Taking Attendance, 6/4/2012

Here are the latest attendance figures for all the various leagues in the US and Canada, through games of Sunday, June 3. I’m missing a couple of USL Pro attendance figures (both in Dayton), a couple W-League figures, several in WPSL Elite (both leagues have been a bit lax in other areas lately) and many in the PDL. But based on what I have, this is how the league attendance figures look as of today.

The Major League Soccer G Total Average Median High Low
Seattle 8 308,698 38,587 38,380 39,312 38,301
Montreal 5 182,488 36,498 23,120 60,860 19,223
Los Angeles 7 155,694 22,242 22,143 27,000 16,512
Houston 3 66,117 22,039 22,039 22,039 22,039
Portland 7 143,066 20,438 20,438 20,438 20,438
Kansas City 6 115,061 19,177 19,876 20,404 15,161
Vancouver 6 114,074 19,012 19,333 21,000 15,382
Toronto 6 113,336 18,889 18,710 20,070 18,227
Salt Lake 7 129,403 18,486 18,219 20,415 16,738
Philadelphia 5 91,563 18,313 18,526 19,074 17,189
New York 6 94,939 15,823 15,517 21,024 11,315
Colorado 6 91,165 15,194 15,008 19,152 10,969
Chicago 6 82,380 13,730 13,852 18,075 10,489
DC United 9 123,013 13,668 13,975 16,314 10,135
Chivas USA 7 95,423 13,632 14,127 18,800 7,723
Columbus 6 79,314 13,219 11,747 18,197 10,479
Dallas 8 105,451 13,181 11,953 20,906 10,069
New England 6 70,512 11,752 12,318 16,414 6,149
San Jose 7 81,677 11,668 10,256 21,816 8,734
MLS TOTAL 121 2,243,374 18,540 18,027 60,860 6,149
 
North American Soccer League G Total Average Median High Low
San Antonio 5 49,750 9,950 9,536 13,151 8,310
Atlanta 5 22,180 4,436 4,743 5,000 3,261
Minnesota 3 12,553 4,184 2,168 8,693 1,692
Carolina 5 16,030 3,206 3,041 3,683 2,718
Fort Lauderdale 6 18,828 3,138 2,835 4,779 2,404
Tampa Bay 5 15,301 3,060 3,166 3,536 2,288
Edmonton 4 6,429 1,607 1,394 2,521 1,120
Puerto Rico 5 5,249 1,050 1,060 1,542 520
NASL TOTAL 38 146,320 3,851 3,085 13,151 520
 
USL Pro G Total Average Median High Low
Orlando 5 37,094 7,419 7,231 8,421 6,722
Rochester 3 20,610 6,870 7,414 7,959 5,237
Wilmington 5 20,595 4,119 4,456 5,183 2,482
Charleston 5 19,123 3,825 3,819 4,729 3,162
Richmond 4 12,797 3,199 2,758 5,009 2,273
Los Angeles 4 4,867 1,217 1,118 2,432 200
Harrisburg 5 5,725 1,145 1,223 1,540 355
Antigua 6 6,400 1,067 900 1,800 800
Dayton 3 2,645 882 853 1,012 780
Pittsburgh 4 2,996 749 730 1,005 532
Charlotte 5 3,507 701 576 964 522
USL PRO TOTAL 49 136,359 2,783 1,540 8,421 200
 
