Taking Attendance 6/10/2013: Almost Everybody

Now that (nearly) everybody in the six primary outdoor soccer leagues in the US and Canada has had a home match, we can take our first comprehensive look at 2013 at attendance figures. I’ve added medians to the chart this time. (These are through games of Sunday, June 9 and, as always, corrections and additions are welcome.)

THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER G Total Average Median
Seattle Sounders 6 249,009 41,502 38,989
Montreal Impact 6 132,194 22,032 18,439
Los Angeles Galaxy 6 129,967 21,661 20,098
Portland Timbers 6 124,044 20,674 20,674
Vancouver Whitecaps 6 118,480 19,747 19,895
Sporting KC 8 155,410 19,426 19,229
Toronto FC 7 133,938 19,134 18,355
Houston Dynamo 7 133,686 19,098 19,004
Real Salt Lake 8 147,083 18,385 18,628
New York Red Bulls 8 140,133 17,517 16,927
Philadelphia Union 7 121,094 17,299 17,182
FC Dallas 8 119,180 14,898 14,701
Colorado Rapids 7 102,598 14,657 15,122
DC United 7 96,333 13,762 13,612
New England Revolution 8 109,356 13,670 13,189
Chicago Fire 7 90,435 12,919 12,813
Columbus Crew 6 75,240 12,540 11,645
San Jose Earthquakes 8 83,272 10,409 10,525
Chivas USA 7 57,405 8,201 8,219
MLS TOTAL 133 2,318,857 17,435 17,415
 
NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LG G Total Average Median
San Antonio Scorpions 4 28,486 7,122 6,971
Minnesota United FC 5 25,521 5,104 4,825
Atlanta Silverbacks 5 24,540 4,908 5,000
Carolina RailHawks 4 19,588 4,897 4,560
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 4 18,134 4,534 4,443
Tampa Bay Rowdies 4 14,591 3,648 3,494
FC Edmonton 4 6,659 1,665 1,676
NASL TOTAL 30 137,519 4,584 4,493
 
USL PRO G Total Average Median
Orlando City SC 7 53,707 7,672 7,466
Rochester Rhinos 4 22,522 5,631 5,640
Charleston Battery 7 22,790 3,256 3,262
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 5 15,437 3,087 3,344
Wilmington Hammerheads 5 15,426 3,085 2,898
Phoenix FC Wolves 6 13,831 2,305 2,005
Richmond Kickers 9 19,872 2,208 2,031
Harrisburg City Islanders 6 8,281 1,380 1,402
Dayton Dutch Lions 3 3,528 1,176 1,436
Charlotte Eagles 6 4,310 718 659
Los Angeles Blues 5 3,436 687 657
VSI Tampa Bay FC 5 2,517 503 423
MLS Reserve Teams 5 12,647 2,529 1,055
USL PRO TOTAL 73 198,304 2,716 2,031
 
PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE G Total Average Median
Portland Timbers U-23s 3 12,948 4,316 3,681
Fresno Fuego 3 10,767 3,589 3,414
Des Moines Menace 2 5,940 2,970 2,970
Ventura County Fusion 3 5,627 1,876 1,865
Victoria Highlanders FC 5 7,736 1,547 1,376
Carolina Dynamo 1 1,432 1,432 1,432
Oklahoma City 3 3,698 1,233 1,177
Austin Aztex 3 3,574 1,191 1,205
K-W United FC *1 1,080 1,080 1,080
West Texas Sockers 4 4,152 1,038 921
Long Island Rough Riders 3 2,781 927 532
BYU Cougars 3 2,577 859 920
Michigan Bucks 3 2,564 855 904
FC Tucson 3 2,415 805 747
Forest City London 2 1,587 794 794
Virginia Beach Piranhas 1 715 715 715
Kitsap Pumas *1 691 691 691
Thunder Bay Chill 3 2,069 690 697
Sounders FC U23 5 3,276 655 437
Laredo Heat 2 1,198 599 599
Western Mass Pioneers 2 1,161 581 581
Mississippi Brilla 3 1,653 551 592
El Paso Patriots 3 1,580 527 525
Reading United AC 3 1,334 445 507
SW Florida Adrenaline 3 1,300 433 386
Houston Dutch Lions 3 1,150 383 400
St. Louis Lions 2 766 383 383
Panama City Beach Pirates 4 1,448 362 383
SC United Bantams *3 1,050 350 300
North Sound SeaWolves FC 2 695 348 348
WSA Winnipeg 3 1,030 343 330
CFC Azul 2 629 315 315
NJ LUSO Rangers FC *1 300 300 300
Vermont Voltage 1 300 300 300
Real Boston Rams 2 455 228 228
Northern Virginia Royals 1 210 210 210
SWVa King’s Warriors 2 410 205 205
Jersey Express 4 802 201 200
New York Magic – F.A. Euro *2 380 190 130
Real Colorado Foxes 3 550 183 150
Toronto Lynx *3 480 160 150
GPS Portland Phoenix 3 475 158 150
West Virginia Chaos 4 625 156 163
Ottawa Fury 3 445 148 155
Baltimore Bohemians 2 288 144 144
VSI Tampa Bay FC 2 278 139 139
Kansas City Brass 1 138 138 138
Washington Crossfire 3 343 114 120
Springfield Demize 3 282 94 96
River City Rovers 3 270 90 103
Seacoast United Phantoms 2 175 88 88
Chicago Inferno 2 166 83 83
OC Blues Strikers FC 4 325 81 43
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 3 235 78 77
Chicago Fire 2 150 75 75
Westchester Flames 3 210 70 75
LA Misioneros FC 4 250 63 50
Central Jersey Spartans 2 90 45 45
IMG Academy Bradenton 2 75 38 38
Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy *0 0 0 0
Ocala Stampede 0 0 0 0
Ocean City Nor’easters 0 0 0 0
Orlando City U23 #0 0 0 0
Southern California Seahorses *0 0 0 0
PDL TOTAL 154 99,330 645 300
 
NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCCER LG G Total Average Median
Portland Thorns FC 5 63,340 12,668 12,446
FC Kansas City 4 19,396 4,849 4,274
Washington Spirit 4 16,709 4,177 4,298
Western New York Flash 4 12,082 3,021 2,945
Boston Breakers 4 9,117 2,279 2,379
Seattle Reign FC 5 9,376 1,875 1,377
Chicago Red Stars 4 6,568 1,642 1,292
Sky Blue FC 5 8,106 1,621 1,439
NWSL TOTAL 35 144,694 4,134 2,855
 
W-LEAGUE G Total Average Median
Washington Spirit Reserves 3 4,701 1,567 538
Long Island Rough Riders 3 3,236 1,079 862
Seattle Sounders Women 2 2,127 1,064 1,064
Charlotte Lady Eagles 1 752 752 752
Colorado Rapids Women 1 535 535 535
North Jersey Valkyries *1 462 462 462
Atlanta Silverbacks *2 750 375 375
Virginia Beach Piranhas *1 346 346 346
Carolina Elite Cobras *2 648 324 324
LA Strikers *1 295 295 295
Fredericksburg Impact 2 510 255 255
Laval Comets 2 469 235 235
K-W United FC #2 450 225 225
Dayton Dutch Lions 2 388 194 194
Pali Blues *2 322 161 161
London Gryphons 3 458 153 134
Bay Area Breeze 3 452 151 127
New York Magic – F.A. Euro 2 236 118 118
Quebec City Amiral 2 220 110 110
VSI Tampa Bay FC #2 173 87 87
Toronto Lady Lynx 3 244 81 85
Santa Clarita Blue Heat 1% 78 78 78
Colorado Rush 0 0 0 0
New Jersey Wildcats #0 0 0 0
Ottawa Fury 0 0 0 0
W-LEAGUE TOTAL 43 17,852 415 200


*=Missing 1 game
#=Missing 2 games
%=Missing 3 games

NOTES:

