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MLS Crowds Holding Steady

For all the bluster this year about Major League Soccer’s rebirth thanks to David Beckham, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, a new TV deal and Superliga we have recieved in the past several weeks probably the best news yet for the league in perhaps its twelve year history. Attendance this season has held steady even when American Football season began.

Historically Major League Soccer’s attendance tailed off substantially when the Calender turned to September and America’s real sporting pastimes: College Football and the NFL began play. (Baseball is considered America’s Pastime by the sporting media much of which is based in the Northeast, but in the majority of MLS markets such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Columbus, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Houston and Denver are much more profoundly affected by the beginning of NFL and NCAA Football season then by the presence of multiple baseball teams) MLS has typically used heavy attendance between May 1st thru July 4th to buffer its overall season average numbers against a huge drop off late in the season. It has been very telling that in the past, as the playoff races heated up in the league people have paid less and less attention and fewer and fewer people have attended matches in person.

That seems to have changed this season, even without David Beckham. MLS’ average attendance has actually slightly climbed since the beginning of American Football season, and it seems that MLS has won a core of fans in each market who will continue to attend matches regardless of what other sporting options are available in person or on TV. This is probably the best news yet for a league struggling to find its feet in America’s sporting landscape and on the international football scene.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC. View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →
This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, Major League Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to MLS Crowds Holding Steady

  1. Anonymous says:

    This must anger you as you have now switched sides per your new found alliance with Jamie Trecker and his followers the anti-US Soccer press corp.

  2. Anonymous says:

    To Anonymous at 12:26 pm:

    That has to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard anyone say in my entire life. Are you really that stupid (because I really think your stupider than I am trying to give you credit for). FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE HE WAS POINTING OUT A VERY GOOD THING FOR MLS AS A WHOLE! This is exceptional news and for you to try and blatantly dismiss the blog based on one interview, it again validates everything Trecker said in his interview.

    Give it up people, you are all too scared to hear any constructive criticism. Of course Kartik isn’t angered by this news, but is happy for it. If you think it angers him do us all a favor and open up your own blog where you can say how much Trecker sucks (with facts…which I have yet to see anyone on this blog provide) and why now all of a sudden because of one interview FOR AN AMERICAN SOCCER PODCAST now the host of this blog sucks.

    If you seriously think this angers the writer of the blog, get off this site and never return. You are not what this country needs in terms of a fan.

  3. Dubya Garber says:

    It seems this is positive spin from MLS much like the constant “we are winning the war” refrain from GW Bush.

    Bush went in hoping to find nukes and found nothing. Then he wanted to root out Al Qaeda and now he wants to root out Iranian influence in Iraq. Well Bush if we hadn’t invaded Iraq, Iran and the crazy jerk we should take out with the CIA assassinating him wouldn’t have involvement in Iraq nor would Al Qaeda.

    This same logic applies to MLS. The league constantly claims good crowds while giving away tickets and marketing them as doubleheaders. Then they stay in markets like Kansas City because “good things are happening” even though the crowds are still as small as the first few years.

    Our occupation of Iraq is never ending nor is MLS commitment to failed markets. We could use troops here at home when we have a natural disaster or in a potential war against Iran or North Korea. We could also build the sport in places where it can succeed if we’d only stop putting out propaganda like this post about where it is failing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    dubya garber:

    Boy to mix sports and politics into one horribly done analogy is downright comical. It seems to me you want MLS to fold up and never see the light of day again.

    Must be a European or someone in a city that probably never will get an MLS franchise.

  5. Kartik says:

    To Dubya Garber:

    A simple reading of history would have convinced GW Bush not to invade Iraq with its secular baathist government and focus our attention on Iran and the Shia’ clerics spewing hate. All of those tons of bombs dropped on Baghdad in 2003 could have been used to pin point military instillations in Iran rather than civilian areas in Iraq. As someone who was against going to war from the beginning not because I’m a pacifist but because I have a knowledge of the Middle East to equate any folly MLS has made to the US invasion of Iraq is irresponsible and foolish.

    I happen to be an afficianado of Ottoman History having recently completed “Osmans Dream” which was a great book. A quick read of this or any other book about Turkish/Ottoman history would have explained the long standing ethnic divisions in both the Balkans and Mesopotamia where the US and UK have intervened in the past ten years.

    Also, the CIA cannot assassinate a foreign head of state especially one who is elected. Ahmedejab (sp?) will be gone eventually but the clerics have the real power in Iran and we must deal with them one way or another. (diplomatically or militarily.)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kartik, you are a typical Yank, trying to deflect one war and start another. No wonder the rest of the world doesn’t trust the Republicans OR the Democrats.

  7. eplnfl says:

    No person or organization deserves to be compared to the Axis of Denial that will thankfully vacate Washington in January 2009. If anyone knows of a way to make them leave earlier, please make suggestions in this forum. The folly of the Bush administration ( I find it hard to call it that ) is of such a level that it can not be fairly compared to any business or organization.

    Is the MLS making mistakes each and every day, yes. Has it been able to make America a soccer nation. No. Will soccer be part of the American sports landscape in the future, yes.

    Who thought that every Sunday American’s would spend 3 hours watching a group of cars circle a track all afternoon. No one. Hockey was the sport of the 70′s. Now it’s lucky to be on American mainstream tv. Do we need to run down the major sports that could not keep teams in certain towns. Heard of the Washington Senators, LA Rams, Seattle Pilots, Buffalo Braves.

  8. football detective says:

    At first, I was pleased that this site seemed to be attracting more interest in debating issues regarding the growth of Major League Soccer.

    Now, I realize that this site has attracked some serious nuts that want to vent about anything BUT Major League Soccer.

    A plea to those who have no interest in Major League Soccer:

    PLEASE GO AWAY!!!

    A plea to those who have an opinion about Major League Soccer (positive OR negative):

    PLEASE IGNORE THE NUTS!!!

  9. daniel says:

    i think the mls is doing well. i mean we have caught up with hockey and most of the nba and half of mlb attendence wise. now we have to some how capture tv. unfortunately espn is full of MLS haters.

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