MLS Attendance Analysis: Week 8

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by edwardgr, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Oddly the intro for last week could almost apply to this week. The only difference is that LA and New York had a home game. Many other things were nearly the same. 2 matches just over 10k, as opposed to 3 last week. Just one match over 20k, though Montreal got close. And yet greater than 15k in attendance for the week, and still just the 1 sub 10k match on the year.


    Remember in this thread we discuss the:
    (AAQ = Attendance Analysis Quotient. This figure is an overall attendance assessment, calculated from the weighted values of average attendance, median attendance, <10K percentage and >20K percentage. A lower figure represents a better attendance performance.)
    This is a slight change from Andy's old formula which used simple ordinal values and provided a full ranking point separation for two numbers that may have been within a percentage. This ordinal system did not allow for fine differences to be seen, and may have painted a somewhat skewed view of the numbers (though to be honest there is not much difference in the two end of season sets).

    The formula to find the weighted value for each column is:

    Take the annual value and subtract it from the Max value for it's column. Then take that result and divide it by the (Max-Min) for its column. For example, for the average column

    17869 is the max
    13756 is the min
    4113 is the difference

    To calculate the derived value for 2010
    Subtract 16675 from 17869 to get 1194.
    Divide 1194 by 4113 then mulitply by 100* to get 29

    *Note that this step is new as some people thought whole numbers would be easier to read.

    MLS Attendance is based on tickets distributed not tickets scanned. Therefore if a team sells or distributes X number of tickets, then X is the attendance for that match. Even if 0 people showed up for whatever reason, X would still be the official attendance. There are a number of reasons actual attendance may be lower or higher than the announced.
     
  2. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A bit of an odd week. Frankly I expected a little more from New York and Montreal. But at the same time the week ended about where I would have guessed.

    Week 9 will give us a whopping 12 matches, including 3 on Wednesday night. Look for 1 or 2 possible sub 10k matches on Wednesday, but hopefully none. Seattle pulls double duty hosting this week, along with home matches for LA (against New York), Toronto, Portland, Sporting, Salt Lake, Vancouver, as well as New England, San Jose, FC Dallas, and Chivas. The Chivas match in on Friday night, perhaps another possible sub 10k.

    Last Weeks Games:
    Code:
    FC Dallas	10069
    Montréal	19223
    RB New York	18152
    Philadelphia	18581
    DC United	13975
    Columbus	11978
    Chicago  	14166
    Real Salt Lake	17629
    Colorado 	10969
    Los Angeles	23249
    [B]Total       	157991[/B]
    [B][COLOR="Red"]Average  	15799[/COLOR][/B]
    
    Comparison to This Point Last Season and All-Time Averages:
    Code:
    ----Team----	Played	Current	Last	Diff	Alltime	Diff
    Chicago    	3	14243	14278	-0.2%	15529	-8.3%
    Chivas USA	4	12422	14648	-15.2%	15863	-21.7%
    Colorado	4	14505	13243	9.5%	13971	3.8%
    Columbus	4	13043	10962	19.0%	15238	-14.4%
    DC United	6	13751	16344	-15.9%	17194	-20.0%
    FC Dallas  	5	14077	14688	-4.2%	12203	15.4%
    Houston   	0	0	0	0.0%	17327	0.0%
    Los Angeles	5	22436	24496	-8.4%	22067	1.7%
    Montréal	3	33752	New	0.0%	New	0.0%
    New England	2	11657	10014	16.4%	15610	-25.3%
    Philadelphia	4	18343	17762	3.3%	18724	-2.0%
    Portland   	4	20438	18627	9.7%	18827	8.6%
    Red Bull NY	4	17426	17398	0.2%	17159	0.0%
    Real Salt Lake	5	18369	16272	12.9%	16828	9.2%
    San Jose  	4	13267	10064	31.8%	12820	3.5%
    Seattle    	4	38419	36287	5.9%	35329	8.7%
    Sporting KC	4	18671	18017	3.6%	11386	64.0%
    Toronto FC	4	19186	19455	-1.4%	20264	-5.3%
    Vancouver	4	18451	20829	-11.4%	20412	-9.6%
    [B]Overall   	-	18368	17487	5.0%	15739	16.7%[/B]
    
    Not much happening here this week. Still up 5% overall against last year. That number could go up a fair bit after this week.
     