  • Seattle’s crowd of 53,679 for their home game against Vancouver Saturday was a season high in MLS. (How many tickets did Vancouver fans get, by the way, anybody know? After that whole Cascadia brouhaha?) The Sounders are slightly behind last year’s final average, and league attendance is down. It projects out (if everybody holds their current averages) to a total attendance of about 5.63 million for the season, well off last year’s milestone 6 million plus. The good news is that MLS is playing to about 84% capacity and, at 17,435 a game, is still very healthy.
  • Obviously, there are still issues with Chivas USA, but the Goats are still unlikely to reach the depths of Dragon Stadium Dallas or Miami. The real problems appear to be with established clubs that should do better (Chicago, Columbus and DC, specifically).
  • Every team in the NASL except San Antonio (which would have been hard pressed to, given they moved to a more intimate venue) is up year-over-year in terms of average announced attendance. Carolina (up 57%) is the biggest gainer to this point (though their recent club-record crowd in an Open Cup match doesn’t count in these rankings, which track only league games), but Minnesota is up 43%, Ft. Lauderdale is up 38% and even Tampa Bay is up 20%. There have been smaller gains in Atlanta (where they’re near capacity anyway) and Edmonton (where new seats just went in, to underwhelming reaction so far). The teams, collectively are up about 8% and the league after 30 matches this year is about 22% ahead of last year after the same number of games. No Division II league has ever had all of its teams finish over 2,000 announced per game for an entire season, so if Edmonton can get there by year’s end, this will be a first.
  • Orlando’s still setting the pace in USL Pro, with the Lions drawing 7,466 and 6,187 for a pair of 2-0 wins this weekend. They’re about 10% ahead of last year’s league-leading pace through 7 home games). Dayton drew a near team-record (they haven’t always announced all their crowds, but the Dayton Daily News described it as a record) 1,621 for their match against the Columbus Crew Reserves Saturday night. These MLS crossover games aren’t drawing a ton of interest (averaging just 3,004 for five matches at USL Pro venues) but MLS teams have been going deep into their benches and, in some cases, their academies for players to play in these things. Because the games count in the standings, I’m including the MLS Reserve Teams as one line item in the USL Pro chart, but the league average is actually slightly higher if you take them out of the equation (2,730 to 2,716).
  • Portland is certainly (once again) Soccer City USA. The Timbers’ first team sells out every game, their U-23 team leads the PDL in attendance (thanks in part to some well-attended school/camp day games) and their NWSL team, the Thorns, is far and away the leader in the new women’s league. Most of the rest of the NWSL isn’t much to write home about, with the co-league-leaders Sky Blue FC (who don’t wear sky blue, I’m just sayin’) at the bottom of the attendance table. Three NWSL teams are averaging under 2,000 announced per game and former league leader Boston is just over 2,000. As the American, Canadian and Mexican federations are paying the salaries of their international players, NWSL teams should be doing much better from an expense standpoint, but if they’re not putting those savings into sales and marketing, I’m not sure this league will be any better off than the last two. Their median announced attendance through 35 games (2,855) is only slightly higher than WPS’ was through 35 games in 2011 (2,477).
  • Fresno, Portland and Des Moines, the usual PDL leaders, are there again in the early going. A total of 10 PDL clubs are averaging over 1,000 announced per game, and a couple more are close. Then we have the teams that exist solely to give players an opportunity to develop, as in Bradenton, where IMG Academy announced a crowd of 15 – fifteen – for its May 29 match against Orlando. Meanwhile, FC Tucson had a club-record 1,015 for its showdown against Fresno on Saturday.
  • Lastly, we have the W-League, led by Washington on the strength of a season-opening doubleheader with its big sister club that drew a league-high 4,027. Seattle – which averaged 4,333 last year when they had Hope Solo and Alex Morgan, is still among the league leaders, but at only a quarter of last year’s draw. (Meanwhile, Seattle’s WPS team, with Solo, can’t get 2,000 a game in the same stadium.)

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14 Responses to “Taking Attendance 6/10/2013: Almost Everybody”

  1. Beau Dure Says:

    Season-opener for Washington W-League was misreported. The game was SUPPOSED to be played before the NWSL game, but thunderstorms forced it to be postponed and moved to an adjacent field, where they had maybe 40 people. Maybe less when the NWSL game started around the 60-minute mark of the W-League game. Unfortunate.

