MLS Attendance Analysis: Season's End

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by edwardgr, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    Okay so the numbers for the last week of the season were as follows.

    Code:
    DC United	14317
    RB New York	25044
    Toronto FC	21600
    Vancouver	21000
    DC United	15965
    Chicago   	20237
    Real Salt Lake	20378
    San Jose  	10744
    Chivas USA	22137
    Houston  	30018	
    [B]Total       	201440[/B]
    [B][COLOR="Red"]Average  	20144[/COLOR][/B]
    
    And on to the playoffs we go.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    Now for the glorious numbers. The 306 match season is completed, of the 306 matches, 198 or 64.7% of all matches surpassed 15k which completely shattered the 52.4% pace set last season. And as the numbers will show all sorts of records were set this year.


    End of Season:
    Code:
    EOS	Average	Median	<10k	>20k	AvgPts	MedPts	<10kPts	>20kPts	AAAQ	AAAQRnk	Date
    1996	17410	15093	21.9%	26.3%	11	44	57	20	132	5	9/22
    1997	14606	12733	25.0%	16.3%	79	85	67	78	310	13	9/28
    1998	14312	11871	26.6%	16.1%	86	100	73	79	338	14	9/27
    1999	14282	12973	32.3%	15.1%	87	81	93	85	346	15	10/10
    2000	13756	12690	34.4%	12.5%	100	86	100	100	386	16	9/9
    2001	14961	13431	26.6%	17.7%	71	73	73	70	286	11	9/9
    2002	15821	14108	17.1%	18.6%	50	61	40	65	215	7	9/22
    2003	14900	13719	23.3%	18.0%	72	68	61	68	270	10	10/26
    2004	15549	13223	24.7%	25.3%	56	77	66	26	225	8	10/17
    2005	15112	12619	27.1%	17.7%	67	87	75	70	298	12	10/16
    2006	15426	14113	19.3%	18.2%	59	61	48	67	235	9	10/15
    2007	16767	15353	8.2%	29.7%	27	40	9	0	75	2	10/21
    2008	16460	15188	11.0%	24.8%	34	42	19	28	124	4	10/26
    2009	16037	14686	14.7%	20.9%	45	51	32	51	178	6	10/25
    2010	16675	15332	7.5%	22.5%	29	40	7	42	117	3	10/16
    2011	17869	17639	5.6%	28.1%	0	0	0	9	9	1	10/23
    
     
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  3. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    As for the team numbers, room for improvement next year. And we have already had encouraging news out of Columbus. Houston will be in new digs, Portland should have higher capacity next year, Seattle could have higher capacity, new life in New England with Nicol leaving the organization.

    Code:
    ----Team----	Current	Last	Diff	Alltime	Diff
    Chicago    	14273	15814	-9.7%	15636	-8.7%
    Chivas USA	14830	14575	1.7%	16053	-7.6%
    Colorado	14838	13329	11.3%	13907	6.7%
    Columbus	12185	14642	-16.8%	15465	-21.2%
    DC United	15196	14532	4.6%	17343	-12.4%
    FC Dallas  	12861	10815	18.9%	12154	5.8%
    Houston   	17694	17310	2.2%	17245	2.6%
    Kansas City	17810	10287	73.1%	10909	63.3%
    Los Angeles	23335	21437	8.9%	21973	6.2%
    New England	13222	12608	4.9%	15787	-16.2%
    Philadelphia	18258	19252	-5.2%	19252	-5.2%
    Portland   	18827	New	0.0%	New	0.0%
    Real Salt Lake	17594	17095	2.9%	16686	5.4%
    Red Bull NY	19691	18441	6.8%	16971	16.0%
    San Jose  	11858	9659	22.8%	12902	-8.1%
    Seattle    	38495	36173	6.4%	33535	14.8%
    Toronto FC	20267	20455	-0.9%	20263	0.0%
    Vancouver	20412	New	0.0%	New	0.0%
    [B]Overall   	17869	16621	7.5%	15502	15.3%[/B]
    
     
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  4. Soccergodlss

    Soccergodlss Member+

    Jun 21, 2004
    Houston
    Club:
    FC Kaiserslautern
    Country:
    United States
    The final attendance numbers are phenomenal. I am more positive than ever about the future of this league. The next 10 years should show a tremendous amount of growth. Thanks for the wonderful job on the thread this season.
     
  5. doog

    doog Member

    Jun 11, 2006
    I must have missed it, what's the encouraging news out of Columbus?
     
