MLS attendance report: May 18, 2009

Ties

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 968 GPYTD
 Avg+/-GPAvg+/-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
 20082009 
 AttCapAttAtt +/-GPCapCap
 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
 AverageMedian%<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.

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3 Comments

  1. eplnfl May 18, 2009
  2. Peter C May 18, 2009
  3. Steps To Look Younger September 27, 2010

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