Attendance

Major League Soccer

Average attendances down for 15 MLS clubs so far this 2018 season

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After six gameweeks played in the 2018 season, attendances are down for 66% of the MLS clubs who have played home games this season.

The only MLS clubs who haven’t seen a drop in attendance compared to last season are Atlanta United (up 10%), LA Galaxy (up 23%), Vancouver (up 26%), NYCFC (up 4%), Sporting KC (up 1%) and San Jose (who have seen no increase or decrease).

2018 MLS opening weekend attendances up 2% compared to last year

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Welcome to a new season of MLS attendance reports.

In 2017, Orlando had a decrease due to the fact of the reduced capacity of their new stadium, 20.1% lower than their 2016 average. Four more teams lost more than 6%. NYCFC was down 17.9%, Los Angeles was down 11.

Top 50 most-attended soccer games in United States during 2017

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The year 2017 was full of positives for attendances at soccer matches throughout the United States.

First, it was another successful summer for the International Champions Cup. The annual soccer tournament had the three most-attended soccer games in the United States as well as six out of the top ten attendances nationwide.

Top 50 most-attended soccer games in United States during 2017

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Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The year 2017 was full of positives for attendances at soccer matches throughout the United States.

First, it was another successful summer for the International Champions Cup. The annual soccer tournament had the three most-attended soccer games in the United States as well as six out of the top ten attendances nationwide.

While MLS attendance increases, the Union fall further behind

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Major League Soccer's attendance figures for 2017 show promise for most but decline for Philadelphia

The final Major League Soccer attendance figures were released for 2017, and it was by most accounts a huge success for MLS. Atlanta United set records for both the single-game attendance record (71,824 were in attendance to watch the season's last match against Toronto FC) and single-season attendance average at 48,200 - all while playing most of their season at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

2017 MLS regular season average attendance finishes 2% higher than 2016

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Attendances at MLS games for the 2017 regular season grew by 1.95% compared to last year, according to reported (not actual) numbers.

The final average attendance for MLS 2017 regular season was 22,112.

In the final week of the 2017 MLS season on Sunday, Atlanta set the all time standalone match attendance, 71,874, beating its own record set earlier this season.

2017 MLS regular season average attendance finishes 2% higher than 2016

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Attendances at MLS games for the 2017 regular season grew by 1.95% compared to last year, according to reported (not actual) numbers.

The final average attendance for MLS 2017 regular season was 22,112.

In the final week of the 2017 MLS season on Sunday, Atlanta set the all time standalone match attendance, 71,874, beating its own record set earlier this season.

MLS attendances through gameweek 32 of the 2017 season

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Colorado Rapids drew its smallest crowd of the season in its final home match, a Rocky Mountain Cup game against Real Salt Lake, with just a reported attendance of 13,102.

On the flip side, the Revs had its largest turnout in its final home match versus New York City FC.

MLS attendances through gameweek 32 of the 2017 season

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Colorado Rapids drew its smallest crowd of the season in its final home match, a Rocky Mountain Cup game against Real Salt Lake, with just a reported attendance of 13,102.

On the flip side, the Revs had its largest turnout in its final home match versus New York City FC.

MLS attendances through gameweek 29 of the 2017 season

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MLS reported attendances had another good week courtesy of Atlanta playing two more home matches at the Mercedes Benz Stadium.

The only downer was New York City FC’s match that was played in Hartford’s Pratt and Whitney Stadium due to a scheduling conflict at Yankee Stadium. The 10,165 was the lowest reported attendance of the season.

MLS attendances through gameweek 29 of the 2017 season

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MLS reported attendances had another good week courtesy of Atlanta playing two more home matches at the Mercedes Benz Stadium.

The only downer was New York City FC’s match that was played in Hartford’s Pratt and Whitney Stadium due to a scheduling conflict at Yankee Stadium. The 10,165 was the lowest reported attendance of the season.

MLS attendances through gameweek 27 of the 2017 season

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After 302 matches, the average MLS attendance (21,604) is up 0.47% compared to 2016.

This past week in MLS, it was another normal week of reported attendances. There were strong showings in most venues, including Atlanta’s new Mercedes Benz Stadium. A relatively weak turnout for NYCFC’s midweek match.

MLS attendances through gameweek 25 of the 2017 season

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During the past week, Seattle Sounders and Toronto had the two greatest attendances in MLS.

Elsewhere there were strong attendance numbers across MLS except for poor turnouts for DC United and Columbus’ midweek game. LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake had so-so numbers.

After 286 matches, the average attendance(21,528) is up 0.

MLS attendances through gameweek 24 of the 2017 season

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For gameweek 24 of the 2017 season, it was a strong week for MLS attendance numbers. Seattle had more than 40,000 in attendance while Orlando had over 25,000 fans for their home game.

