Archive for the ‘Attendance’ Category

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.

Taking Attendance 11/2/2013: NASL Finishes Up 23%

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

The North American Soccer League’s third regular season ended tonight and next week’s championship match will feature the team that finished with the fourth-highest points-per-game average across the spring and fall seasons hosting a team that played half a season.

But no matter. There is plenty of reason for optimism in the second division, as the league finished with an average attendance that was 23 percent higher than a year ago. Every returning team except San Antonio increased its per-game average from 2012, but the Scorpions did supposedly turn a profit, so there you are. San Antonio led the league for the second straight year (yes, The World’s Greatest Soccer BrandTM finished second) and the overall league average was the highest in the second division since 2009.

The numbers:

North American Soccer League 2013 G Total Average
San Antonio Scorpions 13 90,178 6,937
New York Cosmos 7 48,011 6,859
Carolina RailHawks 13 61,199 4,708
Atlanta Silverbacks 13 60,796 4,677
Minnesota United FC 13 57,784 4,445
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 13 55,451 4,265
Tampa Bay Rowdies 13 52,578 4,044
FC Edmonton 13 31,677 2,437
NASL TOTAL 98 457,674 4,670

NOTES:

  • The spring season league average was 4,662. The fall season spring average was 4,676.
  • Carolina’s spring average was 4,707. Their fall average was 4,708. That’s consistency. The RailHawks, Rowdies and Strikers were all within a couple of percentage points of their spring average in the fall, while Atlanta (which had nothing to play for in the fall), Minnesota (which moved from the Metrodome north to Blaine) and San Antonio (which went 3-10-1 in the fall) all saw fairly large drop-offs in their fall averages.
  • Minnesota stated they wanted to average 10,000 a game for its indoor schedule and got about half that (5,104 at the HHH, 4,033 outdoors in Blaine). They’re apparently going to play the entire 2014 campaign at the National Sports Center because the Metrodome will be unavailable. Brr.
  • Also looking ahead to 2014, expansionist Indianapolis should average close to 10,000 (if not more) based on their season ticket deposit numbers (and the fact they have a robust staff), but Virginia and Ottawa will make do in temporary digs that will likely limit their crowds.

Taking Attendance 10/22/2013: Getting Very Near The End

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

With only a week left in the 2013 Major League Soccer Season and only a couple of weeks left in the NASL season, the final numbers are in sight. Here’s where things stand after this weekend’s games:

THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER G Total Average Median
Seattle Sounders 16 682,436 42,652 39,041
Los Angeles Galaxy 17 373,880 21,993 21,160
Portland Timbers 17 351,458 20,674 20,674
Montreal Impact 17 350,259 20,603 20,006
Vancouver Whitecaps 16 319,653 19,978 20,179
Houston Dynamo 17 338,690 19,923 20,009
Sporting KC 17 335,058 19,709 19,579
Real Salt Lake 16 306,252 19,141 19,617
New York Red Bulls 16 305,613 19,101 18,317
Toronto FC 16 294,922 18,433 18,439
Philadelphia Union 16 285,284 17,830 18,317
Columbus Crew 16 255,859 15,991 16,440
Colorado Rapids 17 262,479 15,440 15,226
FC Dallas 17 261,345 15,373 15,017
Chicago Fire 17 258,880 15,228 15,349
New England Revolution 17 252,346 14,844 14,163
DC United 16 218,248 13,641 13,729
San Jose Earthquakes 16 206,484 12,905 10,525
Chivas USA 16 131,200 8,200 7,977
MLS TOTAL 313 5,790,346 18,500 18,359
 
THE NASL G Total Average Median
San Antonio Scorpions 12 82,476 6,873 6,826
New York Cosmos 7 48,011 6,859 6,081
Atlanta Silverbacks 12 55,796 4,650 4,884
Carolina RailHawks 11 50,995 4,636 4,488
Minnesota United FC 12 55,309 4,609 4,480
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 12 51,236 4,270 4,069
Tampa Bay Rowdies 12 48,259 4,022 3,573
FC Edmonton 12 27,616 2,301 2,335
NASL TOTAL 90 419,698 4,663 4,476

NOTES:

  • MLS (not “the MLS,” please stop) has an outside chance of breaking the six million barrier for the second straight year, but it’s going to be close. Based on the current averages of the 10 teams who have their home finales this week, they’re looking at about a 27,000-person gap that has to be bridged. Luckily, Seattle is supposed to take care of about 25,000 of that with what is expected to be a crowd of 64,000+. Their record is 67,385 (set last year against Portland), and if they can break that and the other teams just hold their current averages, MLS might hit 6 million. (The LA-Seattle game, as it happens, is the final game on the schedule, at 9pm ET on Sunday and is on ESPN, so good scheduling there.)
  • Of the nine teams that have completed their home schedules, only Dallas (up 8.3%) and New England (up 6% thanks to a very nice home finale crowd) showed decent improvement over last year’s numbers (though Columbus is poised to have the biggest year-over-year increase depending on how their game against New England goes Sunday afternoon). Meanwhile, Montreal (down about 10%) and Chicago (down about 7%) have seen year-over-year decreases that are significant. (Not as significant as that of Chivas USA, obviously, which is down 37% with a game remaining.)
  • Overall, the league is down just under two percent in average announced attendance, but there really aren’t many causes for alarm outside of the red-and-white half of Carson.
  • Yes, you are seeing that correctly: the vaunted New York Cosmos do not – and may not – lead the NASL in average attendance. Nostalgia only takes you so far, and even an historic brand name and a winning club haven’t been enough to get DI-type numbers out of the DII club. As long as San Antonio draws more than 6,704 to their game against (coincidence, not irony) the Cosmos this Saturday, they’ll lead the league for the second straight year. The Cosmos’ final average of 6,859 is very solid for a second division club. It’s just not what you would have expected, given all the fanboy hype about the resurrection.
  • Want to see another interesting stat? The Cosmos haven’t really boosted the league’s overall crowds at all. The NASL Spring Season (without New York) averaged 4,662. The NASL Fall Season (with New York) has averaged 4,664 so far. That’s consistency. The Twice In A Lifetime Boys have drawn good crowds in former original NASL markets (Tampa Bay and Fort Lauderdale, specifically), but have only played to crowds slightly above the league average overall (5,118 for five games so far) on the road.
  • The NASL’s split-season format (in which only the half-season winners advance to a one-game playoff) has resulted in a situation where 10 of the final 13 games on the league’s schedule feature a home team with absolutely nothing to play for (and it could wind up as 11 of the last 13, depending), and six games where neither team had anything to play for. Still hate playoffs?
  • Last thing on the split-season bit: Everybody except Edmonton (which expanded its stadium late in the first half) has or had a lower per-game average in the fall than in the spring. They ranged from Tampa Bay being off less than 1 percent to Minnesota being off 27 percent and Atlanta down 16 percent. Edmonton’s crowds were up 24%, but only from 2,059 to 2,543.
  • A few NASL teams are going to be struggling next spring, just because of their temporary venues. Neither Virginia’s nor Ottawa’s stadiums will be completed in time for the spring campaign and Minnesota won’t be able to play in the Metrodome. Indianapolis, meanwhile, which will also play in a temporary venue, should not have any problems drawing crowds, based on their season ticket deposit numbers, which are impressive for any level.

Taking Attendance 9/30/2013: The Top Two

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The only two leagues left playing in the US and Canada are (the) MLS and the NASL, and both seasons are nearing their conclusions. Here’s a look at the attendance figures for our Division I and II leagues through games of September 29:

THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER G Total Average Median
Seattle Sounders 15 643,603 42,907 39,083
Los Angeles Galaxy 14 313,982 22,427 21,141
Montreal Impact 15 312,349 20,823 20,210
Portland Timbers 15 310,110 20,674 20,674
Houston Dynamo 14 280,020 20,001 20,014
Vancouver Whitecaps 15 299,350 19,957 20,151
Sporting KC 16 316,126 19,758 19,724
Real Salt Lake 15 285,764 19,051 19,402
New York Red Bulls 15 280,394 18,693 18,029
Toronto FC 16 294,922 18,433 18,439
Philadelphia Union 15 266,288 17,753 18,295
Columbus Crew 15 236,752 15,783 16,352
FC Dallas 15 232,241 15,483 15,063
Colorado Rapids 15 226,300 15,087 15,122
Chicago Fire 16 238,991 14,937 15,082
New England Revolution 16 225,798 14,112 13,948
DC United 14 193,086 13,792 13,729
San Jose Earthquakes 15 195,959 13,064 10,525
Chivas USA 16 131,200 8,200 7,977
MLS TOTAL 287 5,283,235 18,408 18,320
 
THE NASL G Total Average Median
New York Cosmos 5 36,978 7,396 6,518
San Antonio Scorpions 10 68,968 6,897 6,826
Minnesota United FC 10 49,448 4,945 5,230
Carolina RailHawks 11 50,995 4,636 4,488
Atlanta Silverbacks 11 50,796 4,618 4,767
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 10 43,533 4,353 4,185
Tampa Bay Rowdies 10 41,168 4,117 3,573
FC Edmonton 11 25,093 2,281 2,316
NASL TOTAL 78 366,979 4,705 4,526

NOTES:

  • MLS total attendance projects (if everyone holds their averages the rest of the way, which isn’t possible because of San Jose splitting stadiums) to 5,945,940, about a 2% drop from last year’s record total (and average of 18,807). This is not particularly troubling, given the bulk of the league is healthy, the top of the league is doing extremely well, and the league had three straight years of audience growth (increasing average attendance in 2010, 2011 and 2012). It’s possible (going to be close) that six teams will finish averaging more than 20,000 a game (Vancouver is just shy, with Kansas City right behind), which would be stunning.
  • Yes, Chivas USA has fallen off the table and Toronto’s fans have finally had enough after nearly seven years of ineptitude. Those are the trouble spots in terms of attendance, but they’re the only major ones. Other clubs that are on the low end are either terrible (DC United), getting ready to move into a new stadium (San Jose, though a little later than expected) or clueless (Chicago). There’s obviously work to be done, but there’s always going to be work to be done.
  • The New York Cosmos continue to set the pace at the gate in the Division II North American Soccer League, but they’ve settled into the 5-6k range, a far cry from the nearly 12k they drew for their re-launch two months ago. They drew marginally more for their top-of-the-table clash with Tampa Bay Sunday (6,518) than for a match against Minnesota two weeks prior (6,081). To be fair, Sunday’s match was rescheduled six weeks prior and took place on an NFL Sunday. Also to be fair, though, the World’s Greatest Soccer BrandTM isn’t achieving the heights expected by some, despite a first-place team.
  • The Cosmos have been able to pack them in on the road, with two of their sojourns drawing season-high crowds (in St. Petersburg and Ft. Lauderdale, two markets with previous experience with the original Cosmos). In Carolina and Edmonton (the former with no original NASL history, the latter with limited original NASL history), they didn’t bring out the nostalgiaphiles. The Cosmos go to Minnesota this week and play in San Antonio and Atlanta to finish their road schedule, so we’ll see what happens. (Incidentally, without the Cosmos’ road games, the NASL Fall Season average is nearly identical to the Spring Season average – 4,663 to 4,662.)
  • The NASL’s Fall Season average (4,755) is only marginally ahead of the Spring Season average (4,662), despite the presence of the Cosmos. Four of the seven teams that competed in the spring have seen their average crowds decrease (some slightly, like Carolina, some more so, like Atlanta and Minnesota). Only Edmonton (which has added new seating to Clarke Field) is up significantly from spring to fall.
  • Projecting out, it’s basically impossible for the NASL to break the all-time D2 record for average league attendance (5,164, set in 2008), but they will finish significantly up from the first two years of play. They should end up at around 4,700 as a league, right about where the USL First Division was in 2009 before all the nastiness happened.
  • If you’ve been paying attention all these years, Gentle Readers, you know I have never included NPSL numbers in my charts (for logistical and philosophical reasons). Because of popular demand and because I believe in completeness, I’ve begun an attempt to compile NPSL numbers for the 2013 season. I have reached out to every NPSL club for whom I have contact information, and have been blessed by the quick response from some of them. There are those within the league who believe it can only help raise the level of professionalism for attendance and other stats to be compiled and readily available, and for that, I am thankful. Still, I only have attendance figures for about 10% of the games played in the league this year, and, after an initial flurry of responses, I am not optimistic about getting too many more. If you have any data points – any at all, even if you think I may already have them – leave them in the comments below or send them to me and let’s see how many figures we can come up with.

