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MLS attendance report: Aug. 31, 2009

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After week 24 the numbers look like this…

5 year comparison
WK 24172 GPYTD
Avg+/-GPAvg+/-Avg+/-GP
 2005 16,101 5 14,930 14,897 156
 2006 14,880 -7.58% 6 15,109 1.20% 15,129 1.56% 159
 2007 17,987 20.88% 8 16,425 8.71% 16,118 6.54% 159
 2008 16,016 -10.95% 7 16,384 -0.25% 16,925 5.00% 161
 2009 16,148 0.82% 8 15,841 -3.31% 15,829 -6.48% 172
YTD – 172 Games
AverageMedian%<10K%>20k
 2005   14,930  12,368 28.90% 16.76%
 2006   15,109  13,084 20.93% 16.86%
 2007   16,425  14,900 8.72% 26.16%
 2008   16,384  15,078 11.63% 24.42%
 2009   15,841  14,573 15.70% 19.77%

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s equal number of home games(172):

MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games
20082009
AttCapAttAtt +/-GPCapCap
 Seattle 0 0.00% 30,587 NA 13 94.40% 32,400
 Toronto 20,147 91.67% 20,308 0.80% 12 92.40% 21,978
 LA Galaxy 25,648 94.99% 20,072 -21.74%  11 74.34% 27,000
 ChivasUSA 15,557 57.62% 16,107 3.53% 10 59.65% 27,000
 Real Salt Lake 14,889 72.85% 16,091 8.08% 12 74.91% 19,340
 Houston 16,155 71.80% 15,938 -1.35%  12 70.84% 22,500
 D.C. United 19,993 88.86% 15,887 -20.53%  10 70.61% 22,500
 San Jose 14,917 90.48% 15,137 1.48% 12 77.31% 10,300
 Chicago 17,257 86.29% 14,113 -18.22%  12 70.56% 20,000
 Columbus Crew 13,569 67.84% 13,660 0.67% 11 68.30% 20,000
 NE Revolution 18,673 82.99% 13,561 -27.38%  11 60.27% 22,500
 Colorado Rapids 13,677 75.62% 12,614 -7.77%  12 69.75% 18,086
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls 15,986 63.46% 12,070 -24.49%  12 47.92% 25,189
 KC Wizards 11,118 107.06% 10,010 -9.97%  11 96.39% 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 24 games drew 16,148, despite poor crowds at New England, Colorado and the Meadowlands(rain). RSL kept its playoff hopes alive against Chivas USA in front of over 14,700 in their midweek clash. Seattle had its usual full house for fellow MLS 2.0 club Toronto. Rain from Hurricane Danny kept the gate under 8,000 in New England. KC had a near sellout for its match with RSL. Over 16,300 at Toyota Park were disappointed by the continued poor play of their club at home. LA had its first sellout of the season(they had 7 at this point last year). Under 11,000 turned out for the Rapids’ matchup with league leaders Houston. And it was a little worse at the Meadowlands for a replay of the 2008 MLS Cup Final(Ok keep your laughing under control).

The only thing that could have been better for MLS publicity would have been an earlier start time for the SuperClasico at the HDC. Natural rivals vying for a guaranteed spot in the playoffs(I don’t see Houston being overtaken), a sellout atmoshere, and Beckham scores the game winner late in the game.

In 2009, RBNY has been the poster boy for disaster on the field. Off the field, FC Dallas holds that honor. The only club averaging less than 10,000 per game, FCD has played 10 different opponents at home. It comes as no surprise that for 8 of them it’s been the lowest road attendance of the season. As a sidebar, 7 of the 15 teams are drawing more on the road than at home. Last year, 8 of the 14 teams had higher attendances on the road than at home.

 2009 Home Avg Away AvgHome minus Away
 Chicago 14,113 17,377 Away (3265)
 Chivas USA 16,107 14,502 Home 1604
 Colorado 12,614 16,216 Away (3602)
 Columbus 13,660 18,813 Away (5153)
 D.C. United 15,887 15,096 Home 791
 FC Dallas 9,229 14,252 Away (5023)
 Houston 15,938 14,120 Home 1817
 Kansas City 10,010 16,824 Away (6814)
 Los Angeles 20,072 19,078 Home 995
 New England 13,561 16,193 Away (2633)
 RBNY 12,070 17,076 Away (5006)
 Real Salt Lake 16,091 14,214 Home 1877
 San Jose 15,137 13,893 Home 1244
 Seattle 30,587 14,541 Home 16046
 Toronto FC 20,308 15,007 Home 5301

