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MLS attendance report: May 25, 2009


This week’s seven matches averaged just under 13,800, slightly up from last year’s week 10 average. It was good to see an increase, albeit a small one, with Seattle on the road.
After 75 matches, exactly the 1/3 mark of the season, the league is drawing 1,128 fewer per game than the first 75 games last year, a 7.1% decrease. Not too bad considering the overall economic environment.

TFC were home and rewarded its usual packed house with a victory over east rivals New England. KC greeted league toppers Chivas USA with a full house. Any thoughts that Houston’s(the old San Jose) fans view the San Jose visit as part of a ‘special’ matchup were put to bed as the Dynamo had their lowest crowd of the year. Last year’s visit by the Earthquakes barely caused a rumble, it was Houston’s 2nd lowest gate for 2008. On the other hand, the Rapids enjoyed their largest crowd of the year for Seattle’s visit, filling Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to over 90% capacity. FCD drew a bit better, but still under 10,000 for its encounter with the Galaxy. Showers may(or may not) have kept the numbers down, but last year’s match with the Gals drew over 22,000. Finally in the Meadowlands… well, maybe if Chicago resurrected Al Capone and announced a search for Jimmy Hoffa, a bigger turnout might have resulted; 10,762 came out to see the eastern frontrunner and undefeated Fire. I won’t believe they stayed home to watch the Indy 500.

After Week 10 the numbers look like this…

 5 year comparison
 WK 1075 GPYTD
 2005  22,482   7  14,547   14,853   65 
 2006  12,000  -46.62%  8  15,258  4.89%  15,615  5.13%  60 
 2007  16,317  35.97%  6  15,214  -0.28%  15,248  -2.35%  65 
 2008  13,498  -17.28%  7  15,868  4.30%  15,789  3.55%  70 
 2009  13,779  2.09%  7  14,740  -7.11%  14,740  -6.65%  75 

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s equal number of home games(75):

MLS Attendance Averages – Equal # of Home Games
 AttCapAttAtt +/-GPCapCap
 Seattle 0  0.00%  29,536  NA 5  98.45%  30,000 
 Toronto 20,091  91.42%  20,198  0.53%  7  91.90%  21,978 
 LA Galaxy 24,965  92.46%  19,139  -23.34%  5  70.88%  27,000 
 Houston 17,113  76.06%  15,561  -9.07%  5  69.16%  22,500 
 ChivasUSA 12,415  45.98%  14,833  19.48%  6  54.94%  27,000 
 D.C. United 18,772  83.43%  14,816  -21.07%  6  65.85%  22,500 
 Real Salt Lake 17,437  77.48%  14,629  -16.10%  5  73.12%  20,008 
 Columbus Crew 11,574  51.31%  13,263  14.59%  4  58.80%  22,555 
 Colorado Rapids 14,540  80.40%  12,410  -14.65%  4  68.61%  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 13,042  51.77%  10,787  -17.28%  6  42.83%  25,189 
 NE Revolution 10,094  44.86%  10,368  2.71%  3  46.08%  22,500 
 KC Wizards 9,445  90.95%  9,431  -0.15%  5  90.81%  10,385 
 FC Dallas 14,170  69.12%  9,417  -33.54%  5  45.94%  20,500 

YTD – 75 Games
 2008   15,868    14,919   14.67%  25.33% 
 2009   14,740    14,225   17.33%  16.00% 

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.


The top two teams in shot attempts, RSL and DC United met this weekend. Coming into this week RSL were the league leaders in shots with 136, 17 more than DC United. So you’d expect a game with some scoring right? In 2009 fashion, the game was a scoreless draw, continuing RSL’s road frustration. RSL has failed to score a single goal in its 5 road games, but at least recorded its first road point.


Chicago is STILL the only undefeated team with a clean sheet over the Red Bulls. The Wizards showed grit as they held lead leaders Chivas USA to a draw despite going down to 9 men in the 83rd minute. San Jose sunk to the bottom of the table, losing to Houston while FCD, down a man at the 25th minute, were earning a point with a draw against LA at Pizza Hut Park.


Through 75 games, 31 have been drawn, with 4 more this week. That’s 41.3% this year vs 20.0% in 2008.


Overall, 23.4% of goals are being scored after the 75th minute, 57.3% in the 2nd half. Teams have scored 18 fewer goals this year, an 8.6% decrease.


Seattle and Colorado will meet in the last MLS play-in match of the US Open Cup on Tuesday.


MLS’ers Brian Ching, Landon Donovan, Sasha Kljestan, Frankie Hejduk, Pablo Mastroenni, Jonathan Bornstein and Marvelle Wynne were called into the USMNT camp for the 2 upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, vs Costa Rica(away) on June 3 and Honduras in Chicago on June 6.

Gonzalo Segares was called up by Costa Rica.


Oguchi Onyewu’s Standard Liege has won its second consecutive Belgian Jupiler League.

Maurice Edu and Damarcus Beasley were also on a championship team as Rangers took the Scottish title.

All three players are on the recently named WCQ squad.

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  1. PotrosFan

    May 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Correction: The Mexican Final (second leg) will be broadcasted on Telefutura May 31st, 2009 @ 8:00 ET, 7pm Chicago Time. it won’t be on Telemundo

  2. Mexican Football

    May 26, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    epl: Sounds good. The Mexican final will be on Channel 44 in Chicago. I too, will check out the Fire game afterwards as well.

    Ok, Peter, I’ll give you that. I didn’t watch much Mex league in Jan or Feb. It works both ways.

    I heard that at the upcoming June meetings, they will announce that the MexFed will rejoin Conmeball competitions. I’d be surprised if the 2 organisations don’t kiss and make up.

  3. Peter C

    May 26, 2009 at 2:02 am


    If you check the post, you will see that I have already adjusted Seattle’s capacity up to 30,000. If they open more seats, then I’ll adjust upward again.

    Mexican Football,

    Does that make early season Mexican league games ”uncritical” as well?
    I’ll be interested to see if there will be more competition between the two leagues since Mexico’s break from CONMEBOL.

  4. Oscar Baechler

    May 25, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I don’t know if you’ve heard, but word on the street is they’re expanding Qwest Field to seat more people because the demand is so hot.

  5. eplnfl

    May 25, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    No problem Mexican Football. Two great games in my book. Hey, let’s watch 2!

  6. Mexican Football

    May 25, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Haha, epl, nice try to try to hype up an early regular season matchup. Yes, they are both conference leaders, but the game isn’t critical when both teams can still cruise into the playoffs with a low point total, like the NY Red Bulls did last season. Because of the playoff structure, the reg season simply isn’t that meaningful.

    But if you you’re gonna watch that match, make it part of a doubleheader with the Mexican league final. The Mexican game starts at 7, I believe, that same night. Then you can see the difference in football quality between the 2 leagues, back to back.

  7. Al

    May 25, 2009 at 8:42 am

    The best club in the MLS: Chicago Fire. The No. 1 in Eastern Conference…

  8. eplnfl

    May 25, 2009 at 8:12 am

    The most important event this last weekend is the Fire stay unbeaten and Chivas stays with one defeat, setting up a great match up this week. The Thursday night match-up on ESPN should be a classic. Let’s start the build up. Blanco v. Chivas again, the US brand this time, the leagues hot keepers in Jon Busch v. Zach Thornton, leaders of the East v. leaders of the West, LA v. Chicago.

    Let’s get pumped up! MLS needs a game like this to show case itself. The Epl is over, the CL will be over, who cares about MLB, except in the highly unlikely event the Cubs make the World Series. Light up your local soccer boards, tell people at work, let the kids stay up late to watch!

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