USL PDL G Total Average Median High Low
Portland (Ore.) 4 17,809 4,452 4,643 8,174 349
Des Moines 4 14,002 3,501 3,497 3,765 3,243
Fresno 3 10,357 3,452 4,273 4,361 1,723
Carolina 2 4,765 2,383 2,383 2,741 2,024
Austin 4 5,344 1,336 1,015 2,507 808
West Texas 4 5,113 1,278 1,191 1,644 1,088
Ventura County 4 4,816 1,204 1,212 1,547 846
Victoria 3 3,018 1,006 1,126 1,172 720
Western Mass 2 1,902 951 951 1,491 411
London 1 850 850 850 850 850
Michigan 2 1,627 814 814 1,342 285
Palmetto 3 2,359 786 702 1,031 626
Laredo 1 763 763 763 763 763
Baltimore 2 1,466 733 733 753 713
Tucson 3 2,132 711 686 812 634
Kitsap 2 1,178 589 589 593 585
Winnipeg 4 2,250 563 400 1,200 250
Mississippi 4 2,185 546 550 667 418
Thunder Bay 2 1,092 546 546 583 509
Sounders FC U23 2 1,037 519 519 712 325
Panama City Beach 1 517 517 517 517 517
Fredericksburg 2 924 462 462 512 412
Long Island 2 913 457 457 585 328
BYU 2 902 451 451 607 295
Ocala 2 850 425 425 500 350
CFC Azul 4 1,633 408 425 457 326
Worcester 3 1,154 385 358 531 265
Boston 2 739 370 370 546 193
St. Louis 2 734 367 367 423 311
Jersey 2 731 366 366 526 205
Orlando 3 1,083 361 315 468 300
El Paso 4 1,433 358 347 560 180
Portland (Me.) 2 704 352 352 352 352
River City Rovers 1 325 325 325 325 325
N.Virginia 3 959 320 309 375 275
Virginia Beach 2 607 304 304 314 293
Reading 3 828 276 267 329 232
Colorado 4 1,050 263 250 400 150
Seacoast United 2 475 238 238 325 150
Jacksonville 2 435 218 218 325 110
So.California 2 435 218 218 240 195
Tampa 3 645 215 140 365 140
W.Virginia 4 834 209 210 310 105
Hamilton 1 200 200 200 200 200
Ogden 2 393 197 197 243 150
So.West Virginia 3 555 185 175 225 155
Los Angeles 2 334 167 167 184 150
Texas 1 150 150 150 150 150
North Sound 2 290 145 145 160 130
Cincinnati 2 285 143 143 200 85
Chicago Inferno 2 278 139 139 174 104
Toronto 2 250 125 125 150 100
Ottawa 2 240 120 120 140 100
Westchesters 4 480 120 123 123 140
Orange County 5 582 116 135 157 75
Vancouver 4 428 107 99 154 77
Brooklyn 1 103 103 103 103 103
Bradenton 4 400 100 88 150 75
Bermuda 2 195 98 98 100 95
Nashville 3 285 95 92 110 83
Springfield 5 473 95 80 147 40
Washington 3 265 88 80 110 75
Pali 2 159 80 80 82 77
Fraser Valley 4 310 78 80 85 65
Central Jersey 1 77 77 77 77 77
New Jersey 3 205 68 68 73 64
Chicago Fire 2 90 45 45 50 40
PDL TOTAL 175 110,002 629 300 8,174 40
 
WPSL Elite G Total Average Median High Low
Boston 2 4,654 2,327 2,327 2,342 2,312
Western New York 1 1,304 1,304 1,304 1,304 1,304
New England 1 937 937 937 937 937
Philadelphia 1 782 782 782 782 782
Chesapeake 1 400 400 400 400 400
WPSL-E TOTAL 6 8,077 1,346 1,121 2,342 400
 
USL W-League G Total Average Median High Low
Seattle 1 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500
Vancouver 3 3,680 1,227 1,210 1,465 1,005
Santa Clarita 1 1,033 1,033 1,033 1,033 1,033
DC United 2 1,085 543 543 664 421
Colorado Rush 1 479 479 479 479 479
Charlottes 3 1,425 475 530 559 336
N.Virginia 1 474 474 474 474 474
Colorado Rapids 1 450 450 450 450 450
Virginia Beach 2 892 446 446 513 379
New Jersey 1 438 438 438 438 438
Victoria 4 1,747 437 430 730 157
Quebec City 1 426 426 426 426 426
Atlanta 3 1,245 415 412 481 352
Fredericksburg 2 669 335 335 512 157
Dayton 1 278 278 278 278 278
Central SC 2 505 253 253 270 235
Long Island 1 225 225 225 225 225
North Jersey 1 225 225 225 225 225
Pali 2 423 212 212 300 123
Los Angeles 2 420 210 210 300 120
New York 2 301 151 151 184 117
Ottawa 1 145 145 145 145 145
Rochester 2 285 143 143 200 85
Hamilton 3 382 127 75 232 75
Tampa 1 90 90 90 90 90
Toronto 1 75 75 75 75 75
London 1 54 54 54 54 54
Laval 1 50 50 50 50 50
New Jersey 4 190 48 40 80 30
W-LEAGUE TOTAL 51 22,191 435 300 4,500 30


NOTES:

  • Portland’s PDL team broke the league record with a school-day crowd of 8,174 for their match Friday morning against Vancouver. I couldn’t tell you what the old record was, and neither can USL, probably, so just go with it for now.
  • MLS only had one match this past weekend while largely standing down for an official FIFA Match Day, but the league is on pace to draw more than six million this year, and projects roughly to a final average of 18,713 (which would be a record). Montreal’s average will go down a bit when they move into Saputo Stadium. More than half the league (10 clubs) are averaging more than 18,000 a game, which is quite the feather in their cap.
  • They had to bring in temporary seating in Edmonton as the NASL club drew 2,521 against Atlanta yesterday. It was a season high for the Eddies, near their franchise record (set in the opener last year) and the first time they’d been over 2k for a league match since last June 26. Overall, they’re down 25% in average over the same number of home games as a year ago, but hope for increased attendance as they bring in more seating to their new stadium.
  • Elsewhere in the NASL, Atlanta and Carolina are way up (46% and 59%, respectively) and the RailHawks hope to get a bounce from their Open Cup run. Puerto Rico is down 48% because of their temporary venue. Ft. Lauderdale is down 25% amid talk that their advertising and marketing budget has been slashed. And Tampa Bay – which finally got the historic “Rowdies” name back – has a nearly identical average after five home games this year as last. So much for nostalgia.
  • San Antonio reversed a slide that had seen each of their home games draw fewer people than the last when they drew 8,639 for their game Saturday against Minnesota. After five home matches, the Scorpions are averaging just under 10,000, which has only been done at the D2 level by Rochester, Portland and Montreal.
  • While Orlando and Rochester continue to lead USL Pro, the best story is probably in Wilmington, where the Hammerheads are third in the league at 4,119. Harrisburg continues to be bedeviled by bad weather, as their game against Richmond Friday was stopped after 84 minutes because of lightning and drew just 355.
  • Looks like we’re only going to get WPSL Elite numbers regularly out of Boston. The other clubs don’t seem to think it’s important to count people (or if they count them, they don’t announce them). But, to no one’s surprise, I think we can safely say WPSL Elite, without the ability to market on a league level and with its clubs having limited budgets to market locally, will not be making anyone forget WPS.
  • Seattle Sounders Women drew 4,500 for their official home opener against Colorado last Thursday (after packing Starfire for a series of exhibitions against local colleges). They weren’t a big draw on the road a day later in Victoria (no national team players made the trip) as just 502 fans went to their game against the Highlanders. We’ll see what happens with the Sounders Women as Hope Solo and company leave for the Olympics.
  • Besides Portland’s U23 squad, PDL teams doing well at the gate include Carolina Dynamo, Des Moines, Fresno and West Texas, who are all over 1,000 a game. The league itself is at 629 (with several games missing), ahead of the historical average of just over 500.

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23 Responses to “Taking Attendance, 6/4/2012”

  1. Andy Crossley Says:

    Did anyone have expectations this high for Montreal? I feel like they snuck up on people a bit. And yes, I realize the average is skewed by the big Olympic Stadium game or two.

  2. Mike Says:

    Are US Open Cup games not included??? Its not like they are friendlies. I say include them if they were played at the team’s home stadium – if not, then I’d say leave it off – like the Sounders case, it would skew the data. Carolina Railhawks’s high attendance should be around 8,000 I think.

  3. admin Says:

    No, these are league games only. Have always been league games only, and will always be league games only. You want to keep your own list, keep your own list. I can’t always GET Open Cup attendance figures for everybody. I keep those separately.

  4. admin Says:

    I think we all figured Montreal would do well based on a lot of things, but the huge crowd for the opener was slightly surprising to me.

  5. ERic Says:

    You have the attendance for the rain-shortened Harrisburg – Richmond game? I checked Pennlive and couldn’t find it. Despite their being three articles on the game (man, they really cover the team well!)

  6. KT Says:

    It was in the Kickers’ recap of the game that was in their email press release.

  7. El Conductor Says:

    As always, you’re work in documenting American soccer attendance is a credit to the sport. Bravo, sir. Also, I have a suggestion that would make your life a tiny bit harder, but these updates WAY cooler: add a column for “Overall Rank”, for average attendance – just an idea.

  8. KT Says:

    They’re ranked within leagues. Nobody in the NASL would be anywhere but at the bottom of the MLS list. Occasionally I’ll mix it up and show one list of everybody, but it has no surprises – MLS teams at the top, PDL teams at the bottom.

  9. Eric A. Says:

    Sorry in advance if this question is answered elsewhere on your blog, I’m new to it. Don’t you have numbers for the current (outdoor) NPSL?

  10. admin Says:

    Nope. They’re not regularly published. Keeping track of them – given the vagaries of the NPSL schedule – is not something I want to devote effort to right now.