Taking Attendance 9/13/2013: Final USL Pro Numbers

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Thanks to the assistance of front office folks in several cities and other intrepid attendance wonks, I can present to you the final(ish) attendance numbers for USL Pro teams for 2013. Standard caveats apply, but I will list them again: These are announced numbers, I don’t know how much of a relationship they bear to reality but they’re probably no worse than any of the numbers from years past in most cases, I’m not going to do stadium capacity percentages because the true capacities are neither consistently available nor agreed upon (and some teams use more than one stadium), I don’t have NPSL numbers because they’re rarely reported and I do not keep NCAA attendance numbers because these are not lists of college teams’ attendance figures (except for BYU in the PDL, which doesn’t play in the traditional NCAA soccer season anyway).

With all that in mind, please to enjoy:

Team G Total Avg. Median High Low
Orlando 14 112,784 8,056 7,930 10,697 5,985
Rochester 14 82,576 5,898 5,919 7,334 4,361
Charleston 14 49,760 3,554 3,393 5,111 2,057
Pittsburgh 14 45,816 3,273 3,328 4,000 1,664
Wilmington 14 44,269 3,162 3,056 5,017 1,769
Richmond 14 35,381 2,527 2,203 4,921 1,694
Phoenix 14 21,454 1,532 1,440 4,198 327
Harrisburg 14 20,386 1,456 1,521 2,170 730
Charlotte 14 11,297 807 718 1,336 332
Dayton 14 10,540 753 690 1,621 250
Los Angeles 14 10,049 718 542 3,000 176
Tampa Bay 14 5,295 378 295 1,032 139
MLS Reserves 10 15,116 1,512 613 8,263 100
USL PRO TOTAL 178 464,723 2,611 1,898 10,697 100

NOTES:

  • So now the only games I am missing are a few hosted by MLS Reserve Teams in the first year of the partnership. Without the MLS teams’ home games, USL Pro averaged 2,676 per game, right around what last year’s average was (2,658). Pittsburgh (up 233% thanks to Highmark Stadium) and Orlando (up 22%) were gainers, while Wilmington (down 26%), Charleston (down 10%) and Rochester (down 6%) didn’t reach last year’s averages. The rest of the teams had modest gains.
  • The expansion teams (Phoenix and Tampa Bay) didn’t help things, averaging 1,532 and 378, respectively. Phoenix fell off the face of the Earth faster than I’ve ever seen a club that got off to a good start. From selling out its opener to playing at a youth field with no actual seating to having its former president pushed out and sue the other owners, all in about 150 days, well, you don’t see that every year.
  • If you’re curious, without Orlando (which it appears USL Pro may be by 2015), the league averaged 2,187 a game. Which is still miles ahead of where D3 used to be.
  • Orlando’s 20,886 crowd for the final was (obviously) the biggest crowd in D3 history, but the regular season record of 11,255 for a Milwaukee-Minnesota match in 1995 still stands.

Taking Attendance 9/3/2013: Everybody Ranked 1-137

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

For the first attendance update of the unoffical start of Fall, here are all the teams in the US and Canada who play in MLS, the NASL, USL Pro and the PDL on the men’s side and the NWSL and W-League on the women’s side, ranked from number one (no surprise) to number 137. An asterisk (*) means I am missing some data from those teams, so if you have them or any other corrections, leave them in the comments or send them my way.