  3. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just a ho-hum 10 game 15k average week, nothing to get to excited about. Or is it? The fact that this is becoming routine and the standard really is very, very encouraging. Consider that only 5 seasons have had a greater than 15k median attendance league wide. That is why 15k seeming so ho-hum really is remarkable. MLS you've come a long way baby.

    Through week 8 MLS has played 73 matches or 22.6% of the season. Of those 73 matches, 48 have topped the 15k mark, and the standard deviation is 7952. The median of team medians is 17631.

    This season would slip back to 2nd in the original AAQ measure, even while it gains on 1996 in the new.

    Current Season:
    Code:
    Current	Average	Median	<10k	>20k	AvgPts	MedPts	<10kPts	>20kPts	AAAQ	AAAQRnk	Date
    1996	22982	20806	13.9%	58.3%	0	0	37	0	37	1	5/19
    1997	16370	14390	22.2%	25.0%	66	77	61	71	276	6	5/9
    1998	14765	12636	18.6%	20.9%	82	98	51	80	311	13	5/3
    1999	13975	13648	30.2%	16.3%	90	86	85	90	351	14	5/8
    2000	12987	12891	32.6%	11.6%	100	95	92	100	387	17	5/3
    2001	15058	14496	19.4%	13.9%	79	76	53	95	303	12	5/12
    2002	15763	13416	18.8%	18.8%	72	88	51	85	297	10	5/11
    2003	13789	12972	35.3%	17.6%	92	94	100	87	373	16	5/25
    2004	15381	13614	26.5%	29.4%	76	86	74	62	298	11	5/22
    2005	14145	12449	27.9%	14.0%	88	100	78	95	361	15	5/18
    2006	16195	16132	18.6%	20.9%	68	56	51	80	255	5	5/20
    2007	14855	14130	13.6%	18.2%	81	80	36	86	283	7	5/19
    2008	15721	15024	14.9%	29.8%	73	69	40	61	243	4	5/10
    2009	14906	14051	15.7%	17.6%	81	81	42	87	291	9	5/2
    2010	15796	13384	16.7%	20.4%	72	89	45	81	287	8	5/8
    2011	17487	18122	7.2%	31.9%	55	32	17	57	161	3	5/7
    2012	18368	18075	1.4%	30.1%	46	33	0	60	139	2	4/28
    Current	Average	Median	<10k	>20k	AvgPts	MedPts	<10kPts	>20kPts	AAAQ	AAAQRnk	Date
    
    Historical 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
    EOS	Average	Median	<10k	>20k	AvgPts	MedPts	<10kPts	>20kPts	AAAQ	AAAQRnk	Date
    
     
  4. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Finally we get a fourth post to start this week because as promised the predictive is back, and thus the miscellaneous and predictive are once more split out to their own post.

    Milestones and other Miscellany:
    3 more teams joined the 250 home match club leaving New England and San Jose as the only remaining original teams to not make that mark yet. San Jose of course thanks to the 2 year hiatus will get there in couple years along with Chicago. New England on the other hand has just 2 matches to go.

    The 3 that made it this week did so with the following attendance through 250.

    Red Bull New York: 4,290,698
    Colorado: 3,494,995
    FC Dallas: 3,062,327

    Also Montreal reached 100k in their 3rd match, becoming just the 3rd team to do it in 3 or less.

    Current to Season End Comparison + Predictive:
    Just a quick refresher. The predicitive uses the forecast function (a Linear Regression) in excel and takes into account where every season was at this point, and where it ended, and where this season is at, and then makes a best guess where this season will end. Obviously the closer we get to seasons end the more accurate this prediction becomes.

