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Taking Attendance 10/5/2010: D2 Down 5.5%

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The USSF Division II Pro Soccer League season ended over the weekend (the playoffs start tomorrow) and, when all was said and done, average league attendance was down nearly six percent from a year ago, and at its lowest level since 2004. Here are the numbers:

Team G Total Avg. Med. Hi Lo Change
Montreal 15 185,952 12,397 12,443 13,034 10,864 +3.0%
Portland 15 160,899 10,727 9,017 15,418 5,808 +10.2%
Rochester 15 96,965 6,464 6,978 9,157 1,447 +0.6%
Vancouver 15 77,237 5,149 5,185 5,435 4,815 -3.1%
Tampa Bay 15 57,996 3,866 3,882 8,082 1,698 N/A
Austin 15 55,990 3,733 3,671 6,051 2,143 +25.5%
St. Louis 15 41,252 2,750 2,403 5,695 2,037 N/A
Puerto Rico 15 35,368 2,358 2,122 5,077 1,069 -28.4%
Carolina 15 33,611 2,241 2,212 2,879 1,426 -17.9%
Minnesota 15 20,608 1,374 1,429 2,310 588 -57.2%
Miami 15 18,809 1,254 1,126 1,855 742 +18.0%
Baltimore 15 16,122 1,075 1,029 2,348 507 -12.0%
USSF2 TOTAL 180 800,809 4,449 2,872 15,418 507 -5.5%

Some notes:

  • Baltimore’s numbers were down 12 percent from their D3 numbers of a year ago (step up a level, attendance goes down. Second team in a row to do that, how’s that looking now, proles?). Tampa Bay and St. Louis had no numbers last year because they didn’t exist and St. Louis and Baltimore may not next year (supposedly there’s a potential buyer in St. Louis. Good luck.).
  • Portland became the first D2 team not named Montreal or Rochester to average over 10,000 a game in the modern era. They really should go to MLS.
  • Nice work by Austin, up almost 26% thanks (in part, I would guess, ERic could set me straight) to the move from a high school football stadium to a better high school football stadium. Now the NASL (tee hee) says they’ll have a team in San Antonio in 2012, which would be a great carrot to try to get Austin to align with them if only (a) it was 2011 and not 2012, (b ) we had a reasonable expectation that there’d actually be a team in San Antonio in 2012 and (c ) we had a reasonable expectation there will be an NASL in 2012. Or 2011, for that matter.
  • Hey, look at Miami FC, up 18% from a year ago! Maybe Traffic is finally figuring it out*.
  • Biggest dropper: Minnesota, where the NSC Stars did less than half the numbers the old Thunder did, with the caveats that (a) the Thunder were lying and ( b) the National Sports Center had very little time between when they knew they’d have a team and when that team actually had to play. Still, they, like Carolina and St. Louis and Puerto Rico, are looking for investors to be able to play at the D2 level next year, while Baltimore is probably trying to return a bunch of stuff to Best Buy to get some cash in the door.
  • Montreal has now led the league in attendance for the last six years.
  • If you take away the top two teams (Montreal and Portland), the D2 average was just 3,026.
  • No, no World Cup bump, either. Despite what the NASL office (tee hee) would have had you believe, there was no residual effect (at least there’s no evidence of one) from FIFA’s June-July party. Attendance averaged 4,632 (3,886 median) prior to the World Cup and 4,321 (2,649 median) after it.

So, Portland and Vancouver are gone after this month, headed off to MLS. Montreal will follow after another year. Whatever Division II soccer looks like next year, I’m not seeing any particular causes for optimism that the numbers will be substantially different than in years past.

*No, they’re not actually figuring it out.

Written by admin

October 5th, 2010 at 4:21 pm