Rk
Team
League
 
G
Total
Average
1 Seattle Sounders MLS   11 472,593 42,963
2 Los Angeles Galaxy MLS   12 266,181 22,182
3 Montreal Impact MLS   13 272,133 20,933
4 Portland Timbers MLS   12 248,088 20,674
5 Houston Dynamo MLS   12 241,362 20,114
6 Vancouver Whitecaps MLS   14 278,350 19,882
7 Sporting KC MLS   14 277,672 19,834
8 Toronto FC MLS   13 251,199 19,323
9 Real Salt Lake MLS   14 265,260 18,947
10 New York Red Bulls MLS   13 244,182 18,783
11 Philadelphia Union MLS   14 247,517 17,680
12 FC Dallas MLS   13 207,216 15,940
13 Columbus Crew MLS   13 203,382 15,645
14 Colorado Rapids MLS   14 213,155 15,225
15 Chicago Fire MLS   14 203,714 14,551
16 DC United MLS   13 176,853 13,604
17 New England Revolution MLS   13 176,149 13,550
18 San Jose Earthquakes MLS   13 175,400 13,492
19 Portland Thorns FC NWSL   11 146,521 13,320
20 New York Cosmos NASL   2 18,781 9,391
21 Chivas USA MLS   13 110,545 8,503
22 Orlando City SC USL   14 112,784 8,056
23 San Antonio Scorpions NASL   9 62,084 6,898
24 Rochester Rhinos USL   13 75,900 5,838
25 Minnesota United FC NASL   8 43,546 5,443
26 Atlanta Silverbacks NASL   9 42,042 4,671
27 Carolina RailHawks NASL   9 42,027 4,670
28 FC Kansas City NWSL   11 50,884 4,626
29 Western New York Flash NWSL   11 49,334 4,485
30 Tampa Bay Rowdies NASL   8 34,370 4,296
31 Fort Lauderdale Strikers NASL   8 32,413 4,052
32 Washington Spirit NWSL   11 39,816 3,620
33 Charleston Battery USL   14 49,760 3,554
34 Pittsburgh Riverhounds USL   14 45,816 3,273
35 Wilmington Hammerheads USL   14 44,269 3,162
36 Des Moines Menace PDL   7 21,961 3,137
37 Fresno Fuego PDL   7 19,785 2,826
38 Richmond Kickers USL   14 35,381 2,527
39 Portland Timbers U-23s PDL   7 17,106 2,444
40 Boston Breakers NWSL   11 26,697 2,427
41 Seattle Reign FC NWSL   11 25,365 2,306
42 FC Edmonton NASL   9 19,634 2,182
43 Washington Spirit Reserves W-L   6 12,194 2,032
44 Carolina Dynamo PDL * 5 8,897 1,779
45 Chicago Red Stars NWSL   11 18,817 1,711
46 Sky Blue FC NWSL   11 18,309 1,664
47 Victoria Highlanders FC PDL   7 11,462 1,637
48 Phoenix FC Wolves USL   14 21,454 1,532
49 MLS Reserve Teams USL   10 15,116 1,512
50 Harrisburg City Islanders USL   14 20,386 1,456
51 Austin Aztex PDL   7 10,063 1,438
52 Ventura County Fusion PDL   7 9,474 1,353
53 Oklahoma City PDL   7 8,499 1,214
54 Forest City London PDL   7 8,024 1,146
55 BYU Cougars PDL   7 7,952 1,136
56 Seattle Sounders Women W-L * 5 5,417 1,083
57 Western Mass Pioneers PDL   7 7,404 1,058
58 West Texas Sockers PDL   7 6,765 966
59 Long Island Rough Riders PDL * 6 4,941 824
60 Charlotte Eagles USL   14 11,297 807
61 FC Tucson PDL   7 5,599 800
62 Thunder Bay Chill PDL   7 5,595 799
63 Dayton Dutch Lions USL   14 10,540 753
64 Michigan Bucks PDL   7 4,808 687
65 Long Island Rough Riders W-L   6 3,913 652
66 Laredo Heat PDL   7 4,306 615
67 Kitsap Pumas PDL   7 4,232 605
68 K-W United FC PDL * 3 1,810 603
69 Mississippi Brilla PDL   7 3,945 564
70 Virginia Beach Piranhas PDL   7 3,877 554
71 Los Angeles Blues USL   11 5,965 542
72 Virginia Beach Piranhas W-L   6 3,245 541
73 Charlotte Lady Eagles W-L   5 2,701 540
74 Sounders FC U23 PDL   7 3,769 538
75 Ocean City Nor’easters PDL * 6 3,199 533
76 Panama City Beach Pirates PDL   7 3,201 457
77 SW Florida Adrenaline PDL * 5 1,998 400
78 Reading United AC PDL   7 2,703 386
79 VSI Tampa Bay FC USL   13 4,957 381
80 Houston Dutch Lions PDL   7 2,650 379
81 Atlanta Silverbacks W-L   5 1,875 375
82 St. Louis Lions PDL   7 2,511 359
83 Ottawa Fury W-L   6 1,979 330
84 SC United Bantams PDL * 6 1,950 325
85 Colorado Rapids Women W-L * 3 960 320
86 CFC Azul PDL   7 2,196 314
87 El Paso Patriots PDL   7 2,150 307
88 Carolina Elite Cobras W-L * 4 1,215 304
89 Northern Virginia Royals PDL * 5 1,475 295
90 Ocala Stampede PDL * 6 1,685 281
91 K-W United FC W-L * 3 770 257
92 Ottawa Fury PDL   7 1,793 256
93 New Jersey Wildcats W-L * 5 1,274 255
94 LA Strikers W-L * 4 1,017 254
95 WSA Winnipeg PDL   7 1,730 247
96 North Sound SeaWolves FC PDL   7 1,640 234
97 Dayton Dutch Lions W-L   5 1,137 227
98 New York Magic – F.A. Euro W-L   6 1,348 225
99 Colorado Rush W-L * 5 1,040 208
100 Vermont Voltage PDL * 2 411 206
101 North Jersey Valkyries W-L   6 1,224 204
102 Fredericksburg Impact W-L   6 1,204 201
103 S.California Seahorses PDL * 3 600 200
104 NJ LUSO Rangers FC PDL * 4 795 199
105 Bay Area Breeze W-L   6 1,149 192
106 Pali Blues W-L   6 1,142 190
107 Kansas City Brass PDL * 5 942 188
108 Real Boston Rams PDL   7 1,301 186
109 Baltimore Bohemians PDL   7 1,249 178
110 Laval Comets W-L   6 1,019 170
111 Real Colorado Foxes PDL   7 1,150 164
112 Jersey Express PDL   7 1,127 161
113 Santa Clarita Blue Heat W-L * 3 476 159
114 S.West Va. King’s Warriors PDL   7 1,068 153
115 New York Magic – F.A. Euro PDL * 5 730 146
116 GPS Portland Phoenix PDL * 5 725 145
117 Toronto Lynx PDL   7 1,000 143
118 VSI Tampa Bay FC PDL * 2 278 139
119 West Virginia Chaos PDL   7 965 138
120 Quebec City Amiral W-L * 5 685 137
121 Washington Crossfire PDL   7 897 128
122 London Gryphons W-L * 5 640 128
123 Orlando City U23 PDL * 1 127 127
124 Chicago Inferno PDL * 5 527 105
125 OC Blues Strikers FC PDL * 5 525 105
126 Springfield Demize PDL   7 719 103
127 River City Rovers PDL   7 638 91
128 VSI Tampa Bay FC W-L * 5 430 86
129 Seacoast United Phantoms PDL   7 580 83
130 Vancouver Whitecaps U23 PDL   7 569 81
131 Toronto Lady Lynx W-L * 5 391 78
132 Westchester Flames PDL   7 465 66
133 LA Misioneros FC PDL * 6 325 54
134 Chicago Fire PDL * 5 206 41
135 Central Jersey Spartans PDL   7 245 35
136 IMG Academy Bradenton PDL * 6 160 27
137 Ft.Laud.Schulz Academy PDL * 1 15 15

