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Leagues: MLS

Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 2

The Week 2 numbers look like this…

 5 year comparison
 Week 213 GPYTD
 2006  19,001   6  20,660   20,646   12 
 2007  16,827  -11.44%  7  16,496  -20.16%  16,496  -20.10%  13 
 2008  17,842  6.03%  7  16,753  1.56%  18,046  9.40%  13 
 2009  14,168  -20.59%  7  16,332  -2.51%  15,632  -13.38%  14 
 2010  21,275  50.16%  5  19,211  17.62%  22,227  42.19%  13 
YTD – 13 Games
 2006   20,660    20,342   0.00%  53.85% 
 2007   16,496    16,404   7.69%  15.38% 
 2008   16,753    17,251   7.69%  30.77% 
 2009   16,332    15,895   7.69%  15.38% 
 2010   19,211    18,653   7.69%  38.46% 

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2009:

MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games
 AttCap %AttAtt +/-GPCap %Cap
 Seattle 30,536  94.25%  36,154  18.40%  2  101.84%  35,500 
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls 12,462  49.47%  24,572  97.18%  1  97.55%  25,189 
 D.C. United 15,895  70.64%  20,664  30.00%  1  91.84%  22,500 
 LA Galaxy 17,361  64.30%  20,591  18.60%  2  76.26%  27,000 
 ChivasUSA 16,453  60.94%  18,653  13.37%  1  69.09%  27,000 
 Houston 16,053  71.35%  18,197  13.36%  1  80.88%  22,500 
 Columbus Crew 14,686  73.43%  13,536  -7.83%  1  67.68%  20,000 
 Colorado Rapids 11,885  65.71%  11,641  -2.05%  1  64.36%  18,086 
 San Jose 10,335  12.23%  10,589  2.46%  1  102.81%  10,300 
 KC Wizards 10,385  100.00%  10,385  0.00%  1  100.00%  10,385 
 FC Dallas 15,905  75.05%  8,016  -49.60%  1  37.82%  21,193 
 Chicago NA NA NA NA 0  NA 20,000 
 NE Revolution NA NA NA NA 0  NA 22,500 
 Philadelphia NA NA NA NA 0  NA 18,500 
 Real Salt Lake NA NA NA NA 0  NA 19,340 
 Toronto NA NA NA NA 0  NA 21,978 

My disclaimer about the capacity calculations

For my calculations, I’ve taken the 3 teams playing in Amercan football stadiums, DCU in RFK, Houston in Robertson and New England in Foxboro and assigned maximum capacities at 22,500. I took the 22,500 number from an approximate average of the soccer specific stadiums in use.


The week started with Houston pulling in a strong crowd of over 18,000 for the visiting MLS Cup Champs RSL. That was followed by the SuperClásico, Angelino Clásico, or whatever you want to call it, LA vs ChivasUSA. The Clásico drew over 19,800. While Colorado owner Stan Kroenke edges closer to ownership of EPL club Arsenal, perhaps he need cast his eyes closer to home as the Rapids home opener was the 2nd lowest in club history. No such problem in DC, as more than 20,600 United faithful turned out for their team’s match vs eastern rival New England. And then there’s Seattle, drawing over 36,000 on a cool and rainy evening.


  • FC Dallas have not lost at home in its last 9(7 wins).
  • RBNY broke its 27 game winless road streak.
  • TFC has not lost at home in 7 straight.
  • TFC has lost 9 straight road games.
  • RSL are unbeaten in their last 11 home games.

MLS Throw Ins

  • There have been 10 clean sheets in the first 13 matches
  • No team won 50% of its games in 2009, only the 2nd time that has happened(2004).
  • Goal scoring was down in 2009, 2.53 per game vs 2.81 in 2008.
  • Through 13 games: goal scoring is down 2.15 per game vs 2.92 in 2009.
  • Through 13 games: fewer goals but only 2 draws vs 5 in ’09.
  • 36 of the 64 players selected in the 2010 SuperDraft were on MLS rosters on opening day.

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  1. ihatejonconway

    April 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Lets also remember NY’s numbers are very skewed right now. First off last year they won 5 games and were in a 70,000 plus stadium with a staff that didn’t want them there. This year the opening may have sold that many tickets but it was not full because it was below freezing at kickoff.

    In NY there is only one thing that matters and that is winning. If the team does not win they fans do not come out. Also the transportation is a nightmare. Driving is just plain stupid and the train station was never expanded to handle a crowd of more than 100 people. That needs to be worked on in the off season.


      April 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      If they get Henry, Pires, et al, will that stadium be big enough? That’s the weird thing about new DP rule. Three top players, and RBNY might leave the growth curve in the dust. What then?