    Code:
    Year	Current	End	Diff	% Diff
    1996	22982	17410	-5572	-24.2%
    1997	16370	14606	-1764	-10.8%
    1998	14765	14312	-453	-3.1%
    1999	13975	14282	307	2.2%
    2000	12987	13756	769	5.9%
    2001	15058	14961	-97	-0.6%
    2002	15763	15821	58	0.4%
    2003	13789	14900	1111	8.1%
    2004	15381	15549	168	1.1%
    2005	14145	15112	967	6.8%
    2006	16195	15426	-769	-4.7%
    2007	14855	16767	1912	12.9%
    2008	15721	16460	739	4.7%
    2009	14906	16037	1131	7.6%
    2010	15796	16675	879	5.6%
    2011	17487	17869	382	2.2%
    2012	18368	16567	-1801	-9.8%
    
     
  5. Revolt

    Revolt Member+

    Jun 16, 1999
    Davis, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Edward, what's driving down the predictor for 2012? Only five years in MLS history did the final average fall below the season to date for this time - and those years were mostly the early years. I'm going to look into this a bit; I think a decent model can be built given all the available data.
     
  6. evangel

    evangel Member+

    Apr 12, 2007
    Just out of curiosity, how different does the predictive look without 1996?
     
  7. Bremas

    Bremas Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    When I saw the 2012 # my first thought was... lol, here we go again.... and then your post immediately followed right on cue.:)

    Edward and others do a better job explaining it; suffice to say that early in league history early season numbers were much better than late season numbers (96&97 weigh heavily). Believe me it's been discussed ad nauseam. Just remember to take the current year number with a large grain of salt.
     
  8. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    To answer revolt and Evangel. The sharp drop off the first two seasons appear to have huge impact on the predictive model. Without 1996 the predictive says 17651 for the season average, without 1996 and 1997 the predictive says 18214 for the season average.

    I am sure there is a better way of modeling this that would be fairly reliable. I am not a statistician so I do not know what other elements would be useful. The way the predictive works at present is to take the current point of the season by %, and the end point of each season, and the forecast this season's end point based on where this season is at. Here is the formula.

    Cell C18 =FORECAST(B18,C2:C17,B2:B17)

    It is entirely possible that the range is to great. Perhaps if I narrowed to 5 year chunks it may be a better indicator.
     
  9. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

    Mar 21, 2011
    Boston Area
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hi Ed,


    As always thanks for the great work!


    I am wondering if the above statement is true. Wouldn't 1996 still be #1 in the old AAQ and 2012 would be tied with 2011?


    1996: (1+1+1+4)/4 = 1.75
    2011: (3+2+2+2)/4 = 2.25
    2012: (2+3+1+3)/4 = 2.25
     
  10. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You are correct. I copy and paste from the previous week so I keep the same 'template' and just failed to remove that line. I did state later that this week would fall to 2nd in the original. I will also move that back into the correct location, as for some reason I originally had it at the end of the tables.
     
  11. Fiosfan

    Fiosfan Red Card

    Mar 21, 2010
    Nevada
    Club:
    New York City FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What's going on with DCU ,FCD, Rapids, Crew and the worst of all Chivas , four of the clubs play in their SSS [counting Chivas] and should have learned the FO blue prints for bringing butts to the seat by now. The staff in these teams need a refresher course or better GMs to make sure they're in same page as the rest of the league.
     
  12. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    :rolleyes: Another one.

    Dallas is up 15% over their all-time attendance, Columbus is up 19% from this point last year, Colorado is up 9.5% from this point last year, 3.8% all-time, and that's immediately after what will be one of the worst (if not worst) weekend games for attendance.

    Yes, they aren't LA, Portland, Seattle, etc. but they're going in the right direction, finally. Particularly in Dallas and Colorado who had the staff/GM issues int he past and have finally started to figure it out. Your rant would have been more appropriate in a past year instead of one where the teams are making positive moves.

    Chivas and DC are down in both categories and that is concerning as there's no positive sign of turning around.
     
