2016 USL Attendance thread

Discussion in 'United Soccer Leagues' started by 30King, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Annnnnnnnnd, Sacramento didn't sell out its playoff game.

    10,926 is still a really good crowd, though.

    2,701 in RGV.

    No word from Rochester because Rochester doesn't know what they're doing.
     
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  2. brentgoulet

    brentgoulet Member+

    Oct 12, 2005
    PuertoPlata, DomRep
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Traumer

    Traumer Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    Cincinnati
    [​IMG]

    Atmosphere was best its been all yer and the place was packed with even people in the upper deck. Proud of the support and the club...even if the result was devastating. Onto 2017.
     
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  4. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
  5. rochesterian80

    Mar 28, 2013
    Club:
    Rochester Rhinos
    The Rhinos posted legit (as anyone) figures until they neared the end of their time at Frontier. Then freebies and bloated crowds started flowing; especially the final season at Frontier.

    The numbers this year are far more legit than in past years, and I sense they aren't putting freebies out there. (Certainly not the way the old organization did.) With the new owners basically having two months before the season, they also didn't come in with many sponsors. Remember, the team was basically shut down for a month or two. So this season has been unique. Many of the concessions concepts didn't get wrapped up until late in the season. A new bar patio area just got finished up. A new beer area got done mid season. Even the lower panel in the scoreboard just got replaced. Sponsor real estate started filling in as the season went on. So it's exciting to see progress, but I'm sure they would have loved a few more months in the off season.

    Attendance slowly built during the season, but I had hoped to see more momentum. Now that they'll actually have an off-season to sell sponsorships, season tickets, etc; that'll be the real test. And, at the beginning, the owners did say season two was when fans would see a completely polished, new experience. We finally have owners doing their part, so the fans need to respond next season. But it is a process turning that ship around after the first ownership group's promises of MLS and financial issues that resulted in some unpaid bills around town, and then the last group's blatant lack of investment. (Despite last year's title, rumor had it they had one of the smaller payrolls in the league.) So the Dworkin's took on a real project, which I certainly appreciate.
     
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  6. SoccerPrime

    SoccerPrime Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Country:
    United States
    Hard to believe there was more than 20 at the Rochester game. But there's the numbers...
     
  7. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    The playoff game? The only photo I saw looked bleak. I have no number for that game, nor am I optimistic about getting one. It was hard enough to get all the numbers I did get.

    Thanks to everybody who helped in that regard over the course of the season.
     
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  8. FootySkeptic

    FootySkeptic Member

    Sep 24, 2015
    Club:
    Cardiff City FC
    Great work as always. I was surprised to learn about how many teams actually saw a decrease in attendance, I think maybe it was an off year for soccer in NA.
     
  9. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    We are still in a golden age.

    The number of clubs - men, women, all divisions - who can draw a crowd and who have a good chance of being around next year is probably at an all-time high.
     
  10. rochesterian80

    Mar 28, 2013
    Club:
    Rochester Rhinos
    Wasn't that bad. Probably ~1,000 there for the playoff game, most on the upper deck/press box side as usual and the luxury boxes looked pretty full. The forecast was bleak from the day tickets went on sale (Sunday) and it lived up to it. They sold that game as same price regardless of seating location, so of course the center press box (bench side) sold. But, yeah, they may not be in a rush to post that figure.
     
  11. Traumer

    Traumer Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    Cincinnati
    First, need to credit kenntomasch for the amazing work compiling all the data for this year. Just for fun wanted to do a couple graphs to show this years attendance breakdown.

    Total Attendance by percentage of each club

    [​IMG]
    Can see how significant the top few sides are in terms of percentage of league total. Given there are 29 teams equal distribution would be ~3% each.

    [​IMG]
    Then thought a bar graph was good way to show average attendance to show the variance across the league.

    [​IMG]
    Lastly this shows each club's high and low attendance figure. Can see some clubs like Sacramento are very consistent, while Cincinnati and Swope Park had significant difference in high and low.
     
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  12. FootySkeptic

    FootySkeptic Member

    Sep 24, 2015
    Club:
    Cardiff City FC
    I generally agree; I'd just like to say perhaps that age is ending. Last season we saw growth across all divisions, so far it seems this year will see contractions among most leagues. Of note -which you thought was worthy last year- the USL's average attendance this year is sub 3000 with Sacramento included and only FCC removed. This is what really surprised me, I was expecting a 1-4% growth from the USL this season and they hit that margin, yet it seems to have been carried by FCC. Last year only Pittsburgh decreased, this year nearly half the league. Im not trying to be alarmist, just pondering on what my expectations for next season could be... Is the golden age past?
     
  13. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    I am not sure. Depends on definition of terms, I guess.

    Average announced attendance is just one indicator and USL is just one league. MLS is projecting to finish just under last year's total. NWSL was up. The NASL is down, and USL did not show a big gain, but if someone announces a team tomorrow, you still have to like their chances to draw a crowd and survive better than even five years ago.

    No one started a club that could do what Sacramento did....and then Cincinnati did. Who knows what's next?

    I think we are conditioned to always expect the other shoe to drop, and understandably so. But I am not prepared to say this golden age is over. Maybe it crested, I don't know.

    The whole NASL/USL sanctioning bit may throw a monkey into the wrench. But let's be honest here: the NASL's problems are largely from trying to box outside its weight. And USL's status as a kind of hybrid league makes it hard to judge using traditional methods.
     
