2,241
50 Chattanooga FC NPSL 3 6,467 2,156
51 Boston Breakers NWSL 9 18,297 2,033
52 FC Kansas City NWSL 9 18,122 2,014
53 Carolina Dynamo PDL 6 11,056 1,843
54 Harrisburg City Islanders USL PRO 8 14,112 1,764
55 Austin Aztex PDL 4 6,936 1,734
56 BYU Cougars PDL 6 10,140 1,690
57 Washington Spirit Reserves W-League 4 6,570 1,643
58 Sky Blue FC NWSL 9 13,143 1,460
59 Ventura County Fusion PDL 5 7,156 1,431
60 FC Tucson PDL 6 8,290 1,382
61 Victoria Highlanders FC PDL 7 9,201 1,314
62 Midland/Odessa Sockers FC PDL 7 7,838 1,120
63 Albuquerque Sol F.C. PDL 6 5,034 839
64 Charlotte Eagles USL PRO 8 6,348 794
65 W.Mass Pioneers PDL 5 3,863 773
66 Orange County Blues FC USL PRO 8 6,005 751
67 FC Buffalo NPSL 2 1,500 750
68 Forest City London PDL 6 4,129 688
69 LA Galaxy II USL PRO 10 6,866 687
70 Long Island Rough Riders PDL 6 4,077 680
71 Seattle Sounders Women W-League 6 3,955 659
72 Michigan Bucks PDL 4 2,538 635
73 Colorado Pride W-League 4 2,508 627
74 Laredo Heat PDL 5 3,115 623
75 Thunder Bay Chill PDL 6 3,691 615
76 Charlotte Lady Eagles W-League 3 1,846 615
77 Mississippi Brilla PDL 7 4,182 597
78 Santa Clarita Blue Heat W-League 6 3,461 577
79 Long Island Rough Riders W-League 5 2,668 534
80 Dayton Dutch Lions USL PRO 8 4,214 527
81 Sounders FC U23 PDL 5 2,353 471
82 Atlanta Silverbacks W-League 5 2,326 465
83 Kitsap Pumas PDL 7 3,242 463
84 Lane United FC PDL 5 2,317 463
85 Colorado Storm W-League 2 870 435
86 Ocala Stampede PDL 5 1,993 399
87 Chicago Inferno PDL 2 749 375
88 Las Vegas Mobsters PDL 3 1,125 375
89 SW Fla. Adrenaline PDL 2 724 362
90 FC Dallas Reserves USL PRO 2 716 358
91 Reading United AC PDL 6 1,937 323
92 Vermont Voltage PDL 4 1,200 300
93 San Jose Earthquakes PDL 3 871 290
94 Ocean City Nor’easters PDL 2 576 288
95 K-W United FC PDL 2 566 283
96 Colorado Rush W-League 3 820 273
97 Panama City Beach Pirates PDL 6 1,593 266
98 New Jersey Wildcats W-League 4 1,032 258
99 Cincinnati Dutch Lions PDL 7 1,754 251
100 CFC Azul PDL 4 1,000 250
101 GPS Portland Phoenix PDL 1 250 250
102 St. Louis Lions PDL 6 1,488 248
103 N.Virginia Royals PDL 3 736 245
104 So.California Seahorses PDL 5 1,155 231
105 Toronto Lynx PDL 5 1,150 230
106 Baltimore Bohemians PDL 7 1,523 218
107 LA Blues W-League 5 1,091 218
108 Real Colorado Foxes PDL 4 845 211
109 LA Misioneros FC PDL 4 800 200
110 Dayton Dutch Lions W-League 5 997 199
111 Ottawa Fury W-League 5 997 199
112 WSA Winnipeg PDL 6 1,185 198
113 Braddock Road Stars Elite W-League 4 786 197
114 F.A. Euro PDL 3 575 192
115 Real Boston Rams PDL 6 1,114 186
116 Sedona FC Strikers W-League 3 550 183
117 Laval Comets W-League 5 885 177
118 K-W United FC W-League 4 676 169
119 New York Magic W-League 6 1,008 168
120 SWVa King’s Warriors PDL 5 820 164
121 River City Rovers PDL 2 325 163
122 Carolina Elite Cobras W-League 4 636 159
123 Quebec Dynamo ARSQ W-League 5 776 155
124 Bay Area Breeze W-League 4 602 151
125 Jersey Express PDL 4 575 144
126 Seacoast United Phantoms PDL 6 850 142
127 West Virginia Chaos PDL 6 830 138
128 Puget Sound Gunners FC PDL 3 400 133
129 Houston Dutch Lions PDL 4 513 128
130 Toronto Lady Lynx W-League 6 750 125
131 North Jersey Valkyries W-League 5 608 122
132 Springfield Demize PDL 5 590 118
133 Gulf Coast Texans W-League 3 348 116
134 Montreal Impact U23 PDL 4 450 113
135 NJ LUSO Parma PDL 6 650 108
136 Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23 PDL 4 410 103
137 Floridians F.C. PDL 2 197 99
138 IMG Academy Bradenton PDL 5 490 98
139 Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 PDL 7 667 95
140 Washington Crossfire PDL 5 420 84
141 Westchester Flames PDL 7 520 74
142 Chicago Fire U-23 PDL 5 353 71
143 OC Pateadores Blues PDL 7 325 46
144 London Gryphons W-League 4 183 46

