Los Angeles (AFP) – Major League Soccer attendances climbed to record levels for a third straight year this season, putting the US top flight above Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1 in average gates, figures showed Monday.

The 340 games of the 2016 regular season drew a total of 7,375,144 fans, an average of 21,692, figures released by MLS showed.

It was the third consecutive year that MLS crowd numbers have risen, up slightly from the 2015 total of 7,326,899, or 21,574 per game.

The average number places the MLS sixth in the ranks of the world’s best0attended football leagues, according to www.worldfootball.net. 

Germany’s Bundesliga heads the list with an average of 41,969 fans per game, ahead of the English Premier League at 35,517 per match.

The MLS total compares favorably with other leagues in Europe, coming in sixth ahead of Serie A (21,069) and France’s top flight (19,697).

The best-supported team in the MLS remains the Seattle Sounders, who drew an average home gate of 42,636 for their 17 games at CenturyLink Field.

Florida’s Orlando City SC also posted impressive numbers, drawing an average of 31,324 to their home games.