Final Attendance Report

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by Sachin, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
    TEAM             DATES    TOTAL      AVERAGE
    Chicago           15       210,080     14,005 
    Colorado          15       251,578     16,772
    Columbus          15       243,756     16,250
    Dallas            15       118,585      7,906
    D.C.              15       233,476     15,565
    Kansas City       15       233,594     15,573 
    Los Angeles       15       329,752     21,983
    MetroStars        15       237,326     15,822
    New England       15       219,611     14,641
    San Jose          15       156,989     10,466 
    [b]MLS Totals       150      2,234,747    14,898 [/b][/size]
  2. sch2383

    sch2383 New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Do you have the stats from previous years?
  3. Dennis P. Crawford

    Dec 5, 2001
    Attendance 2000 - 2002

    2002 15,822
    2001 14,961
    2000 13,756

    This is the average attendance for the last three years. Attendance declined after 1996 until there was the increase in 2001.

    This year's attendance was lower due to the stadium problems in Dallas & Chicago. The Fire is back at Soldier Field and the Burn will have a new stadium in time for the 2005 season. Overall, the attendance trends are going in the right direction. MLS is here to stay.
  4. greatscott

    greatscott Member+

    Dec 21, 2002
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Attendance 2000 - 2002

    wow, thanks for that jinx
  5. nick

    nick Member+

    Nov 23, 1998
    Potomac Falls, Va
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Its interesting but if you take Dallas's absolute Disaster at Dragon out of the equation the rest of the league come out with an average of 15,675, very close to last year.

    Does anyone have the League Median Attendance? I think thats a better measure of progress. From what I understand this is up significantly.

    I think the real disappointments have to be New England and San Jose. Both New England and San Jose in particular have have pretty good sides for a while now and are still in the doldrums.

    The biggest ups have to be to KC and LA, although the Fire's attendance at Soldier Field has also been terrific.
  6. roarksown1

    roarksown1 Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    Playa del Rey, CA
    Hamburger SV
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Way to go LA ! (and no inflated numbers due to the big 4th of July game)
  7. Frank Cunha

    Frank Cunha New Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    last year was a World Cup year with a lot of doubleheaders, very few this year, Metrostars didn't have one, this quiet a accomplishment for the league.
  8. sch2383

    sch2383 New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Dallas needs Frisco ASAP. They are nearly half of the league average, which is a shame since they have good fans.

    I predict that next year's attendance will be above 2002s thanks to the Olympics and Adu.
  9. Quaker

    Quaker Member+

    FC Dallas
    Apr 19, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, but a brand-spankin' new stadium didn't hurt, either.

    Very encouraging numbers overall, especially given the stadium issues in Dallas and Chicago. As noted, last year's number was probably boosted a bit due to the World Cup interest/success wave and several doubleheaders. Holding steady in this environment is a very good sign.
  10. Arisrules

    Arisrules Member

    Feb 19, 2000
    Washington, DC
    I think double headers for the most part are a waste of time. Very little fans cross over. I think it is better, if we really try to start focusing on making these games stand alone more and more.

    I remember a few years ago when DC United had that super year of attendance. Problem is, people just wouldn't realize that that attendance was overly inflated by the US-Honduras double header (sold out stadium) and the double header with the Freedom which was approximately 30k.

    My point is that, sure double headers make the league look better on paper, but does it really translate into more fans?

    Lots of props to KC for really pulling their own this season. Shame on both the Revs front office (Boston fans for all their stupidity are very loyal to their teams), and the Metros front office, for not being able to at least have respectable attendance figures for their respective markets.

