Taking Attendance 11/3/2014: NASL Sets New Division II Record

We are truly living in a golden age for professional outdoor soccer in this country. All three men’s professional levels of the game set new average attendance records this season, with Major League Soccer drawing 19,149 a game, USL Pro breaking the 3,000-a-game mark and now, the North American Soccer League setting a new record for Division II attendance in the modern era. The fourth-year NASL broke the former record of 5,164 per game set by the USL First Division in 2008 by averaging 5,521 a game.

First, the numbers:

Team G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Indy Eleven 14 146,512 10,465 10,285 11,048 10,285
Minnesota United 13 105,149 8,088 5,817 34,047 4,913
San Antonio Scorpions 14 94,562 6,754 6,721 8,313 5,594
New York Cosmos 14 69,469 4,962 4,457 8,565 3,091
Carolina Railhawks 13 59,167 4,551 4,179 7,856 3,080
Tampa Bay Rowdies 14 63,700 4,550 4,322 7,003 2,565
Ottawa Fury 14 62,883 4,492 4,054 14,593 2,158
Atlanta Silverbacks 13 52,684 4,053 3,922 5,000 2,905
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 13 47,138 3,626 3,109 5,756 2,409
FC Edmonton 13 44,004 3,385 3,152 4,399 2,796
NASL TOTAL 135 745,268 5,521 4,666 34,047 2,158

Now, some context: A large part of this gain is from the expansion club in Indianapolis, which became only the fifth lower-division organization in modern history to average more than 10,000 fans per game. Selling out every home game, Indy Eleven averaged 10,465, the highest Division II average since Montreal’s swan song in the second flight in 2011. Without Indianapolis, the NASL average was 4,948 – still an improvement over last year’s 4,670 average, but not a record. Still, there is cause for optimism in the second division, as, outside of Edmonton and the nascent Oklahoma City and Virginia clubs, there don’t appear to be a lot of organizations teetering on the brink of disappearing.

Compared to last year’s numbers, Minnesota was way up (82%, thanks in part to a big doubleheader, but they did draw consistently well all year for their other games as well), Edmonton had the benefit of its expanded stadium for the full year and was up 39% (still not good enough) and Tampa Bay was up 12.5%. That’s the good news. San Antonio and Carolina dropped slightly (2.6% and 3.3%, respectively), but Atlanta (where the Silverbacks may be on their way out) was off 13% and Ft. Lauderdale (despite making it to the league semifinals) was off 15%.

And then there’s the vaunted New York Cosmos. Drawing a season-high 8,565 to their home finale on October 25 helped keep their second-year drop from being worse, but their average announced attendance was off an alarming 28% from their maiden season. They may be counting on 2015 signing Raul to boost the numbers next season, but he turns 38 next June and will be playing a lot of games on turf before and after that. We’ll see.

The split-season format (in which teams played 1/3 of their games before the World Cup and 2/3 after) saw six of the ten teams draw worse in the Fall Championship than they had in the Spring, with only Indy (identical averages), San Antonio (up 7%), Minnesota (up 65%) and Ottawa (up 105%) seeing gains in the second stanza. Southeastern teams Carolina (-22%), Atlanta (-21%), Tampa Bay (-14%) and Fort Lauderdale (-8%) all dropped in the fall. Overall, the league averaged 5,346 in the spring (4,913 median) and 5,608 in the fall (4,513 median).

There was a bit of a World Cup bump (the league averaged 5,346 before Brazil and 5,732 after it), but the two major events in the fall accounted for a lot of that.

Besides November’s small sample of five games, the best month for average attendance was August (6,153, thanks to Man City and Olympiakos), while the rest of the months were pretty steady (June’s 5,150 was the lowest).

With the league scheduling the vast majority of its matches on weekends (127 of the 134 matches were on Saturday or Sunday), days of the week comparisons are hard to make, but Saturday games averaged 5,620 and Sunday matches 4,831.

Jacksonville (which recently finalized its lease at the local baseball stadium) will join the ranks in 2015, with Oklahoma City’s final disposition still up in the air. Assuming Edmonton sticks around (and they appear to be), there will be either 11 or 12 clubs in the NASL next season. Still to be determined is how a split season format would work and what playoff format they will choose this time.