A FEW NOTES:

  • Chivas USA continues to slide into oblivion, drawing 4,201 for its game Saturday against Montreal, just over a month after announcing 5,231 against Philadelphia and an MLS-record low 3,702 against Portland. They’re a pretty safe bet to break the MLS record for lowest average announced attendance, currently held by the 2000 Miami Fusion (7,460) and to be only the second MLS team to go sub-10,000 in the last seven years (the Earthquakes- in their temporary facility – did so in 2010).
  • Sacramento Republic FC has moved from the 20k+ capacity Hughes Stadium to its own yard (capacity 8,000), so their numbers will be down, but they’re doing great. They should break Orlando’s Division III record for average (8,056) pretty easily.
  • The NASL’s Fall Season gets going this weekend, and Ottawa is hoping for a crowd of 15,000 for its first game at TD Place on the 20th. We’ll see. Tampa Bay drew an announced 4,105 and 3,033 over the weekend for friendlies against Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando City, respectively. And Minnesota United drew 8,059 for a friendly against Mexico’s U-21 team (what, El Tri‘s senior team wasn’t available?). And San Antonio drew 6,397 for a friendly against Monterrey on Sunday evening.
  • Fresno hosted a friendly between Mexican clubs America and Morelia last week, with the Fuego playing Ventura County as part of the doubleheader. The Mexican League friendly drew 13,013, but I’m not including that in the Fuego’s totals (they didn’t announce a figure for the PDL match) because that would be ridiculous.
  • FC Tucson of the PDL drew a club-record 2,983 for their match against Albuquerque on Friday, pushing their average to 1,382 for the season. At the other end of the PDL spectrum, FA Euro announced a crowd of 25 for its match Sunday against Long Island, while Vancouver’s U23 team is just trolling. They’ve announced a crowd of 77 for each of their last five home matches, after announcing 177 the match before that (and 105 for their opener). I’m missing 50 PDL games, but the league is right around its historical average (582 at the moment).
  • The National Women’s Soccer League projects out, if every team holds its average the rest of the way, to finish with a 4,068 average, just below last year’s 4,270. But considering WUSA’s attendance dropped 14% from year one to year two (2001-2002) and WPS’ dropped 23% from 2009-2010, that’s a sign of progress.

Taking Attendance 6/30/2014: This One’s For The Girls

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Time to take a look at the attendance figures for the two most visible women’s soccer leagues, the NWSL and the W-League. The NWSL, a USSF-backed pro circuit, is the third (and possibly final) attempt to establish a fully-professional women’s league on these shores. The W-League has been under the United Soccer Leagues’ umbrella since its establishment in 1995. Here are the latest figures for both leagues through Sunday’s games. (As always, additions or corrections are more than welcome.)

