Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by midfielder467, Feb 27, 2023.
Just like on the field, MLS is significantly stronger on the bottom, and competitive at the top.
Do Philadelphians follow Penn State? I know they are 3 hours away but those 106,000 home fans have to come from somewhere.
I think there's a big difference between being a fan of many teams and actually attending many teams' games... The latter requires much more money. So regardless of same-city teams in the US not competing against each other on the field, it's still competition to get the butts in the seats.
And while I do agree that it's much more common in other nations for a city to have multiple football teams, I think London is still probably the outlier... The next-best comparisons I can think of are Manchester and Madrid with four teams each to London's seven (eight maybe? hard to count depending on how many levels down you go)
Mostly yes. I work in a bar and the games that get the biggest crowds are Penn State and Notre Dame.
Having so many at the top tier is definitely a London thing. In Berlin there's Union at the top level, Hertha now at the second level, and then 6 teams at the 4th level and a bunch below that.
I don't disagree but it's a little easier as here the seasons all don't run at the same exact time. Overall I do agree with your point and why MLS play when they do is to avoid going head to head with the majority of the NFL schedule.... At least when the league started.
Hockey and basketball seasons overlap almost completely, and the NFL season overlaps with both save for its first month, and MLB overlaps with each of those at some point in its season while also overlapping MLS almost completely. That makes it really difficult for people to be in the stands and most working people absolutely have to make financial decisions around who they’ll support and who they’ll actually go see live. In most markets, MLS teams are always competing with one pro sport or another, and there are some markets where the college sports teams are more competition than the pros.
My alma mater has a 100,000+ seat stadium in the middle of nowhere. Bama fills it up quite regularly with folks from small towns five or six hours away. And Auburn does the same, on the same weekends, pulling 80k into a small town in the middle of nowhere.
Yea, I agree but what's not happening other than in LA and NYC is not going to another game because you support a team in the same league and not a rival. You make choices and budget to go see different sports teams but I would think many LAFC fans don't have the Galaxy on the list but might go see the Lakers, Dodgers, Kings..... You'll get crossover fans but I don't think that in London Chelsea fans are attending West Ham vs Fulham when Chelsea is on the road in Manchester.
But that’s, I mean, you were saying that technically the competition for butts in the seats might be stiffer there than here, but having other (rival) teams in the same city that play the same sport at the same level really isn’t competition in the way that other teams in different sports is. A Man City fan isn’t likely to prioritize going to a Man United game against another team over going to a Man City game, just as a Galaxy fan isn’t going to go to an LAFC game. But if that Galaxy fan goes to a Lakers, Kings, Dodgers, Angels, Rams, or Chargers game (all of which can possibly overlap with the Galaxy’s season) that’s money they’re not spending to see the Galaxy live. So yes, that seems to be a lot stiffer competition for the average fans finite budget than a bunch of other teams they’re not a fan of anyway.
One way to look at it yes but in a city of 4 million if you capture half the population that's 2 million potential galaxy soccer fans. Yes they can watch other sports but not soccer. In London the population of 8 million have seven teams to choose from. Granted it's not an even distribution but the bottom two teams probably have less potential soccer fans to draw from than both LAFC & the Galaxy.
Despite a lot more midweek games with Leagues Cup.
What is it, 2005?
Too many teams
Galaxy attendance doesn't look like it'll help much
Midweek numbers when school is in session are usually lower than over the summer months.
New York City (vs. Orlando) 15,238
Montreal (vs. Cincinnati) 13,603
New York Red Bulls (vs. Austin) 13,562
DC United (vs. Atlanta) 15,762
Miami (vs. Toronto) Not Reported
Charlotte (vs. Philadelphia) 28,584
Columbus (vs. Chicago) 20,349
St. Louis (vs. Los Angeles FC) 22,423
Kansas City (vs. Nashville) 16,825
Houston (vs. Vancouver) 13,866
Colorado (vs. Seattle) 12,548
Salt Lake City (vs. Dallas) 17,842
Los Angeles Galaxy (vs. Minnesota) 16,120
Portland (vs. San Jose) 21,518
Total Attendance: (13 games) 228,240
I understand Colorado drawing 12,500. I’ve long felt that would always be a weak sister because that’s a market with 5 pro teams, and the population just isn’t likely to sustain that.
But the Galaxy attendance number, to me, screams underachieving franchise. The table screams the same thing.
This is why fans of both the Rapids and Galaxy have been staging protests, demonstrations, and walkouts. As original MLS teams, they are tired of seeing their clubs get left in the dust by newer MLS clubs. Colorado doesn't have the largest SSS in MLS, but the team has drawn very well in the past, especially when it hosted 4th of July post-game fireworks at Mile High Stadium/Invesco Field. We're talking upwards of 50,000-65,000 for those select matches.
The Galaxy are trying to improve on the field, and the team is playing better now than earlier in the season. Maybe a match like Wednesday night will get fans back to the stadium in Carson. They have a big one coming up at Austin Sunday, and that's a must-win game for both sides. Josh Wolff and/or Greg Vanney's positions in 2024 could be on the line depending on the outcome.
Also, I don't know if it's still the case, but since Dignity Health Sports Park is on the campus of Cal State-Dominguez Hills, the Galaxy have parking restrictions in place on midweek matches. At least, they used to, but like I said, I don't know if those restrictions are still in place.
The Galaxy are an MLS 1.0 franchise. They rely on walkups and always will, nothing can be done to change that. It's the team culture at this point. And that means we can always expect low attendance on weekdays, rainy days, and years the team doesn't play well.
Btw I don't think the parking restrictions apply to scheduled matches, since students get advance notice to come to campus early for those. They mostly just apply to cup matches or rescheduled matches.
Or, more accurately, the organization is a trash fire on top of burning tires and everyone realizes it.
We've had no problem selling out the stadium when given a reason (like almost every game in 2016 once Tim Howard was announced, or a Thanksgiving Day playoff game). But KSE wants to run cheaply with incompetent leadership and the attendance reflects that investment.
Its not the market, its the team.
I can relate. The Crew had the same problem for years and years. Everybody knew there would be seats available at the windows right up until kick and you could wait all day to see what the weather was or whether or not to go at all. Frustrating as hell.
But they've turned it completely around, and the Crew is the hottest ticket in town, proving that a 1.0 team can in fact pull it off. All it took was around half a billion dollars of Jimmy Haslams money.
Which kind of leaves Colorado out in the cold, no pun intended. Kroenke will never ever spend that kind of dough on his MLS soccer team.
FWIW I attended a game there last summer and I'm here to say that the Raps fans complaints are more than justified. The Dick is dingy, worn, tired and outdated, I've heard better sound systems at high school gym dances and the place is poorly located in every conceivable way. In 2004 it was a step up from Historic Crew Stadium but now it has been left in the dust by 20 others.
The sad thing is that the owner would seem to have zero interest in doing anything about it.
Attendance took a hit this week, but the 228,240 puts total attendance at 9,166,147. 418 games for a mean average of 21,926.
75 MLS games on the board. Only one (nearly) full midweek slate. 15 midweek games total. 60 week-end. 22k for 493 games is 10,846,000.
We need 1,679,853 in those 75 matches. 22,398 per.