But the overall takeaway from the 2014 season at all three levels of the pro game should be an optimistic one. Never have so many enjoyed so much for so long.

Taking Attendance 9/15/2014: Final USL Pro Attendance Numbers

The fourth season for USL Pro is now complete and here are the final unofficial attendance numbers for the Division III league. (As always, additions, corrections and comments are welcomed.)

Team G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Sacramento Republic FC 14 158,107 11,293 8,000 20,231 8,000
Rochester Rhinos 14 74,603 5,329 5,104 8,378 4,007
Orlando City SC 14 66,402 4,743 4,818 5,029 4,206
OKC Energy FC 14 52,975 3,784 3,819 4,722 2,813
Charleston Battery 14 52,786 3,770 3,846 5,415 2,214
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 14 37,606 2,686 2,565 3,902 2,005
Richmond Kickers 14 37,508 2,679 2,594 3,562 2,010
Arizona United SC 14 33,528 2,395 2,225 3,588 1,482
Wilmington Hammerheads 14 32,561 2,326 2,250 3,256 1,757
Harrisburg City Islanders 14 27,289 1,949 1,934 2,518 1,417
Orange County Blues FC 14 10,719 766 714 1,226 431
Charlotte Eagles 14 10,453 747 699 1,261 498
LA Galaxy II 14 8,359 597 530 1,259 127
Dayton Dutch Lions 14 7,455 533 488 1,026 213
MLS Reserve Teams 6 12,668 2,111 358 11,202 100
USL PRO TOTAL 202 623,019 3,084 2,367 20,231 100

NOTES:

  • Division III cracked the 3,000 per game barrier for the first time (beating the 2012 mark of 2,658), thanks in part to Sacramento’s record-breaking season. Without the Republic, the other 13 teams averaged 2,485 per game.
  • Sacramento became the first Division III team to ever break the 10,000 per game barrier and joined Rochester, Montreal and Portland as the only lower-level clubs to ever accomplish it. (Indianapolis will join that group at the conclusion of the NASL season.)
  • The biggest gainer year-over-year was Arizona United (which technically is a new franchise and not a continuation of 2013’s Phoenix FC, but just for comparison’s sake), which finished up 56% from a year ago. Harrisburg was up 34% (though they’re still under the 2,000 line), Orange County was up 7% (though still under the 1,000 line) and Richmond and Charleston both finished up about 6%.
  • On the flip side, Charlotte (in their final professional season before dropping to the PDL) fell about 8%, Rochester was down about 10%, Pittsburgh (which declared bankruptcy several months back) finished down 18%, Wilmington was down an alarming 26%, and Dayton (still a mystery) was down 29%. Then we have annual attendance leader Orlando, which was down 41%, but that was because they moved to a much smaller venue while Citrus Bowl renovations are ongoing. The Lions still played to 86% capacity, one of the top marks in the league. (Sacramento 98%, OKC 95%, Harrisburg 89%).
  • May was the best month for the league overall, with a 3,474 average for 36 matches. April (2,712) was the worst.
  • Thursdays beat out Saturdays (3,937 to 3,261) for the best day of the week, but that’s a bit misleading because there were only nine Thursday matches and three of them were in Sacramento. In all, weekends (Friday-Sunday) beat weekdays (Monday-Thursday) by about 20%.
  • It’s hard to discern a true “World Cup Bounce,” if you were looking for one. USL Pro averaged 3,167 for 85 matches prior to the World Cup, 2,901 for 37 matches during it and 3,081 for 80 matches after it.
  • I only have data for five of the 14 league matches hosted by MLS Reserve teams this year, and outside of Real Salt Lake’s 11,202 for their July 25 match against Pittsburgh, they were nothing to write home about.
  • Next year, we will see a bevy of new teams, many of them owned and operated by MLS clubs. If the LA Galaxy II experiment is any indication, some of these secondary teams may struggle to find an audience (not that that is their raison d’etre). Real Salt Lake, Montreal and possibly Seattle and Dallas will have their own teams in the league in 2015, to be joined by clubs in Louisville, Colorado Springs, Austin, Tulsa and St. Louis. Going forward, league numbers are probably going to require a bit of deeper analysis when comparing them to prior years because a situation is developing where a third or more of the league’s teams may eventually be focused primarily on player development and not operating as a ticket-selling business.