Taking Attendance 8/18/2013: Final NWSL Attendance Numbers

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

The inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League saw a thrilling conclusion (with the top three teams all finishing on 38 points) and average attendance up 21 percent from the final year of Women’s Professional Soccer in 2011. Here are the final (unofficial, of course, and corrections are always welcome) crowd figures for the NWSL for 2013:

Team G Total Average Median
Portland Thorns FC 11 146,521 13,320 12,534
FC Kansas City 11 50,884 4,626 4,774
Western New York Flash 11 49,334 4,485 4,065
Washington Spirit 11 39,816 3,620 4,027
Boston Breakers 11 26,697 2,427 2,634
Seattle Reign FC 11 25,365 2,306 2,318
Chicago Red Stars 11 18,817 1,711 1,329
Sky Blue FC 11 18,309 1,664 1,322
NWSL TOTAL 88 375,743 4,270 3,007

NOTES:

  • In a (relatively) short season, Portland’s amazing performance at the gate skews the perspective a bit. Fully 39 percent of all the people who attended NWSL games this season did it in the Rose City. The rest of the league’s teams averaged 2,977 a game.
  • Every market that was part of WPS in either 2011 or 2010 saw smaller average crowds in 2013, “led” by Chicago’s 58 percent drop in average from 2010 (the last year they played in WPS). Boston (which plays in a much smaller stadium now than it did in 2011) saw its average drop 45 percent, while Sky Blue FC was down 22 percent from 2011 despite being among the league leaders on the field most of the season. Western New York (down 8 percent from 2011) and Washington (down 5 percent from 2010) had smaller erosion. A lot of this is because of how quickly the league came together, so a full offseason of (hopefully) enhanced marketing efforts will make 2014 a better test.
  • Portland’s 13,320 average was the second-highest in combined WUSA/WPS/NWSL history, with Washington’s 14,421 average in 2001 (helped considerably by the league’s inaugural match and a couple of doubleheaders with DC United) the record.
  • The league averaged 4,842 in April, 3,608 in May, 3,892 in June, 4,562 in July and 4,789 in August. Sunday was actually the best day for attendance, average-wise (5,482, compared to 3,841 on Saturdays), but part of that is because six of Portland’s eleven home games were on Sundays.
  • Consistency was pretty much a watchword: the first 44 games averaged 4,171, the last 44 averaged 4,369 (after a post-2011 Women’s World Cup bounce that led some to believe a renaissance was happening).
  • If you’re into medians, NWSL’s (3,007) was barely ahead of WPS’ 2011 mark (3,005), saving it from the distinction of the worst median in the seven-season history of pro women’s league soccer. WUSA’s overall average was 7,246 with a 6,155 median; WPS’ overall average was 3,930 with a 3,589 median.
  • As to the general point of all this, these figures (skewed as they are, and as often malleable as they are) give us a general sense of interest in the product and a hint at team revenue. With the US, Canadian and Mexican federations paying the salaries of the top players, teams’ budgets had some pressure removed, which is a good thing. Unless they use those savings on some robust sales and marketing efforts, though, I fear it will be counterproductive. No one has yet hit on the magic formula for marketing this product, which hopes to feed off the cyclical interest in the US Women’s National Team but pales in comparison to it. They’ve tried spending big and appearing like a big-time, worthy sport with star players making big money, they’ve tried fiscal austerity, they’ve tried cause marketing. Nothing yet has bridged the profitability gap. The real test will be if all eight current teams (whose financial health hasn’t even been hinted at yet, officially, that I’ve seen) return for 2014 and if any rumored new additions actually come to pass. WUSA was able to keep all eight of its clubs coming back, but never got above eight. WPS was never able to keep all of its teams together from one year to the next, and also never had more than eight (with which it started the 2010 season before St. Louis went under). Getting all eight teams to come back for 2014 would be a positive step, and growing the fan base next season would be, too.

Taking Attendance: 8/12/2013 (Everybody)

Monday, August 12th, 2013

I haven’t done a full update of every team’s attendance in a month and a half, so here’s a look at all the main leagues north of the Rio Grande through this past weekend’s games. You’ll see I’m still missing several figures in USL Pro, the PDL and W-League, so if you have those numbers (or are actually with one of the teams, like Robin Waite of the Kitsap Pumas, who graciously sent me what I was missing), send them my way or leave them in the comments. Standard disclaimer on all of these, and (once again) I actually did start an NPSL spreadsheet but tracking down numbers was so tough that I’m at the mercy of you, the loyal readers. If you have NPSL attendance numbers, send them to me or leave them in the comments and I’ll endeavor to include them in a future update.

