2018 MLS average attendance down compared to 2017 season

MLS average attendance during the 2018 regular season dropped 1.09% compared to last year.

Despite LAFC selling out many of their games during their debut season, the addition of the new team to MLS didn’t have an impact on the league’s attendance because the stadium’s capacity is much smaller (22,000) compared to previous new teams such as Atlanta United and Orlando City (when they were at the Camping World Stadium).

Atlanta set a new season attendance record, beating its own gate from last season. Minnesota has the largest percentage increase, while unsurprisingly Columbus had the biggest decrease. It’s not a shock that Chicago had a large decrease, given their performance. But the average attendance for Supporters Shield winner Red Bulls downturn is disturbing.

Overall, the total reported attendance in 2018 surpassed 8.5 million with an average reported attendance of 21,873.

In 2019, we can expect a nominal increase. Portland’s expanded capacity of around 4,000 will be offset as Minnesota moves into Allianz Field with an approximate cap of 19,400, around 4,000 less than they drew this season. The increase will come from FC Cincinnati playing in Nippert Stadium.

 

TEAM 2017 AVG 2018 AVG INCREASE/DECREASE
Atlanta 48,200 53,002 9.96%
Seattle 43,666 40,641 -6.93%
Toronto 27,647 26,628 -3.69%
LA Galaxy 22,246 24,444 9.88%
Minnesota 20,538 23,902 16.38%
Orlando 25,028 23,866 -4.64%
NYCFC 22,321 23,211 3.99%
LAFC NA 22,042 NA
Vancouver 21,416 21,946 2.48%
Portland 21,144 21,144 0%
Sporting KC 19,537 19,950 2.12%
San Jose 19,875 19,032 -4.24%
Salt Lake 18,781 18,605 -0.94%
Red Bulls 21,175 18,601 -12.16%
Montreal 20,046 18,569 -7.37%
NE Revs 19,367 18,347 -5.27%
DC United 17,904 17,635 -1.50%
Houston 17,500 16,906 -3.39%
Philadelphia 16,812 16,518 -1.75%
FC Dallas 15,122 15,512 2.58%
Colorado 15,322 15,333 0.07%
Chicago 17,383 14,806 -14.82%
Columbus 15,439 12,447 -19.38%
AVG GAMES PLAYED
     
2018 21,874 391
2017 22,114 374
2016 21,690 340
2015 21,547 374
2014 19,110 323

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