Taking Attendance 8/21/2014: Final NWSL Numbers

With the Houston Dash and Sky Blue FC completing a weather postponed-game last night, the second National Women’s Soccer League regular season is officially in the books. Here are the (unofficial) final attendance numbers for the women’s Division I pro league:

Team G Total Avg. Median High Low
Portland Thorns FC 12 160,341 13,362 13,633 19,123 9,672
Houston Dash 12 54,468 4,539 4,057 8,097 3,505
Seattle Reign FC 12 43,581 3,632 3,592 5,957 1,754
Washington Spirit 12 40,019 3,335 2,984 4,667 2,306
Western New York Flash 12 38,125 3,177 3,121 4,339 1,786
Chicago Red Stars 12 35,393 2,949 1,918 15,743 1,039
Boston Breakers 12 29,248 2,437 2,373 4,191 1,263
FC Kansas City 12 24,215 2,018 1,825 3,107 1,212
Sky Blue FC 12 19,682 1,640 1,339 3,471 582
NWSL TOTAL 108 445,072 4,121 3,006 19,123 582


NOTES:
  • Portland led the league for the second straight year, with an average ever-so-slightly above last year’s (13,320 in 2013) that included a league-record 19,123 crowd on August 3 that was the 10th-highest in women’s pro soccer history.
  • Expansion Houston finished second in the attendance derby, which means many will make the connection between the two MLS-backed organizations and success and figure that’s the only way forward. While there are certainly economies of scale and infrastructure advantages, it may not be as simple as every MLS team simply adding a distaff version. Portland and Houston have proven that they’re really good at selling soccer, and not every MLS team can say that.
  • Just over 48 percent of all the people who attended an NWSL match this season did so in either Portland or Houston.
  • Chicago, on the strength of a doubleheader home opener that drew 15,743, saw a 72% rise in average announced attendance in 2014, but their median was just 1,918. Most of the Red Stars’ crowds were not impressive.
  • The second-biggest gainer was Seattle, which went from a 2,306 average in 2013 to 3,632 in 2014 after a move back into Seattle proper and during a first-place campaign on the field.
  • Portland and Boston (up 0.4%) maintained their crowds of a year ago, but four other teams saw drops ranging from diminutive to disquieting. Kansas City (which moved into a better, but smaller facility) saw their average cut in half and then some (56.4%) and Western New York (which only had hometowner Abby Wambach for 10 of 24 games) saw its crowds drop 29%. Washington was down just under 8% and Sky Blue FC saw a small (1.4%) drop, maintaining its position as the worst-drawing team in the league. Sky Blue also drew an announced 582 for its April 30 game against Seattle, which was the lowest announced crowd in WUSA-WPS-NWSL history. (The club actually has the bottom four marks in WoSo history, with three of them coming this year.)
  • Overall, the NWSL’s average attendance was down 3.5% from 2013, but in comparison to the second years of the previous two attempts at women’s pro soccer, that’s a victory. WUSA’s average dropped 14% from 2001 to 2002 and WPS’ average fell 23% from 2009 to 2010. A 3.5% drop and a couple of anchor markets is cause for optimism.
  • Without the Thorns in 2014, the rest of the NWSL averaged 2,966. Last year that figure was 2,977.
  • The best day of the week for average attendance in the NWSL this year was Saturday (4,936), despite many of Portland’s home games being played on Sundays. Fridays (small sample, just six games, skewed by a Portland game) had the highest average (5,142) with Sundays coming in at 4,334. Wednesdays (on which about 27% of the league’s matches were played) pulled in an average of 2,981. Overall, Saturday/Sunday games did 43% better than Monday-through-Friday games.
  • August was the best month, with a 4,851 average for 17 matches, continuing a trend that saw games last August draw an average of 4,789. May was the lowest-average month (3,784).
  • The NWSL did see an uptick in the second half of its season. The first 54 games averaged 3,839, while the last 54 games averaged 4,403. There was an uptick during and after the men’s World Cup, with the NWSL averaging 3,889 before Brazil, 4,217 during and 4,536 afterwards. (MLS, the NASL and USL Pro also saw increases post-World Cup from their pre-World Cup averages.)
  • So, what does the NWSL do now? There have been no expansion teams announced for 2015, and next season will be a key one for this league. Neither of the other two attempts have made it past year three, and with the Women’s World Cup likely to wreak havoc with their schedule, the summer of 2015 may be make-or-break. The national federations of the United States, Canada and Mexico are funding the NWSL salaries of many star players, and it’s reasonable to wonder if that support will continue on Canada’s and Mexico’s part if they don’t do well in FIFA’s potentially lawsuit-challenged tournament.
  • Final MISL Attendance Numbers 2013-2014

