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MLS attendance report: Aug. 10, 2009

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An abbreviated post due to my just returning from the road.

After week 21 the numbers look like this…

5 year comparison
WK 21149 GPYTD
Avg+/-GPAvg+/-Avg+/-GP
 2005 12,985 6 14,776 14,823 140
 2006 14,771 13.76% 9 15,264 3.30% 15,424 4.05% 137
 2007 17,381 17.67% 9 15,979 4.69% 15,996 3.71% 138
 2008 15,625 -10.11% 7 16,557 3.62% 16,977 6.14% 139
 2009 23,667 51.47% 6 15,745 -4.91% 15,745 -7.26% 149

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s equal number of home games(149):

MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games
20082009
AttCapAttAtt +/-GPCapCap
 Seattle 0 0.00% 30,204 NA 11 94.39% 32,000
 Toronto 20,173 91.79% 20,278 0.52% 11 92.26% 21,978
 LA Galaxy 25,348 93.88% 19,292 -23.89%  9 71.45% 27,000
 ChivasUSA 14,286 52.91% 16,211 13.48% 9 60.04% 27,000
 Real Salt Lake 15,109 73.14% 16,137 6.81% 10 73.66% 19,340
 Houston 16,324 72.55% 15,836 -2.99%  11 70.38% 22,500
 San Jose 14,917 87.50% 15,692 5.20% 11 76.84% 10,300
 D.C. United 20,133 89.48% 15,193 -24.53%  9 67.53% 22,500
 NE Revolution 16,799 74.66% 14,592 -13.14%  9 64.85% 22,500
 Columbus Crew 13,681 68.40% 13,114 -4.14%  10 65.57% 20,000
 Chicago 17,092 85.46% 13,027 -23.78%  9 65.13% 20,000
 Colorado Rapids 13,628 75.35% 12,771 -6.29%  11 70.61% 18,086
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls 17,385 69.02% 12,702 -26.94%  9 50.43% 25,189
 KC Wizards 9,596 92.40% 10,024 4.46% 9 96.52% 10,385
 FC Dallas 14,072 68.64% 9,229 -34.42%  11 45.02% 20,500

My disclaimer about the capacity calculations

Observations

Week 21 games drew 23,667 with the help of a strong turnout in Houston, the ‘Beckham’ effect in New England and a doubleheader in San Jose where Barcelona and Chivas de Guadalajara played the backend game after the Quakes/Crew match leading to San Jose’s YTD attendance being on the plus side.

Well, whaddaya know, Columbus is top of the table.

No draws this week.

Meanwhile the ‘Summer of Soccer’ rolls on with Barcelona and Seattle pulling in 66,848, TFC and Real Madrid selling out the 22,089 BMO seats and Real Madrid’s visit to DCU at RFK drawing 72,368 proving that great clubs and celebrity will bring fans to soccer matches in the US.

Beckham Road Game Effect
Without Beckham in ’09
20082009+/-
 Colorado 18,713 12,180 -6,533 -34.91%
 FC Dallas 22,331 9,595 -12,736 -57.03%
 RSL 25,571 16,155 -9,416 -36.82%
 SJ(2) 59,043 32,990 -26,053 -44.12%
 Total 125,658 70,920 -54,738 -43.56%
Beckham Road Game Effect
With Beckham
20082009+/-
 RBNY 46,754 23,238 -23,516 -50.30%
 KC 26,113 11,906 -14,207 -54.41%
 NE 39,256 26,623 -12,633 -32.18%
 Total 112,123 61,767 -50,356 -44.91%

While the attendances of Beckham’s road games are down from last year, they’re still above the YTD averages in the cities he’s visited.

