Attendance For MLS Opening Week Tops All-time Mark

Attendance For MLS Opening Week Tops All-time Mark

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 22, 2011
  • 2011 MLS Season, Attendance Figures


Empire Field was one of the few packed houses this weekend in MLS. (Getty Images)

A lot is always made about how many folks actually show up to Major League Soccer games, this year will be no different with two new clubs and a new stadium opening up later this summer in Kansas City.

The positive note however has to be that the first week in MLS was a success at the gate. Average attendance was the highest ever for an opening week in MLS history at 21,046. Yeah, highest overall average of any first week in league history. That is certainly something to be proud about and point out.

Could it have been higher? Absolutely. I say that because had San Jose not had a home game to start the season and say someone like Real Salt Lake or Portland had, then this number would be even higher. Still, the numbers were very solid in the opening week as you see below. (Note: kudos to the fans that did show up in SJ though, the weather was awful for an opening night but they still showed up in quality numbers!)

The real positives have to be in Colorado and FC Dallas, both had a huge bump from their opening numbers a season ago. Dallas drew 20,145 for its home opener, a 1-1 tie with Chicago. Last year, Dallas started its season in front of 8,016 in its home opener to the Houston Dynamo. I was at that game and believe me Houston had a good chunk of that crowd.

Home Team Atn. 2010 Avg
Seattle 36,433 36,173
Los Angeles 27,000 21,437
Vancouver 22,592
New York 20,982 18,441
FC Dallas 20,145 10,815
Houston 19,385 17,310
D.C. United 18,132 14,532
Chivas USA 18,122 14,576
Colorado 17,139 13,329
San Jose 10,525 9,659


  • QuakesFan

    I have to question these numbers in general because having been at the rain fest that was the home opener in San Jose there was nowhere near the full capacity that is 10,525. I would guess 8-9,000 (still respectable in the rain with no protection I suppose). It makes other full capacity numbers (i.e. a perfect 27,000 at Home Depot Center) suspect as well.

    • Biggest thing to always remember when seeing attendance numbers is the number reported is typically always going to be the tickets sold, not the actual number of folks who showed up to the game.

      • QuakesFan

        Still seems odd to me, unless our season ticket holders skyrocketed from last year, since our attendance has been based on day of game sales in the past. But, hey, if the Quakes getting to the Eastern Conference Finals last year has really boosted our season ticket sales this much then that’s a good thing and I won’t complain!

  • MrTuktoyaktuk

    I don’t know what to think about attendance stats. TFC’s FO has sworn up and down that their count is a gate count, not tickets sold. But I’ve looked with my own eyes at supposedly sold out games and seen that the stadium is 1/3 empty. I guess its possible that there are thousands of people on the concourse getting spicy kung pao shrimp, taking a leak and buying a new jersey, but not for the whole game.