    The Major Indoor Soccer League Championship will match the Baltimore Blast and Missouri Comets for the second straight year. (The Blast won last year’s series in two games.) Here are the final attendance numbers for the league for the 2013-2014 season:

    Team G Total Average Median High Low
    Rochester Lancers 10 73,471 7,347 7,532 8,910 5,169
    Baltimore Blast 10 61,234 6,123 6,135 8,780 4,030
    St. Louis Ambush 10 56,361 5,636 5,673 7,347 3,247
    Milwaukee Wave 10 49,065 4,907 5,098 5,632 4,149
    Missouri Comets 10 41,803 4,180 4,164 5,893 3,102
    Syracuse Silver Knights 10 28,697 2,870 2,757 3,779 1,989
    Pennsylvania Roar 10 15,492 1,549 1,088 4,632 922
    MISL TOTAL 70 326,123 4,659 4,609 8,910 922

    NOTES:

    • Rochester led the league for the second straight year, and saw an increase of about 16% in its announced average attendance for the year. Their 7,347 average marked the first time a team has cracked the 7,000 average barrier since Baltimore five years ago.
    • Baltimore was also up, just over 10%, while the rest of the league was either basically flat (Milwaukee was down 3%, Missouri just over 1%) or saw a big drop off (Syracuse, down 16%). The league itself was up 7% over last year, thanks to a strong showing (third in the league) by the expansion St. Louis Steamers.
    • Pennsylvania’s announced 1,549 average (boosted by a crowd of 4,632 for their only win of the season) wasn’t the lowest in recent years, but it was close. Rockford (1,112 in 2009-2010 and 1,242 in 2008-2009), the Chicago Riot (1,083 in their only season of 2010-2011), Chicago Storm (1,530 in 2005-2006) and, of course, the Massachusetts Twisters (459 in 2008-2009) were all worse at the gate. They weren’t all as terrible on the field as the Roar were, though.

    As, seemingly, with every indoor offseason, this one will bring change. With renewed rumors of a merger with the PASL, the Milwaukee Wave’s owner being sued (not a problem, she says), no talk of expansion teams and an uncertain future for the MISL-USL relationship, there will be no lack of drama between now and next fall.

    Taking Attendance 1/1/2014: The Indoor Leagues


    With an eye towards blogging more in 2014, I give you now the first look at indoor soccer attendance numbers for the 2013-2014 season. With the PASL much better these days at providing numbers, I’m able to include them along with the MISL figures. As always, corrections and additions are welcomed.

    MAJOR INDOOR SOCCER LEAGUE
    Team G Total Average Median High Low
    Rochester Lancers *4 27,432 6,858 7,026 8,212 5,169
    Baltimore Blast 3 20,441 6,814 6,023 8,780 5,638
    St. Louis Ambush 4 23,372 5,843 5,673 7,109 4,918
    Milwaukee Wave 3 14,340 4,780 4,559 5,632 4,149
    Missouri Comets 4 16,686 4,172 3,846 5,893 3,102
    Syracuse Silver Knights 3 8,315 2,772 2,837 3,489 1,989
    Pennsylvania Roar #3 3,266 1,089 1,088 1,241 937
    MISL TOTAL 24 113,852 4,744 5,027 8,780 937
     
