18,430 is the MAGIC number to reach 15,000

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by pc4th, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. pc4th

    pc4th New Member

    Jun 14, 2003
    North Poll
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For the remaining 5 games this weekend, if the average attendance is 18,430 then the overall average attendance for the league in 2003 will be 15,000.

    Is there any chance that the total attendance this weekend will average that much? I believe last weekend, the average was over 20,600. However, it was boosted by 27,000 at HDC and 28,000 at Soldier Field.

    This weekend.

    Metrostars at NEw England (significant game in term of playoff position)

    Kansas City at D.C. United (significant game for D.C. in term of playoff)

    Colorado at Dallas (last game of the season)

    Los Angeles at San Jose (rivalry I guess)

    Chicago at Columbus (important for Columbus if D.C. lost on Saturday....however, tickets should be selling pretty good for it is the last game of the season)

    Could the total attendance reach 92,150?
    or 18,430 in average?

    My prediction:
    22,000 at NEw england

    22,000 at D.C.

    22,000 at Columbus

    16,000 at San Jose

    12,000 at Dallas

    Average: 18,800
  2. Scoey

    Scoey Member

    Oct 1, 1999
    I hate to be a pessimist, but there is almost no way attendance averages 18,000 this weekend. Unless there are some crazy-ass promotions of which I'm not aware, I just don't see how any of your predictions will come true. They are all too optimistic.
  3. Wolves_67

    Wolves_67 Member

    Oct 27, 2002
    Pasadena, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The 22K for New England and the 12K for Dallas are likely too high to reach. Some of the others may reach your estimates.
  4. Regardless, I just have to say that I think given some of the conditions of this season, i.e. chicago and dallas playing at small venues away from their core fan base for much of the year, i think this year's attendence is impressive regardless. Strangely, it's been the formerly solid markets such as my own DC and new england as well that I think have been the biggest let downs

    On a side not, lets make sure that no matter what, someone can get a ticket in any MLS venue for under 20 bucks. LA I am talking about you particularly but other teams I fear will also soon be surpassing that mark.
  5. BenC1357

    BenC1357 Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    You hit the nail on the head and beat me to my post. Chicago would have a significantly higher number had they been at Soldier rather than the small Napperville field. Dallas wouldn't have been as low, although if they had played just as poorly there would have been some drop off in their numbers.
    KC impressed me with an average of 15,500. This number is up considerably from 12,200 in 2002 and 11,000 in 2001. More impressive is that KC has increased their average attendance each of the last SIX season. From hovering around 8-9000 per game to 15,500 is impressive.
  6. um_chili

    um_chili Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Good points. I wonder what the stats on attendance would have been if Dallas had merely had the same attendance as the year before. My guess is we'd match or exceed 2002 attendance.
  7. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I generally agreed with the rest of the post, but i think you are being a little hard on the Galaxy. They are leading in attendance this year, by a pretty wide margin if i'm correct. tickets are all about supply and demand. if they can get away with charging more and still get a nearly full stadium, i don't see anything wrong with it. I was pretty impressed with their sellout last week. I think the rest of us, including our team here in DC needs to be more aware of ticket prices than LA does, because as you pointed out correctly, our attendance was a disappointment this year. We should have hoped for more in the midst of a playoff run.
  8. Detective40oz

    Detective40oz Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Fairfax, VA
    DC United
    16,000 in San Jose? over 10,000 in Dallas? 22,000 in DC or Columbus? that's big time dreaming!

    San Jose 12,000
    Dallas 8,500
    DC 18,500
    Columbus 18,500
    New England 17,000
    avg. = 14,900
    Those numbers seem a little more realistic
  9. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    Corrected Attendance for 2003 relative to 2002

    The difference only adds about 500 fans. Here is how it works using round numbers:

    @13,000 {normal Dallas attendance} - 8000 {average dragon field attendance} = 5000 missing fans

    15 home games x 5000 missing fans = 75,000 total missing fans

    75,000 total missing fans / 150 total games = 500 people lower in average attendance

    14,850 average (2003) + 500 missing fans = 15,350 (adjusted 2003 average)

    15,800 is the approximate 2002 average.