Meanwhile, Colorado had the weakest showing of all, which is no great surprise.

MLS attendances through gameweek 24 of the 2017 season

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For gameweek 24 of the 2017 season, it was a strong week for MLS attendance numbers. Seattle had more than 40,000 in attendance while Orlando had over 25,000 fans for their home game.

Meanwhile, Colorado had the weakest showing of all, which is no great surprise.

MLS attendances through gameweek 23 of the 2017 season

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MLS had a mixed bag of reported attendances last week. LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls had good attendance numbers as well as the usual strong reports from Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC.

But then there was FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union.

MLS attendances through gameweek 23 of the 2017 season

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MLS had a mixed bag of reported attendances last week. LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls had good attendance numbers as well as the usual strong reports from Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC.

But then there was FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 21 of the 2017 season

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This past week saw solid reported attendance numbers with the exception of Philadelphia’s midweek match and the FC Dallas home game. The numbers should remain reasonably strong for the rest of the season with Atlanta having eight home matches, while Seattle has seven home games remaining.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 20 of the 2017 season

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Last week was very busy as MLS comes out of the Gold Cup group play break. In a nice change, there were no terrible reported attendances for the seven midweek matches. DC United had a disappointing showing over the weekend given they had rain. Meanwhile, New England Revolution opened up some extra seats for the LA Galaxy’s visit as did Vancouver for its Cascadia Cup game versus Portland.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 20 of the 2017 season

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Photo credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was very busy as MLS comes out of the Gold Cup group play break. In a nice change, there were no terrible reported attendances for the seven midweek matches. DC United had a disappointing showing over the weekend given they had rain. Meanwhile, New England Revolution opened up some extra seats for the LA Galaxy’s visit as did Vancouver for its Cascadia Cup game versus Portland.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 18 of the 2017 season

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If you’ve been following MLS attendance for a while, it should come as no surprise at the poor attendance numbers in Colorado and Dallas. I was also surprised by the relatively weak number in Philadelphia.

New York City FC’s number was also weak, but it’s possible that they are reaching their true level after 2½ seasons.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 18 of the 2017 season

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If you’ve been following MLS attendance for a while, it should come as no surprise at the poor attendance numbers in Colorado and Dallas. I was also surprised by the relatively weak number in Philadelphia.

New York City FC’s number was also weak, but it’s possible that they are reaching their true level after 2½ seasons.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 14 of the 2017 season

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The attendance numbers for last week’s MLS games were a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Midweek numbers were typically poor in Columbus and Houston. New York City FC’s was okay while Orlando City SC had over 24,000. The weekend games drew well with the exception of FC Dallas who drew its smallest crowd of the season.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 14 of the 2017 season

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Photo credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The attendance numbers for last week’s MLS games were a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Midweek numbers were typically poor in Columbus and Houston. New York City FC’s was okay while Orlando City SC had over 24,000. The weekend games drew well with the exception of FC Dallas who drew its smallest crowd of the season.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 11 of the 2017 season

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Reported attendances were less than stellar this past week. Columbus’ midweek match had the lowest reported gate in the league this season (10,318). Colorado, Dallas, DC United and Houston all had relatively poor turnouts. New York Red Bulls’ match against LA had the lowest showing (against the Galaxy) since 2006, the year before Beckham arrived.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 11 of the 2017 season

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Reported attendances were less than stellar this past week. Columbus’ midweek match had the lowest reported gate in the league this season (10,318). Colorado, Dallas, DC United and Houston all had relatively poor turnouts. New York Red Bulls’ match against LA had the lowest showing (against the Galaxy) since 2006, the year before Beckham arrived.

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Mexico’s attendances for games in US were 48% greater than USMNT’s in 2017

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For the year 2017, Mexico’s matches that were played on US soil had an average attendance that was 48% greater than the average attendance for matches played by the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) in their own country, according to our research.

Mexico’s attendances for games in US were 48% greater than USMNT’s in 2017

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For the year 2017, Mexico’s matches that were played on US soil had an average attendance that was 48% greater than the average attendance for matches played by the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) in their own country, according to our research.

Copa America

TV ratings for US Men’s National Team down 15% in 2017

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In addition to sponsorships and attendance, one of the major ways to gauge the popularity of any sporting event or league in this country is the TV ratings. Soccer is no different. For the US Men’s National Team, TV ratings have been good for the most part for the last several years. However, the trend this year is pointing downward.

TV ratings for US Men’s National Team down 15% in 2017

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In addition to sponsorships and attendance, one of the major ways to gauge the popularity of any sporting event or league in this country is the TV ratings. Soccer is no different. For the US Men’s National Team, TV ratings have been good for the most part for the last several years. However, the trend this year is pointing downward.

