Taking Attendance: 8/12/2013 (Everybody)

I haven’t done a full update of every team’s attendance in a month and a half, so here’s a look at all the main leagues north of the Rio Grande through this past weekend’s games. You’ll see I’m still missing several figures in USL Pro, the PDL and W-League, so if you have those numbers (or are actually with one of the teams, like Robin Waite of the Kitsap Pumas, who graciously sent me what I was missing), send them my way or leave them in the comments. Standard disclaimer on all of these, and (once again) I actually did start an NPSL spreadsheet but tracking down numbers was so tough that I’m at the mercy of you, the loyal readers. If you have NPSL attendance numbers, send them to me or leave them in the comments and I’ll endeavor to include them in a future update.

With that said, here are the numbers through August 11:

MLS G Total Average
Seattle Sounders 10 405,208 40,521
Los Angeles Galaxy 10 214,944 21,494
Montreal Impact 11 230,531 20,957
Portland Timbers 10 206,740 20,674
Houston Dynamo 11 219,073 19,916
Vancouver Whitecaps 12 238,583 19,882
Sporting KC 13 258,093 19,853
Toronto FC 12 232,676 19,390
Real Salt Lake 12 226,610 18,884
New York Red Bulls 11 201,455 18,314
Philadelphia Union 13 229,178 17,629
FC Dallas 12 192,296 16,025
Colorado Rapids 13 197,125 15,163
Columbus Crew 11 166,638 15,149
Chicago Fire 12 168,821 14,068
San Jose Earthquakes 12 164,875 13,740
DC United 12 162,926 13,577
New England Revolution 11 148,988 13,544
Chivas USA 11 95,371 8,670
MLS TOTAL 219 3,960,131 18,083
 
NASL G Total Average
New York Cosmos 1 11,929 11,929
San Antonio Scorpions 7 50,093 7,156
Minnesota United FC 7 37,912 5,416
Atlanta Silverbacks 7 35,018 5,003
Carolina RailHawks 7 32,730 4,676
Tampa Bay Rowdies 7 31,252 4,465
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 7 29,177 4,168
FC Edmonton 7 14,101 2,014
NASL TOTAL 50 242,212 4,844
 
USL Pro G Total Average
Orlando City SC 13 102,533 7,887
Rochester Rhinos * 13 75,900 5,838
Charleston Battery 13 46,259 3,558
Pittsburgh Riverhounds # 11 36,554 3,323
Wilmington Hammerheads 12 39,187 3,266
Richmond Kickers 13 30,460 2,343
Phoenix FC Wolves 13 20,941 1,611
Harrisburg City Islanders 14 20,386 1,456
Charlotte Eagles 14 11,297 807
Dayton Dutch Lions 13 9,669 744
Los Angeles Blues & 10 7,150 715
VSI Tampa Bay FC )( 8 3,770 471
MLS Reserve Teams $ 10 15,116 1,512
USL PRO TOTAL 157 419,222 2,670
 
PDL G Total Average
Des Moines Menace 7 21,961 3,137
Fresno Fuego 7 19,785 2,826
Portland Timbers U-23s 7 17,106 2,444
Carolina Dynamo # 5 8,897 1,779
Victoria Highlanders FC 7 11,462 1,637
Austin Aztex 7 10,063 1,438
Ventura County Fusion 7 9,474 1,353
Oklahoma City 7 8,499 1,214
Forest City London 7 8,024 1,146
BYU Cougars 7 7,952 1,136
Western Mass Pioneers 7 7,404 1,058
West Texas Sockers 7 6,765 966
Long Island Rough Riders * 6 4,941 824
FC Tucson 7 5,599 800
Thunder Bay Chill 7 5,595 799
Michigan Bucks 7 4,808 687
Laredo Heat 7 4,306 615
Kitsap Pumas 7 4,232 605
K-W United FC $ 3 1,810 603
Mississippi Brilla 7 3,945 564
Virginia Beach Piranhas 7 3,877 554
Sounders FC U23 7 3,769 538
Ocean City Nor’easters * 6 3,199 533
Panama City Beach Pirates 7 3,201 457
SW Florida Adrenaline # 5 1,998 400
Reading United AC 7 2,703 386
Houston Dutch Lions 7 2,650 379
St. Louis Lions 7 2,511 359
SC United Bantams * 6 1,950 325
CFC Azul 7 2,196 314
El Paso Patriots 7 2,150 307
Northern Virginia Royals # 5 1,475 295
Ocala Stampede * 6 1,685 281
Ottawa Fury 7 1,793 256
WSA Winnipeg 7 1,730 247
North Sound SeaWolves FC 7 1,640 234
Vermont Voltage )( 2 411 206
Southern California Seahorses $ 3 600 200
NJ LUSO Rangers FC & 4 795 199
Kansas City Brass # 5 942 188
Real Boston Rams 7 1,301 186
Baltimore Bohemians 7 1,249 178
Real Colorado Foxes 7 1,150 164
Jersey Express 7 1,127 161
Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors 7 1,068 153
New York Magic – F.A. Euro # 5 730 146
GPS Portland Phoenix # 5 725 145
Toronto Lynx 7 1,000 143
VSI Tampa Bay FC )( 2 278 139
West Virginia Chaos 7 965 138
Washington Crossfire 7 897 128
Orlando City U23 ** 1 127 127
Chicago Inferno # 5 527 105
OC Blues Strikers FC # 5 525 105
Springfield Demize 7 719 103
River City Rovers 7 638 91
Seacoast United Phantoms 7 580 83
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 7 569 81
Westchester Flames 7 465 66
LA Misioneros FC * 6 325 54
Chicago Fire # 5 206 41
Central Jersey Spartans 7 245 35
IMG Academy Bradenton * 6 160 27
Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy )( 1 15 15
PDL TOTAL 391 229,494 587
 