    PROFESSIONAL ARENA SOCCER LEAGUE
    Team G Total Average Median High Low
    Monterrey Flash 4 24,577 6,144 5,081 9,627 4,788
    San Diego Sockers 4 16,679 4,170 3,803 5,658 3,416
    Dallas Sidekicks 4 16,368 4,092 4,231 4,514 3,392
    Hidalgo La Fiera 4 7,829 1,957 1,152 4,500 1,025
    Ontario Fury 4 7,055 1,764 1,910 2,026 1,210
    Wichita B-52s 3 5,116 1,705 1,691 1,943 1,482
    Harrisburg Heat 5 7,284 1,457 1,581 1,605 1,050
    Tulsa Revolution 4 3,554 889 882 1,007 783
    Las Vegas Legends 5 4,228 846 618 1,836 324
    Chicago Mustangs 5 3,811 762 627 1,216 565
    Detroit Waza 4 2,541 635 664 1,011 203
    Cleveland Freeze *3 1,851 617 700 703 448
    Saltillo Rancho Seco 3 1,739 580 550 652 537
    Turlock Express 5 2,579 516 550 730 320
    Bay Area Rosal *4 1,584 396 376 652 180
    Illinois Piasa 4 1,544 386 432 538 142
    Texas Strikers 4 1,429 357 384 422 239
    Cincinnati Saints 5 1,375 275 250 426 114
    Sacramento Surge 4 970 243 260 300 150
    Toros Mexico 3 725 242 218 300 207
    PASL TOTAL 81 112,838 1,393 700 9627 114
    *=Missing 1 game
    #=Missing 2 games

    NOTES:

    • Rochester – which broke Baltimore’s stranglehold on the top spot in the MISL attendance standings last year – continues to lead the league this year (though I’m missing the crowd figure for their December 14 game against St. Louis). Given that game apparently was played during a snowstorm, it’s likely including the number would drop the Lancers back into second place, as Baltimore’s current average isn’t too far behind Rochester’s. In either case, those continue to be the two best teams in the league at selling tickets.
    • In terms of percent of capacity, the Missouri Comets (who play in the 5,800-seat Independence Events Center, the league’s smallest venue) lead at about 72%. Since their founding four years ago (making them the third-longest-running team we have), the Comets have consistently pulled in about 4,000+ a game.
    • At the other end of the spectrum, we have the (Reading) Pennsylvania Roar, whose most recent home crowd (announced at 937) you see pictured above. The Roar were shut out for the second time this season (24-0 by Baltimore) and are 0-9. They can’t play, can’t win, can’t draw and have all the earmarks of a one-and-done club (as four of the last seven expansion teams have been).
    • In Monterrey (where the old Fury led the second MISL in attendance in 2003-2004) the new Flash leads the PASL with 6,144 per game, including a league-record 9,627 crowd for their home opener. San Diego and Dallas are neck and neck for the second and third spots, and four others are over 1,000 per game. Of course, 65% of the league draws under 1,000 a game, with a handful attracting little more than friends and family. But the PASL has built a handful of successful franchises and after a near-merger with the MISL last year, shows some positive signs.
    • The old saw has always been that indoor soccer attendance picks up after the first of the year. We actually do see something like that when looking at the numbers, but it’s influenced largely by the fact that December is such a bad month to draw fans that the effect appears more pronounced than it actually is. Here is a chart that shows average attendance by month in what is now MISL 3 going back to the 2001-2002 season:


      (It’s worth noting that there have only been two September games, but they’re included for the sake of completeness.)

      So you see a nearly perfect decline that bottoms out in December and then an uptick after that. But overall, the averages on either side of December are nearly identical.

      Timeframe
      G
      Total
      Average
      September-November 242 1,179,074 4,872
      January-April 749 3,654,038 4,879


      So while post-January 1 average indoor soccer attendance is about 9% higher than the pre-January 1 average, it’s December that bolsters the effect.

    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.

    Taking Attendance 7/22/2013: (More Or Less) Final PDL Numbers

    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):