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  14. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Also, keep in mind, five MLS2 teams were among the 13 clubs who saw drops in average, while the new developmental teams were all below the league average. That's not really that big a surprise, that's not what those teams are about.

    Biggest drops among independent teams:
    Arizona - venue switch, bad idea, team sold
    Harrisburg - venue switches, all over the map
    Rochester - late start, ownership switch
    Orange County - traditional struggler, team sold
    Charlotte - small venue, not sure they really have figured it out yet

    Those are kind of things that can be fixed. (Not convinced about Harrisburg, though, can't see them in D2.)

    Comparing independents in 2015 to 2016, we do see a drop (from 4,206 to 3,845), with the clubs mentioned above having the bulk of the influence.

    But Colorado Springs was up and OKC was up despite the presence of a competitor. Louisville and Richmond were both up.

    With the mandate to get stadiums built, it may very well be that if shovels do go in the ground, no, the golden age isn't over yet.
     
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  15. Cactus Hibs

    Cactus Hibs Member

    May 11, 2006
    Albuquerque NM
    Club:
    Hibernian FC
    Country:
    United States
    I think it's also good to keep in mind that 13 of the league's 29 teams were essentially in their second season this year. While I haven't parsed the data the way Kenn or others on this thread have, it seems like (historically, at least) most teams see a significant sophomore slump after the excitement of an inaugural season dims. Some of the MLS 2.0 clubs seem to have figured out how to avoid it, but by and large the pattern seems to hold.
     
  16. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    That's also fair. I would have to check the second-year effect.

    It is not out of the ordinary to see that. It's also not out of the ordinary to see a club struggle to draw initially and never figure it out. I don't THINK clubs that start poorly tend to recover, but, again, I would have to check.
     
  17. Cactus Hibs

    Cactus Hibs Member

    May 11, 2006
    Albuquerque NM
    Club:
    Hibernian FC
    Country:
    United States
    Good point. Some clubs just suck right out of the gate. That said, I feel like even most clubs that are ultimately successful see an attendance drop-off in their second year.
     
  18. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    FWIW, of the 32 D3 clubs that started play in 2001 or later AND had a second season, 13 saw drops in average announced attendance. The average drop was about 500 a game.

    Of the 19 that gained, most were modest (an average gain of about 400 people a game).

    So on balance, these clubs were more likely to gain in year two than lose, overall.

    19 of the clubs are still in business, 11 folded, 1 is in MLS and 1 is in the PDL. And 12 of the 19 still in business did just complete their second season.
     
  19. OnlyOneTInFootball

    Mar 15, 2011
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Were there any notable gains or drop-offs amongst these clubs?
     
  20. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Real Monarchs had a big drop, but they moved around a bit, too and had one really big crowd in 2015.

    Orlando City went up about 1,200 people a game in year two.

    Nobody else gained or lost as much as 1,000. Arizona went up 909 when they moved to Scottsdale, then lost it all (and then some) going back to Peoria.

    T2 and S2 each lost about 800 a game this year. Tulsa almost that much.
     
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  21. OnlyOneTInFootball

    Mar 15, 2011
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Thanks!

    I assume Arizona were better off in Scottsdale based only on attendance, but I also don't know what their lease agreements were. The difference with Scottsdale, at least you're close to Mesa and the East Valley. I wonder if minor league soccer is sustainable there in the long term. Major league market with bad (but not intolerable) summer weather.
     
  22. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Scottsdale was very expensive, from what I understand.

    But they were dying in Peoria this year.

    I am told they will have to make a move or pop up a Sacramento situation. I don't know where, exactly, that might be.

    Grand Canyon University has a gorgeous new 7k stadium that just opened, and which I am going to check out in a few weeks. But, no beer on this very Christian college campus.

    Long term? Dunno. But some rich people just bought in, so they are optimistic.
     
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  23. GalaxyKoa

    GalaxyKoa Member+

    Jul 18, 2007
    North County
    Club:
    Los Angeles
    Country:
    United States
    I'm pleased that Los Dos has had steady increases year on year. I'm not really sure how high it will (or can, given the confines of the Track and Field Stadium vs playing games at the big boy stadium) goes but it's a good sign.

    2014 - 597
    2015 - 969 (+62%)
    2016 - 1,211 (+25%)
     
  24. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Country:
    United States
    I believe the playoff game wasn't included in season ticket packages. (Not absolutely sure on this -- I'm not a season ticket holder myself.)

    But as always, Sacramento raised ticket prices for the playoffs. Not as much as last season (when prices of many seats more than doubled and the home playoff game was the most expensive game to attend in all of American club soccer in 2015), but the price of every ticket except the TBB section was raised by 10-30%.

    Also, one of the interesting effects of the string of sellouts is that a lot of people have stopped trying to get tickets, under the assumption that all games are sold out well in advance. After the club's first non-sellout at Bonney Field, on a Wednesday night this season, the SRFC Facebook page was inundated with comments from people saying they would have bought tickets if they'd known that tickets were still available.

    Sacramento will almost certainly not sell out the Chivas friendly on Wednesday night, because ticket prices are being set by a third-party promoter for some reason and rather exorbitant. Parking for that match will be $25 a car. TBB announced a boycott weeks ago when the friendly was scheduled, because of the expected effect on playoff games.
     
  25. Stephen York

    Stephen York Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    Tampa, FL.
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    That's just bad marketing, they at minimum should have posted to Facebook and Twitter that tickets were still available up to game time.
     

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