Busy week in Major League Soccer with a host of mid-week games and a packed weekend, so we will jump right into attendance. The early games started in with DC United, with less than 11k at RFK to watch DC fall 4-0 in another disappointing outing for the Black and Red. The Red Bulls fell just short of 12k in their mid-week effort, while KC managed its usual 18,500 plus.
Now that every professional (men's and women's) team in MLS, the NASL, USL Pro and the NWSL has had at least one home match, we can take a look at the attendance figures for each team in the various leagues through games of May 5. (As always, corrections are welcome.)
THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Los Angeles Galaxy
Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls
New England Revolution
San Jose Earthquakes
NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE
San Antonio Scorpions
Minnesota Stars FC
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Dayton Dutch Lions
Harrisburg City Islanders
Los Angeles Blues
VSI Tampa FC
MLS Reserve Teams
USL PRO TOTAL
*=Missing one game
NATIONAL WOMEN'S SOCCER LEAGUE
Portland Thorns FC
FC Kansas City
Western NY Flash
Seattle Reign FC
Sky Blue FC
Chicago Red Stars
MLS, which drew six million fans for the first time ever in 2012, is on pace to do slightly below that (if every team holds its average for the rest of the season), but at 17,272 and playing to about 83% capacity, its numbers are healthier than ever overall.
Sporting KC once again set an attendance record this year for KC. As a whole, Sporting finished the season 7th in the attendance table, which in percentage terms is probably close to, if not the highest Kansas City has ever finished in the league, averaging 19,404 per game, almost 1,000 over the capacity of Livestrong Sporting Park.
Major League Soccer returned with a vengeance this weekend with a series of meaningful games, big crowds and exciting soccer. Before we get to the attendance numbers, the big business story from the weekend was the revelation that the Hunt family is looking to sell the Crew to a local ownership group.
Back to a full slate of games in Major League Soccer after a break for international competition. Before we get to the attendance, here are a couple of business items from the weekend. We'll start on television, where the broadcast version of NBC made its debut on Saturday afternoon. The network did a great job with the telecast and everything about the broadcast screamed professionalism.
I hope everyone had wonderful holiday weekend and enjoyable end of Summer.Â For fans of Major
League Soccer, the post-labor day period means its time for the final push to the playoffs.Â Fall
is a great time for soccer in the United States and the playoffs are now just weeks away.
In truth the biggest business news over the last few days came from across the sea, with the
transfer window closing across Europe.
Quantifying the entertainment value of a soccer league is, obviously, difficult. You might want to
look at attendance, because people tend to show up to events they find entertaining. You might want
to look at disciplinary statistics, because games with a lot of cards can be pretty entertaining in
a trainwreck sort of way.
Talk about Sunday's refereeing disaster continues across the league. Hackworth says DC game had
plenty of "teachable moments." Valdes named to PST Team of the Week. MLS ranked 8th in the world
for pro soccer attendance. Mexico v USA top primetime broadcast. More news.
The indoor soccer season officially ended Saturday night with the Baltimore Blast's 8-6 win over the Missouri Comets in the second game of the Major Indoor Soccer League finals. It's Baltimore's seventh championship (including one by the original Blast in 1984), second only to San Diego's 10 among top-flight indoor leagues.
Syracuse Silver Knights president Tommy Tanner, who famously said his MISL team would "sell out every game" before it played one, is perplexed about why they haven't actually sold out every game. Or come close, even.
"We're still not where we need to be," said Tanner, who vowed there will be, at least, a third campaign for his bunch.
You'll often find 'one man and his dog' in attendance at mid-season friendly matches... but it looks like the dogs might have actually outnumbered the human spectators at a recent Galatasaray friendly. The canine crowd decided to mount a pitch invasion, with two labradors bounding around the playing surface with glee.
Images: KCKRS, Tumblr. We look forward to seeing more photos from Dirk Kuyt's feature in
Fenerbahce's magazine so that the inevitable speculation about his attendance at Liverpool'sÂ
annual fancy dress Christmas party can begin in earnest.