  2. admin Says:

    That’s good info, thank you.

  3. BostonRed Says:

    “former league leader Boston is just over 2,000″.

    Assuming you are referring to WPSL Elite, and not WPS, they are still leading last year’s attendance numbers (but there’s no way they can lead the new lead in attendance).

  4. admin Says:

    Boston led WPS in average attendance in 2010.

    Boston averaged 2,225 a game last year in WPSL Elite, probably the league leader (WPSL-E was bad about announcing crowds), so they’re just barely ahead of that. And, obviously, they can’t lead this league in attendance, Dilboy is too small and Portland is too good.

    But Boston is a “former league leader.” Of two leagues, actually.

  5. JonCracolici Says:

    Little sounders fan to timbers fan jab coming up…..

    Total Seattle avg attendance = 44,042 tickets sold/week
    Total Portland avg attendance = 37,658 tickets sold/week

    You’re right, us sounders fans better up our soccer attending game! Portland has totally passed us by!

  6. admin Says:

    One team in one league. Not three teams in three leagues. But Seattle invented math, so you might be right after all.

  7. JonCracolici Says:

    Thanks for biting :)
    It’s not that we invented it, we just love using it. I’m more than happy to take the credit though!
    I didnt know that there was a bonus for supporting the U-23 team and the womens team. That must be where my math went wrong. How big is the bonus? If I go to the Reign game do I get counted twice?

    PS. I dont even know if comparing attendance at U-23 events is fair. I know the coach of the Sounders U-23 and he is always trying to get me to go but I CANT. Like actually cant. They play in tacoma, and if you dont have a car(like lots of city folks) it takes 2hrs on transit each way. They dont even play in DT Tacoma. Its a bummer.
    So what Im saying is that every Seattlelite who goes to a U-23 game should be counted three times, to make it fair. ;)

  8. admin Says:

    Yes, actually, there would be. If you were talking about a city supporting the sport, the breadth of that support would be factored into the equation as well as the depth.

  9. RMc Says:

    I remember Fresno was giving away tickets free thru some sponsorship deal. Are they still doing that?

  10. admin Says:

    Indeed:

    http://www.fresnofuego.com/TICKETS/index_E.html

  11. JonCracolici Says:

    So what your saying is that to be a better soccer city we need to have:
    10,794 fans stop going to sounders games and go to the reign instead
    3,662 fans stop going to sounders games and go to the U-23s instead
    6,383 fans just stop going to soccer games period.
    Totally makes sense :)
    Also, does seattle having 4 U-23 teams versus portlands 2 help us at all? or no?

  12. Rev Tony Turner Says:

    Who on earth still believes the Atlanta BS? They claim crowds way over their Stadium Capacity on a daily basis. Any half blind person such as myself only has to take a look at any video of a game at Silverbacks Park to see it is almost completely empty regardless of who they play.
    They are doing themselves & every other club in the USA a dis service by these lies. OK they want an MLS club ,who doesn’t but truth is there is no support in Atlanta at all.You can give away as many tickets as you like no body is paying for them but really 4,000 + lucky if 400 actually show.Go check any Silverbacks game & play spot the fan.

  13. admin Says:

    Wait….so your testimony is they’re inflating attendance by a thousand percent? Really? And “almost completely empty?” REALLY?

    And you basing this on WATCHING A GAME ON THE INTERNET?

    Not on TV…not on TV…we’re talking about the INTERNET?

    No, they are not doing anyone a disservice. You are overreacting.

    Also, not only does D2 support have eff-all correlation to D1 support, no one is even seriously talking about the Silverbacks becoming an MLS team. Arthur Blank has brought up a team more than once. And in that case, given how MLS 2.0 expansion teams have done, it matters not what a D2 team draws.

  14. Chuck N. Says:

    For what it’s worth, 30,320 (missing one game vs. Dayton, and including tonight’s game vs. Richmond) have seen Antigua lose all of their games, with an average of 2,938. The not surprising news of players not being paid on time has surfaced as well.