NWSL G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Portland Thorns 7 86,970 12,424 13,427 14,128 10,056
Houston Dash 7 33,146 4,735 4,050 8,097 3,505
Chicago Red Stars 5 21,265 4,253 1,450 15,743 1,039
Seattle Reign 7 23,535 3,362 2,875 5,770 1,754
Washington Spirit 7 23,364 3,338 2,865 4,667 2,306
WNY Flash 7 20,866 2,981 3,107 3,674 1,786
Boston Breakers 9 18,297 2,033 2,018 2,876 1,263
FC Kansas City 9 18,122 2,014 1,797 3,107 1,457
Sky Blue FC 8 11,794 1,474 1,253 2,983 582
NWSL TOTAL 66 257,359 3,899 2,694 15,743 582
 
W-League G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Washington Spirit Res. 4 6,570 1,643 749 4,598 474
Santa Clarita Blue Heat 5 3,281 656 733 991 199
Colorado Pride 4 2,508 627 577 1,029 325
Seattle Sounders 4 2,300 575 578 708 437
Charlotte Lady Eagles 2 1,146 573 573 738 408
LI Rough Riders 5 2,668 534 425 868 308
Atlanta Silverbacks 5 2,326 465 337 1,079 214
Colorado Storm 2 870 435 435 700 170
Colorado Rush 3 820 273 268 339 213
New Jersey Wildcats 4 1,032 258 268 358 138
LA Blues 4 871 218 145 486 95
Ottawa Fury 3 636 212 233 253 150
Dayton Dutch Lions 4 819 205 196 275 152
Braddock RS Elite 3 609 203 191 252 166
Sedona FC Strikers 3 550 183 200 250 100
New York Magic 5 911 182 126 316 110
North Jersey Valkyries 3 512 171 115 297 100
Carolina Elite Cobras 4 636 159 155 251 76
Laval Comets 4 635 159 143 300 50
Quebec Dynamo ARSQ 5 776 155 135 277 83
Bay Area Breeze 4 602 151 160 183 100
K-W United FC 2 283 142 142 156 127
Toronto Lady Lynx 5 700 140 100 300 50
Gulf Coast Texans 3 348 116 117 121 110
London Gryphons 4 183 46 49 51 35
W-LEAGUE TOTAL 94 32,592 347 213 4,598 35

NOTES:

  • Let’s get this out of the way up front, okay? The NWSL isn’t working. It’s not going to work. In Portland it works fine. In Houston it seems to work pretty well. Everywhere else? No, it’s not working. Forty seven percent of all the people who have gone to NWSL games this year have done so in those two cities. Now, two anchor tenants is at least one more than most women’s soccer leagues have been able to hang their hats on, historically, but the other clubs don’t show many signs of actually mattering to their communities. The first year was a write-off, because the league came together so quickly. But here we are now in Year Two, and there hasn’t been much progress. We will have a Women’s World Cup next year, which will spur interest in the US Women’s National Team, and there may be some spillover into the NWSL post-July 5, 2015. But then what? Mexico and Canada are contributing to funding the salaries of their national team players in this league (as is USSF, obviously), but after the tournament in Canada next year, it’s four long years until the next one. Will they have the stomach to do it again?
  • Except for Chicago (up 176% because its home opener was a doubleheader with the Fire) and Seattle (up 79% from last year’s pretty bad numbers), every second-year team in the league is showing a year-over-year decrease in average attendance. Yes, even Portland, though it’s only three percent and nothing to worry about. Washington (-11%), Sky Blue FC (-13%), Boston (-15%) and Western New York (-21%) are all causes for concern, but Kansas City’s drop (they’re off 56%) is largely because they moved into a much smaller (though more appropriate from a soccer standpoint) venue this year. The league as a whole is off 10% from its 66-game total a year ago. And without Portland, the league average is currently 2,888 and projects out to 3,024 (it was 2,977 without the Thorns in 2013). With Portland included, the league projects (if everyone holds their current averages) to 4,068, a slight drop from last year’s 4,270.
  • Eighteen of the top twenty crowds in the NWSL’s short history have been in Portland (no surprise). The largest non-Portland crowd was the 15,743 for Chicago’s (doubleheader) home opener and the only other crowd to break 9k was the 9,129 who turned up in Rochester for last year’s championship match.
  • Conversely, the four lowest crowds in league history have all happened this season, all at Sky Blue FC and all on Wednesdays. The 582 announced for the April 30 match between Seattle and Sky Blue is the NWSL’s nadir to this point.
  • Things are down in the amateur W-League as well, with a 347 average (with 13 data points missing) through last night’s games. Only Washington (with a doubleheader crowd of 4,598 for its home opener) is averaging over 1,000 a game. In fact, there have only been three four-digit crowds in the league this season (the others coming to see the Colorado Pride and Atlanta Silverbacks). The W-League used to do much better than this, but it appears as though very few teams attempt to actually market themselves as viable soccer clubs anymore.