YTD – 149 Games
AverageMedian%<10K%>20k
 2005   14,776  12,252 30.00% 14.67%
 2006   15,264  13,016 22.15% 17.45%
 2007   15,979  14,577 10.07% 22.82%
 2008   16,557  15,257 11.41% 25.50%
 2009   15,745  14,441 14.77% 18.79%
Week 21 Games
 
FC Dallas13rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
Houston0Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas
 
New England1Revolution Soccer
Los Angeles2LA – Official Blog
 
San Jose0San Jose Center Line Soccer
Columbus3Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
 
Real Salt Lake1RSL – Behind the Shield
Seattle0Seattle Times
 
Colorado4Undercurrent
Chivas USA0Chivas USA – MLSNet
 
Houston3Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas
Chicago2Chicago – En Fuego Official Blog

Streaking

  • Chivas USA has lost 3 straight on the road.
  • Columbus is unbeaten in 7.
  • FC Dallas has won 4 straight at home.
  • Neither DCU nor Seattle have won on the road in 8 matches.
  • LA is unbeaten in 6.
  • RBNY hasn’t won in 12.
  • San Jose and RBNY are winless on the road.Just Some Stuff

    The finalists for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are DC United and Seattle. DCU looks to defend its crown while the Sounders are looking for their first hardware as an MLS club. The final is on September 2 at RFK stadium in DC.

    Regarding Kartik’s post, MLS: Taking the Good With the Bad, and his statement that “fans have also made MLS a better supported league in its stadiums than two of the top three leagues in the world”, I present this European data from the regular season attendance reports.

     League08-09
     Bundesliga 42,521
     EPL 35,594
     La Liga 27,672
     Serie A 24,462
     Ligue 1 20,549
     MLS* 15,724 
     SPL 15,537
    * 2009 YTD
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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Luis

    September 1, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Simple conclusion to MLS attendance, split the season in two!! The only reason why the attendance goes down is because the season is too long. If the season is split in two the games in the second half of the season won’t be as empty!! And bring San Jose team to Miami, why do they get a second chance AT MLS!!! And we don’t. We have a stadium ready, and if not we can build one in downtown where the old miami arena is at!!!

  2. soccer goals

    August 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I agree FC Dallas has no clue how to market their team.

  3. Adam Edg

    August 11, 2009 at 10:15 am

    It is a shame about PHP though. It is a great facility. But as Lars said, it is in the boonies. It is on the NE side of the Dallas metro while everything else is in the western areas of the metro. Still, Dallas will not be moving because 1. PHP 2. Dallas is a major sports market 3. Dallas is a major TV market

  4. Rob

    August 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Peter covered whatever I was going to say about Kansas City, but I will add that their supporters section is a fairly large one and they always provide a great atmosphere.

    As for Dallas, where to begin… We could talk about the problems for a significant amount of time, but I think it is to no avail in the near future because of Pizza Hut Park. According to the FC Dallas Wiki page, their all time average attendance (not including this year) is 11,535, and with the clubs management so successful in getting Pizza Hut Park built back in ’04, FC Dallas is here to stay for the time being. It would have been a smarter move for MLS to move Dallas to Houston back in the day, but like I said ground was already broken on PHP in February of ’04.

    The “If we build it, they will come” hope that came along with Pizza Hut Park has not worked out thus far, and it is a shame really.

  5. Peter C

    August 10, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Derek:
    I certainly see your point about Dallas and there has been much written about the atrocious attendance. As one of the teams that Forbes listed as having made a profit in ’07, will be interesting to see what impact their precipitous decline in gate receipts will mean.

    As for KC, they are playing in Community America Ballpark, capacity 10,385 until their new stadium is completed. A bit unfair to point to them as candidate for relocation until we see how they draw in their new digs.
    But as you can see below, they will need to do better once they move as their history of attendance has not been good. Only twice, ’03 and ’04, have they drawn over 14,500.

    As for South Florida, I can’t say that the Fusion or FC Miami(USL-1) have shown that they can draw well enough to entice an investor.

    Miami KC
    98 10,284 8,073
    99 8,689 11,952
    00 7,460 9,112
    01 11,177 10,954

  6. Derek

    August 10, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Just look at that attendance, KC and Dallas LAST, and you have to go all the way up to NE to find numbers substantially better than the Fusion drew. WTF are you doing in KC and Dallas MLS? COME BACK TO SOUTH FLORIDA!!

    • Lars

      August 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm

      KC is selling out practically every game. They need a new stadium. Dallas is a problem because the ownership is dumb, the team sucks and the stadium is out in the boonies.

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