With that said, here are the numbers through August 11:

MLS G Total Average
Seattle Sounders 10 405,208 40,521
Los Angeles Galaxy 10 214,944 21,494
Montreal Impact 11 230,531 20,957
Portland Timbers 10 206,740 20,674
Houston Dynamo 11 219,073 19,916
Vancouver Whitecaps 12 238,583 19,882
Sporting KC 13 258,093 19,853
Toronto FC 12 232,676 19,390
Real Salt Lake 12 226,610 18,884
New York Red Bulls 11 201,455 18,314
Philadelphia Union 13 229,178 17,629
FC Dallas 12 192,296 16,025
Colorado Rapids 13 197,125 15,163
Columbus Crew 11 166,638 15,149
Chicago Fire 12 168,821 14,068
San Jose Earthquakes 12 164,875 13,740
DC United 12 162,926 13,577
New England Revolution 11 148,988 13,544
Chivas USA 11 95,371 8,670
MLS TOTAL 219 3,960,131 18,083
 
NASL G Total Average
New York Cosmos 1 11,929 11,929
San Antonio Scorpions 7 50,093 7,156
Minnesota United FC 7 37,912 5,416
Atlanta Silverbacks 7 35,018 5,003
Carolina RailHawks 7 32,730 4,676
Tampa Bay Rowdies 7 31,252 4,465
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 7 29,177 4,168
FC Edmonton 7 14,101 2,014
NASL TOTAL 50 242,212 4,844
 
USL Pro G Total Average
Orlando City SC 13 102,533 7,887
Rochester Rhinos * 13 75,900 5,838
Charleston Battery 13 46,259 3,558
Pittsburgh Riverhounds # 11 36,554 3,323
Wilmington Hammerheads 12 39,187 3,266
Richmond Kickers 13 30,460 2,343
Phoenix FC Wolves 13 20,941 1,611
Harrisburg City Islanders 14 20,386 1,456
Charlotte Eagles 14 11,297 807
Dayton Dutch Lions 13 9,669 744
Los Angeles Blues & 10 7,150 715
VSI Tampa Bay FC )( 8 3,770 471
MLS Reserve Teams $ 10 15,116 1,512
USL PRO TOTAL 157 419,222 2,670
 
PDL G Total Average
Des Moines Menace 7 21,961 3,137
Fresno Fuego 7 19,785 2,826
Portland Timbers U-23s 7 17,106 2,444
Carolina Dynamo # 5 8,897 1,779
Victoria Highlanders FC 7 11,462 1,637
Austin Aztex 7 10,063 1,438
Ventura County Fusion 7 9,474 1,353
Oklahoma City 7 8,499 1,214
Forest City London 7 8,024 1,146
BYU Cougars 7 7,952 1,136
Western Mass Pioneers 7 7,404 1,058
West Texas Sockers 7 6,765 966
Long Island Rough Riders * 6 4,941 824
FC Tucson 7 5,599 800
Thunder Bay Chill 7 5,595 799
Michigan Bucks 7 4,808 687
Laredo Heat 7 4,306 615
Kitsap Pumas 7 4,232 605
K-W United FC $ 3 1,810 603
Mississippi Brilla 7 3,945 564
Virginia Beach Piranhas 7 3,877 554
Sounders FC U23 7 3,769 538
Ocean City Nor’easters * 6 3,199 533
Panama City Beach Pirates 7 3,201 457
SW Florida Adrenaline # 5 1,998 400
Reading United AC 7 2,703 386
Houston Dutch Lions 7 2,650 379
St. Louis Lions 7 2,511 359
SC United Bantams * 6 1,950 325
CFC Azul 7 2,196 314
El Paso Patriots 7 2,150 307
Northern Virginia Royals # 5 1,475 295
Ocala Stampede * 6 1,685 281
Ottawa Fury 7 1,793 256
WSA Winnipeg 7 1,730 247
North Sound SeaWolves FC 7 1,640 234
Vermont Voltage )( 2 411 206
Southern California Seahorses $ 3 600 200
NJ LUSO Rangers FC & 4 795 199
Kansas City Brass # 5 942 188
Real Boston Rams 7 1,301 186
Baltimore Bohemians 7 1,249 178
Real Colorado Foxes 7 1,150 164
Jersey Express 7 1,127 161
Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors 7 1,068 153
New York Magic – F.A. Euro # 5 730 146
GPS Portland Phoenix # 5 725 145
Toronto Lynx 7 1,000 143
VSI Tampa Bay FC )( 2 278 139
West Virginia Chaos 7 965 138
Washington Crossfire 7 897 128
Orlando City U23 ** 1 127 127
Chicago Inferno # 5 527 105
OC Blues Strikers FC # 5 525 105
Springfield Demize 7 719 103
River City Rovers 7 638 91
Seacoast United Phantoms 7 580 83
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 7 569 81
Westchester Flames 7 465 66
LA Misioneros FC * 6 325 54
Chicago Fire # 5 206 41
Central Jersey Spartans 7 245 35
IMG Academy Bradenton * 6 160 27
Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy )( 1 15 15
PDL TOTAL 391 229,494 587
 
NWSL G Total Average
Portland Thorns FC 11 146,521 13,320
FC Kansas City 10 45,974 4,597
Western New York Flash 10 43,023 4,302
Washington Spirit 10 35,575 3,558
Boston Breakers 11 26,697 2,427
Seattle Reign FC 10 21,510 2,151
Chicago Red Stars 11 18,817 1,711
Sky Blue FC 11 18,309 1,664
NWSL TOTAL 84 356,426 4,243
 