Taking Attendance 6/24/2014: Amateur Hour

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

While the world’s greatest players are on the big stage at the FIFA World CupTM, future stars are plying their trade in the Premier Development League. Here’s our first look at attendance numbers for this league, which operates under the United Soccer Leagues umbrella. (All numbers are through last night’s game. Additions and corrections are always welcome.)

Team G Total Avg.
Fresno Fuego 6 13,742 2,290
Carolina Dynamo 6 11,056 1,843
Austin Aztex 3 5,113 1,704
Ventura County Fusion 4 6,035 1,509
Portland Timbers U-23s 3 4,175 1,392
BYU Cougars 4 5,504 1,376
Victoria Highlanders FC 4 5,094 1,274
FC Tucson 5 5,307 1,061
Midland/Odessa Sockers FC 6 5,869 978
Albuquerque Sol F.C. 5 4,098 820
Western Mass Pioneers 4 2,772 693
Mississippi Brilla 4 2,732 683
Long Island Rough Riders 6 4,077 680
Michigan Bucks 4 2,538 635
Forest City London 5 3,116 623
Thunder Bay Chill 6 3,691 615
Laredo Heat 4 2,369 592
Ocala Stampede 3 1,579 526
Sounders FC U23 5 2,353 471
Lane United FC 5 2,317 463
Kitsap Pumas 6 2,756 459
Chicago Inferno 2 749 375
Las Vegas Mobsters 3 1,125 375
Reading United AC 4 1,440 360
SW Florida Adrenaline 1 321 321
Toronto Lynx 3 950 317
F.A. Euro 1 300 300
Vermont Voltage 3 900 300
San Jose Earthquakes 2 585 293
St. Louis Lions 4 1,082 271
Baltimore Bohemians 4 1,068 267
Panama City Beach Pirates 3 758 253
CFC Azul 4 1,000 250
GPS Portland Phoenix 1 250 250
Northern Virginia Royals 3 736 245
Cincinnati Dutch Lions 4 948 237
Real Boston Rams 4 904 226
LA Misioneros FC 3 600 200
Southern California Seahorses 2 400 200
Real Colorado Foxes 3 570 190
WSA Winnipeg 4 710 178
River City Rovers 1 175 175
Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors 3 490 163
Springfield Demize 3 464 155
Seacoast United Phantoms 5 750 150
Jersey Express 4 575 144
West Virginia Chaos 6 830 138
Houston Dutch Lions 3 400 133
Puget Sound Gunners FC 3 400 133
Montreal Impact U23 3 350 117
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 4 436 109
NJ LUSO Parma 5 500 100
Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23 3 300 100
Floridians F.C. 2 197 99
IMG Academy Bradenton 5 490 98
Washington Crossfire 4 320 80
Westchester Flames 5 400 80
Chicago Fire U-23 3 210 70
OC Pateadores Blues 5 245 49
Des Moines Menace 0 0 0
K-W United FC 0 0 0
Ocean City Nor’easters 0 0 0
Orlando City U23 0 0 0
SC United Bantams 0 0 0
PDL TOTAL 223 119,221 535

