Taking Attendance: Ranking ‘Em (Almost) All

For this week’s Taking Attendance update, we’re going to look at all the teams in MLS, the NASL, USL Pro, the PDL, the NWSL, the W-League and even a handful of NPSL teams and see where they all rank in terms of average announced attendance.

Caveats: There are two teams (Orlando City U-23 and SC United Bantams, both from the PDL) for which I have no data points and I have almost no crowd figures for the NPSL. I have included the few NPSL teams for which I have data just because I’m making an effort to include them and this is another step in that process. Announced attendance does not always equate to actual butts in seats or tickets sold. And outside of MLS, the NASL and the NWSL, there are some clubs for whom I am missing a game or two (or three or four). Not everyone is as reliable about announcing attendance figures as I wish they were.

With that said, here’s the list, from 1-144:

Rk Team Lg G Total Avg.
1 Seattle Sounders MLS 8 320,728 40,091
2 Toronto FC MLS 7 158,137 22,591
3 Los Angeles Galaxy MLS 6 128,862 21,477
4 Vancouver Whitecaps MLS 8 169,500 21,188
5 Portland Timbers MLS 10 208,140 20,814
6 Real Salt Lake MLS 8 161,475 20,184
7 Sporting Kansas City MLS 9 178,574 19,842
8 Houston Dynamo MLS 9 177,810 19,757
9 Montreal Impact MLS 8 155,150 19,394
10 New York Red Bulls MLS 7 127,278 18,183
11 Philadelphia Union MLS 7 125,835 17,976
12 FC Dallas MLS 10 169,313 16,931
13 DC United MLS 10 168,388 16,839
14 Sacramento Republic FC USL PRO 6 94,107 15,685
15 New England Revolution MLS 7 107,483 15,355
16 Chicago Fire MLS 8 122,375 15,297
17 San Jose Earthquakes MLS 9 131,658 14,629
18 Colorado Rapids MLS 10 145,668 14,567
19 Columbus Crew MLS 8 104,611 13,076
20 Portland Thorns FC NWSL 8 100,054 12,507
21 Indy Eleven NASL 5 52,324 10,465
22 Chivas USA MLS 9 62,416 6,935
23 San Antonio Scorpions NASL 5 32,381 6,476
24 Minnesota United NASL 4 22,309 5,577
25 Rochester Rhinos USL PRO 7 38,189 5,456
26 Carolina Railhawks NASL 4 21,456 5,364
27 New York Cosmos NASL 5 25,203 5,041
28 Tampa Bay Rowdies NASL 5 24,991 4,998
29 Atlanta Silverbacks NASL 4 18,922 4,731
30 Orlando City SC USL PRO 9 42,215 4,691
31 Houston Dash NWSL 8 36,839 4,605
32 Chicago Red Stars NWSL 5 21,265 4,253
33 Charleston Battery USL PRO 6 23,250 3,875
34 OKC Energy FC USL PRO 7 26,841 3,834
35 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers NASL 4 15,301 3,825
36 FC Edmonton NASL 4 14,277 3,569
37 Tulsa Athletics NPSL 3 10,317 3,439
38 Seattle Reign FC NWSL 8 27,240 3,405
39 Washington Spirit NWSL 8 26,037 3,255
40 Des Moines Menace PDL 4 12,708 3,177
41 W.New York Flash NWSL 8 24,655 3,082
42 Detroit City FC NPSL 5 14,082 2,816
43 Pittsburgh Riverhounds USL PRO 7 19,265 2,752
44 Ottawa Fury NASL 5 13,418 2,684
45 Portland Timbers U-23s PDL 6 15,816 2,636
46 Richmond Kickers USL PRO 8 20,069 2,509
47 Fresno Fuego PDL 6 13,742 2,290
48 Wilmington Hammerheads FC USL PRO 8 18,169 2,271
49 Arizona United SC USL PRO 10 22,406 2,241
50 Chattanooga FC NPSL 3 6,467 2,156
51 Boston Breakers NWSL 9 18,297 2,033
52 FC Kansas City NWSL 9 18,122 2,014
53 Carolina Dynamo PDL 6 11,056 1,843
54 Harrisburg City Islanders USL PRO 8 14,112 1,764
55 Austin Aztex PDL 4 6,936 1,734
56 BYU Cougars PDL 6 10,140 1,690
57 Washington Spirit Reserves W-League 4 6,570 1,643
58 Sky Blue FC NWSL 9 13,143 1,460