W-League G Total Average
Washington Spirit Reserves 6 12,194 2,032
Seattle Sounders Women * 5 5,417 1,083
Long Island Rough Riders 6 3,913 652
Virginia Beach Piranhas 6 3,245 541
Charlotte Lady Eagles 5 2,701 540
Atlanta Silverbacks 5 1,875 375
Ottawa Fury 6 1,979 330
Colorado Rapids Women & 3 960 320
Carolina Elite Cobras * 4 1,215 304
K-W United FC & 3 770 257
New Jersey Wildcats * 5 1,274 255
LA Strikers # 4 1,017 254
Dayton Dutch Lions 5 1,137 227
New York Magic – F.A. Euro 6 1,348 225
Colorado Rush * 5 1,040 208
North Jersey Valkyries 6 1,224 204
Fredericksburg Impact 6 1,204 201
Bay Area Breeze 6 1,149 192
Pali Blues 6 1,142 190
Laval Comets 6 1,019 170
Santa Clarita Blue Heat & 3 476 159
Quebec City Amiral * 5 685 137
London Gryphons * 5 640 128
VSI Tampa Bay FC * 4 387 97
Toronto Lady Lynx * 5 391 78
W-LEAGUE TOTAL 126 48,402 384
*=Missing 1 game
#=Missing 2 games
&=Missing 3 games
$=Missing 4 games
)(=Missing 5 games
**=Missing 6 games

NOTES:

  • Once upon a time, the heart of the summer was a really bad time for MLS attendance. In fact, if you took out the Independence Day holiday boost, you got a graph that was smile shaped, with the high points for monthly averages at the beginning and end of the season. MLS has turned that around, with July its high point (43 games averaged 19,323, a league-record for the month) and June and August (so far) both averaging over 18k. With a Portland at Seattle match coming up in two weeks that will likely draw 65k+, this August might be one of the highest-attended months in league history.
  • Right now, MLS projects to draw about 5.8 million, down a shade from 2012′s high-water mark (thanks, Chivas).
  • The New York Cosmos have returned, and in drawing a season-high (and near league-record) 11,929 for their home opener, have gone to the top of the NASL charts. With five of their six remaining home games on Saturdays and with nostalgia still having not worn off, they should draw strong crowds the rest of the way. Their presence in St. Petersburg contributed to an Al Lang Stadium-record sellout crowd of 7,032 Saturday for what was a pretty spirited 0-0 draw. The Spring champions, Atlanta, were just under capacity for their Fall home opener that was plagued by lightning, Ft. Lauderdale drew an ehhh 3,295 for Minnesota and Edmonton got 1,745 for its first Fall home match. Glad they put those extra seats in up there.
  • Orlando’s 10,697 crowd for its match on Sunday against the Seattle Sounders Reserves was a team regular-season record and (near as I can tell) the second-highest attendance for a regular-season third division match ever (Minnesota drew 11,255 for a match against Milwaukee in 1995). The Lions have already drawn about 10 times as many fans as Dayton, Los Angeles and Charlotte and they have one home match left. And with their stadium funding having cleared another hurdle, it appears their dreams of moving to a higher level might become reality.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, Phoenix FC drew an announced 420 for its penultimate home match, which is appropriate, given you’d have to be high to believe what their chairman is saying.
  • Only four games remain in the inaugural NWSL season and the good news is the league’s average crowd is about 21% higher than in the final year of WPS in 2011. The bad news is that every market that had a team in the old league is down (some substantially) from their former averages, while Portland and Kansas City are thriving. Chicago’s down 58% from 2010 (their last year in WPS), Boston’s off 45%, Western New York is down 12% and Sky Blue FC (one of the best teams in the league) finished with a home average of 1,664 (down 23% from 2011). I’m sorry, those are trouble spots that need to be addressed, even if USSF, CSA and FMF are paying the freight for the star players. Forty-one percent of the people who have attended NWSL matches this year have done so in one city (Portland) and the Thorns might not even get a home playoff game.
  • And it happened over a week ago, but the Austin Aztex drew 3,062 and 4,253 for their semifinal and final in the PDL as they won the title.

Taking Attendance 7/22/2013: (More Or Less) Final PDL Numbers

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

The Premier Development League season ended yesterday and the playoffs begin tomorrow evening. With about 87% of precincts reporting, here are the attendance figures for the amateur league regarded by some as the fourth level of the unofficial North American soccer pyramid for 2013 (as always, standard disclaimers apply and additions/corrections are always welcome):