    Team G Total Avg. Med. High Low
    Des Moines Menace 7 21,961 3,137 2,971 3,544 2,877
    Fresno Fuego 7 19,785 2,826 2,572 4,617 1,859
    Portland Timbers U-23s 7 17,106 2,444 2,028 5,897 364
    Carolina Dynamo #5 8,897 1,779 1,867 1,889 1,432
    Victoria Highlanders FC 7 11,462 1,637 1,379 2,347 1,206
    Austin Aztex 7 10,063 1,438 1,272 2,111 1,097
    Ventura County Fusion 7 9,474 1,353 1,117 2,645 817
    Oklahoma City 7 8,499 1,214 1,177 1,578 896
    Forest City London 7 8,024 1,146 1,060 1,697 527
    BYU Cougars 7 7,952 1,136 976 1,751 681
    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
    FC Tucson 7 5,599 800 874 1,061 227
    Thunder Bay Chill 7 5,595 799 763 973 644
    Michigan Bucks 7 4,808 687 612 1,286 374
    Laredo Heat 7 4,306 615 549 1,024 197
    Kitsap Pumas #5 3,061 612 502 986 420
    K-W United FC ^3 1,810 603 400 1,080 330
    Mississippi Brilla 7 3,945 564 592 882 361
    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
    CFC Azul 7 2,196 314 342 434 142
    El Paso Patriots 7 2,150 307 210 630 100
    Northern Virginia Royals #5 1,475 295 315 365 210
    Ocala Stampede *6 1,685 281 299 365 186
    Ottawa Fury 7 1,793 256 222 528 100
    WSA Winnipeg 7 1,730 247 150 650 50
    North Sound SeaWolves FC 7 1,640 234 75 645 65
    Vermont Voltage &2 411 206 206 300 111
    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
    Baltimore Bohemians 7 1,249 178 153 304 100
    Real Colorado Foxes 7 1,150 164 150 300 100
    Jersey Express 7 1,127 161 125 277 95
    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
    Toronto Lynx 7 1,000 143 150 250 50
    VSI Tampa Bay FC &2 278 139 139 200 78
    West Virginia Chaos 7 965 138 120 250 50
    Washington Crossfire 7 897 128 110 259 75
    Orlando City U23 $1 127 127 127 127 127
    Chicago Inferno #5 527 105 100 161 79
    OC Blues Strikers FC #5 525 105 45 200 40
    Springfield Demize 7 719 103 98 136 86
    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
    Westchester Flames 7 465 66 60 85 50
    LA Misioneros FC *6 325 54 50 100 25
    Chicago Fire #5 206 41 30 100 6
    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
    PDL TOTAL 388 228,073 588 300 5,897 6


    * = missing 1 game
    # = missing 2 games
    ^ = missing 4 games
    & = missing 5 games
    $ = missing 6 games

    NOTES:

    • 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.

    Taking Attendance: 7/1/2013 (Everybody)

    The year 2013 is half-over and all the various outdoor soccer leagues are in full swing, so we can now look at attendance numbers for everybody in MLS, the NASL, USL Pro and the PDL on the men’s side and the NWSL and W-League on the women’s side. Additions and corrections are always welcome.

    THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER G Total Average Median
    Seattle Sounders 6 249,009 41,502 38,989
    Los Angeles Galaxy 7 153,642 21,949 20,124
    Montreal Impact 8 170,271 21,284 18,734
    Portland Timbers 8 165,392 20,674 20,674
    Sporting KC 9 175,538 19,504 19,470
    Houston Dynamo 8 155,725 19,466 19,422
    Toronto FC 8 154,779 19,347 18,788
    Vancouver Whitecaps 8 154,726 19,341 19,895
    Real Salt Lake 9 166,931 18,548 18,962
    New York Red Bulls 9 165,616 18,402 18,029
    Philadelphia Union 9 158,319 17,591 18,160
    FC Dallas 9 135,541 15,060 15,063
    San Jose Earthquakes 9 133,300 14,811 10,525
    Colorado Rapids 8 117,615 14,702 15,070
    Columbus Crew 8 113,184 14,148 13,055
    New England Revolution 8 109,356 13,670 13,189
    DC United 10 136,450 13,645 13,381
    Chicago Fire 8 101,784 12,723 12,685
    Chivas USA 9 79,299 8,811 8,219
    MLS TOTAL 158 2,796,477 17,699 17,675
     
    NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LG G Total Average Median
    San Antonio Scorpions 5 34,975 6,995 6,889
    Minnesota United FC 5 25,521 5,104 4,825
    Atlanta Silverbacks 6 30,251 5,042 5,000
    Carolina RailHawks 6 28,242 4,707 4,560
    Fort Lauderdale Strikers 6 25,882 4,314 4,393
    Tampa Bay Rowdies 5 19,186 3,837 3,575
    FC Edmonton 6 12,356 2,059 2,207
    NASL TOTAL 39 176,413 4,523 4,463
     