59 Ventura County Fusion PDL 5 7,156 1,431
60 FC Tucson PDL 6 8,290 1,382
61 Victoria Highlanders FC PDL 7 9,201 1,314
62 Midland/Odessa Sockers FC PDL 7 7,838 1,120
63 Albuquerque Sol F.C. PDL 6 5,034 839
64 Charlotte Eagles USL PRO 8 6,348 794
65 W.Mass Pioneers PDL 5 3,863 773
66 Orange County Blues FC USL PRO 8 6,005 751
67 FC Buffalo NPSL 2 1,500 750
68 Forest City London PDL 6 4,129 688
69 LA Galaxy II USL PRO 10 6,866 687
70 Long Island Rough Riders PDL 6 4,077 680
71 Seattle Sounders Women W-League 6 3,955 659
72 Michigan Bucks PDL 4 2,538 635
73 Colorado Pride W-League 4 2,508 627
74 Laredo Heat PDL 5 3,115 623
75 Thunder Bay Chill PDL 6 3,691 615
76 Charlotte Lady Eagles W-League 3 1,846 615
77 Mississippi Brilla PDL 7 4,182 597
78 Santa Clarita Blue Heat W-League 6 3,461 577
79 Long Island Rough Riders W-League 5 2,668 534
80 Dayton Dutch Lions USL PRO 8 4,214 527
81 Sounders FC U23 PDL 5 2,353 471
82 Atlanta Silverbacks W-League 5 2,326 465
83 Kitsap Pumas PDL 7 3,242 463
84 Lane United FC PDL 5 2,317 463
85 Colorado Storm W-League 2 870 435
86 Ocala Stampede PDL 5 1,993 399
87 Chicago Inferno PDL 2 749 375
88 Las Vegas Mobsters PDL 3 1,125 375
89 SW Fla. Adrenaline PDL 2 724 362
90 FC Dallas Reserves USL PRO 2 716 358
91 Reading United AC PDL 6 1,937 323
92 Vermont Voltage PDL 4 1,200 300
93 San Jose Earthquakes PDL 3 871 290
94 Ocean City Nor’easters PDL 2 576 288
95 K-W United FC PDL 2 566 283
96 Colorado Rush W-League 3 820 273
97 Panama City Beach Pirates PDL 6 1,593 266
98 New Jersey Wildcats W-League 4 1,032 258
99 Cincinnati Dutch Lions PDL 7 1,754 251
100 CFC Azul PDL 4 1,000 250
101 GPS Portland Phoenix PDL 1 250 250
102 St. Louis Lions PDL 6 1,488 248
103 N.Virginia Royals PDL 3 736 245
104 So.California Seahorses PDL 5 1,155 231
105 Toronto Lynx PDL 5 1,150 230
106 Baltimore Bohemians PDL 7 1,523 218
107 LA Blues W-League 5 1,091 218
108 Real Colorado Foxes PDL 4 845 211
109 LA Misioneros FC PDL 4 800 200
110 Dayton Dutch Lions W-League 5 997 199
111 Ottawa Fury W-League 5 997 199
112 WSA Winnipeg PDL 6 1,185 198
113 Braddock Road Stars Elite W-League 4 786 197
114 F.A. Euro PDL 3 575 192
115 Real Boston Rams PDL 6 1,114 186
116 Sedona FC Strikers W-League 3 550 183
117 Laval Comets W-League 5 885 177
118 K-W United FC W-League 4 676 169
119 New York Magic W-League 6 1,008 168
120 SWVa King’s Warriors PDL 5 820 164
121 River City Rovers PDL 2 325 163
122 Carolina Elite Cobras W-League 4 636 159
123 Quebec Dynamo ARSQ W-League 5 776 155
124 Bay Area Breeze W-League 4 602 151
125 Jersey Express PDL 4 575 144
126 Seacoast United Phantoms PDL 6 850 142
127 West Virginia Chaos PDL 6 830 138
128 Puget Sound Gunners FC PDL 3 400 133
129 Houston Dutch Lions PDL 4 513 128
130 Toronto Lady Lynx W-League 6 750 125
131 North Jersey Valkyries W-League 5 608 122
132 Springfield Demize PDL 5 590 118
133 Gulf Coast Texans W-League 3 348 116
134 Montreal Impact U23 PDL 4 450 113
135 NJ LUSO Parma PDL 6 650 108
136 Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23 PDL 4 410 103
137 Floridians F.C. PDL 2 197 99
138 IMG Academy Bradenton PDL 5 490 98
139 Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 PDL 7 667 95
140 Washington Crossfire PDL 5 420 84
141 Westchester Flames PDL 7 520 74
142 Chicago Fire U-23 PDL 5 353 71
143 OC Pateadores Blues PDL 7 325 46
144 London Gryphons W-League 4 183 46

