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Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 9

Posted on by Peter C

neckties2 Take Me Out to the Ballgame   Week 9

This week’s seven matches averaged over 15,100, up from last week’s average.

This week the NBA and NHL playoffs continued. By Saturday, Boston, Denver, Houston and LA had teams alive in the NBA, while the NHL still shows Chicago alive.

As the Lakers were playing Game 7 of their series with Houston, the Galaxy reported the lowest attendance of the season in a match against current Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup champion Columbus. Saturday Chivas USA, on the other hand, had its 2nd largest(of 6) home gates at the Home Depot Center as the east and west leaders met.
This week’s overall uptick over last week is in contrast to 2008. In ’08 the week 9 average was lower than week 8. FC Dallas’ deficit to last year jumped to nearly 40% as they are pulling in less than 10,000. They drew only 8,200+ for a visit from league media darling Seattle. This matchday last year over 22,000 showed up for the Galaxy at PHP.

After Week 9 the numbers look like this…

  5 year comparison
  WK 9 68 GP YTD
  Avg +/- GP Avg +/- Avg +/- GP
 2005   13,700     9   14,809     13,933     58 
 2006   20,417   49.02%   5   15,659   5.74%   16,402   17.72%   52 
 2007   15,773   -22.75%   6   15,310   -2.23%   15,139   -7.70%   59 
 2008   15,849   0.48%   8   15,584   1.79%   16,044   5.98%   63 
 2009   15,113   -4.65%   7   14,839   -4.79%   14,839   -7.51%   68 

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008′s equal number of home games :

MLS Attendance Averages – Equal # of Home Games
  2008 2009  
  Att Cap Att Att +/- GP Cap Cap
 Seattle  0   0.00%   29,536   NA  5   98.45%   30,000 
 Toronto  20,084   91.38%   20,151   0.33%   6   91.69%   21,978 
 LA Galaxy  24,965   92.46%   19,139   -23.34%   5   70.88%   27,000 
 Houston  18,097   80.43%   16,297   -9.95%   4   72.43%   22,500 
 ChivasUSA  12,415   45.98%   14,833   19.48%   6   54.94%   27,000 
 Real Salt Lake  17,437   77.48%   14,629   -16.10%   5   73.12%   20,008 
 D.C. United  18,802   83.57%   14,561   -22.55%   5   64.72%   22,500 
 Columbus Crew  11,574   51.31%   13,263   14.59%   4   58.80%   22,555 
 Colorado Rapids  15,582   86.16%   11,037   -29.17%   3   61.02%   18,086 
 San Jose  17,958   71.41%   11,028   -38.59%   5   86.56%   10,300 
 Chicago  16,027   80.14%   10,998   -31.38%   4   54.99%   20,000 
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls  13,746   54.57%   10,792   -21.48%   5   42.85%   25,189 
 NE Revolution  10,094   44.86%   10,368   2.71%   3   46.08%   22,500 
 FC Dallas  15,472   75.47%   9,372   -39.42%   4   45.72%   20,500 
 KC Wizards  9,210   88.68%   9,192   -0.19%   4   88.51%   10,385 

YTD – 68 Games
  Average Median %<10K %>20k
 2008    15,584     15,148    14.71%   26.47% 
 2009    14,839     14,248    17.65%   16.18% 

My disclaimer about the capacity calculations.

For my calculations, I’ve taken the 4 teams playing in football stadiums, DCU in RFK, Houston in Robertson, New England in Foxboro, and RBNY in the Meadowlands and assigned maximum capacities as follows, DCU-22,500, Houston-22,500, New England-22,500 and RBNY-25189(the posted capacity of Red Bull Arena). I took the 22,500 from an approximate average of the soccer specific stadiums in use. Capacities have also been adjusted for the few games that were moved to larger venues, such as San Jose playing twice in Oakland Alameda Colliseum for 2 of it’s 5 matches in ’08.
I’m now using 30,000 for Seattle’s capacity. Thier previous announced cap was 27,000. Since they haven’t drawn less than 28,000, I’ve recalculated all of the Sounders’ games to the new number.

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Chicago remained the only undefeated team with an impressive victory over TFC at BMO field. Chivas USA still leads the way with 23 points, but must be disappoointed as they gave away a 2-0 lead and were drawn by east leaders DCU.
New England were top of the table at this point last year; this year they are sitting 11th. In ’08 LA was scoring 2.2 goals and giving up 1.9 at this point and now their goal numbers are 1.22 for and against. RSL and RBNY are the only teams not to have scored on the road.

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Through 68 games, 27 have been drawn, with 5 more this week. That’s 39.7% this year vs 20.6% in 2008. Of games not drawn, home teams won 65% of the time in ’08. This year the number is 71%. For all games played to date, the ’08 winning percentage was 51% in 2008 and this year it’s 43%. But at least the ties have been exciting. The two goals in the Houston -Red Bull game were scored after the 78th minute. DC United scored twice after the 77th minute to draw with Chivas. And Eddie Lewis’ 91st minute goal saved a point for the Gals v Columbus. Overall, 25.4% of goals are being scored after the 75th minute.

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Teams have scored 21 fewer goals this year, a 10.7% decrease.

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Last week I mentioned the MLS play-ins for the US Open Cup. On Saturday, I attended the USASA Region IV finals and saw the Arizona Sahuaros fall short in their attempt to qualify for the Open. Check out the USASA or US Open Cup websites and attend a match near you. Oh yeah, Miran of SoCal and Sonoma County Sol will represent Region IV in the Open this year.

3 Responses to Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 9

  1. eplnfl says:

    Should we be looking forward to the Fire v. Chivas match coming up on ESPN. If the Fire remain unbeaten and Chivas picks up another point next week will that match be one of the classic regular season match-ups for MLS?

  2. Peter C says:

    I, for one, am definitely looking forward to the Fire-CUSA matchup. They were my preseason picks to finish 1-2 in points.
    But a classic? Nawwww. Am I missing a history here? No, really, am I?
    I think the ingredients that make a game a classic are not present here.

  3. This passage would be a great candidate for syndication

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