    Also, don't forget that Chicago's 2 games at Soldier Field have driven the average for 2003 up a great deal by themselves. Even assuming that Cardinal Stadium sold out the last two matches, this has been a significant boost:

    28,000 + 30,000 - (2 x 14,500) = 29,000

    29,000 / 150 = @190 fans to the league average for the year.

    If you want to compare 2002 to 2003 head to head, it is pretty dishonest not to subtract that 190 fans per game that were not possible in the 2002 season.

    2003 also benefitted from the introduction of the Home Depot Center. While this reduced capacity in raw terms (especially for traditional big-draw games such as July 4th and doubleheaders when Rose Bowl would attract 40,000 - 60,000), the excitement generated by the new venue and the slightly increased average attendance were a boost for 2003 that make for a bit of an apples and oranges comparison between the two seasons.

    Possible Factors for decline in 2003 attendance

    I think the biggest reason for the slight reduction in attendance (between 600 - 700 per game) were:

    +slight decline is natural after a couple of years of growth
    +longer (from a calender standpoint), chopped up season.
    +The decrease in the number of doubleheaders with Nat team games, etc
    +The relatively poor starts to the season by DC United and Colorado - led to fairly significant attendance decreases for both teams
    +The impact of the Man Utd tour in draining excitement away from MLS
    +The unexplainable underperformance by Metrostars in getting fans out
    +Increasing fan frustration in New England (lousy venue, defeatist team decisions (i.e. concacaf champions cup, etc), lousy scheduling).

    Playoff Attendance as possible useful indicator of Trends/Momentum in Attendance

    I think it will be interesting to see how playoff games draw. I think that will provide a pretty good indicator of the overall attendance trends for MLS. If more people come out to the playoff games this season compared to last, it will be a great indicator that attendance growth potential is strong.

    In the playoffs, walk-up numbers and individual ticket purchases (i.e. non-core fans) play a larger role in determining total attendance than in the regular season because you don't have the same base of season ticket holders propping up total attendance (assuming that season ticket holders have to opt to purchase playoff tickets and they don't just come with their package).

    As a result, an increase in playoff attendance relative to last season could be indicative of an increase in fans with the potential to become core fans (season ticket holders) in the future.

    Obviously the scheduling of playoff games throws in a lot of variables (weeknight games, cold weather, conflicts with other sporting events, etc) but these tend to be the same from year to year (though the later onset of MLS playoffs could slightly depress numbers. On the other hand, baseball playoffs/world series will not compete directly with MLS playoffs).

    Reasons for Positive Outlook over next few years

    In any event, the next three years should all be attendance growth years for MLS:

    +Soldier field all season long - Chicago could make a great run at a 20,000 average.
    +Dallas Burn - average could hardly be worse than this season (bad stadium and bad team). 2004 Average won't have to make up as large a deficit relative to the 2003 average as it did this season.
    +Colorado had a somewhat understandable decline after a huge number in 2002. But team is hardly likely to show another decline with excitement over new ownership and excellent team (hopefully there will be a deep playoff run).
    +San Jose may have reached the bottom of the barrel. Perhaps slight improvement in the economy will help them stabilize or even grow.
    - could see marginal decline from LA Galaxy (euphoria wears off).
    - Weak season for Columbus could impact season ticket sales. Firing coach may offset this some.
    - DC United, New England and Metrostars could all see minor declines - especially DC, depending on season ticket renewals. Not likely for a big decline, though.
    - No doubleheaders with WUSA
    - Kansas City - may see some drop-off, although not likely to be too significant.
    + World Cup qualifiers (doubleheaders)
    +Adu factor (potentially)

    As more teams get control over their venues, there should be significantly fewer midweek games. This will hopefully benefit overall attendance markedly.

