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Taking Attendance 5/20/2013

Latest attendance numbers for MLS, the NASL, USL Pro and the NWSL, through games of May 19:

Seattle 5 195,330 39,066
Montreal 5 115,090 23,018
Los Angeles 5 105,156 21,031
Portland 6 124,044 20,674
Vancouver 6 118,480 19,747
Kansas City 6 115,064 19,177
Toronto 6 114,717 19,120
Houston 7 133,686 19,098
Salt Lake 5 90,764 18,153
New York 6 105,324 17,554
Philadelphia 6 104,981 17,497
Dallas 7 104,117 14,874
DC United 6 82,202 13,700
Colorado 5 66,843 13,369
New England 5 65,362 13,072
Columbus 5 64,200 12,840
Chicago 5 60,540 12,108
San Jose 8 83,272 10,409
Chivas USA 6 48,352 8,059
MLS TOTAL 110 1,897,524 17,250
San Antonio 3 22,119 7,373
Carolina 3 15,502 5,167
Atlanta 3 15,118 5,039
Minnesota 4 19,767 4,942
Ft. Lauderdale 3 14,087 4,696
Tampa Bay 3 11,219 3,740
Edmonton 2 2,082 1,041
NASL TOTAL 21 99,894 4,757
USL PRO G Total Average
Orlando 4 31,660 7,915
Rochester 1 5,963 5,963
Pittsburgh 1 4,000 4,000
Charleston 3 11,507 3,836
Wilmington 4 12,674 3,169
Phoenix 5 11,928 2,386
Richmond 6 13,898 2,316
Dayton 1 1,436 1,436
Harrisburg 4 5,395 1,349
Los Angeles 4 2,637 659
Charlotte 5 3,068 614
Tampa Bay 4 2,264 566
MLS Reserve Teams 5 12,647 2,529
USL PRO TOTAL 47 119,077 2,534
Portland 3 40,008 13,336
Kansas City 3 15,210 5,070
Washington 4 16,709 4,177
W New York 3 8,930 2,977
Boston 2 5,747 2,874
Seattle 2 3,629 1,815
Chicago 3 5,439 1,813
Sky Blue FC 3 4,738 1,579
NWSL TOTAL 23 100,410 4,366


  • MLS should hit the 2 million mark in total attendance next Sunday, just slightly behind the pace set last year when the league drew six million fans for the first time ever.
  • Chivas USA sits at an announced average of 8,059 after last night’s intimate gathering of 8,125 for its match against Real Salt Lake. I don’t know that the Goats can catch the all-time MLS low of 7,460 per game set by the Miami Fusion in 2000 or Dallas’ 7,906 at Dragon Stadium in 2003, but they’ll probably be only the fourth team in the last ten years to go sub-10k for the season (Dallas 2004, Kansas City 2005, San Jose 2010).
  • Most NASL teams are up year-over-year, with only Edmonton (down 29%, but with a finally-expanded stadium available to them) and San Antonio down over the same number of home games from 2012. Just as happened in 2012, San Antonio’s numbers have gone down each game after their opener (though they’re now in a smaller stadium that they control, so they’re very likely better off financially).
  • Missing attendance figures are prevalent in USL Pro, so what we can divine from the DIII numbers isn’t as robust as it might otherwise be. MLS’ Seattle Sounders, who are considering putting a future USL Pro team in a suburban location rather than align with an existing team, did draw 2,174 for their reserve team’s match with Orlando on Mother’s Day.
  • Portland continues to set the pace in the National Women’s Soccer League, averaging 13,336 after three home matches (which would be the highest average for a women’s pro team since the WUSA’s Washington Freedom averaged 14,421 in 2001). Thanks to the Thorns, the NWSL’s current average (4,366) is ahead of the overall three-year WPS average (3,930), though three current teams are averaging below 2,000 a game. No WUSA team averaged under 4,249 for a season, and the WPS low for a season was magicJack’s 2,033 in 2011. Sky Blue FC’s announced crowd of 688 on May 8 is the smallest in the history of any of the three leagues, smaller than the announced 864 for a WPS match between Atlanta and magicJack on May 28, 2011 in Boca Raton, Florida.

9 Responses to Taking Attendance 5/20/2013

  1. *How much can you blame the poor figures for NE, Chi and Columbus on bad weather? (And NY, DC and Philly are no great shakes, either…)

    *Would a Bay-area team draw better in SF, say, or Oakland? (Failing that, can we move this Quakes team to Houston, too?)

    *Goats to San Antonio, or Orlando. Like, immediately.

    *Maybe having *two* soccer teams in Tampa is not such a great idea, huh, guys?

  2. You know they’re building a brand new stadium in San Jose, right? And that the temporary digs they’re playing at only seat 10,525? They’ve been basically at capacity for the last few years there. But they will get a brand new yard in San Jose (next year?) and that won’t be an issue.

    Which “guys” do you think came up with the idea of two soccer teams in Tampa (even though one is in St. Pete and one is in Plant City)? There isn’t one set of “guys” that decided to do them in tandem. VSI has this strange idea that they can have this American-based brand extension and get something done in the Tampa market where no one else has been able to.

    New England and Chicago have notoriously bad front offices, I’d put that ahead of weather concerns (though I think starting the season as early as MLS did this year may have hurt them in some places). Columbus, I don’t know. They have drawn very well at times in the past.

    The Goats aren’t moving immediately. And they’re just the latest in a line of teams whose announced attendance figures have dipped below a certain point, triggering knee-jerk “Move them” responses. MLS doesn’t pull the trigger that quickly. If they did, there would be several teams today not in their original homes.

  3. *Actually, I don’t expect Chivas to move at all. Rebranding the team and moving them, to, say, Orange County makes more sense.

    *If Tampa Bay doesn’t get their act together, they’ll probably lose out to Orlando. (Yes, I know their SSS took a hit from the legislature, but where they’re playing now seems to be working for them, at least until they can get their own stadium built.)

    *I’m going to see VAN @ NY in a few weeks. It’s a honey of stadium…too bad they can’t fill it up, or even come close…

  4. Where would they play in Orange County, exactly?

    Orlando is way far ahead of Tampa Bay at the moment, as they have a mayor who is apparently in their corner and they are far better-funded than the Rowdies.

    New York actually does do far better of coming close to filling RBA than they used to at the Meadowlands (obviously) and they are (also obviously) doing much better financially without paying rent to the NJSEA. Appearances are not everything.

  5. It’ll be interesting to see how well MLS NY2 and/ or the Cosmos draw. It’s just annoying that the entire NY area can’t scare up 25K soccer fans every other week. (Yes, I know: location. It’s *New Jersey*, people, not Phobos.)

  6. The desirable thing about being the #2 team in LA is you get to tap the best local talent base in the nation. Their pro team can stink forever but if they develop their academy to the point that it churns out good amateur prospects on a regular basis then there’s no reason they should ever leave town.

  7. The weather is the least of Chicago’s problems.

  8. What’s up with Houston? Their new stadium bump in 2012 seemed unusually small and they’re already slipping back towards their historical numbers here in year two, which would make their new stadium honeymoon unusually short as well. It’s not like TFC-style suckiness was a factor either.

  9. If MLS insist on making Chivas work in LA, they should rebrand to
    LA Chivas. Perhaps with a more independent logo, like their secondary one.

    For one I think Chivas’ market of Angelinos identify more with the city then USA, secondly it sounds a lot better and thirdly I reckon most international players don’t realise Chivas USA play in LA. Seeing that euro players seem willing to play only in LA/NY, rebranding to LA could help their ability to attract better DP’s.

    2006: 19,840 average atten. seems a long long time ago.


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