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Taking Attendance 10/29/2017: NASL Down 5%, But It’s Complicated

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The North American Soccer League is the last of our prominent outdoor soccer leagues to finish its regular season, and while the league saw a five percent drop in its average announced attendance in 2017 as compared to 2016, its present and future are not so clear-cut.

After an offseason of drama that saw two teams fold, Tampa Bay and Ottawa jump to the USL, Minnesota decamp for MLS and a provisional award of Division II status for 2017, things got even stranger:

  • The expansion San Francisco Deltas drew lackluster crowds, prompting the team's ownership to issue a bizarre open letter putting the onus on "fixing this" on the fans.

Taking Attendance 10/22/2017: MLS Ticks Up, Though Several Teams See Declines

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Major League Soccer's 22nd regular season saw it hit the 8 million mark in total attendance for the first time1 and league-wide average announced attendance nudged up by just under two percent from 2016.

With most teams playing in their own stadiums and selling large percentages of their ticket inventory coming in, it was not going to be easy to see the type of growth as in past years, but only Chicago saw substantial gains.

Taking Attendance 10/15/2017: USL Draws 2 Million, Average Up 25%

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The United Soccer League became the first lower-level soccer league on these shores to draw two million fans in a season1 and the league's average announced attendance was up 25 percent year-over-year.

There were success stories (FC Cincinnati becoming the first lower-division team ever to average over 20,000 a game, something only 23 Division I clubs in history have done2, Sacramento selling out every game and Phoenix tripling their crowds) and some concerning spots (Rochester falling completely off the table and MLS developmental teams in Vancouver, Kansas City, Seattle and Toronto dropping from already-low averages to even lower averages).

Taking Attendance 10/1/2017: Ups And Downs In The NWSL

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The National Women's Soccer League has completed its fifth season, and while its average announced league-wide attendance was above 5,000 per game1 for the third straight year, the NWSL did see an 8.5 percent decline overall2.

Six of the 10 teams saw declines in their average from the 2016 season: Kansas City (off 44 percent), Orlando (30 percent3, Houston (20 percent), Boston (19 percent) and Seattle (12 percent).

Taking Attendance 9/4/2017: II in 1

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The United States Soccer Federation's decision last winter to sanction both the North American Soccer League and the United Soccer League as Division II circuits has brought us the odd (and potentially temporary) situation where we have competing leagues at one level1.

For this look at attendance, I'm combining all the Division II teams into one table.

Taking Attendance 8/19/2017: Probably The Last NPSL Update

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Look, I tried. I really did.

I figured we can't have meaningful conversations about the relative strengths of lower-level soccer leagues and teams without some data, so I went after the data. But it has proved to be tougher to mine than you might think. I've asked every NPSL team I have contact info for to share their attendance data multiple times, in some cases and I'm very grateful for those clubs who have been gracious enough to do so.

Taking Attendance 6/27/2017: Probably The Best NPSL Attendance Compilation Ever

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The Kingston Stockade salutes its fans. Courtesy Dennis Crowley's Instagram feed (@dens)

(That's not saying a whole lot, obviously, because I have not seen many NPSL attendance compilations.)

Over the years that I've been doing this (and more often recently), people have asked why I don't include National Premier Soccer League attendance figures in my semi-regular roundup of lower level crowds.

The Rest

Taking Attendance 3/31/2018: MASL Drops 10 Percent

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The second-year Florida Tropics were one of eight MASL teams whose attendance dropped this year. The Tropics' crowds in Lakeland were down 12 percent.

The Baltimore Blast won their third consecutive Major Arena Soccer League championship last week, beating the Monterrey Flash 4-3 on March 24.

North London Derby: Attendance For Tottenham’s Win Over Arsenal At Wembley Was 38 People Short Of Setting New English League Record

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While it looked like there were more than a few empty seats, we're reliably informed that Saturday's derby between Tottenham and Arsenal set a new Premier League attendance record.

Harry Kane scored the only goal of the game at Wembley as Spurs emerged victorious over their beloved next-door neighbours.

Three (3) Sunderland Fans Make Trip To Grimsby As Checkatrade Trophy Endures Appalling Attendances Once Again (Photo)

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Grimsby were eventually toppled by Sunderland Under-21s (Photo: @officialgtfc/Twitter)

The Checkatrade Trophy continues to lurch from strength to strength, with this week's first round fixtures attracting miserly numbers in terms of derrieres on seats.

With all prestige being systematically siphoned from the competition by the EFL, Charlton drew the biggest crowd of the round on Tuesday when 1,307 fans turned out to watch their 0-1 defeat against Portsmouth.