  6. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    Season ticket sales for next year were up over the same time last year. Dallas released early news that there ticket sales were up last year and they had a good bounce. Now granted they also went to the cup last year, but if Columbus is up early and can continue with whatever they are doing now they could bounce back to traditional Columbus numbers or at least closer to that neighborhood.
     
  7. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros New Member

    Feb 7, 2004
    Buck a brat night is every night??
     
  8. Kejsare

    Kejsare Member+

    Mar 10, 2010
    Stafford, VA
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Country:
    United States
    Too soon?

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    Triplet

    If you are around wanted to let you know that I finished the book. All in all it was a good read. I could not find to much that I did not agree with, just little points that I think the author either embellished or just had wrong.

    Now that NBC is getting involved in MLS I have to wonder if it will do the same for MLS as it did for the NFL(AFL) in the mid 60's. Did NBC once again overpay to enter a market they want desperately to be in. Will it work out for them the same way the AFL did? Time will tell but if this foray by NBC is half as successful then MLS should be well positioned.

    If the attendance continues at its current pace we will reach the same point the NFL did 60's very soon, where gate is not enough and TV will drive the next great leaps in league profits. These next few years are crucial.
     
  10. RerunStubs

    RerunStubs Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    The 17,639 median is absolutely stunning. At the beginning of the year, I was hoping the league would not just break the median record, but exceed 16,000 -- a goal that I considered reachable but somewhat ambitious. What a great, great year.

    Best attendance stories of the season:

    (1) Obviously the strong debuts from the PNW expansion teams, though that was somewhat expected.

    (2) The incredible turnaround engineered by Sporting KC. Despite some hiccups and controversy surrounding the rebranding and the redesigned crest, OnGoal has consistently impressed with the way they have rebuilt this franchise. I hope that whatever they've done is replicable and can be bottled and shipped to Colombus and New England.

    (3) Continued strong attendance in Philly and New York. I know that Red Bull attendance is not always as high as some would like or think it should be, but there's something to be said for continuing to keep the numbers high in the second season of the new stadium and star DPs, notwithstanding the midseason on-field struggles. And I have to admit that I thought Philly would see a drop in its second year. I wasn't convinced the market was as strong as the PNW or Canadian markets, but I'm delighted to be proven wrong.

    (4) FC Dallas' slow but steady climb to respectability. I'll double check this when I get to my home computer, but I think the increase is even more pronounced if you look at the median numbers, because they had something like a 50K Cotton Bowl doubleheader with El Tri last year. Doug Quinn and company seem to be doing a solid job of rebuilding the fanbase. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but they are clearly making headway relative to where they were just two seasons ago.

    Columbus is the only real disappointment. I guess that notwithstanding the team's relatively decent performances, the dismantling of the '08 Cup winning team, including some long-time fan favorites, had an impact. Or maybe there are other reasons that I'm unaware of.

    DC and NE have some long-term issues, but their attendance has stayed stable at least. If Buzzard Point (or any other locale) pans out for DC, I expect them to draw very well. NE may require more of a change in ownership attitude.

    As for Chicago, perhaps the (still somewhat modest) decline is attributable to a confluence of factors having a team that wasn't very good for most of the season, the loss of Blanco, a disproprtionate number of midweek games, whatever. I'm not sweating it too much, unless Fire supporters tell us there is something to really worry about.
     
  11. RerunStubs

    RerunStubs Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Television is absolutely the next frontier, and it seems to drive a lot of thinking in league offices, e.g., increasing the number of playoff games, Garber's amorphous talk of cultivating rivalries, and wanting teams to use the DP rule to bring in recognizable stars.

    I'm concerned that being a second-tier league internationally will make it harder for MLS to find the same growth in TV viewership that it's pulled off in live attendance. Not that ratings can't or won't go up, but they have to compete against other, better soccer matches on TV that they don't have to compete against in person.
     
  12. bunge

    bunge Member+

    Oct 24, 2000
    As I posted in the week 32 thread, the Fire announced earlier in the season that actual paid tickets were up 19% over the previous year. I'm not sure if that figure held out over the course of the season, but even if it dropped to 15% during the second half (while we improved under a new coach), ticket sales are up over last year. So sales are up even if reported attendance is down.

    It's a shame with the timing and all, but so it goes.
     
  13. RerunStubs

    RerunStubs Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    That's great news. Hopefully the team's late-season run will keep people coming back next year.

    Speaking of which, I've been pretty busy the past couple months, so haven't been as plugged in to the details of Chicago's recent success. How instrumental were the Pardo and Grazzini signings?
     