A FEW NOTES:

  • Chivas USA continues to slide into oblivion, drawing 4,201 for its game Saturday against Montreal, just over a month after announcing 5,231 against Philadelphia and an MLS-record low 3,702 against Portland. They’re a pretty safe bet to break the MLS record for lowest average announced attendance, currently held by the 2000 Miami Fusion (7,460) and to be only the second MLS team to go sub-10,000 in the last seven years (the Earthquakes- in their temporary facility – did so in 2010).
  • Sacramento Republic FC has moved from the 20k+ capacity Hughes Stadium to its own yard (capacity 8,000), so their numbers will be down, but they’re doing great. They should break Orlando’s Division III record for average (8,056) pretty easily.
  • The NASL’s Fall Season gets going this weekend, and Ottawa is hoping for a crowd of 15,000 for its first game at TD Place on the 20th. We’ll see. Tampa Bay drew an announced 4,105 and 3,033 over the weekend for friendlies against Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando City, respectively. And Minnesota United drew 8,059 for a friendly against Mexico’s U-21 team (what, El Tri‘s senior team wasn’t available?). And San Antonio drew 6,397 for a friendly against Monterrey on Sunday evening.
  • Fresno hosted a friendly between Mexican clubs America and Morelia last week, with the Fuego playing Ventura County as part of the doubleheader. The Mexican League friendly drew 13,013, but I’m not including that in the Fuego’s totals (they didn’t announce a figure for the PDL match) because that would be ridiculous.
  • FC Tucson of the PDL drew a club-record 2,983 for their match against Albuquerque on Friday, pushing their average to 1,382 for the season. At the other end of the PDL spectrum, FA Euro announced a crowd of 25 for its match Sunday against Long Island, while Vancouver’s U23 team is just trolling. They’ve announced a crowd of 77 for each of their last five home matches, after announcing 177 the match before that (and 105 for their opener). I’m missing 50 PDL games, but the league is right around its historical average (582 at the moment).
  • The National Women’s Soccer League projects out, if every team holds its average the rest of the way, to finish with a 4,068 average, just below last year’s 4,270. But considering WUSA’s attendance dropped 14% from year one to year two (2001-2002) and WPS’ dropped 23% from 2009-2010, that’s a sign of progress.

15 Responses to “Taking Attendance: Ranking ‘Em (Almost) All”

  1. Chris G Says:

    I was puzzled to see FC Dallas Reserves (#90) listed in USL PRO. Though they’re listed on USL PRO’s schedule for some games, they’re not listed on the team page (http://uslpro.uslsoccer.com/teamdirectory/index_E.html) or in the standings (http://uslpro.uslsoccer.com/standings/index_E.html). Bizarre, not sure how their league should be shown, but I don’t think it’s accurate to use USL PRO.

    I also see RSL Reserves and Montreal Impact Reserves on the USL PRO schedule (http://uslpro.uslsoccer.com/schedules/index_E.html), but don’t see them listed here at all.

  2. admin Says:

    Well…..

    When you track down hundreds of data points in a year to present data no one else presents in this much depth, you have my permission to present the data however you like and be as accurate as it makes you happy to do so.

    Those two data points represent FC Dallas Reserves’ home games against USL Pro competition, which count in the USL Pro standings. They are, as it turns out, the only MLS team that has actually announced attendance numbers for their crossover games with their reserves against USL Pro teams. Real Salt Lake and Montreal have not, which is why you don’t see them listed here at all. (Neither have Chicago or Chivas or New York or Seattle, which have all also hosted official USL Pro matches.)

    Several MLS Reserve teams are competing in USL Pro this season (as they did last season). The games count in the USL Pro standings, but USL doesn’t list those teams as official USL Pro teams. If I have the data, I include it. I have the data for those games. I do not for the others.

    And as to the general point…it’s two reserve games in the midst of 810 combined games and over four million in total attendance…and THAT’S what you focus on? Enough to comment on it?