    +Frisco will give us a huge bump - even if we only anticipate 16,000 - 17,000 average. That should be achievable, especially if the team is on decent footing.
    + Adu factor for full season (esp if he goes to DC United)
    + or - Chivas/Expansion impact - depending on venues, the expansion teams could throw things up or down. Chivas will probably sell a lot of tickets, a team in Cleveland probably will not run higher than the league average.
    + Potential boost by crucial World Cup Qualifying games (doubleheaders)
    - Columbus (if new expansion team is in Cleveland, could see some deterioration of base).
    - Chicago - could see some decline if they have a huge boost at Soldier Field

    +New Stadium in Harrison? Could be huge boost.
    +New Stadium in Denver (if only partial season)? Could be huge boost.
    +New Stadium for expansion team (Cleveland? if only partial season)?
    + or - New (or no) Stadium announcement in DC?
    (hard to gauge) World Cup Effects
  10. kpaulson

    kpaulson New Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Washington DC
    Actually, realistic would probably be to take a look at home finales for those teams before deciding what's a dream.

    SJ has drawn well to its finale and against LA. Cbus too. We have no idea about what will happen in Dallas...
  11. CrewToon

    CrewToon Member

    Jun 13, 1999
    Greenbrier Farm
    Simply because a match is being played at Southlake means 18,000 average will not be reached.
  12. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    Though it will not be easy to overcome, it is possible.

    Some of you naysayers should look at some of the historical data on final home games of the season on kenn tomasch's site. You might be surprised how large an attendance teams like San Jose, Columbus (and even DC United) are capable of drawing. New England and DC are probably the weak links on Saturday. Columbus and San Jose do a great job on the last match of the season (though I have not checked the college football schedule - which could impact Columbus' numbers).

    The fact that DC United has such a big game may help them draw a nice total.

    Where has kenn tomasch been lately anyway?
  13. Goodsport

    Goodsport Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 18, 1999
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Not to mention that this will most likely be the first offseason since the 1999-2000 offseason that a San Jose front-office will be open and active to increase season ticket renewals/sales, mount an offseason advertising/marketing campaign, take care of offseason player trades/acquisitions long before training camp begins, etc.

    &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Kansas City used the last offseason in the same manner to significantly increase its attendance from 2002 to 2003. :cool:

  14. Footer Phooter

    Jul 23, 2000
    Falls Church, VA

    They're promoting this game VERY heavily here. Hopefully that means a good turnout. Also, it' "Soctoberfest" on Saturday.
  15. RSwenson

    RSwenson Member

    Feb 1, 2000
    I would be surprised if the Revs got 22K... on the other hand, I have reason to believe that some issues will be addressed (particularly scheduling) for next year... way too many 4pm games and the "night" games were at 6pm... this is a heavily participating soccer community (a large percentage of the fan base either play, coach or ref... or all of the above)... to get to a 4pm game is almost impossible on many weekends and even 6pm is not possible for many... while 7:30 starts may have been late for little Johnny, 6pm was too early... i think this could have had a 1-2K per game effect (particularly in decisions to contemplate season ticket purchases)...

    there have been other well-discussed issues in rev attendence... 22K for this weekend would be a pleaseant surpirse...

  16. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Dallas may actually have higher attendance than it would appear at first glance. Even though no one wants to go this is the last chance to use up leftover tickets from flexi-passes or rec league team give-aways. I am cashing in 10 tickets and someone else I t/w is cashing in 13. Better than just throwing them away. I guess ;-)
  17. ToMhIlL

    ToMhIlL Member+

    Feb 18, 1999
    Boxborough, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Rand, I think that half of the 22,000 predicted is probably more realistic for the Revs. Maybe, just maybe, we might get a "big" crowd of 15,000.

    Move the Revs to Rochester!
  18. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    The "average" numbers are inflated by the fact that they had some sick promos that slashed the prices in half or more.

    2 Kids free for every paid adult in August
    Buy one get one free in July
    Deep discounts for things like "Faith night", "AYSO Night".

    This weekend's sell-out was produced b/c the game was part of the partial season tix package(s).

    The opening day they gave away thousands of tix. The following 2 games were the lowest attended (I believe): 18,000+, and 13,000 for a Wed. game.

    The tix will go down next year b/c they realized their mistake.
  19. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    Why do you expect them to have no promotions next season? Even if they aren't identical promotions, the word is out that the stadium is a great place to enjoy a game. Promotions are a part of every league.

    For instance, the Atlanta Braves offered decent ($20 - $25 dollar range) tickets for $10 for the whole last month and a half of the season with no purchase at regular price.