  13. Sounders78

    Sounders78 Member+

    Apr 20, 2009
    Olympia
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    France

    Move them all! :D

    In all seriousness now - whether it's a "rising tide lifts all ships" or the result of positive moves by their front offices (or both), it's very encouraging to see the increases in those teams.
     
  14. Fiosfan

    Fiosfan Red Card

    Mar 21, 2010
    Nevada
    Club:
    New York City FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you say so. The funny thing is I was at Best Buy today and someone was playing with Airplay on an iPad3 and somehow Rapids highlights from last night popped up on a big screen tv with AirPlay feature build in and people in the store were asking where's this stadium with so many empty seats.:)
     
  15. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Keep working on that stand-up routine it might actually be funny one day.
     
  16. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yep, because as we've seen one data point is a great thing to base a judgement of a team's FO on. Just ignore all those numbers that started this thread. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 12, 2009
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Or the 18k that showed up at that stadium last week...
     
  18. Etienne_72772

    Etienne_72772 Member+

    Oct 14, 1999
    Thanks, of course, for all of your great work. I am not in any way criticizing your work, just wanted to expand on this a bit.

    Seems that we have at least two "MLSs" reflected in the attendance. The simple model is to take all of the seasons into account, but this does not really tell the whole story. I am no statistician either, but it seems that a better predictor model may be to take only MLS 2.0, or as close as possible. It seems, in my mind, that a clear delineation occurred about 10 years ago, after contraction of the Florida teams. Perhaps the predictor can simply use the previous 10 years as the better predictor model instead of incorporating MLS 1.0 in there.
     
  19. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    19K actually. :D
     
  20. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

    Dec 7, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    i get that as a Rapids fan Jasonma feels it is his role to be an apologist for the old school MLS teams that are MLS attendance bottom feeders. but sometimes you just need to call a spade a spade.

    there is one simple fact in 2012. there is a group of 10 teams (soon to be 11 with Houston joining that group) all averaging at or above 17.5K a game ... and then there are 8 teams (actually 7 since it is hard to fault SJE who are selling out every game) that are averaging at or below 14.5K a game.

    that is a huge giant gaping hole between the upper class, those teams that have making their teams relevant in their markets and getting fans to attend games figured out and, and the lower class of MLS that haven't even come close to figuring it out yet.

    and yes, some of those teams in the lower class are slightly less pathetic this year than they were in previous years when they were extremely pathetic. while fans of those teams trying to rationalize this all away clamour about having "taken a step in the right direction" they forget that the league as a whole and those 11 in the upper class have taken 3 steps forward so that still leaves them 2 steps behind.

    so feel free to rejoice in small Pyrrhic statistical victories and/or being the "best" of the "worst" but the fact remains there are two groups in MLS right now when it comes to attendance ... the upper and the lower class and the gap between the two is pretty vast and i am sure something that has the league at least somewhat concerned.

    what would be interesting instead of trying to deny or rationalize why these 7 teams are lagging so far behind is figure out what factors they all have in common that might be why they are all roughly grouped together in the attendance dumpster.

    one thing to consider is how having an ownership group solely (or almost soley) dedicated to the MLS team comes into play.

    the LAG seem to be the only team with an ownership group where MLS is not the only/top priority where both on and off the field they are successful. TFC does well off the field but on the field are pathetic ... so their ownership being focused on more than just TFC seems to have at least some negative correlation.