  2. eplnfl

    April 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Guys, some may not want to say it but soccer and MLS have caught on! Increased attendance lets just all say it is due in part to more interest in the league. Even true believers like ourselves find it hard to admit that we have converted people. I’ve said it before here but will restate it now whenever I take a friend to Toyota Park for a Fire game for the first time they want to go back. It spreads like a bad cold!


      April 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm

      Soccer caught on a century ago. It’s on fire today. With all the artificiality and confused agendas, the fact that MLS survives at all is a testament to the popularity of the game.

      Training wheels off, league opened, and in the hands of people with quality of the game as their first and only agenda, sky is the limit!

  3. Tom

    April 6, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Colorado played a day game instead of night, which I thought was better, at least warmer. It was not strongly promoted, but then again it never is. I don’t read too much into our opener, I look more to our summer crowds to see how we’re doing.


      April 6, 2010 at 11:11 am

      Dicks didn’t spark a Commerce City renaissance. Jury is in.

  4. Charles

    April 6, 2010 at 8:55 am

    No publicity is bad type of thing ? Probably. I was wondering if they were delaying the strike talk, even when they had an agreement. World Wrestling type talk.
    I do think that Seattle drawing almost 40k helps and Landon saving Everton helps.


      April 6, 2010 at 11:26 am

      World Cup year bump, perhaps? I agree on the no publicity… I don’t think I ever heard the strike mentioned in the mainstream press. I think change is in the air, and when that happens, interest piques.

      Just think if Seattle would have actually continued marketing, instead of shutting down season ticket sales in January and advertising to Seattle that they weren’t opening all of Qwest. God Bless Seattle for pushing this issue. The MLS slow growth curve is a result of the confused agendas of MLS ownership, and has little to do with our capacity to support the game. Even with a tightly governed, capped and handicapped club, they can draw premier league levels of support – for now.

      We’re entering an interesting period, thats for sure. Can MLS burst out of their embryonic sac, and still keep the closed format and the single entity? Stratification killed the closed NASL, as it did every other closed top flight American soccer league. It has the potential to do the same to MLS. Then again, the league still pays players direct, and still owns a majority of virtually every club, so maybe control is retreating to the shadows, where it will be exercised just as effectively?

      On paper, three DPs per club. In reality, .375. Do we get an off season rush of europeans looking for summer jobs?

      The USA, one of the leagues that merged to form NASL, imported entire euro and south american clubs for the 1967 season. Are we headed there?

      Just imagine if real change were announced – say, moving to a real open format…..


    April 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Are we witnessing the strike bump? The results of another close shave with no first div soccer at all? Who will be the first club to two DPs, or three?

    A little drama goes a long way. We’re obviously ready for real club soccer whenever they are.

  6. Jammer

    April 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I predict KC averages at least 14,000 in home games at the new stadium next year. No reasons, just a hunch.

    • amerisnob

      April 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      There’s reason to believe that. Especially if they play this well the whole season with a sold out LongnamethatIforgot Ballpark.

  7. Charles

    April 5, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I hate when I hit send too early.

    Obviously the numbers are skewed by outlier Seattle, but if places like Houston, DC, NY, can draw over 20k. That will really bring the average up.

    There are the Dallases and the Colorados, but if 1/3 of the 18 teams next year draw over 20k, and the second third of teams draw close to 20k, that would be big.

    A big IF ? Maybe, but if you say Seattle, Toronto, LA and Vancouver do it, you just need two teams ( NY, Portland ? ) to have bigger numbers and you are there.

  8. Charles

    April 5, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I love Take Me Out to the Ballgame

  9. steven

    April 5, 2010 at 9:52 am

    First complements to you and you data on attendance. You have the site that addresses the issue “is the sport growing”. At least you have data. So thank you.
    Many fans ( I included) have stated, build it and they will come. Well they build a Soccer scecific stadium in Dallas (Pizza Hut Park) as guess what Dallas has been a drag on the league. They have the lease amount of fans over a 10 year period. They come in last almost every year in attendance.
    Now Columbus crew had a piss poor Gold Cup showing (lease attended double header in group stage). The Crew had a very poor attendance showing. They were the best team in the league last year…very bad

  10. Oh_yeah

    April 5, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Let’s hope that the up trend continue for mls.

  11. eplnfl

    April 4, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Again such great stuff for the MLS fan. All in all not bad. Week 2, Easter, Springbreak, Final 4, MLB opening up, all taking the spotlight away but overall attednance up from last year and better than the last few. Let’s not forget that 4 out of the 5 games played where on natioanl tv of some sort or another or even live on the internet.

    Can the MLS sustain it? Lets hope so.

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