NWSL G Total Average
Portland Thorns FC 11 146,521 13,320
FC Kansas City 10 45,974 4,597
Western New York Flash 10 43,023 4,302
Washington Spirit 10 35,575 3,558
Boston Breakers 11 26,697 2,427
Seattle Reign FC 10 21,510 2,151
Chicago Red Stars 11 18,817 1,711
Sky Blue FC 11 18,309 1,664
NWSL TOTAL 84 356,426 4,243
 
W-League G Total Average
Washington Spirit Reserves 6 12,194 2,032
Seattle Sounders Women * 5 5,417 1,083
Long Island Rough Riders 6 3,913 652
Virginia Beach Piranhas 6 3,245 541
Charlotte Lady Eagles 5 2,701 540
Atlanta Silverbacks 5 1,875 375
Ottawa Fury 6 1,979 330
Colorado Rapids Women & 3 960 320
Carolina Elite Cobras * 4 1,215 304
K-W United FC & 3 770 257
New Jersey Wildcats * 5 1,274 255
LA Strikers # 4 1,017 254
Dayton Dutch Lions 5 1,137 227
New York Magic – F.A. Euro 6 1,348 225
Colorado Rush * 5 1,040 208
North Jersey Valkyries 6 1,224 204
Fredericksburg Impact 6 1,204 201
Bay Area Breeze 6 1,149 192
Pali Blues 6 1,142 190
Laval Comets 6 1,019 170
Santa Clarita Blue Heat & 3 476 159
Quebec City Amiral * 5 685 137
London Gryphons * 5 640 128
VSI Tampa Bay FC * 4 387 97
Toronto Lady Lynx * 5 391 78
W-LEAGUE TOTAL 126 48,402 384
*=Missing 1 game
#=Missing 2 games
&=Missing 3 games
$=Missing 4 games
)(=Missing 5 games
**=Missing 6 games

NOTES:

  • Once upon a time, the heart of the summer was a really bad time for MLS attendance. In fact, if you took out the Independence Day holiday boost, you got a graph that was smile shaped, with the high points for monthly averages at the beginning and end of the season. MLS has turned that around, with July its high point (43 games averaged 19,323, a league-record for the month) and June and August (so far) both averaging over 18k. With a Portland at Seattle match coming up in two weeks that will likely draw 65k+, this August might be one of the highest-attended months in league history.
  • Right now, MLS projects to draw about 5.8 million, down a shade from 2012′s high-water mark (thanks, Chivas).
  • The New York Cosmos have returned, and in drawing a season-high (and near league-record) 11,929 for their home opener, have gone to the top of the NASL charts. With five of their six remaining home games on Saturdays and with nostalgia still having not worn off, they should draw strong crowds the rest of the way. Their presence in St. Petersburg contributed to an Al Lang Stadium-record sellout crowd of 7,032 Saturday for what was a pretty spirited 0-0 draw. The Spring champions, Atlanta, were just under capacity for their Fall home opener that was plagued by lightning, Ft. Lauderdale drew an ehhh 3,295 for Minnesota and Edmonton got 1,745 for its first Fall home match. Glad they put those extra seats in up there.
  • Orlando’s 10,697 crowd for its match on Sunday against the Seattle Sounders Reserves was a team regular-season record and (near as I can tell) the second-highest attendance for a regular-season third division match ever (Minnesota drew 11,255 for a match against Milwaukee in 1995). The Lions have already drawn about 10 times as many fans as Dayton, Los Angeles and Charlotte and they have one home match left. And with their stadium funding having cleared another hurdle, it appears their dreams of moving to a higher level might become reality.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, Phoenix FC drew an announced 420 for its penultimate home match, which is appropriate, given you’d have to be high to believe what their chairman is saying.
  • Only four games remain in the inaugural NWSL season and the good news is the league’s average crowd is about 21% higher than in the final year of WPS in 2011. The bad news is that every market that had a team in the old league is down (some substantially) from their former averages, while Portland and Kansas City are thriving. Chicago’s down 58% from 2010 (their last year in WPS), Boston’s off 45%, Western New York is down 12% and Sky Blue FC (one of the best teams in the league) finished with a home average of 1,664 (down 23% from 2011). I’m sorry, those are trouble spots that need to be addressed, even if USSF, CSA and FMF are paying the freight for the star players. Forty-one percent of the people who have attended NWSL matches this year have done so in one city (Portland) and the Thorns might not even get a home playoff game.
  • And it happened over a week ago, but the Austin Aztex drew 3,062 and 4,253 for their semifinal and final in the PDL as they won the title.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 Responses to “Taking Attendance: 8/12/2013 (Everybody)”

  1. Dale Says:

    Isn’t Boston Breakers attendance a function of their stadium capacity? I think they are averaging nearly a full house.