NOTES:

  • Every team has played at least one home game, but a handful of clubs (including perennial attendance leader or contender Des Moines) have not released any attendance figures for their home games to this point. Some of the missing 39 data points (to date) will eventually turn up, but some never will. It’s the nature of the beast.
  • Fresno (whose tickets are all free to fans through a sponsorship buy) leads the usual suspects at the top of the charts, though they’re down about 500 a game from last year’s final average. Austin, which recently announced a move to USL Pro for 2015, is up slightly from their 2013 average. Victoria and Western Mass are well off last year’s numbers.
  • Eleven clubs averaged more than 1,000 fans per game in 2013, and eight are there right now (with Des Moines probable). But there is still a third or so of the league that can barely get to 200 a game.
  • The Chicago Fire U-23 actually announced an attendance of 16 – sixteen- for their June 16 match against Toronto. The season high to this point is the 3,627 Fresno pulled for a match against San Jose on May 23.
  • As for new clubs, Albuquerque (820 per game) and Lane United (463) lead a struggling lot. Expansion teams in Las Vegas (375) and Cincinnati (237) and developmental teams for San Jose (293), Montreal (117) and Pittsburgh (100) are having varying degrees of success.
  • The current league average (535, with some data points missing) is right in line with the historical average.

Taking Attendance 6/9/2014: Springing Ahead

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The North American Soccer League’s spring season is complete, and here are the attendance figures for the Division II league that is now in its fourth year (“Diff.” is the percentage increase or decrease in average over the same number of home games from a year ago. In the league’s case, the entire 2013 spring season average is used as the benchmark):

Team G Total Avg. Median High Low Diff.
Indy 5 52,324 10,465 10,285 11,048 10,285 N/A
San Antonio 5 32,381 6,476 6,484 7,381 5,595 -8.5%
Minnesota 4 22,309 5,577 5,306 6,784 4,913 +12.9%
Carolina 4 21,456 5,364 4,797 7,856 4,007 +9.5%
New York 5 25,203 5,041 4,130 7,906 3,091 -31.8%
Tampa Bay 5 24,991 4,998 4,670 7,003 4,132 +30.3%
Atlanta 4 18,922 4,731 5,000 5,000 3,922 -3.2%
Ft. Lauderdale 4 15,301 3,825 3,312 5,572 3,105 -15.6%
Edmonton 4 14,277 3,569 3,459 4,399 2,961 +114.4%
Ottawa 5 13,418 2,684 2,432 3,457 2,158 N/A
NASL TOTAL 45 240,582 5,346 4,913 11,048 2,158 +14.7%

NOTES:

  • Despite not winning a game in the first 1/3 of the season, the Indy Eleven led the way by selling out all five of their home games. If they’re able to maintain a 10k average in the fall season, they’ll be only the fourth second division club to ever crack five figures for a season average (Rochester, Montreal and Portland are the others).
  • A crowd of 6,495 in their spring finale (helped in part, perhaps, by the retirement of Giorgio Chinaglia’s number 9 shirt) helped the New York Cosmos leapfrog past Tampa Bay and into fifth – that’s right, fifth – in the attendance standings. The bloom appears to be off the rose on Long Island, and they can only go back to the 1970s nostalgia well so many times. (In case you’re wondering, New York averaged 4,723 on the road in the spring.)
  • Besides Edmonton (whose stellar increase year-over-year is nice, but largely because early in 2013 the capacity of Clarke Stadium had not been increased yet), Tampa Bay has made the biggest gains since 2013, with their average for their five spring games up 30 percent from a year ago. Minnesota (which played all but one spring 2013 game in the Metrodome) and Carolina were also up in this limited sample.
  • On the flip side, the Cosmos (down 31 percent from their first five fall games a year ago), Fort Lauderdale (down 16 percent despite a much improved team) and San Antonio (off just under 9 percent) showed decreases from 2013. Everyone will play home and away against everyone else (9 home games) in the fall season.
  • Overall, the league’s spring attendance in 2014 was about 15 percent higher, on average, than 2013. Without Indianapolis, though, the league averaged 4,706, just barely up from the 4,662 of last spring. And the NASL teams are playing to about 56 percent capacity.
  • If everyone held their averages from the spring for the fall campaign, the league would finish with a 5,297 average, which would be a Division II record (the current mark is 5,164 in the 2008 USL First Division). That seems like a decent bet, though we’ll see what effect Ottawa’s move to the newly-renovated Tim Hortons Field (which apparently won’t be 100% complete by their July 20 opener) TD Place (thanks to an alert reader who points out that Tim Hortons Field is in Hamilton and it’s TD Place in Ottawa) will have on their attendance, and what happens to clubs who fall out of playoff contention late in the year.

Taking Attendance 5/19/2014: 1,2,3

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Been a while, apologies. Here are attendance figures for the top three men’s outdoor leagues through games of yesterday. As always, additions and corrections are always welcome. Notes next time out.

MLS (Div. I) G Total Avg. Median High Low
Seattle Sounders 7 281,483 40,212 38,516 49,746 38,441
Los Angeles 2 46,481 23,241 23,241 25,634 20,847
Toronto 4 90,364 22,591 22,591 22,591 22,591
Montreal 5 106,195 21,239 19,313 27,207 16,529
Vancouver 5 105,000 21,000 21,000 21,000 21,000
Portland 7 145,698 20,814 20,814 20,814 20,814
Salt Lake 5 99,993 19,999 20,466 20,496 18,881
Kansas City 6 118,581 19,764 19,635 20,565 19,073
Houston 7 137,102 19,586 20,558 22,320 15,030
Philadelphia 6 106,992 17,832 18,269 18,812 15,691
New York 5 87,589 17,518 15,225 23,776 13,278
Dallas 7 116,240 16,606 17,070 18,011 15,039
Chicago 5 75,319 15,064 15,743 16,228 12,699
Columbus 5 73,520 14,704 14,495 18,026 11,437
New England 4 53,461 13,365 13,681 14,806 11,293
Colorado 5 63,770 12,754 12,306 15,135 10,086
DC United 6 71,453 11,909 11,768 14,106 9,445
San Jose 6 62,013 10,336 10,525 10,525 9,388
Chivas USA 5 43,593 8,719 7,499 15,008 6,082
MLS TOTAL 102 1,884,847 18,479 18,021 49,746 6,082
 
NASL (Div.II) G Total Avg. Median High Low
Indy 4 42,039 10,510 10,353 11,048 10,285
San Antonio 4 25,897 6,474 6,461 7,381 5,595
Tampa Bay 3 16,528 5,509 4,855 7,003 4,670
Minnesota 3 15,525 5,175 5,287 5,325 4,913
New York 3 15,127 5,042 4,130 7,906 3,091
Carolina 3 13,600 4,533 4,066 5,527 4,007
Atlanta 2 8,922 4,461 4,461 5,000 3,922
Edmonton 2 7,675 3,838 3,838 4,399 3,276
Ft. Lauderdale 3 9,729 3,243 3,109 3,515 3,105
Ottawa 3 7,779 2,593 2,164 3,457 2,158
NASL TOTAL 30 162,821 5,427 4,884 11,048 2,158
 
