Taking Attendance 5/20/2013
Latest attendance numbers for MLS, the NASL, USL Pro and the NWSL, through games of May 19:
|THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER||G||Total||Average|
|NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE||G||Total||Average|
|MLS Reserve Teams||5||12,647||2,529|
|USL PRO TOTAL||47||119,077||2,534|
|NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCCER LEAGUE||G||Total||Average|
|W New York||3||8,930||2,977|
|Sky Blue FC||3||4,738||1,579|
- 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.