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MLS attendance report: April 26, 2010


The Week 5 numbers look like this…

 5 year comparison
 Week 537 GPYTD
 2006  13,351   6  16,522   17,354   28 
 2007  11,206  -16.07%  6  14,897  -9.84%  15,036  -13.36%  32 
 2008  17,544  56.56%  7  15,596  4.70%  17,138  13.98%  35 
 2009  12,082  -31.13%  7  14,827  -4.93%  14,686  -14.31%  36 
 2010  12,592  4.22%  8  17,092  15.28%  17,092  16.38%  37 
YTD – 37 Games
 2006   16,522    16,280   16.67%  25.00% 
 2007   14,897    14,087   13.51%  18.92% 
 2008   15,596    15,271   16.22%  29.73% 
 2009   14,827    12,827   18.92%  16.22% 
 2010   17,092    14,843   13.51%  27.03% 

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2009:

MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games
 AttCap %AttAtt +/-GPCap %Cap
 Seattle 29,939  92.40%  36,077  20.50%  3  101.63%  35,500 
 PhiladelphiaNANA 34,870 NA 1  91.76%  18,500 
 LA Galaxy 19,346  71.65%  20,508  6.01%  3  75.96%  27,000 
 Toronto 20,465  93.12%  20,186  -1.36%  2  91.85%  21,978 
 Real Salt Lake 11,806  36.33%  19,970  69.15%  1  103.26%  19,340 
 D.C. United 14,245  63.31%  19,536  37.14%  2  86.82%  22,500 
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls 10,424  41.38%  17,953  72.22%  3  71.27%  25,189 
 Houston 16,085  71.49%  16,500  2.58%  3  73.33%  22,500 
 Chicago 11,208  56.04%  15,794  40.92%  2  78.97%  20,000 
 ChivasUSA 14,914  55.24%  15,213  2.00%  3  56.34%  27,000 
 Columbus Crew 11,076  55.38%  13,929  25.76%  2  69.65%  20,000 
 Colorado Rapids 12,033  66.53%  10,785  -10.37%  2  59.63%  18,086 
 NE Revolution 10,213  45.39%  10,470  2.52%  2  46.53%  22,500 
 KC Wizards 9,231  88.88%  10,219  10.71%  3  98.40%  10,385 
 San Jose 9,756  20.58%  9,836  0.81%  2  95.49%  10,300 
 FC Dallas 9,747  45.99%  9,028  -7.38%  3  42.60%  21,193 

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.

  • Philly’s first two home games will be at Lincoln Financial Field. The announced capacity for the Union was published as 38,000 and will be calculated as such.


    The week began on Thursday in Dallas. Another attendance disaster for the charter member of the league. Saturday began with the first game in what promises to be an excellent rivalry with Philadelphia visiting the Red Bulls. Unfortunately, after a great start at their new Arena, fans failed to come out in numbers for the 2nd match in a row. The announced crowd was just over 15,600, but I think most folks were thinking that RBNY would draw 18,000+, especially with good weather. Columbus pulled in a pretty typical 14,300+ on a rainy night, so not too bad. New England managed to draw less than Dallas, which has been the butt of ridicule since Thursday. Will we hear the same about the Revs this week? Chicago had just over 11,300 for the Dynamo visit. KC nearly filled its house. ChivasUSA had just under 14,400 at the HDC. Well it finally happened. It took rain and a bit of a chill(really? surely not in Toronto) and a closed major access road for TFC to not fill the house as over 18,300 saw their team beat Seattle.

    I wonder how many people were surprised to learn that, barring injury, Jeff Cunningham will most likely become MLS’ all time leading scorer.

    Attendance Notes

    Of the 20 lowest attended matches in MLS regular season history, Colorado and Kansas City have 8 each, Tampa Bay 2, and one each for Dallas and Los Angeles. I only have the weather for 6 of the 20 matches, one had rain, but 61 degrees was the lowest temperature of the 6. None of the KC lows have occurred in Community America Ballpark..