Week 24 Games
 
Real Salt Lake4RSL – Behind the Shield
Chivas USA0Chivas USA – MLSNet
 
Seattle0Seattle Times
Toronto0TFC Connected
 
New England2Revolution Soccer
San Jose1San Jose Center Line Soccer
 
Chicago0Chicago Fire Confidential
DC United1DCU – Steve Goff – Soccer Insider
 
Kansas City0Kansas City – Hillcrest Road
Real Salt Lake1RSL – Behind the Shield
 
Los Angeles1LA – Official Blog
Chivas USA0Chivas USA – MLSNet
 
Colorado1Undercurrent
Houston0Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas
 
RBNY1Red Bulls Reader
Columbus0Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra

Did you notice that 5 of the 8 games ended 1-0?


So How Are They Doing?

Points after 172 Games
PtsGP PPGGD
 Houston 40 25 1.60 9
 Columbus 39 23 1.70 9
 Chicago 38 24 1.58 5
 Los Angeles 38 24 1.58 5
 Seattle 34 24 1.42 6
 Colorado 33 22 1.50 8
 Real Salt Lake 33 24 1.38 8
 New England 33 21 1.57 0
 Chivas USA 33 22 1.50 -1
 DC United 32 23 1.39 1
 Toronto FC 31 23 1.35 -3
 Dallas 23 22 1.05 -4
 Kansas City 21 21 1.00 -9
 San Jose 20 22 0.91 -13
 NY Red Bull 16 24 0.67 -21

Games in hand will be critical. RSL and Seattle might be the most vulnerable to being overtaken for playoff positions. DCU, unbeaten at home, will play 5 of its last 7 at RFK. Columbus is poised to overtake Houston for the Supporters’ Shield with its 2 games in hand.


Streaking

  • LA is unbeaten in 6 road games.
  • Columbus(11 games) and DC United(10 games) are unbeaten at home.
  • FC Dallas has won 4 straight at home.
  • FC Dallas has lost 4 straight on the road.
  • KC has no wins in its last 7(5 losses).
  • RBNY has won 2 in a row!
  • RBNY is winless on the road.
  • Colorado is winless on the road in its last 4.Just Some Stuff

    The CONCACAF Champions League group phase began last week. DC United, Houston and Columbus are representing MLS in the regional club championship. RBNY and Toronto FC were eliminated in the preliminaries.

    After 2 group play matches in the CONCACAF Champions League Houston has 4 points, Columbus has 3 points, while DC United sit last in Group B with 0 points.

    CONCACAF Champions League
    Sep 15-16Sep 22-24
    Group Game 3Group Game 4
    Houston plays Sep 15, 22
    Columbus plays Sep 16, 23
    DCU plays Sep 16, 24

    =====

    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.

    =====

    Congratualtions!

    Richmond wins USL-2 Title

    =====


    They COULD HAVE Gotten it Right

    Well, what can you say? First the good: MLS scheduled only 3 games this coming weekend, which is a FIFA International calendar period. That surely minimized any potential conflict for many possible USMNT’ers who might be called into service for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. In fact, for US players, only Conor Casey, on September 5th, stands to miss a match if he’s selected. Not the solution many fans want, which would be no MLS matches during FIFA International periods, but a lot better than having a full slate of games on the schedule. Now the WTF!: The USMNT game v El Salvador is at 8pm ET, the three MLS matches start at 7:30, 8:00 and 10:00 ET. Are you kidding me? Wait, it gets better. On Wednesday, Sep 9, the US travels to Trinidad and Tobago and will play at 7pm ET. MLS has ONE midweek match scheduled, on you guessed it, Wed the 9th. Not only that, it begins at 8:00pm ET. There are no words.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. soccer goals

    August 31, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    I hope that MLS can continue to grow the attendance,

  2. WonsanUnited

    August 31, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Well Garber’s decision to start MLS earlier took a toll on average attendance. Otherwise it would be about the same as last year.

  3. eplnfl

    August 31, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Chicago had a spike in attendance this week. Let me indicate it was unseasonably cool in Chicago over the weekend and rained a good part of Saturday but not during the game.

    The Fire have gotten some good radio air time from a new local radio host who is a soccer fan. He was appearing at the game on Saturday and the plugs may have helped. Let’s hope so.

  4. Rob

    August 31, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Despite the frustrating scheduling tidbits, the attendance has been on a steady pace since July, which is good news considering how much it slipped at the start of this season.

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