USL Pro (Div.III) G Total Avg. Median High Low
Sacramento 3 57,876 19,292 20,231 20,231 17,414
Rochester 2 11,842 5,921 5,921 6,385 5,457
Orlando 4 19,162 4,791 4,801 5,028 4,532
Oklahoma City 3 12,006 4,002 3,916 4,230 3,860
Charleston 4 14,458 3,615 3,649 4,487 2,674
Pittsburgh 3 8,640 2,880 2,485 3,902 2,253
Arizona 5 13,519 2,704 2,818 3,014 2,044
Richmond 4 10,411 2,603 2,358 3,507 2,188
Wilmington 4 10,153 2,538 2,475 3,256 1,948
Harrisburg 4 6,231 1,558 1,552 1,711 1,417
Charlotte 3 2,564 855 712 1,261 591
Orange County 5 3,819 764 638 1,221 431
LA Galaxy II 6 4,302 717 557 1,259 410
Dayton 4 2,593 648 677 1,026 213
USL PRO TOTAL 54 177,576 3,288 2,223 20,231 213

Final MISL Attendance Numbers 2013-2014

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

The Major Indoor Soccer League Championship will match the Baltimore Blast and Missouri Comets for the second straight year. (The Blast won last year’s series in two games.) Here are the final attendance numbers for the league for the 2013-2014 season:

Team G Total Average Median High Low
Rochester Lancers 10 73,471 7,347 7,532 8,910 5,169
Baltimore Blast 10 61,234 6,123 6,135 8,780 4,030
St. Louis Ambush 10 56,361 5,636 5,673 7,347 3,247
Milwaukee Wave 10 49,065 4,907 5,098 5,632 4,149
Missouri Comets 10 41,803 4,180 4,164 5,893 3,102
Syracuse Silver Knights 10 28,697 2,870 2,757 3,779 1,989
Pennsylvania Roar 10 15,492 1,549 1,088 4,632 922
MISL TOTAL 70 326,123 4,659 4,609 8,910 922

NOTES:

  • Rochester led the league for the second straight year, and saw an increase of about 16% in its announced average attendance for the year. Their 7,347 average marked the first time a team has cracked the 7,000 average barrier since Baltimore five years ago.
  • Baltimore was also up, just over 10%, while the rest of the league was either basically flat (Milwaukee was down 3%, Missouri just over 1%) or saw a big drop off (Syracuse, down 16%). The league itself was up 7% over last year, thanks to a strong showing (third in the league) by the expansion St. Louis Steamers.
  • Pennsylvania’s announced 1,549 average (boosted by a crowd of 4,632 for their only win of the season) wasn’t the lowest in recent years, but it was close. Rockford (1,112 in 2009-2010 and 1,242 in 2008-2009), the Chicago Riot (1,083 in their only season of 2010-2011), Chicago Storm (1,530 in 2005-2006) and, of course, the Massachusetts Twisters (459 in 2008-2009) were all worse at the gate. They weren’t all as terrible on the field as the Roar were, though.

As, seemingly, with every indoor offseason, this one will bring change. With renewed rumors of a merger with the PASL, the Milwaukee Wave’s owner being sued (not a problem, she says), no talk of expansion teams and an uncertain future for the MISL-USL relationship, there will be no lack of drama between now and next fall.

Taking Attendance 1/1/2014: The Indoor Leagues

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014


With an eye towards blogging more in 2014, I give you now the first look at indoor soccer attendance numbers for the 2013-2014 season. With the PASL much better these days at providing numbers, I’m able to include them along with the MISL figures. As always, corrections and additions are welcomed.

MAJOR INDOOR SOCCER LEAGUE
Team G Total Average Median High Low
Rochester Lancers *4 27,432 6,858 7,026 8,212 5,169
Baltimore Blast 3 20,441 6,814 6,023 8,780 5,638
St. Louis Ambush 4 23,372 5,843 5,673 7,109 4,918
Milwaukee Wave 3 14,340 4,780 4,559 5,632 4,149
Missouri Comets 4 16,686 4,172 3,846 5,893 3,102
Syracuse Silver Knights 3 8,315 2,772 2,837 3,489 1,989
Pennsylvania Roar #3 3,266 1,089 1,088 1,241 937
MISL TOTAL 24 113,852 4,744 5,027 8,780 937
 