Sporting KC closed out the regular season last night, and their final home game. As mentioned in the last one, Sporting set a new record for average attendance and overall attendance. For the second time in KC's history the team has averaged over the capacity of their venue, the other time that was done was the was the 2008 season, the team's first year at CAB when they played one game at Arrowhead.
photo courtesy of Jarred Donalson Last night at Livestrong Sporting Park, Sporting set a new attendance record for the stadium, drawing 21,010, 2,543 above the announced capacity of the stadium. The attendance also guarantees that KC will set a new team record again this year in terms of average attendance and total attendance as they've already topped last year's total attendance total with one game left.
It wasn't the highest attended game in Livestrong Sporting Park history as Don Garber mentioned on Twitter on Friday, but it was still another game where KC pulled over the capacity of LSP. Here's the comparison of 15 home games.
1996 - Arrowhead 12,141 Sunday September 7, 1996 vs Columbus 1-5 loss Average - 12,612
1997 - Arrowhead 8,761 Friday September 12, 1997 vs New York 0-0 (2-3) shootout loss Average - 8,830
1998 - Arrowhead 6,755 Saturday September 5, 1998 vs San Jose 5-1 win Average - 7,734
1999 - Arrowhead 9,592 Saturday September 25, 1999 vs Colorado 0-0 (2-3) shootout loss Average - 9,516
2000 - Arrowhead 8,485 Friday August 18, 2000 vs Miami 1-2 loss Average - 9,202
2001 - Arrowhead Season finished Average - 10,954
2002 - Arrowhead Season finished Average - 12,287
2003 - Arrowhead 14,923 Saturday October 18, 2003 vs Dallas 1-0 win Final home game of the season Average - 15,573
2004 - Arrowhead 20,435 Saturday October 16, 2004 vs Los Angeles 1-0 win Final home game of the season.
Another comparison of the home attendance, with the stage out, Sporting still had a sell out crowd
at Livestrong Sporting Park. Here's a look at the rest of the attendance comparisons for the 14th
home game of the season.
1996 - Arrowhead
Sunday September 1, 1996 vs New York 2-2(3-1) shootout win
Average - 12,646
1997 - Arrowhead
Thursday August 28, 1997 vs Colorado 1-0 win
Average - 8,835
1998 - Arrowhead
Saturday August 29, 1998 vs Chicago 2-2 (2-3) shootout loss
Average - 7,804
1999 - Arrowhead
Saturday September 18, 1999 vs Dallas 1-1(0-3) shootout loss
Average - 9,511
2000 - Arrowhead
Saturday August 5, 2000 vs Los Angeles 1-5 loss
Average - 9,253
2001 - Arrowhead
Average - 10,954
2002 - Arrowhead
Saturday September 14, 2002 vs Colorado 1-2 loss
Final home game of the 2002 season.
Here's this week's comparison for home games. Through 13 home games, Kansas City has once again
gotten another sellout at Livestrong keeping the 2012 season well ahead of last year's pace for the
most well attended season.
1996 - Arrowhead
Thursday August 15, 1996 vs San Jose 4-1 win
Average - 12,762
1997 - Arrowhead
Saturday August 17, 1997 vs New York 3-3(2-0) shootout win
Average - 8,928
1998 - Arrowhead
Wednesday August 26, 1998 vs DC 1-2 loss.
When FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman brought Brek Shea off the field in the 86th minute of
Sunday's 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC, many of those in attendance at FC Dallas Stadium and
watching on TV were a bit perplexed. They wondered why Hyndman would bring off one of his top
attacking players in what was still a 1-1 tie but a match where the final outcome remained very
much in doubt.
