2018 MLS average attendance down compared to 2017 season

MLS average attendance during the 2018 regular season dropped 1.09% compared to last year.

Despite LAFC selling out many of their games during their debut season, the addition of the new team to MLS didn’t have an impact on the league’s attendance because the stadium’s capacity is much smaller (22,000) compared to previous new teams such as Atlanta United and Orlando City (when they were at the Camping World Stadium).

Atlanta set a new season attendance record, beating its own gate from last season. Minnesota has the largest percentage increase, while unsurprisingly Columbus had the biggest decrease. It’s not a shock that Chicago had a large decrease, given their performance. But the average attendance for Supporters Shield winner Red Bulls downturn is disturbing.

Overall, the total reported attendance in 2018 surpassed 8.5 million with an average reported attendance of 21,873.

In 2019, we can expect a nominal increase. Portland’s expanded capacity of around 4,000 will be offset as Minnesota moves into Allianz Field with an approximate cap of 19,400, around 4,000 less than they drew this season. The increase will come from FC Cincinnati playing in Nippert Stadium.

 

TEAM2017 AVG2018 AVGINCREASE/DECREASE
Atlanta48,20053,0029.96%
Seattle43,66640,641-6.93%
Toronto27,64726,628-3.69%
LA Galaxy22,24624,4449.88%
Minnesota20,53823,90216.38%
Orlando25,02823,866-4.64%
NYCFC22,32123,2113.99%
LAFCNA22,042NA
Vancouver21,41621,9462.48%
Portland21,14421,1440%
Sporting KC19,53719,9502.12%
San Jose19,87519,032-4.24%
Salt Lake18,78118,605-0.94%
Red Bulls21,17518,601-12.16%
Montreal20,04618,569-7.37%
NE Revs19,36718,347-5.27%
DC United17,90417,635-1.50%
Houston17,50016,906-3.39%
Philadelphia16,81216,518-1.75%
FC Dallas15,12215,5122.58%
Colorado15,32215,3330.07%
Chicago17,38314,806-14.82%
Columbus15,43912,447-19.38%
AVGGAMES PLAYED
   
201821,874391
201722,114374
201621,690340
201521,547374
201419,110323
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