Both the US Men’s National Team and US Women’s National Team have completed their last games of the 2016 calendar year. And while their performances on the pitch have been a mix of good and poor, the attendance figures for home games paint a worrying picture for both the men and women’s teams.
In 2016, every single friendly for the US Men’s National Team was attended by less than 10,000 people. In fact, this trend stretches back to October 2015, making it six consecutive friendlies with an attendance of under 10,000. Attendances at Copa America did provide a significant boost, but many of those tickets were purchased as part of a stadium pack where fans bought tickets for a select number of games at each local stadium.
In comparison to 2015, home attendances for USMNT games dropped 23%. The average in 2015 was 38,763 compared to 29,707 in 2016. Without the large Copa America Centenario attendances for USA games, the drop in average attendance from 2016 is more devastating — 64%, so much so that the 2016 USMNT average minus Copa America games (13,820) is less than the USWNT average attendance in 2016.
While the women had a much better year on the pitch despite being knocked out of the Olympics at the quarter-final stage (marking their worst performance in any major tournament ever), attendances are also a concern for USWNT. Attendance was down 42% this year compared to last year. The year 2015 averaged 27,766 per game compared to 15,973 per game in 2016.
The drop in attendance for the USWNT is more pronounced because the year 2015 featured the 10-match US Victory Tour across the United States after the women’s team won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Here are the home attendances for both the USMNT and USWNT for 2016:
2016 USMNT Attendances
January 31: USA vs Iceland (friendly), Stubhub Center, Carson, CA; 8,803
February 5: USA vs. Canada (friendly), Stubhub Center, Carson, CA; 9,274
March 29: USA vs. Guatemala (World Cup qualifier), Mapfre Stadium, Columbus, OH; 20,624
May 25: USA vs. Ecuador (friendly), Toyota Stadium, Frisco TX: 9,893
May 28: USA vs. Bolivia (friendly), Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS: 8,894
June 3: USA vs. Colombia (Copa America), Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA: 67,439
June 7: USA vs. Costa Rica (Copa America), Soldier Field, Chicago, IL: 39,642
June 11: USA vs. Paraguay (Copa America), Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA: 51,041