    Hopefully next year, LA will sell out more games, and average near 100% attendance at HDC. I hope Columbus can also pick itself up, and that Chicago can average over 20k. I think this league has a chance of 16k next year (will be very very difficult with Dallas, but if they average over 10k, and SJ keeps management constant in the offseason to increase attendance to 12 or 13k it can happen).
  11. LA Galaxy Fan

    LA Galaxy Fan Member

    Feb 28, 2000
    Move SJ to OK and Move Dallas to Miami (Not Ft. Launde???, Fla (spelling?)
  12. nancyb

    nancyb Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Notice also that 6 teams topped 15k, and several were close.
  13. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    League Median in 2002: 14,108
    League Meidan in 2003: 13,719

    Medians by team:
    Team		  2003	  2002
    Chicago		12,345	13,319
    Colorado		13,368	13,198
    Columbus		16,481	17,614
    D.C. United	14,368	14,394
    Dallas		 8,010	13,550
    Kansas City	14,923	10,257
    Los Angeles	22,189	14,738
    MetroStars	16,116	15,068
    New England	12,006	15,542
    San Jose		 9,187	 9,621
  14. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the argument some might make is that looking better on paper itself might lead to a few more fans.

    I'm becoming somewhat dubious of this though, as yet another article has come out where the author posts what his guess is to actual MLS attendances as opposed to looking them up...

    While I agree the numbers are nice, Dallas is a concern Dragon Stadium or no. We need to make sure that when Frisco opens, the fans come back. There are no guarantees of this, at least long term. Are they gonna have misters in Frisco?

    Also, there are issues to be addressed in San Jose and New England. Particularly New England as their attendance continues to spiral downward.

    A very big thumbs up to the folks in KC for the work put in.
  15. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think it's any worse than the Yankees selling out what turned out to be David Wells' perfect game because it was beanie baby day or me being able to get free Washington Capitals or Baltimore Orioles tickets if I fill my tank up a certain number of times at a particular gas station.

    Every league, save the NFL, has its gimmicks to fill seats. None is guaranteed to create new fans. I think the doubleheader is a better bet than other gimmicks because those people - most likely - are already soccer fans.
  16. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    Other than having a well-established league that only has to do it eight times during the season. That made season tickets affordable (back in the day of six and seven home games) and created demand, which led to price increases that paralled the league's growing popularity, which in turn kept demand up. That's not really a gimmick, obviously. More like a bit of luck which they were able to take advantage of. Good for them.

    Completely agree. I've been to two of them, both times with fans of the game who weren't fans of MLS. Two of them now have season tickets to the Fire.

    Absolutely: to the front office folks, and to the fans who kept turning up as well. Keep up the good work, people.
  17. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Big time inflated #s due to free ticket giveaways. I know ppl hate to hear this, but this year's LA #s would have been closer to last year's (19,047) but they overshot the market and had to begin dropping the prices through a ton of specials.

    I went to 4 games and paid full price once.
  18. BenC1357

    BenC1357 Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    While your correct its easy for quite a few fans around the league to "find" deals on seats. I purchased season tickets, but I got quite a few free tickets through the course of the year and used them to bring friends along. That doesnt mean we still didnt pay money for parking, food, beer, etc. Its all a good thing, no matter how the people get to the game. And as discussed when the Wizards did their "free ticket with the purchase of a food item" promo, someone paid for the tickets no matter whether it was the fan themselves or the company doing the promo.

    I'd like to ask one question about these attendance numbers....Where are all the KC bashers now? I can't here you guys anymore. :D
    We're drawing right with some of the teams that are in metro areas that are many times bigger than KC. I think its now time for the Metros and DC to make a push. If KC can make a push to 15,000 in a metro area of 2 million, surely NY can get to 20,000 with such a large population to pull from.
  19. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
    Re: Re: Final Attendance Report

    MOVE K.C.!!!!!

    to their own stadium

  20. Yukon Cornelius

    Oct 24, 2003
    New York
    Chicago Fire
    Two things

    Congratulations LA.

    Congratulations KC.

    Especially for the year after a WC, this is pretty good-looking news.
  21. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Considering Dallas' and Chicago's situations, I thought it was a very good year for attendance. With many fewer doubleheaders, we still held our own. Sure, we slipped under the 15,000 mark but there are obvious extenuating circumstances. Good job to any single individual who attended a MLS match and paid anything for their ticket.
  22. cleazer

    cleazer Member+

    May 6, 2003
    Toledo, OH
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think I'll have to disagree. There were quite a few disappointments this year. Lets look at it team-by-team:

    Chicago- According to the final numbers, their attendance was up over last year. But if you take a closer look, you'll see that their Naperville numbers for this year were lower than last year's. They would've had a large decline, if not for the last 2 games at Soldier Field. Of course, now they're back at Soldier Field (for now), so things are certainly looking better for next year.

