League Attendance Best Since 96

League Attendance Best Since 96

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 24, 2007

To say that this season was one of the best in the MLS may be a slight understatement considering that it isn’t even over yet. But in terms of regular season, it could be labeled as one of the best since it’s very first back in 1996.

Partly the reason is the attendance is on the rise, yes, is because of David Beckham or even some could argue because of guys like Blanco but for the most part the league was on course to get its attendance up this season regardless I think.

Each club had plus 10k attendance figures this season. Clubs like Kansas City and really even New York were helped out by the Beckham effect, while others like Toronto, LA, and Chicago are seeing the effect of having a soccer specific stadium instead of a NFL stadium.

Here is how the clubs stacked up this season to one another:

1- LA Galaxy 24,252
2- DC United 20,967
3- Toronto FC 20,130
4- NE Revs 16,787
5- NY Red Bulls 16,537
6- Chicago 16,490
7- Real Salt Lake 15,960
8- Houston 15,883
9- Columbus 15,230
10-FC Dallas 15,150
11-Colorado 14,749
12-Chivas USA 14,305
13-Kansas City 11,586

No big surprise to see LA atop the figures, as they typically sell-out the Home Depot Center out in Carson. DC being a close second is nice to see. Really makes you wonder what they would average if they actually had their own park.

Toronto we all knew would be up there in the figures. They sold-out nearly every game in their nice little park by the lake up there. Great atmosphere like that will nearly always draw fans back I think. Hence the reason why LA and DC do so well.

Some could call New York and New England a slight surprise at where they are on this list, since they are still in NFL stadiums. New York’s number jumped up only because of the Beckham game, other than that game they had trouble getting anywhere near that number. New England is consistent at their numbers but they are another club that many would love to see have their own park.

Soccer specific stadiums like Columbus, Colorado, Chicago, and Dallas have really shown their effect in my mind with where those clubs fall in. Sure the figures aren’t the best but they are consistent and are actually on the rise for the most part.

Chivas is a real surprise for me and it has been all season. As good as the Goats are they have had real trouble drawing out in LA. Mainly in part because of the lack of a dominate Latin figure on that club. Before they had guys that could draw and would push their numbers (last season I believe they were second in attendance). Fans have trouble following a club like that when they can’t associate with the name of it.

And in last, no real surprise was KC. They barely got over the 10k hump this season. Most of their games were on the 7k or 8k range thanks in part that their ownership doesn’t have a marketing department pushing the club out in the KC area. Still it is positive in my mind to see them get past the 10k mark on the season.

So what does this mean for the league in terms of the future? I think it is positive and will only really improve from here. Plus more new stadiums will open in the coming seasons (Salt Lake next season, New York the following) will really help push attendance figures up.

What do you make of this news?