  3. Chris G Says:

    Thanks for clarifying and divulging some interesting details. Wasn’t criticizing; only trying to help. I only meant to point out what I thought might be a mistake, creeping in to what you point out is hundreds of data points.

    I noticed because, as an FCD fan, when I skimmed down the list looking at USL PRO teams, I was surprised by a league affiliation that I didn’t know about. In fact I’d heard they were going to enter that league this year (a la LA Galaxy II) but balked. And as an Austin Aztex fan, I’m wondering if FCD will officially enter USL PRO next year, too.

  4. admin Says:

    It will be interesting to see.

    FCD was originally said to have been considering a standalone USL Pro team for this year, then Clavijo said that wasn’t happening. When the new Arizona team came together at the last minute, they were hoping to get a quickie affiliation with Dallas (they did get Jonathan Top, anyway), but that didn’t happen.

    But all that was before Austin announced their move up. Houston is affiliated with Pittsburgh, but you’d imagine either they or Dallas would much prefer to have Austin as an affiliate. Rather than dump Pittsburgh after one year, might be better to just have Dallas take Austin as an affiliate, for the good of the order.

    But the good of the order has long been something with which we have struggled as a soccer nation.

  5. Fred Matthes Says:

    Thank You Fans!

    - Glory, Glory Sacramento!

    Sacramento Republic FC
    USL Pro

  6. admin Says:

    I did not realize I hadn’t added in the two NWSL games from Sunday.

    Sky Blue FC’s average attendance should now be 1,460, but that won’t move them in the table.

    And the Seattle Reign should now be at 3,405 per game, which won’t move them in the table, either.

    The table has been updated to reflect these numbers.

  7. Andrew Says:

    Are friendlies factored in to these figures at all? I assume not, but if so, I have Albuquerque’s attendances for their three friendlies last month:

    June 21 vs Arizona Sahuaros: 622
    June 26 vs Colorado Rapids Developmental: 912
    June 28 vs New Mexico All-Stars: 510

  8. admin Says:

    No, I only do league matches and playoffs (though I keep Open Cup separately as its own deal). To keep things consistent, my tables throughout only take league matches into account, with the occasional notation of “other” games when applicable.

  9. RMc Says:

    Wow, Detroit is drawing very well. (I was going to say, “Almost as well as Des Moines, but I didn’t want to start another fight…;))

    With some of these teams, you have to wonder why they’re even bothering. I mean, how do you stay in business drawing a couple of hundred of people a night?

    What do you think is ultimately going to happen with Chivas? The re-birth of the L. A. Aztecs, maybe? (Hey, maybe Elton John will come back!)

  10. KT Says:

    I believe some merely provide opportunities for local players to develop. Which is admirable, obviously. They are not run by people with any particular interest in or acumen for business for the most part, so they don’t mount the expensive effort to be a real, relevant club. They just exist.

    As for Deteroit, they hired a full-time general manager, which helps, and they seem to have tapped into/been latched onto by the valuable supporters demographic, which has helped them.

  11. KT Says:

    And I have no idea on Chivas. Someone will buy them. They will get a complete overhaul. And I chuckle at the Aztecs thing, because, despite that being a great name, no one gave a rat’s ass about the Aztecs the first time around, and they had George Best and Johann Cruyff for a time.

  12. RMc Says:

    The Aztecs even won a championship and couldn’t draw flies. No, the only reason to bring back the Aztecs is because it was a cool nickname and an even cooler logo.

    And it’s not like someone’s trying to bring back, say, the Tulsa Roughnecks. (What? They *are*…?!)

  13. Canada's partnership with the NASL could decide the future of soccer in the country - statsmagazine.com Says:

    […] probably draw in the 3,000-5,000 range without too much trouble. But, at least based on the attendance numbers at FC Edmonton and the Ottawa Fury, this league is hardly poised to overtake MLS anytime soon. A […]

  14. Dave Says:

    The averages for the San Jose Earthquakes are sketchy because of the 1 game a year they play at Stanford, and this year they will play the very first sports game at the Niners Levi’s Stadium. Take away the Stanford game and they would be outdrawn by the Portland Thorns. OUCH!!!! Moving next year to their new stadium will help, but for how long with the team they continue to put on the field. #FireKaval #FireWatson

  15. admin Says:

    Yes, you have to take the non-Buck Shaw games into account, but they’re limited by capacity there and have averaged 10,242 in nine games there (10,525 capacity).

    The Thorns are a different animal.

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