    Colorado- A huge drop from last year. I'll admit, I really haven't followed Colorado all that closely this year, so I'm not really sure what's to blame for this. I know that had a big US doubleheader back in 2002, but that doesn't account for all of the difference.

    Columbus- A significant drop from last year. Despite the fact that the Crew's attendance actually started out stronger than last year's. But once fans realized that this team had a bad habit of losing home games, they stopped showing up. I hope that was the main reason for the drop. If so, it should be better next year.

    Dallas- Pitiful. Luckily, they're moving. (Please, don't overprice the tickets for your new stadium.)

    DC- Another drop from last year. Despite the fact that they picked up Earnie and made the playoffs this year. Once again, I don't follow DC that closely, so I don't know what caused the decline. Fewer doubleheaders?

    Kansas City- Without going back and looking at each year's numbers, I would guess that this is the single best improvement from one year to the next in the history of MLS for a team staying in the same stadium. Fantastic. And best of all, the way things look now, they will be able to keep that 15k average next year!

    LA- Have they announced if they will keep the same prices for next year? I certainly hope they don't plan on a price increase. Their attendance numbers finished the year pretty strongly, leading me to believe that the front office figured out what they were doing. We could possibly see an increase for next year.

    Metros- A large decline from last year. Looks like its time for a new logo again. Giants Stadium sure does look empty whenever the Metros are playing. Is it really that hard for all the New Yorkers to hop on the bus and go to a Metrostars game?

    New England- Pitiful. A huge decline. If not for the US tripleheaders, they would've finished below the Fire. That's just shameful. Those types of attandance numbers should not be tolerated for a team playing in Boston.

    San Jose- Shameful. Move Donovan to DC or some other place where he might actually draw some fans. I'd like to see this team pull the old Montreal Expos trick, and play 3 or 4 games up in Portland. I'm sure the folks in Portland would be happy about it, and it ought to increase demand for the remaining games in San Jose. I thought everyone agreed last year that the Quakes should be contracted or moved if they couldn't improve.

    To review: 7 out of the 10 teams had drops in attendance. Chicago would have been the 8th team if not for the final 2 games of the season. LA did pretty well, especially considering their ticket prices. And KC was off the charts. If they can match that next year, even better.

    It was not a good year for attendance in MLS.
  23. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: Re: Final Attendance Report

    FILL Arrowhead!!
    :D :cool:
  24. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There was a seating problem at the start of the year where not all of the seating was available yet. They worked around that in 2002 as Chicago didn't play their first home game until the sixth week of the season.

    The Fire mostly sold as many tickets as they had for all of their weekend games in Naperville, and we saw what happened when they moved. This is the most interesting attendance story of the season. If this spike is for real, it's a breakout for the league.

    I'm not as bullish in this year's attendance as many, but four of the individual team median's (I think they are better estimates of fan interest) were improvements (Los Angeles, Metrostars, Kansas City and Colorado) one (Chicago) is not related to fan interest, three of the others dropped but dropped only slightly...

    ...which leaves Dallas and New England. Obviously San Jose looked like a problem last year and hasn't appeared to solve anything this year.

    The good news is that we learned that good promotional effort from the front office _can_ work as Kansas City's gains were throughout the year and not just a couple of gimmick games. We saw a team move back into their football stadium and amazingly average close to 30,000 in the two games which were both stand alone events. And then of course the opening of Home Depot Center is huge. It's hardly coincidental that the two best draws by either measure are the two SSS.

    The key is obviously to capitalize on the good, and work on fixing the bad. New England appears to be the sticking spot as there's no chance of an SSS while the Krafts owns the club, and there hasn't been a lot of movement on ownership's end to address the problem. At least San Jose's issues are periodically addressed.
  25. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    are the playoff attendances not factored in to get the season averages?

    what does the required playoff average need to be for the entire 2003 mls average to get above 15k.

    and yes, 14,898 is a very solid average.

    nice work by the fans, bring your friends to the playoffs and get them to come again all next year.

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