Team G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Des Moines Menace 7 21,961 3,137 2,971 3,544 2,877
Fresno Fuego 7 19,785 2,826 2,572 4,617 1,859
Portland Timbers U-23s 7 17,106 2,444 2,028 5,897 364
Carolina Dynamo #5 8,897 1,779 1,867 1,889 1,432
Victoria Highlanders FC 7 11,462 1,637 1,379 2,347 1,206
Austin Aztex 7 10,063 1,438 1,272 2,111 1,097
Ventura County Fusion 7 9,474 1,353 1,117 2,645 817
Oklahoma City 7 8,499 1,214 1,177 1,578 896
Forest City London 7 8,024 1,146 1,060 1,697 527
BYU Cougars 7 7,952 1,136 976 1,751 681
Western Mass Pioneers 7 7,404 1,058 1,011 1,743 150
West Texas Sockers 7 6,765 966 925 1,458 485
Long Island Rough Riders *6 4,941 824 548 1,842 407
FC Tucson 7 5,599 800 874 1,061 227
Thunder Bay Chill 7 5,595 799 763 973 644
Michigan Bucks 7 4,808 687 612 1,286 374
Laredo Heat 7 4,306 615 549 1,024 197
Kitsap Pumas #5 3,061 612 502 986 420
K-W United FC ^3 1,810 603 400 1,080 330
Mississippi Brilla 7 3,945 564 592 882 361
Virginia Beach Piranhas 7 3,877 554 574 806 263
Sounders FC U23 7 3,769 538 248 1,311 173
Ocean City Nor’easters *6 3,199 533 528 609 463
Panama City Beach Pirates 7 3,201 457 431 811 228
SW Florida Adrenaline #5 1,998 400 382 536 316
Reading United AC 7 2,703 386 312 607 147
Houston Dutch Lions 7 2,650 379 400 450 300
St. Louis Lions 7 2,511 359 321 652 210
SC United Bantams *6 1,950 325 300 500 200
CFC Azul 7 2,196 314 342 434 142
El Paso Patriots 7 2,150 307 210 630 100
Northern Virginia Royals #5 1,475 295 315 365 210
Ocala Stampede *6 1,685 281 299 365 186
Ottawa Fury 7 1,793 256 222 528 100
WSA Winnipeg 7 1,730 247 150 650 50
North Sound SeaWolves FC 7 1,640 234 75 645 65
Vermont Voltage &2 411 206 206 300 111
So. Cal. Seahorses ^3 600 200 200 200 200
Kansas City Brass #5 942 188 183 257 128
Real Boston Rams 7 1,301 186 205 268 74
NJ LUSO Rangers FC ^3 545 182 180 300 65
Baltimore Bohemians 7 1,249 178 153 304 100
Real Colorado Foxes 7 1,150 164 150 300 100
Jersey Express 7 1,127 161 125 277 95
SWVa King’s Warriors 7 1,068 153 128 285 70
NY Magic – F.A. Euro #5 730 146 130 250 100
GPS Portland Phoenix #5 725 145 125 200 125
Toronto Lynx 7 1,000 143 150 250 50
VSI Tampa Bay FC &2 278 139 139 200 78
West Virginia Chaos 7 965 138 120 250 50
Washington Crossfire 7 897 128 110 259 75
Orlando City U23 $1 127 127 127 127 127
Chicago Inferno #5 527 105 100 161 79
OC Blues Strikers FC #5 525 105 45 200 40
Springfield Demize 7 719 103 98 136 86
River City Rovers 7 638 91 103 126 50
Seacoast United Phantoms 7 580 83 75 125 50
Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 7 569 81 77 117 53
Westchester Flames 7 465 66 60 85 50
LA Misioneros FC *6 325 54 50 100 25
Chicago Fire #5 206 41 30 100 6
Central Jersey Spartans 7 245 35 32 55 25
IMG Academy Bradenton 6 160 27 20 60 15
Ft.L Schulz Academy &1 15 15 15 15 15
PDL TOTAL 388 228,073 588 300 5,897 6


* = missing 1 game
# = missing 2 games
^ = missing 4 games
& = missing 5 games
$ = missing 6 games

NOTES:

  • I’m missing 59 data points, or about 14% of the league’s games, so these numbers may change a bit by the time I am able to track the rest down (if that’s possible, which it likely isn’t). But most won’t change significantly.
  • Des Moines again edged Fresno for the PDL attendance crown, though both were down in average from a year ago. The Menace and Fuego have each been in the top three (and have often traded off the top couple of spots) since 2007. Fresno’s tickets are free through a sponsorship by a local radio station.
  • The biggest gainers, percentage-wise, were K-W United FC (formerly the Hamilton FC Rage), which went from 133 a game in 2012 to 603 a game this year (in a limited sample – I’m missing several of their games), the Houston Dutch Lions (nee Texas Dutch Lions), who went from 90 a game to 379 a game, the NJ LUSO Rangers FC (last yea’rs New Jersey Rangers), up from 69 a game to 182 (with several missing games) and Forest City London, who saw their crowds go from 507 a game last year to 1,146 a game this year.
  • Big drops included the Central Jersey Spartans (down 81%), Seacoast United Phantoms (down 58%) and the Baltimore Bohemians down 55%.
  • On a side note, I would love to see the Seacoast United Phantoms play the SC United Bantams, wouldn’t you?
  • The Chicago Fire announced what is probably the lowest-ever PDL attendance figure of 6 on July 17 when the Michigan Bucks played a 10:00 am match at Toyota Park. I can’t imagine anyone actually bothering to announce an attendance figure of 6, but they did it, so, kudos.
  • The best debut by a new PDL team was Oklahoma City (the site of a skirmish between USL Pro and the NASL which is just heating up), who averaged 1,214 per game in their inaugural season.
  • Big crowds this season occurred in Portland (where the Timbers drew 5,897 for a school day game against North Sound on May 31) and Fresno (4,617 for BYU on May 9), but Des Moines had all of its crowds in the top 12 for the league this year, with a high of 3,544 and a low of 2,877.
  • FC Tucson drew a team-record 1,022 on July 13 for LA Misioneros, then beat that a week later with a 1,061 crowd against BYU. Tucson actually came close to outdrawing their USL Pro cousins, Phoenix FC, who played Friday night in newly-downsized Sun Devil Soccer Stadium against Richmond and drew 1,084. Tucson moves into a soccer-specific stadium of its own next May.
  • Canadian teams had slightly a slightly higher overall average than US-based teams (615 to 584), but the difference isn’t much to get worked up about. London (1,146) is the best draw among Canadian teams, with Thunder Bay second at just under 800 a game.
  • The league itself was up about 100 people a game (a pretty significant percentage), but the 588 average for the games I have ( a ) would probably drop a bit with the missing games plugged in and ( b ) is right around the historical average. This is what the PDL draws, folks.