    Think David Beckham hasn’t made a difference? Think again. How’s this for impact? Total home games in parentheses.

    • 2 of Columbus’ 13 all time high attendances(216)
    • 2 of Dallas’ 9 all time high attendances(217)
    • 2 of DCU’s 5 all time high attendances(215)
    • 3 of Houston’s 4 all time high attendances(64)
    • 2 of KC’s 5 all time high attendances(217)
    • 2 of New England’s 8 all time high attendances(216)
    • 2 of New York’s 7 all time high attendances(217)
    • 2 of RSL’s 5 all time high attendances(78)
    • 2 of San Jose’s 10 all time high attendances(includes SJ aka Houston)(186)


    • FC Dallas have not lost at home in its last 11(7 wins).
    • Colorado has not lost at home in 7 straight.
    • TFC has not lost at home in 8 straight.
    • TFC has lost 11 straight road games.
    • RSL are unbeaten in their last 11 regular season home games.

    MLS Throw Ins

    • There have been 21 clean sheets in the first 37 matches
    • Through 37 games: goal scoring is exactly even with 2009.
    • RSL has lost only twice in its last 31 home matches. They lost only once in ’08 and ’09, a feat matched by Houston.

    Lamar Hunt US Open Cup

    The MLS play-in matches for the Open have begun for the teams that did not finish in the top 6 in 2009. The next match will be played on April 27. All times are ET. Seattle are the defending cup holders, and as such will compete in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League.

    • Colorado Rapids defeated the Kansas City Wizards 2-1.
    • Real Salt Lake beat the San Jose Earthquakes on PK’s 5-3 after playing to a 3-3 score.
    • Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls, Tuesday, April 27, 8 p.m. at Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.)
    • FC Dallas at DC United, Wednesday, April 28, 7:30 p.m. at RFK Stadium (Washington D.C.)
    • New England Revolution at Philadelphia or New York on Wednesday, May 12

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    1. LI Matt

      April 27, 2010 at 5:13 am

      To everyone whining/laughing (as applicable) about New York’s attendance, I have one question:

      Did you really expect to see a 150% increase overnight?

      Look at the charts again. New York has the largest number in the “Att +/-” column, year-over-year. And your response to that is “why isn’t it higher?”

    2. free bet

      April 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      Stats look better obviously, we just need more import talent

    3. Kevin McCauley

      April 26, 2010 at 6:42 pm

      I’m very surprised that Dallas has averaged 9k. I wonder if this is due to people who have purchased season tickets, but who can’t be bothered to go all the way to Frisco on a Thursday. There appeared to be 5k at absolute maximum in attendance against Seattle.

      • Lars Lowther

        April 26, 2010 at 9:05 pm

        My understanding is that there’s a Dallas NBA team in playoffs…I don’t follow the NBA but that would hurt the attendance.

    4. Charles

      April 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      Pretty cool stats about Beckham, but what are we talking here.
      Columbus’ 13th highest attendance is what ? 20k ? When the league is averaging 17k and Columbus probably wasn’t that far behind that ?

      If so, do you pay someone $6 million ( or whatever they are paying him ) for that? The Don seems to think it worked, so maybe the whole package, jerseys, extra TV, attendance etc all worked out.

      • Peter C

        April 26, 2010 at 9:41 pm

        07 without LA game, 14,582 – LA game 24,300
        08 without LA game, 14,045 – LA game 22,685
        09 without LA game, 13,981 – LA game 20,966

        extra butts in seats: 25,343
        conservative per cap spending of $18 (tix,food,mdse)
        extra revenue: $456,000+

        I’m one that believes the Beckham move was great for the league. The global exposure alone cannot be calculated. For LA, the Herbalife shirt deal paid for much of AEG’s salary expense. Add in the other sponsors that came on board because of Becks, and the 6.5M is covered.

        Just curious which insurance policy covers the ’10 salary, LA’s or AC Milan’s.