  14. Geneva

    Geneva LA for Life

    Feb 5, 2003
    Southern Cal
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Country:
    United States
    Fantastic numbers, every MLS fan should celebrate! The median especially is stunning.
     
  15. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

    Dec 7, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    just to carry this over from wk32 thread, since it is the final numbers:

    Chicago Fire
    Total Attendance = 242,657
    Average Attendance = 14,274
    % Change from 2010 (15,814) = -9.7%
    % Capacity (20,00) = 71.4%

    Chivas USA
    Total Attendance = 252,102
    Average Attendance = 14,830
    % Change from 2010 (14,575) = +1.8%
    % Capacity (27,000) = 54.9%

    Colorado Rapids
    Total Attendance = 252,248
    Average Attendance = 14,838
    % Change from 2010 (13,392) = +11.3%
    % Capacity (18,086) = 82.0%

    Columbus Crew
    Total Attendance = 207,147
    Average Attendance = 12,185
    % Change from 2010 (14,642) = -16.8%
    % Capacity (20,145) = 60.5%

    DC United
    Total Attendance = 258,072
    Average Attendance = 15,181
    % Change from 2010 (14,532) = +4.5%
    % Capacity (22,000*) = 69.0%

    *DCU capacity is set at 22,000 as a "standard" capacity for teams in non-soccer specific stadiums with large capacities, based partially on projected capacities for proposed stadiums in HOU/DC/NE

    FC Dallas
    Total Attendance = 218,636
    Average Attendance = 12,861
    % Change from 2010 (10,815) = +18.9%
    % Capacity (21,193) = 60.7%

    Houston Dynamo
    Total Attendance = 300,796
    Average Attendance = 17,694
    % Change from 2010 (17,310) = +2.2%
    % Capacity (22,000*) = 80.4%

    *HOU capacity is set at 22,000 as a "standard" capacity for teams in non-soccer specific stadiums with large capacities, based partially on projected capacities for proposed stadiums in HOU/DC/NE

    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Total Attendance = 396,693
    Average Attendance = 23,335
    % Change from 2010 (21,437) = +8.6%
    % Capacity (27,000) = 86.4%

    New England Revolution
    Total Attendance = 224,770
    Average Attendance = 13,222
    % Change from 2010 (12,987) = +1.8%
    % Capacity (22,000*) = 60.1%

    *NER capacity is set at 22,000 as a "standard" capacity for teams in non-soccer specific stadiums with large capacities, based partially on projected capacities for proposed stadiums in Houston/DC/NE

    Philadelphia Union
    Total Attendance = 310,395
    Average Attendance = 18,259
    % Change from 2010 (19,254*) = -5.2%
    % Capacity (18,500) = 98.7%

    *Philadelphia's 2010 attendance average included two games at the Linc

    Portland Timbers
    Total Attendance = 320,051
    Average Attendance = 18,827
    % Change from 2010 (10,727*) = +75.5%
    % Capacity (18,827**) = 100.0%

    *Timber's 2010 attendance average from USSF-D2
    **Capacity is averaged from 15 games at 18,627 and 2 at 20,323


    Real Salt Lake
    Total Attendance = 299,099
    Average Attendance = 17,594
    % Change from 2010 (17,095) = +2.9%
    % Capacity (20,008) = 87.9%

    Red Bull New York
    Total Attendance = 334,740
    Average Attendance = 19,691
    % Change from 2010 (18,441) = +6.8%
    % Capacity (25,189) = 78.2%

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Total Attendance = 201,587
    Average Attendance = 11,858
    % Change from 2010 (9,659) = +22.8%
    % Capacity (12,847*) = 98.6%

    *SJE's capacity includes one game at Stanford Stadium with a capacity of 50,000

    Seattle Sounders FC
    Total Attendance = 654,385 :)eek:)
    Average Attendance = 38,493
    % Change from 2010 (36,173) = +6.4%
    % Capacity (39,029*) = 98.6%

    *SSFC's capacity includes two games of full CenturyLink Field capacity of 64,000

    Sporting Kansas City
    Total Attendance = 302,776
    Average Attendance = 17,810
    % Change from 2010 (10,287*) = +73.1%
    % Capacity (18,467**) = 96.4%

    Toronto FC
    Total Attendance = 344,535
    Average Attendance = 20,267
    % Change from 2010 (20,453) = -0.9%
    % Capacity (21,800) = 93.0%