  11. Eric A. Says:

    Understood. Do you know generally where they stand in comparison to the PDL? Any chance we’ll see the higher attended PDL/NPSL sides move to the higher divisions?

  12. admin Says:

    I don’t have the slightest idea. I know Chattanooga draws well, but that’s only because it’s usually Chattanooga fans who keep bringing it up. I know the San Diego derby only drew a few hundred fans. I’ve been to an NPSL game with 50 people there.

    I always say if you’re in the PDL, you probably don’t have a lot of money. But if you’re in the NPSL, you have neither money nor ambition.

    And given the spotty history of teams that have moved up a level (or two), I wouldn’t expect we’ll see a lot of it anytime soon.

    People tend to just look at a team’s attendance numbers and if they’re not too bad, just assume that the owner would LOVE to be in a higher level so he can lose more money. I just don’t get that. If you want to own a pro team, own a pro team. If you just want to have a team (either to own a team or to give players a place to play in the summer), you can own a PDL team.

    And if you, for some reason, think you can have a team and consider yourself an owner, but you want to spend virtually no money, you can own an NPSL team.

  13. Eric A Says:

    I’m not saying there aren’t lazy owners or teams in the NPSL but you obviously haven’t been to an FC Buffalo game. The owners are very committed. They are active on social media. twitter.com/fcbuffalo They’ve had viral marketing. http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/index?id=5204287 They entice fans with door prizes like pro teams do. This Friday vs Erie is cowbell night. And they’ve played an international friendly with 4000 in attendance http://www.buffalonews.com/city/article472847.ece in which they were featured in a BBC documentary. http://youtu.be/22JJ7qmSBPs Their attendance is okay (usually 350+) but rising.

  14. admin Says:

    350 is not okay.

    But if they’re the exception, fine. Not everybody is as bad as the Phoenix Monsoon, but please show me the last NPSL team that moved up to a higher level.

  15. El Conductor Says:

    “I know Chattanooga draws well, but that’s only because it’s usually Chattanooga fans who keep bringing it up”

    Squeaky Wheel, baby! Squeaky Wheel.

  16. El Conductor Says:

    On a serious note:
    I think the PDL and NPSL actually have built-in economic advantages over the NASL and the USL Pro – free amateur talent. Fielding highly skilled players without a crippling payroll expense makes it possible (dare I say, “realistic?”) for 4th-tier clubs to break even with a healthy combination of sponsorship dollars and gate receipts. But once teams have to start paying their players, yes, they’re gonna lose money.

  17. admin Says:

    Yes, the cost of player wages and (especially) workman’s comp can be killers.

    But the PDL and NPSL teams that are drawing 50-100 people a game are just basically having a wank. (Some exist purely to give players a place to play, which is noble enough, I guess.)

    I’m sure at the higher levels of the PDL, you can probably do pretty well financially, and if you are Des Moines or somebody like that, why would you be interested in necessarily playing at a higher level and losing more money?

    But at the lower levels….I’m not sure why some of these people do this. Everybody needs a hobby, I guess.

  18. kebzach Says:

    In case anyone’s interested, the first Chicago Red Stars home game had 400-500 fans at it by my eyeball count. The second home game had 700-900 fans.

  19. admin Says:

    Thank you, sir!

  20. John Says:

    According to something I read on a different website (caveat emptor and all that), the Timbers U-23′s have 1,500 season tickets sold just for them.

  21. admin Says:

    Which is odd, because they had 349 at one game.

    Also, I just realized that the PDL record they broke was likely their own…Portland’s U23s drew 8,029 on May 24 against Kitsap, a week before they drew 8,174 against Vancouver. Both were morning games, tied in with kids, apparently.

  22. El Conductor Says:

    From what I understand, the smaller 4th-tier clubs exist a) to give locals (and players home from college for the summer) a chance to keep up their game, b) to help fill-out the leagues, and c) generally promote the game in their area. There also seems to be a trend of successful city/ area youth programs creating NPSL or PDL squads as extensions of their Select programs. Presumably, those organizations can offload a lot of the costs of running a semi-pro team onto the larger program’s budget. It also helps having potentially hundreds of built-in fans/ volunteers ready to help in the behind-the-scenes details that always need doing as well. I think the ability to “piggy-back” a semi-pro team onto an existing rec organization is another financial advantage the higher tiers don’t have.

  23. admin Says:

    And those are altruistic motives that help grow the game.

    I’m just interested in watching them do it.