MLS Attendance Up, Now 7th In the World

MLS Attendance Up, Now 7th In the World

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 31, 2012
  • 0 Comments
  • 2012 MLS Attendance, 2012 MLS Season

Time for some positive news before we get into the playoff discussion (full predictions coming up later today).

Attendance for Major League Soccer reached a new high in 2012. The league beat last year’s mark by nearly 1,000 per game. In fact, with an average attendance of 18,807, MLS ranks seventh in the world.

Woohoo!

It’s been discussed recently too that for the first time ever, the league had more than 6 million people attend their games this season. Double woohoo!

Once again the Seattle Sounders were the top dogs in the attendance game, achieving new high-marks in attendance by crushing their own record for a third straight year by averaging 43,144 fans.

Attendance is a positive sign that the league is growing in the US. TV ratings and overall revenue of the 19 clubs are still not where folks would like them to be but they are rising slowly here (at least based on what some folks from the league are telling me, I don’t have any specifics on actual revenue numbers here for those curious). All positive signs.

2012 MLS attendance

Average Medium Total Games %-change
Seattle 43,144 38,934 733,441 17 10.77%
LA Galaxy 23,136 22,143 393,319 17 -0.86%
Montreal Impact 22,772 19,431 387,124 17 100.00%
Houston Dynamo 21,015 21,423 357,251 17 15.80%
Portland Timbers 20,438 20,438 347,446 17 8.86%
Vancouver Whitecaps 19,475 19,332.5 331,081 17 -4.81%
Sporting KC 19,404 19,428 329,874 17 8.22%
Real Salt Lake 19,087 19,492 324,482 17 7.82%
New York Red Bulls 18,281 18,152 310,782 17 -7.71%
Toronto FC 18,155 18,624.5 308,630 17 -11.63%
Philadelphia Union 18,053 18,412 306,904 17 -1.14%
Chicago Fire 16,409 16,913.5 278,947 17 13.01%
Colorado Rapids 15,175 15,232 257,972 17 2.22%
Columbus Crew 14,397 13,762.5 244,752 17 10.67%
FC Dallas 14,199 12,811 241,390 17 9.43%
New England Revolution 14,001 12,523 238,025 17 5.57%
D.C. United 13,846 13,262 235,382 17 -9.64%
San Jose Earthquakes 13,293 10,525 225,977 17 10.79%
Chivas USA 13,056 13,190.5 221,950 17 -13.59%
MLS Totals 18,807 18,378.5 6,074,729 323 4.97%

**Table above came from SBnation.com, kudos to those guys for putting this together**

Some quick notes:

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  • How about that total number for Seattle? 733,441! That’s freakin’ huge!
  • Montreal’s numbers are a tad higher due to a couple big sellouts at the Olympic Stadium. They have a good chance to do well next year though based on some numbers we saw down the stretch.
  • FC Dallas and Columbus (the two Hunt owned teams) saw better numbers in 2012. Still no where near where they should be but positive sign for the future. Dallas had the highest attendance numbers in FC Dallas Stadium history. Still looking to best their 1996 numbers however. Maybe in 2013.
  • We are seeing more clubs playing in front of sellouts or near sell outs. SKC played in front of a lot of standing-room only crowds. I think once San Jose opens their new stadium in 2014 we’ll see more of that out there.
  • New York dipped in attendance is puzzling but the front office shakeups will hopefully correct that. Still some perspective is that 18,000 average in front of a smaller nice stadium still beats playing in front of a 80% empty Meadowlands Stadium.
  • Chivas and Toronto took a big hit at the gates. Toronto for obvious reasons. Chivas lowered the capacity at the HDC and still saw a dip. Who knows when that club will get it right.
  • D.C. United also saw a big dip despite reaching the post season for the first time since 2007. I still fully expect them to get their stadium situation worked out in the future. Have to remain optimistic about that.

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