Saturday's 7:30 PM match between the aspiring Seattle Sounders and struggling Goats features one
of the hottest teams in MLS and a team that is bewildering. Despite several name brand players on
offense Chivas USA has 9 fewer goals than the next worst in the league. If it wasn't for Dan
Kennedy and the strong defense there would be no chance for the other SoCal team to make the MLS
The Portland Timbers held a closed practice today at the team's Beaverton training facility, but
like yesterday very little attention was being paid to what was happening on the field. Instead,
everyone in attendance was waiting for team owner Merritt Paulson to arrive and make the formal
announcement that Caleb Porter had been hired on as the Timbers' new coach, which he did as
practice was wrapping up.
The Portland Timbers controlled play for much of last night's 3-1 loss to the San Jose
Earthquakes in reserve league play but were unable to finish their chances despite out-shooting the
'Quakes 21 to 5 The game took place in a crowded Jeld-Wen Field as some beautiful weather and a
GroupOn deal on tickets brought families in droves to the game.
The 2012-13 German Bundesliga season is about to start with Borussia Dortmund aiming for a third
straight title. It's been a fantastic run for Dortmund who are looking to match Bayern Munich's run
of three consecutive league titles from 1998 to 2001.
Overall, the Bundesliga remains one of the most competitive and popular leagues in the world
along with attendance averaging over 45,000 per match last season.
The USWNT will play two home games in the Spring/Summer on the East Coast. Red Bull Arena and Gillette were announced as the venues. There was a some dispute about the selection of a turf venue for the matches, but for the first time in a while, Foxboro will play host a US International.
On to attendance, where the week started with a Wednesday night match featuring New England and Portland.
Before we get to the weekly look at attendance, a couple of quick business notes. The big weekend stories involved movement on the stadium fronts in both Washington and New York 2. Coming a few days after the announcement that the Revs were slowing moving towards a stadium in Revere, the possibility that two more soccer specific stadiums might rise in the Northeast Corridor are great news for the league.
2012 Attendance: It's getting higher but so far still middle of the MLS pack
The 2012 season has the Chicago Fire at a points per game average that is unseen since the Golden Era of 1998-2003. Forty-four points in 26 games is identical to the 2003 season pace when Chicago won its only Supporters' Shield.
With the end of the second official season of the new North American Soccer League, we can (almost) close the book on the Division II and Division III attendance figures for the 2012 campaign. Here are the unofficial numbers as I have them*:
Apparently, the pitch isn't the only place the Revolution have struggled this season.
According the league's latest attendance figures, New England, which currently sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, remains dead last at the gate, with a league-low 12,542 average homeattendance this season through Week 28.
Tuesday marks the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York,
Washington, D.C. and Shanskville, Penn. In recognition of playing on 9/11, U.S. Soccer will honor
the occasion by distributing American flags to all those in attendance, and will recognize three
first responders from the New York City Fire Department: Captain Joseph Brosi, Battalion Chief
Wayman Iriarte, and Lieutenant Jason Hickey.
By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Aug 30, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In Thursday's column, Tony asks
what the Revolution needs to do after Wednesday's collapse, questions the ethics of consulting with
a coach under contract to another entity, and wonders if Montreal will raise attendance by lowering
As Lecturas first reported [Ed. Note: hellow - always the rumour starters], Bar the supermodel was
not after Gerard Pique or Cesc Fabregas as people first assumed about her random attendance at
Barcelona matches. While some gossipers still think there's a connection to be made between her and
Pique (some argue they had a fling [.
The final weekend of almost every regular season has its share of drama, and the USL Pro's
season finale was no different as two teams snuck into the playoffs while another saw its
postseason hopes vanish.
The Harrisburg City Islanders and the Wilmington Hammerheads booked the final two spots in the
postseason and the Charlotte Eagles fell out of sixth place and the playoff picture by losing on
MELBOURNE DYNAMO RESERVES 4-0 MACKWORTH ST. FRANCIS RESERVES Friday 17th August 2012
Midlands Regional Alliance Division 2 Melbourne Recreation Ground, Cockshut Lane
Why would I attend a reserve team fixture you may ask? Surely a case of scrapping the bottom of the
barrel football wise?