    Vancouver Whitecaps FC
    Total Attendance = 347,011
    Average Attendance = 20,412
    % Change from 2010 (5,149*) = +296.4%
    % Capacity (21,500) = 94.9%

    *Whitecaps's 2010 attendance average from USSF-D2

    MLS TOTAL
    Total Attendance = 5,467,880
    Average Attendance = 17,869
    Median Attendance = 17,639
    % Change from 2010 (16,675) = +7.2%
    # of games <MED-33% (11,765): 56 (18.3%)
    # of games >MED+33% (23,530): 36 (11.8%)
     
  16. Justin O

    Justin O Member+

    Nov 30, 1998
    Suli
    Club:
    Seattle
    So who ever thought we'd see an end-of-year median higher than the '96 average?
     
  17. jayd8888

    jayd8888 Member+

    Aug 22, 2006
    Denver CO
    For some reason I am off on my Chicago attendances this season. I can go through it all one at a time but I am first hoping that someone can post or pm them for me. Thanks in advance.
     
  18. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

    Dec 7, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
  19. VioletCrown

    VioletCrown Member

    Aug 30, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    Club:
    Austin Aztex
    Country:
    United States
    What's most surprising to me is that MLS has had such a remarkable year in the midst of the worst economy in nearly a century. I don't know how to factor that in to attendances, but it probably should be included in there as a part of why some teams aren't doing better.
     
  20. Len

    Len Member+

    Club: Dallas Tornado
    Jan 18, 1999
    Everywhere and Nowhere.....I'm the wind, baby.
    Edwardgr, sorry to be a broken record, but thanks again for doing this thread all season; you certainly picked a great year to do it.......and I've appreciated Olegunnar's contribution lately, as well.

    When I first heard of that promo years ago, I thought it meant every kid got in for a dollar.
     
  21. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    Wanted to rank this by average attendance in 2011.

    And of some interest is the correlation of Attendance Rank to Points-Postion in the final regular season league table. (perhaps an additional column for just "points at home" would be worthwhile.)


    Code:
    ----Team----	AvgAttn Rank Points Table Po. Diff
    Seattle       	38495	1	63	2	1
    Los Angeles	23335	2	67	1	-1
    Vancouver	20412	3	28	18	15
    Toronto FC	20267	4	33	16	12
    Red Bull NY	19691	5	46	10	5
    Portland	18827	6	42	12	6
    Philadelphia	18258	7	48	8	1
    [B]Overall   	17869[/B]				
    Kansas City 	17810	8	51	5	-3
    Houston      	17694	9	49	7	-2
    Real Salt Lake	17594	10	53	3	-7
    DC United	15196	11	39	13	2
    Colorado	14838	12	49	6	-6
    Chivas USA 	14830	13	36	15	2
    Chicago      	14273	14	34	11	-3
    New England	13222	15	28	17	2
    FC Dallas	12861	16	52	4	-12
    Columbus	12185	17	47	9	-8
    San Jose	11858	18	38	14	-4
    
     
  22. aperfectring

    aperfectring Member+

    Jul 13, 2011
    Hillsboro, OR
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    I just got an e-mail regarding adding tickets to my season ticket holder account for the Timbers which claims that they are adding 1200 season tickets to the TA section.

    What this means: There is a minimum of 700 new seats open in the TA section.

    Assuming they won't close any seats in the rest of the stadium to add these seats to TA (I feel this is a lock), that means a minimum increase in capacity of 700, putting the capacity to at least 19327.
    Further assuming that they won't decrease the number of single-game seats in the TA (I feel this is a quite safe assumption), that means a minimum increase in capacity of 1200, putting it to at least 19827.
    Assuming that they are adding tickets to more than just the TA section (whether they are season tickets or not remains to be seen), I'd say the capacity we saw at the two end of season increased capacity games is quite likely to be the capacity next season.

    It also wouldn't surprise me if the waiting list remained at or near the 5000 we are currently at, since current season ticket holders have priority in getting any open seats.
     
  23. RfrancisR

    RfrancisR Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    New Orleans Diaspora
    So, when are we going to see media outlets touting this news? I damned well know if we hit a record low it would be splattered over every media outlet. Does MLS have to issue an official press release before the stories are published?
     
  24. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

    Dec 7, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Here are some all time attendance charts:

    notes: the range on the charts is always 10,000 spread unless that wasn't possible, so visually they should generally be consistent from team to team. also the blue line is the all-time average for that team. there are no charts for first/second year teams PHI, VAN and POR.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

    Dec 7, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC

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