Archive for March, 2012

All-Time Division I Soccer Markets By Average Attendance

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Major League Soccer starts its 17th season this weekend, tying it with the original North American Soccer League for longevity among top-flight soccer leagues on these shores in the modern area. So, just for fun, here’s a look at where each of the markets that had one or more NASL or MLS teams over the years rank in terms of average announced attendance. The “NASL Years” actually include 18 seasons, as I’ve included the totals from the precursor rival leagues of 1967, the USA and the NPSL, and those numbers go through 1984. The “MLS Years” would be from 1996-2011.

Market Team(s) Yrs G Total Average
Minneapolis Kicks, Strikers 7 99 2,264,316 22,872
Seattle Sounders 13 186 4,207,207 22,619
New York Generals, Skyliners, Cosmos, MetroStars/Red Bulls 33 465 9,064,288 19,493
Vancouver Royal Canadians, Royals, Whitecaps 14 190 3,224,471 16,971
Salt Lake City Real 7 109 1,833,671 16,823
Tampa Rowdies, Mutiny 16 235 3,728,610 15,866
Los Angeles Toros, Wolves, Aztecs, Surf, Galaxy, Chivas USA 31 562 8,873,337 15,789
Columbus Crew 16 246 3,749,683 15,243
Tulsa Roughnecks 7 105 1,519,480 14,471
Washington, DC Darts, Whips, Diplomats, Team America, DC United 29 417 5,885,098 14,113
Portland Timbers 9 131 1,710,126 13,054
Boston Rovers, Beacons, Minutemen, Tea Men, Revolution 24 347 4,525,299 13,041
Denver Dynamos, Caribous, Rapids 19 282 3,658,091 12,972
Houston Stars, Hurricane, Dynamo 11 161 2,084,706 12,948
SF Bay Area Gales, Clippers, Earthquakes, Stompers, Clash/Earthquakes 29 418 5,253,896 12,569
Montreal Olympiques, Manic 6 78 928,361 11,902
Chicago Spurs, Mustangs, Sting, Fire 27 391 4,618,078 11,811
Toronto City, Falcons, Metros, Metros-Croatia, Blizzard, FC 22 297 3,275,751 11,029
Kansas City Spurs, Wiz/Wizards/Sporting 19 282 2,998,244 10,632
Calgary Boomers 1 16 168,019 10,501
Detroit Cougars, Express 5 66 666,910 10,105
Dallas Tornado, Burn/FC 31 424 4,264,688 10,058
Philadelphia Atoms, Fury, Union 10 137 1,340,620 9,786
Miami/Ft.L Toros, Gatos, Strikers, Fusion 16 218 2,083,564 9,558
Edmonton Drillers 4 63 572,425 9,086
Memphis Rogues 3 46 400,364 8,704
Jacksonville Tea Men 2 32 266,675 8,334
San Diego Jaws, Sockers 9 132 1,099,816 8,332
Las Vegas Quicksilvers 1 13 92,031 7,079
Rochester Lancers 11 137 838,696 6,122
St. Louis Stars 11 131 763,524 5,828
Atlanta Chiefs, Apollos 10 123 647,494 5,264
Cleveland Stokers 2 22 108,273 4,922
San Antonio Thunder 2 23 106,052 4,611
Honolulu Team Hawaii 1 13 59,056 4,543
Baltimore Bays, Comets 5 52 219,713 4,225
Hartford Bicentennials 3 36 132,687 3,686
Pittsburgh Spartans 1 16 49,959 3,122
COMBINED TOTALS 33 6,701 87,283,279 13,025

It’s interesting that Minneapolis takes the top spot, though it’s all NASL and only seven seasons of that. The accomplishments of the Cosmos at the gate are brought down a bit by their precursors, the Generals and Skyliners, and by the MetroStars/Red Bulls. Seattle gets a boost from the current-day Sounders, but the original Sounders averaged 18,322 in 10 NASL seasons, ranking them fourth in the original league’s standings behind Minneapolis, New York and Tampa (who gets hurt in the combined rankings by the Mutiny). MLS is in 16 of the top 20 markets on this list, missing only Minneapolis, Tampa, Tulsa and Calgary.

I wouldn’t read a lot into this because the two eras are so very different and the leagues went about things in very different manners (if you’re curious, the NASL averaged 10,749 over its lifetime, while MLS’ all-time average is 15,744, almost 50% higher). I just thought it was interesting.

Taking Attendance: Final MISL Numbers

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

The Major Indoor Soccer League’s regular season ended today and here are the final attendance figures for the league:

Team G Total Avg. Med Hi Lo
Baltimore Blast 12 71,538 5,962 5,800 9,644 2,316
Rochester Lancers 12 68,102 5,675 5,570 7,210 3,997
Missouri Comets 12 49,105 4,092 3,892 8,276 2,853
Milwaukee Wave 12 47,463 3,955 3,336 5,964 3,059
Wichita Wings 12 45,707 3,809 3,865 5,200 2,538
Syracuse Silver Knights 12 35,406 2,951 2,901 3,892 2,317
Norfolk SharX 12 19,157 1,596 1,385 3,422 635
MISL TOTAL 84 336,478 4,006 3,700 9,644 635


The MISL averaged 4,007 fans per game (announced) last season and 4,006 this season. That’s consistency. The Baltimore Blast led their league for the eighth consecutive season, but their average announced crowd was down 14 percent from last year. Milwaukee was also down by 13 percent. Missouri was basically flat and the other four teams were in their first year. Rochester was a success right out of the gate, as the Lancers finished second in the East and second in average attendance. The playoffs begin this week.