        • Eamon

          April 28, 2010 at 11:26 pm

          Probably AC Milan’s. When Onyewu got hurt on national team duty, AC Milan asked US Soccer for $5 million to cover Gooch’s salary.

    5. River Side Soccer Club

      April 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      next time a club wants to build a stadium they should really consider the location. it may cost more to develop land near city center but i think the ease of access and proximity to city center will attract an attendance that would repay the $ spent on the stadium. it does hurt a team to play in the suburbs, NJ Red Bulls have been finding that out the hard way for years. i dont think the PATH tranisit system is enough to get new yorkers off their butt and travel to NJ. also the fact red bulls market mostly to NJ and not to NYC it hurts the fact that they are not known in new york city even though everyone is crazy for the energy drink, associating a energy drink with a soccer club isnt a bright idea. people always ask me why i love red bull so much if they never see me drink it and i have to explain that its a soccer team. then they ask why do they name it red bull? i lived in Queens and trust me its a pain just to get from queens to manhattan, imagine going from queens to harrison NJ?

      • Charles

        April 26, 2010 at 2:52 pm

        Yeah, it is not a cooincidence that the team drawing the most fans is the team with the best soccer stadium in the world situated right where the football and next door to where the baseball team plays.

        Hopefully, this bodes well for Portland and Vancouver, who will be doing similar. Portland drawing 13-15k for minor league soccer tells me it probably will.

      • CTBlues

        April 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm

        Imagine trying to get to Harrison from CT man let alone NYC. Metro North runs trains to Yankees Stadium and the New Meadowlands but not Newark and getting through the Bronx and over the GW is hell.

      • Peter C

        April 26, 2010 at 9:27 pm

        I’ve said this before… RBNY is NOT a New York team.

        • CTBlues

          April 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

          I have to agree with you. It is a New Jersey team just like the Devils and Nets, but until they put a team in the City or in Southern CT (Stamford/New Haven) I will have to be a Redbulls fan because I refuse to root for any team that is owned by the Kraft’s.

        • River Side Soccer Club

          April 27, 2010 at 7:41 pm

          I know man i know. thats why im calling them NJRB. Red Balls New Jersey is not a new york team and no matter theyr stupid marketing campaign they NEVER WILL BE. grow up new jersey we’re gonna get a team and show you how its done in the big apple

      • Eamon

        April 28, 2010 at 11:23 pm

        I live in Queens too, and it was surprisingly easy for my wife and I to get the RBA last night for the US Open Cup match. Door to door, on public transit, less than an hour. Not sure who you’re hanging out with, but most New Yorkers are aware of the fact that we have a soccer team that has a new stadium in Jersey, and that Red Bull owns the team. Just sayin…..

        The fact that the stadium opened before Harrison did anything to develop the area sucks. It looks like a Scooby Doo ghost town. Once they build that area of shops and restaurants next to the stadium, it’ll be a much better situation.

    6. River Side Soccer Club

      April 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm

      Is the transit system from new york to harrison Nj working or do new yorkers just dont want to see a game because i thought that beauty of a stadium would be an excuse to fill up both tiers. id amit its a good size number of crowd compared to years of crap at Giants stadium. but ud expect more from red bulls. the only television channel showing it was telefutura (which although i understand spanish, people who dont would be put off and confused about what the heck they’re saying). but i think it depends on how you look at it. a new jersey success, yes. a new yorker success, not so much. how can the worlds largest city be 20 miles away and only cough up 15k.

      • CTBlues

        April 26, 2010 at 4:26 pm

        All Redbulls games are on MSG unless they are on FSC or ESPN.

    7. eplnfl

      April 26, 2010 at 11:30 am

      Actually Fire attendance from the second game last year was slightly up. Given everything that was going on in Chicago sports wise Saturday and the poor weather, it was a decent house. The Party deck and boxes seemed filled for each game. The walk up crowd was most hurt for the Houston game.