  2. admin Says:

    Dilboy Stadium supposedly holds 3,500 for this season. So, no, if that’s true, they’re not averaging nearly a full house. It’s the same venue they played in last year (though I believe it only sat 2,500 then) in the WPSL Elite league and did come close to capacity (2,225 average).

  3. John Says:

    I’ve been to several Breakers games. The extra stands were only used for one match where they drew over 3,000. For the remainder of the season, the stands were deemed unsafe by the city, due in part to the ground not drying out. Overall, most of the Breakers games were well attended, and Dilboy is probably the most cost effective stadium for the organization right now. Hopefully they can move to a larger venue in the city eventually, but stadiums in Boston are historically very expensive to use.

  4. admin Says:

    Ah, good info, thanks, John.

    Yes, the Breakers are hampered by the fact that they are stuck in a situation where it’s hard to find an appropriately-sized stadium that puts a decent face on the product, yet that makes sense for the financial situation of this league at this point in time.

  5. John Says:

    Another thought: it’s good to see the Rowdies getting a sellout at Al Lang Stadium, especially with all the complaining that went on when they moved from Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. They are on track to beat their attendance record for 2010 (3,866) and I’m told that the crowds have been great for business in downtown St. Pete. Also, Orlando City crowds continue to be very impressive – over 10k for a regular season game! Their increases in year-to-year attendance are a great sight.

  6. admin Says:

    People will still never stop saying Florida sucks for pro sports, though.

    (On a related point, though, the Rowdies have spent this entire week acting like they cured breast cancer because they sold out a game. If anything, it will delay them seeking their own stadium on the right side of the bay.)

  7. John Says:

    I’m not nearby, so I can only go on what I’ve been told, but it seems like the Rowdies are establishing a solid supporter culture. The location of Al Lang in downtown St. Pete is also great for supporters. Besides, the “right side of the bay” is whichever side the Rowdies are drawing support from, so let’s not talk about sending them back now that their numbers are improving!

  8. admin Says:

    Trust me on this: I grew up in the Tampa Bay Area. The Hillsborough side will ALWAYS be the right side for everything. Al Lang is 66 years old (though renovated some in the 60s) and is a baseball stadium.

    EVERYBODY has a supporters’ culture now, it seems (and don’t even get me started on “supporters’ culture”), and the major problems with Steinbrenner were the ballpark, the Yankees and the fact their front office had zero clue how to do this. (They seem to have improved.)

  9. John Says:

    I actually grew up in St. Pete, but I haven’t been there since the Rowdies started. So I have knowledge of the area, but I moved before the Rowdies came back in 2010. I have family in St. Pete with season tickets, and they have said that they will keep going as long as the Rowdies play in St. Pete. The trip to Tampa is often a hassle as I’m sure you know, and the same is true of Tampa to St. Pete. I also know people in Clearwater who are regular attendees, but I’m not sure how they feel about travelling to St. Pete vs Tampa – probably neutral.

  10. admin Says:

    38 percent more people on the Hillsborough side.

    If they have really begin to crack the code and it’s not just a Cosmos thing, they will have more success on the other side, in an SSS.

    If the delusion of the NASL overtaking MLS is going to be more than just a Commissioner’s Talking Point, they will have to get stadiums.

  11. John Says:

    The Rowdies have a 4-year agreement with Al Lang Stadium that will run through the 2016 season, so they won’t be changing venue anytime soon. I’m surprised to learn that 42% of 2012 season ticket holders came from Hillsborough and 53% came from Pinellas, so it looks like the Rowdies have managed to get people to cross the bay. Details found here: http://www.stpete.org/news/2012/9-12-2012_rowdies_agree_to_stadium_deal_at_al_lang_stadium.asp

  12. admin Says:

    Yes, we know this.

    That’s their problem.

    They’ll be in St. Pete for a while, paying rent and playing in a 66-year-old baseball stadium, because what little ambition they had got NIMBY’d out of them.

    I love how they sell out once and all of a sudden everything’s great in St. Pete. Like they haven’t struggled to half-fill the place for most of their existence.

  13. John Says:

    Things aren’t perfect, but the upward trend of attendance is promising. I’m curious to see how the attendance numbers pan out for the rest of the fall season. Do not begrudge the fans for being excited for the turnout – this is a step in the right direction. However, it would be folly to think that they have “arrived”, so to speak.

  14. RMc Says:

    This just in: the Central Jersey Spartans will not be joining MLS next year.

    I llok at some of these tiny attendance figures and I think “Don’t you people have the common *decency* to paper the house…?”