The Premier Development League season ended yesterday and the playoffs begin tomorrow evening. With about 87% of precincts reporting, here are the attendance figures for the amateur league regarded by some as the fourth level of the unofficial North American soccer pyramid for 2013 (as always, standard disclaimers apply and additions/corrections are always welcome):
|Des Moines Menace||7||21,961||3,137||2,971||3,544||2,877|
|Portland Timbers U-23s||7||17,106||2,444||2,028||5,897||364|
|Victoria Highlanders FC||7||11,462||1,637||1,379||2,347||1,206|
|Ventura County Fusion||7||9,474||1,353||1,117||2,645||817|
|Forest City London||7||8,024||1,146||1,060||1,697||527|
|Western Mass Pioneers||7||7,404||1,058||1,011||1,743||150|
|West Texas Sockers||7||6,765||966||925||1,458||485|
|Long Island Rough Riders||*6||4,941||824||548||1,842||407|
|Thunder Bay Chill||7||5,595||799||763||973||644|
|K-W United FC||^3||1,810||603||400||1,080||330|
|Virginia Beach Piranhas||7||3,877||554||574||806||263|
|Sounders FC U23||7||3,769||538||248||1,311||173|
|Ocean City Nor’easters||*6||3,199||533||528||609||463|
|Panama City Beach Pirates||7||3,201||457||431||811||228|
|SW Florida Adrenaline||#5||1,998||400||382||536||316|
|Reading United AC||7||2,703||386||312||607||147|
|Houston Dutch Lions||7||2,650||379||400||450||300|
|St. Louis Lions||7||2,511||359||321||652||210|
|SC United Bantams||*6||1,950||325||300||500||200|
|El Paso Patriots||7||2,150||307||210||630||100|
|Northern Virginia Royals||#5||1,475||295||315||365||210|
|North Sound SeaWolves FC||7||1,640||234||75||645||65|
|So. Cal. Seahorses||^3||600||200||200||200||200|
|Kansas City Brass||#5||942||188||183||257||128|
|Real Boston Rams||7||1,301||186||205||268||74|
|NJ LUSO Rangers FC||^3||545||182||180||300||65|
|Real Colorado Foxes||7||1,150||164||150||300||100|
|SWVa King’s Warriors||7||1,068||153||128||285||70|
|NY Magic – F.A. Euro||#5||730||146||130||250||100|
|GPS Portland Phoenix||#5||725||145||125||200||125|
|VSI Tampa Bay FC||&2||278||139||139||200||78|
|West Virginia Chaos||7||965||138||120||250||50|
|Orlando City U23||$1||127||127||127||127||127|
|OC Blues Strikers FC||#5||525||105||45||200||40|
|River City Rovers||7||638||91||103||126||50|
|Seacoast United Phantoms||7||580||83||75||125||50|
|Vancouver Whitecaps U-23||7||569||81||77||117||53|
|LA Misioneros FC||*6||325||54||50||100||25|
|Central Jersey Spartans||7||245||35||32||55||25|
|IMG Academy Bradenton||6||160||27||20||60||15|
|Ft.L Schulz Academy||&1||15||15||15||15||15|
* = missing 1 game
# = missing 2 games
^ = missing 4 games
& = missing 5 games
$ = missing 6 games
- I’m missing 59 data points, or about 14% of the league’s games, so these numbers may change a bit by the time I am able to track the rest down (if that’s possible, which it likely isn’t). But most won’t change significantly.
- Des Moines again edged Fresno for the PDL attendance crown, though both were down in average from a year ago. The Menace and Fuego have each been in the top three (and have often traded off the top couple of spots) since 2007. Fresno’s tickets are free through a sponsorship by a local radio station.
- The biggest gainers, percentage-wise, were K-W United FC (formerly the Hamilton FC Rage), which went from 133 a game in 2012 to 603 a game this year (in a limited sample – I’m missing several of their games), the Houston Dutch Lions (nee Texas Dutch Lions), who went from 90 a game to 379 a game, the NJ LUSO Rangers FC (last yea’rs New Jersey Rangers), up from 69 a game to 182 (with several missing games) and Forest City London, who saw their crowds go from 507 a game last year to 1,146 a game this year.
- Big drops included the Central Jersey Spartans (down 81%), Seacoast United Phantoms (down 58%) and the Baltimore Bohemians down 55%.
- On a side note, I would love to see the Seacoast United Phantoms play the SC United Bantams, wouldn’t you?
- The Chicago Fire announced what is probably the lowest-ever PDL attendance figure of 6 on July 17 when the Michigan Bucks played a 10:00 am match at Toyota Park. I can’t imagine anyone actually bothering to announce an attendance figure of 6, but they did it, so, kudos.
- The best debut by a new PDL team was Oklahoma City (the site of a skirmish between USL Pro and the NASL which is just heating up), who averaged 1,214 per game in their inaugural season.
- Big crowds this season occurred in Portland (where the Timbers drew 5,897 for a school day game against North Sound on May 31) and Fresno (4,617 for BYU on May 9), but Des Moines had all of its crowds in the top 12 for the league this year, with a high of 3,544 and a low of 2,877.
- FC Tucson drew a team-record 1,022 on July 13 for LA Misioneros, then beat that a week later with a 1,061 crowd against BYU. Tucson actually came close to outdrawing their USL Pro cousins, Phoenix FC, who played Friday night in newly-downsized Sun Devil Soccer Stadium against Richmond and drew 1,084. Tucson moves into a soccer-specific stadium of its own next May.
- Canadian teams had slightly a slightly higher overall average than US-based teams (615 to 584), but the difference isn’t much to get worked up about. London (1,146) is the best draw among Canadian teams, with Thunder Bay second at just under 800 a game.
- The league itself was up about 100 people a game (a pretty significant percentage), but the 588 average for the games I have ( a ) would probably drop a bit with the missing games plugged in and ( b ) is right around the historical average. This is what the PDL draws, folks.