    8. Bob Bradley's Sweat Pants

      April 26, 2010 at 10:38 am

      WOW BIG SHOCKER! it only took one game for the attendance to drop at RBArena! one more reason that SSS don’t do anything for attendance.

      • Charles

        April 26, 2010 at 11:09 am

        NYRB attendance is actually way up over the first three games versus last year.
        Now they are winning too, so that does play a factor.

        I do think that SSS help attendance, but not that much, and hurt when they are placed in the burbs. But there is no questioning the amount of revenue to the team is better.

    9. Charles

      April 26, 2010 at 10:18 am

      Was shocked to see Toronto NOT sold out. I don’t get why teams will cut the season tickets off lower than the capacity and then not sell out. So 17,000 people would have bought tickets to that game as part of their season package, but since it was pouring rain didn’t walk up to get tickets leaving the stadium empty.

      Makes about as much sense as building a stadium to seat 18k, when you know 18k doesn’t get you close to where you want to be.

      ps. Toronto fans, that would never happen in Seattle. WE HAVE BETTER FANS !
      Where is SSReporter ? 😉

      • Lars Lowther

        April 26, 2010 at 3:16 pm

        Yes, Seattle certainly has better fans…how many losing seasons has Seattle survived with full season ticket sales the next year?

        Let’s see, major rainfall, two major access roads closed…not just one as the article states and of course, disillusionment over the problems which are going on in the Front Office. We can take losing, but we can’t take shoddy management. Actually read up on the problems that MLSE is having internally and you can understand why some people didn’t want to show up to what was supposed to be a good Seattle team thumping Toronto.

        Of course, things didn’t turn out that way.

      • Lars Lowther

        April 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm

        And before you point out that people from Seattle show up in rainfall…don’t make me laugh. You guys have significant portions of your seats covered by roofs.

        • Charles

          April 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm

          WIKI didn’t list any problems but said that MLSE is worth $1.75 billion dollars in 2008. Wow.
          You are obviously not a share holder, they have to be jazzed !

          Are you upset because they haven’t built a bigger stadium yet ?
          I don’t get that at all, what are they waiting for ? You would think they could get cash for 15k extra seats.

          Sorry you are disgruntled…..cover your stadium, fix your roads, and get your people to the game !

          • Lars Lowther

            April 26, 2010 at 5:09 pm

            Interesting to note.

            The Toronto-Seattle game garnered significantly higher ratings than the average MLS game did last year in Canada. 188,000 viewers…going head to head with NHL hockey in playoffs, and a Blue Jays – Tampa game. While the TFC game finished third in those three, it is still interesting to note that ratings were up from last year.

            Part of me attributes this to the fact that Vancouver is joining MLS next year and there’s more national interest in the league.

    10. CTBlues

      April 26, 2010 at 10:15 am

      Why isn’t the RedBulls vs Union US Open Cup match not being televised by anybody? MSG is showing crap, ESPN2 is showing World Series of Poker, ESPN Classic is showing Kicking it, and FSC is showing the reair of Bayern Munich vs Lyon. Is the game on Direct Kick or MLSnet?

      • Charles

        April 26, 2010 at 10:27 am

        Sorry man just not enough fans. See Saturdays game ( announced at 15k, with 5k disguised as empy seats )

        Don’t the Red Bulls or Union put it online for you at least ?

    11. nelsonc

      April 26, 2010 at 1:59 am

      You forgot about the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship / Voyageurs Cup. Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact are playing on 28 of April.

      • Lars Lowther

        April 26, 2010 at 5:12 pm

        This will likely garner 90%+ attendance. Typically these games don’t sell out (but come awfully close) for TFC as some of the casual fans don’t get it. However, Wednesday is the Toronto-Montreal game, and should be sold out.

      • Peter C

        April 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm


        not forgotten, but like last season, I didn’t start reporting the Nutralite until it got closer to the end with the CONCACAF CL berth at stake.

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