PROFESSIONAL ARENA SOCCER LEAGUE
Team G Total Average Median High Low
Monterrey Flash 4 24,577 6,144 5,081 9,627 4,788
San Diego Sockers 4 16,679 4,170 3,803 5,658 3,416
Dallas Sidekicks 4 16,368 4,092 4,231 4,514 3,392
Hidalgo La Fiera 4 7,829 1,957 1,152 4,500 1,025
Ontario Fury 4 7,055 1,764 1,910 2,026 1,210
Wichita B-52s 3 5,116 1,705 1,691 1,943 1,482
Harrisburg Heat 5 7,284 1,457 1,581 1,605 1,050
Tulsa Revolution 4 3,554 889 882 1,007 783
Las Vegas Legends 5 4,228 846 618 1,836 324
Chicago Mustangs 5 3,811 762 627 1,216 565
Detroit Waza 4 2,541 635 664 1,011 203
Cleveland Freeze *3 1,851 617 700 703 448
Saltillo Rancho Seco 3 1,739 580 550 652 537
Turlock Express 5 2,579 516 550 730 320
Bay Area Rosal *4 1,584 396 376 652 180
Illinois Piasa 4 1,544 386 432 538 142
Texas Strikers 4 1,429 357 384 422 239
Cincinnati Saints 5 1,375 275 250 426 114
Sacramento Surge 4 970 243 260 300 150
Toros Mexico 3 725 242 218 300 207
PASL TOTAL 81 112,838 1,393 700 9627 114
*=Missing 1 game
#=Missing 2 games

NOTES:

  • Rochester – which broke Baltimore’s stranglehold on the top spot in the MISL attendance standings last year – continues to lead the league this year (though I’m missing the crowd figure for their December 14 game against St. Louis). Given that game apparently was played during a snowstorm, it’s likely including the number would drop the Lancers back into second place, as Baltimore’s current average isn’t too far behind Rochester’s. In either case, those continue to be the two best teams in the league at selling tickets.
  • In terms of percent of capacity, the Missouri Comets (who play in the 5,800-seat Independence Events Center, the league’s smallest venue) lead at about 72%. Since their founding four years ago (making them the third-longest-running team we have), the Comets have consistently pulled in about 4,000+ a game.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, we have the (Reading) Pennsylvania Roar, whose most recent home crowd (announced at 937) you see pictured above. The Roar were shut out for the second time this season (24-0 by Baltimore) and are 0-9. They can’t play, can’t win, can’t draw and have all the earmarks of a one-and-done club (as four of the last seven expansion teams have been).
  • In Monterrey (where the old Fury led the second MISL in attendance in 2003-2004) the new Flash leads the PASL with 6,144 per game, including a league-record 9,627 crowd for their home opener. San Diego and Dallas are neck and neck for the second and third spots, and four others are over 1,000 per game. Of course, 65% of the league draws under 1,000 a game, with a handful attracting little more than friends and family. But the PASL has built a handful of successful franchises and after a near-merger with the MISL last year, shows some positive signs.
  • The old saw has always been that indoor soccer attendance picks up after the first of the year. We actually do see something like that when looking at the numbers, but it’s influenced largely by the fact that December is such a bad month to draw fans that the effect appears more pronounced than it actually is. Here is a chart that shows average attendance by month in what is now MISL 3 going back to the 2001-2002 season:


    (It’s worth noting that there have only been two September games, but they’re included for the sake of completeness.)

    So you see a nearly perfect decline that bottoms out in December and then an uptick after that. But overall, the averages on either side of December are nearly identical.

    Timeframe
    G
    Total
    Average
    September-November 242 1,179,074 4,872
    January-April 749 3,654,038 4,879


    So while post-January 1 average indoor soccer attendance is about 9% higher than the pre-January 1 average, it’s December that bolsters the effect.