    With as many sellouts as the Galaxy have had, there may have been even more demand for tickets than they could supply. Maybe even more people will buy season tickets out of concern that they cannot guarantee they will be able to get individual game (walk-up) tickets.

    If their lowest attendances are a couple of 18,000+ and a Wednesday match with 13,000 - then they are going to be fine.
  20. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Every game?

    You are comparing LA to the rest of the league. No other market is like LA. Typically LA has averaged 21,000 (according to kenn.com), which is about 25% higher than any other team. For them to finish at that number w/ a brand new stadium, coming off their championship year really says something. (Obviously, the poor play didn't help.)

    If they hadn't been so greedy, THEN they would've had more demand and upped their future season tix sales. In fact, there are some major disgruntled season tix holders who are pissed that they got reemed by overpaying for their seats. It will be a major challenge for the Galaxy to RETAIN many of their most loyal customers!

    Have you seen a game on t.v.? The sheer volume of empty seats tells the fact that they:
    1. are not creating demand, b/c hundreds of sold tix go unused (perceived lack of value)
    2. the most expensive seats aren't getting sold.

    Bottom line is they overshot the market.
  21. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    The initial season (29,000) really skews the overall average attendance number. If you throw out that one, they have never had a season as good as this one (which ends up right near 22,000), although 1998 was very close. Average attendance this year was almost 3000 fans greater than the average in 2002 and 4500 fans greater than the average in 2001. I don't care what the overall average is - that is a significant bump.

    Plus, the averages aren't very good numbers to look at because a couple 50,000 - 60,000 doubleheaders at the Rose Bowl go a long way towards pushing the average attendance up near the 20,000 mark. They cover up lots of much uglier games. And the Galaxy achieved their high average this season without going beyond 27,000 fans.

    These are the median attendances for LA Galaxy.

    1996 18,813
    1997 18,239
    1998 19,869
    1999 13,340
    2000 16,881
    2001 13,844
    2002 14,738

    The median this season was 22,189. That is a tremendous number. The two Wednesday night games drew 13,867 and 17,763. Again, very healthy numbers.

    I don't doubt they will have to adjust prices on the higher end seats and figure out some ways to appease their best supporters - but its hardly likely they are going to lose tons of fans.
  22. firefan2001

    firefan2001 Member+

    Dec 27, 2000
    Oswego, Illinois
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Saturday's games

    at DC 20,500
    at New England 18,500
    at San Jose 17,000
    at Dallas 8,000

    Sunday's game

    at Columbus 22,500 (If they are still playing for a playoff spot, if not I'd say 18,000)

    Average 17,300 or 16,400 Will just fall short of the 15,000 Average for the season.
  23. Justin O

    Justin O Member+

    Seattle Sounders
    United States
    Nov 30, 1998
    on the run from the covid
    The good news here is, despite Southlake and Naperville, MLS will likely end up one good double header away from averaging 15,000 this year.
  24. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The ticket agent said there weren't many seats left, the youth leagues were cashing in. He said it was the first time all year he's had this problem.
  25. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    You're missing the point: LA could've done a lot better. More than anything, they've alienated and/or outpriced the walk-up working class crowd. The place is expensive. It's not the way you go "building" demand and building a fan base, which is direly needed for lucrative t.v. contracts.

    This isn't the EPL or Serie A. Discerning footie fans know this, and shouldn't have to pay elite prices for a 2nd tier league. I love MLS, but it's not worth seeing more than a couple of times a year at La Liga prices.

    Those 1st year stats are actually pretty telling b/c they signal the dormant demand for quality soccer in LA. That 1st day (65,000) their were a huge amount of knowledgeable fans who made a decision that day that the league wasn't up to their standards. Now, HDC IS up to their standards (or beyond it) and the league has improved. But we can't scare 'em away w/ ticket prices that are too high.

    Put it this way: there's a reason why Vergara wants LA (and will probably get it): LA is footie country plain and simple. If this happens, you bet that prices will go down b/c Chivas will lowball AEG.

    btw: take out all those freebie tix (i.e. non-paying) and damn the attendance takes a major hit, bringing well below the official median and average attendance...

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