    Colorado (Kronke: Arsenal/Niggets/Avalanche)
    FCD/Columbus (Hunt: Chiefs)
    New England (Kraft: Patriots)
    Chivas (Veraga: Chivas Guad)
    SJ (Wolff: As)

    and i know that DCU's Chang has some small invlovement with a MLB team i think ... and isn't local for sure. Chicago's owner Hauptman seems to have no other sports interest so doesn't fit this.

    where as the upper class aside LAG and TFC as noted above:

    SKC: OnGoal (only own SKC)
    Portland: Paulson (only owns Timbers)
    Seattle: 3/4ths of the ownership's sole focus is Sounders
    Montreal: Saputo (only owns Impact)
    Vacouver: ownership only owns Whitecaps
    Philadelphia: Keystone (only own Union)

    RSL: (Checketts: also owns Blues, seems to be a counterpoint to the trend)
    Houston/LAG: AEG (multiple sports interests, seem to be a counter point to the trend)
    NYRB: RedBull has many many other sports interests and RBNY does seem to struggle despite on and off the field despite being in the upper attendance echelon

    so while it is nothing 100% definitive there does seem to be some correlation between having an ownership group that is all or mostly solely focused on the MLS team and "success" (losely defined by on and off field success) and with a few exceptions it seems the MLS teams with ownerships that have other sports interests beside/more important than the MLS team tend to struggle on or off the field in some way.

    again nothing super definitive just an interesting tidbit that i wonder if maybe it is significant.
     
  21. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, because you've never come off as somebody with an ax to grind or anything. :rolleyes:

    My point is that for years we've heard about how awful Dallas/Columbus/Colorado are. Now that those teams are turning ti around and making significant steps forward you just can't give up your desire to have "winners and losers" and still have to call them out.

    I've said (now multiple times) that I'm not claiming that things are good or in a level like KC or LA. What I am saying is that instead of finding another thing to complain about lets take a step back and realize that we've got forward momentum in these past struggling markets.

    And yes, there is a difference between Dallas/Columbus/Colorado and DC/Chivas. The former are moving forward by being ahead of either their 2011 or career numbers (or both). The latter are behind both those measures. That should be the concern because they are, up to this point this season, going the wrong way.
     
    1 person likes this.
  22. rslfanboy

    rslfanboy Member+

    Jul 24, 2007
    Section 26
    It is not well known that a corporate real estate mogul named Dell Loy Hansen is now the majority owner of RSL. Checketts is the front man, Hansen is the businessman.
     
  23. pace8

    pace8 Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    Miami and Montreal
    Club:
    Montreal Impact
    Nat'l Team:
    Haiti
    Apparently, over 50 000 tickets sold for the Impact against the Galaxy May 12th at the big O.
     
  24. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

    Dec 7, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    A. they are still "awful" ... they are just slightly less awful than before

    B. if by significant you mean small then yes, they are making "significant" steps forward ... but again ... while they are taking one step forward the rest of the league has taken 3 steps forward ... so they are still 2 steps behind.

    C. it isn't my desire to put MLS into two groups ... you are going to have to blame that on the math ... 11 teams above at or above 17.5K and 8 teams below 14.5K seems to say all that needs to be said about how MLS breaks down in terms of attendance.

    D. you never seem to list all of the teams that Colorado is "not on the level" of at once ... you always seem to pick a couple each time ... lets look at them all together: LA, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Salt Lake, Kansas City, Houston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Montreal, New York ... look a bit different when you put them all together eh.

    E. "forward momentum in these past struggling markets" ... the momentum is minimal and their struggles are not of the past but still in the present.

    look ... i am absolutely in agreement that any improvement in these bottom teams is better than no improvement ... but let's not get all happy slappy about it ... there is still a huge disparity and it seems to be getting bigger.

    the league used to have a top, a middle and a bottom when it came to attendance ... now it seems to have stratified into two distinct groups ... the good and the not so good (how not so good is hardly that important). and while the league as a whole is chugging along quite nicely in attendance this is a trend that really cannot be good for the health of the league ... to have a permanent attendance underclass of 7 teams. and yes, while the rising tide of MLS overall seems to be lifting some of the boats in the underclass a bit those teams are still rising less than the teams in the upper class and they are still part of a group falling further behind as evidenced by the vast 3K a game gap that has opened up in the middle of the league.

    but enough of this ... it is a never ending debate with no real answer ... i am off to post some hard numbers.
     
  25. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

    Dec 7, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    ah. did not know that. does he have any other sporting interests or just RSL?
     

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