    USL PRO G Total Average Median
    Orlando City SC 8 62,549 7,819 7,930
    Rochester Rhinos 8 45,030 5,629 5,548
    Charleston Battery 8 27,901 3,488 3,294
    Pittsburgh Riverhounds 8 25,899 3,237 3,404
    Wilmington Hammerheads 7 22,330 3,190 2,898
    Phoenix FC Wolves 8 17,670 2,209 2,005
    Richmond Kickers 11 23,909 2,174 2,031
    Harrisburg City Islanders 9 11,980 1,331 1,179
    Dayton Dutch Lions #6 5,646 941 859
    Charlotte Eagles 8 6,387 798 718
    Los Angeles Blues #6 4,248 708 728
    VSI Tampa Bay FC &6 2,767 461 340
    MLS Reserve Teams #6 12,960 2,160 1,058
    USL PRO TOTAL 99 269,276 2,720 2,031
     
    PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LG G Total Average Median
    Des Moines Menace 5 15,292 3,058 2,969
    Fresno Fuego 5 15,105 3,021 2,736
    Portland Timbers U-23s 6 16,394 2,732 2,699
    Carolina Dynamo *4 7,008 1,752 1,855
    Victoria Highlanders FC 6 9,115 1,519 1,378
    Ventura County Fusion 5 7,383 1,477 1,117
    Austin Aztex 5 6,664 1,333 1,205
    Oklahoma City 6 7,308 1,218 1,157
    West Texas Sockers 5 5,077 1,015 925
    Forest City London 4 4,027 1,007 979
    Western Mass Pioneers 5 4,659 932 1,011
    BYU Cougars 4 3,440 860 892
    Long Island Rough Riders 6 4,941 824 548
    Thunder Bay Chill 5 3,859 772 728
    Michigan Bucks 5 3,601 720 612
    K-W United FC *2 1,410 705 705
    FC Tucson 5 3,516 703 747
    Sounders FC U23 6 3,521 587 341
    Mississippi Brilla 5 2,896 579 592
    Virginia Beach Piranhas 3 1,722 574 641
    Kitsap Pumas *3 1,613 538 502
    Ocean City Nor’easters 2 1,027 514 514
    Laredo Heat 4 1,832 458 493
    Reading United AC 5 2,244 449 507
    SW Florida Adrenaline *3 1,300 433 386
    Panama City Beach Pirates 6 2,390 398 427
    Houston Dutch Lions 4 1,500 375 375
    El Paso Patriots 5 1,840 368 425
    St. Louis Lions 5 1,586 317 321
    SC United Bantams *5 1,550 310 300
    Vermont Voltage *1 300 300 300
    Northern Virginia Royals 3 890 297 315
    CFC Azul 6 1,762 294 295
    WSA Winnipeg 5 1,330 266 150
    Ocala Stampede *2 504 252 252
    NJ LUSO Rangers FC &2 480 240 240
    North Sound SeaWolves FC 4 855 214 80
    Ottawa Fury 5 1,002 200 190
    Southern California Seahorses &3 600 200 200
    Real Boston Rams 6 1,136 189 210
    Real Colorado Foxes 3 550 183 150
    New York Magic – F.A. Euro *3 530 177 150
    Jersey Express 6 1,032 172 125
    Toronto Lynx 5 830 166 150
    S.West Va. King’s Warriors 5 813 163 128
    Kansas City Brass #2 321 161 161
    GPS Portland Phoenix *3 475 158 150
    West Virginia Chaos 6 855 143 140
    Baltimore Bohemians 5 696 139 135
    VSI Tampa Bay FC &2 278 139 139
    Washington Crossfire 6 787 131 115
    Orlando City U23 ^1 127 127 127
    Chicago Inferno 4 427 107 94
    OC Blues Strikers FC *5 525 105 45
    Springfield Demize 6 621 104 99
    River City Rovers 6 527 88 92
    Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 5 429 86 77
    Seacoast United Phantoms 4 280 70 65
    Westchester Flames 4 270 68 68
    Chicago Fire #3 180 60 50
    LA Misioneros FC 6 325 54 50
    Central Jersey Spartans 4 161 40 41
    IMG Academy Bradenton 5 140 28 20
    Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy &1 15 15 15
    PDL TOTAL 276 163,873 594 291
     
    NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCCER LG G Total Average Median
    Portland Thorns FC 6 77,142 12,857 12,460
    FC Kansas City 7 30,648 4,378 4,186
    Washington Spirit 5 21,278 4,256 4,569
    Western New York Flash 6 21,793 3,632 3,258
    Boston Breakers 7 15,692 2,242 2,124
    Seattle Reign FC 6 11,694 1,949 1,848
    Sky Blue FC 7 12,234 1,748 1,439
    Chicago Red Stars 6 8,499 1,417 1,198
    NWSL TOTAL 50 198,980 3,980 2,929
     
    W-LEAGUE G Total Average Median
    Washington Spirit Reserves 5 9,601 1,920 538
    Seattle Sounders Women *4 4,045 1,011 999
    Long Island Rough Riders 5 3,739 748 532
    Charlotte Lady Eagles 3 1,410 470 374
    Virginia Beach Piranhas 5 2,343 469 486
    Atlanta Silverbacks 3 1,300 433 400
    New Jersey Wildcats #1 389 389 389
    Colorado Rapids Women #3 960 320 275
    Carolina Elite Cobras *4 1,215 304 292
    LA Strikers #3 862 287 295
    Ottawa Fury 3 794 265 265
    Colorado Rush 4 1,040 260 230
    New York Magic – F.A. Euro 4 1,033 258 226
    North Jersey Valkyries 4 978 245 196
    K-W United FC &2 450 225 225
    Fredericksburg Impact 6 1,204 201 178
    Dayton Dutch Lions 4 799 200 194
    Pali Blues 3 581 194 259
    Laval Comets 5 924 185 195
    Bay Area Breeze 4 581 145 128
    London Gryphons 4 517 129 130
    Quebec City Amiral *4 436 109 108
    VSI Tampa Bay FC *4 387 97 100
    Toronto Lady Lynx 4 319 80 80
    Santa Clarita Blue Heat &2 126 63 63
    W-LEAGUE TOTAL 93 36,033 387 229

    ^=4 games missing
    &=3 games missing
    #=2 games missing
    *=1 game missing

    NOTES:

    • Almost halfway through its season (they’re three games shy of the halfway mark), Major League Soccer is still at a healthy 17,699 per game, even with Chivas USA dragging things down a bit. Eight teams are averaging over 19k per game, which is terrific. Thanks to a 50,028 crowd for their game against the Galaxy at Stanford this past weekend, San Jose is at a robust 14,811 for the season (they won’t be able to keep it, but they’ll wrap up their stay at Buck Shaw Stadium with no doubt that their product resonates with the market again). The quick projection math (seeing what would happen if everyone held their average the rest of the way) puts the league at around 5.7 million for the season, a bit off last year’s record 6 million.
    • Atlanta, Carolina, Edmonton and Ft. Lauderdale all finished their Spring Season home slates in the NASL this past weekend, and all are ahead of last year’s averages through the same number of home games. Minnesota is, too, but will play its first game of the season at its ancestral home, the NSC Stadium in Blaine, on the 4th.
    • Rochester announced a season-high 7,334 for Hall of Fame Night against Phoenix FC on Saturday, but the Rhinos are still a shell of the club that used to average over 10k per game a decade ago. Orlando, which saw its 25-match home unbeaten streak snapped by Richmond, still leads USL Pro with a 7,819 average. The league average is actually being brought down a bit by the MLS Reserve clubs, as the full-time USL Pro teams are averaging a collective 2,756.
    • Des Moines is back on top of the PDL chart, as Portland and Fresno have slipped a bit. First-year Oklahoma City FC is averaging a promising 1,218 (one of ten PDL teams in four figures). The PDL average is about where it has been historically, with some teams (like Bradenton) making no bones about their player development agenda, to the exclusion of worrying about ticket sales.
    • The NWSL is just past its halfway point, and has three teams (including its best team, Sky Blue FC) averaging under 2,000 a game. Portland still sets the pace, with Kansas City and Washington drawing good numbers. It’s odd that Rochester loved Abby Wambach as an opposing player, but has been largely indifferent to the local girl making good now that they can see her every other week.
    • The Washington Spirit Reserves lead the W-League in attendance with numbers that are ( a ) bolstered by a pair of doubleheaders with their NWSL team and ( b ) apparently bollocks anyway, based on a comment from the last update. It’s tempting to say the loss of all the US Women’s National Team stars has hurt the Seattle Sounders Women, but the presence of Hope Solo hasn’t made a big difference to the Seattle Reign (to be fair, she was hurt and the team is terrible).

    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.)