OverLapping Run
Top Level Soccer in the USA and Beyond
Categories

NA SuperLiga

Take Me Out to the Ballgame – The Prequel

With the 2011 MLS season just around the corner, here’s a look back at recent MLS attendance before we move forward.

5 year comparison
Full Season Averages
  Avg +/- GP
 2006   15,504   2.62%   192 
 2007   16,770   8.17%   195 
 2008   16,460   -1.85%   210 
 2009   16,037   -2.57%   225 
 2010   16,675   3.98%   240 

YTD
  Average Median %<10K %>20k
 2006    15,502     14,175    25.00%   16.25% 
 2007    16,767     15,353    26.56%   16.15% 
 2008    16,460     15,188    29.43%   15.63% 
 2009    16,037     14,686    34.38%   12.50% 
 2010    16,675     15,332    26.58%   17.72% 

MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games
  2009 2010  
  Att Cap Att Att +/- GP Cap Cap
 Seattle  30,897   95.36%   36,173   17.08%   15   101.90%   35,500 
 LA Galaxy  20,416   75.61%   21,437   5.00%   15   79.40%   27,000 
 Toronto  20,344   92.57%   20,453   0.53%   15   93.06%   21,978 
 Philadelphia NA NA  19,252  NA  15   91.24%   18,500 
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls  12,491   49.59%   18,441   47.64%   15   73.21%   25,189 
 Houston  17,047   75.77%   17,310   1.54%   15   76.93%   22,500 
 Real Salt Lake  16,375   81.00%   17,095   4.39%   15   88.39%   19,340 
 Chicago  14,689   73.44%   15,814   7.66%   15   79.07%   20,000 
 Columbus Crew  14,447   72.23%   14,642   1.35%   15   73.21%   20,000 
 ChivasUSA  15,092   55.90%   14,575   -3.42%   15   53.98%   27,000 
 D.C. United  16,088   71.50%   14,532   -9.67%   15   64.59%   22,500 
 Colorado Rapids  12,331   68.18%   13,329   8.09%   15   73.70%   18,086 
 NE Revolution  13,732   61.03%   12,987   -5.43%   15   57.72%   22,500 
 FC Dallas  12,441   58.70%   10,815   -13.07%   15   51.03%   21,193 
 KC Wizards  10,053   96.81%   10,287   2.32%   15   99.06%   10,385 
 San Jose  14,114   92.56%   9,659   -31.57%   15   93.78%   10,300 


My disclaimer about the capacity calculations


For my calculations, I’ve taken the 3 teams playing in football stadiums, DCU in RFK, Houston in Robertson and New England in Foxboro and assigned maximum capacities as follows, DCU-22,500, Houston-22,500 and New England-22,500. I took the 22,500 from an approximate average of the soccer specific stadiums in use. Capacities were adjusted for the few games that were moved to larger venues, such as San Jose playing three times at Oakland Alameda Colliseum in ’09.
Additional note: Over the years, several stadiums’ capacities have been reported with different numbers. For example, I’ll be using 20,455 for Columbus this year. If any of you have the accurate soccer capacity for stadiums that differ from mine, please let me know.


So How Did They Finish?

Final Single Table
  Pts GP PPG GD
 Los Angeles  59   30   1.97   18 
 Real Salt Lake  56   30   1.87   25 
 NY Red Bull  51   30   1.70   9 
 Dallas  50   30   1.67   14 
 Columbus  50   30   1.67   6 
 Seattle  48   30   1.60   4 
 Colorado  46   30   1.53   12 
 San Jose  46   30   1.53   1 
 Kansas City  39   30   1.30   1 
 Chicago  36   30   1.20   -1 
 Toronto FC  35   30   1.17   -8 
 Houston  33   30   1.10   -9 
 New England  32   30   1.07   -18 
 Philadelphia  31   30   1.03   -14 
 Chivas USA  28   30   0.93   -14 
 DC United  22   30   0.73   -26 


Observations


Two years ago, it was Seattle giving a big boost to the league. Last year it was Philly’s turn, finishing 4th in overall average attendance.


MLS has now weathered two miserable years of a poor economy fairly well. Average attendance was up 3.98% compared to 2009. Below is a table comparing the average attendance figures of MLS to the ‘Big Four’, all of which suffered declines.

Average Attendances
League 2009 2010 +/- %
  MLS  16,037   16,675   3.98% 
  NBA  17,504   17,150   -2.02% 
  NHL  17,476   17,067   -2.34% 
  MLB  30,338   30,138   -0.66% 
  NFL  67,509   66,957   -0.82% 


Streaking

  • RSL are unbeaten in their last 25 regular season home games, an MLS record.
  • RSL are unbeaten in their last 14 MLS games.
  • Dallas are unbeaten in their last 10 league home games.
  • Seattle are unbeaten in their last 7 league home games.


MLS Throw Ins


  • In 2010, three teams won 50% or more of its games. None did in 2009.
  • Seattle set an MLS single season attendance record, repeating its feat of 2009 by adding seats to fill demand.
  • In 15 more games, 13 fewer goals were scored than in 2009(2.46 per game vs 2.53).
  • Jeff Cunningham, now with Columbus, is closing in on the all time goal scoring record.


    Moving forward, this season will again see a balanced scheduled, i.e.; each team will play each other twice, home and away. With the addition of the two new clubs, the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps, there will be 306 matches this season.


    San Jose is rumblin’, bumblin’ and stumbin'(thanks Chris Berman) their way to a new stadium. Until then, they will bring up the rear in average attendance, given that their home field seat less than 11,000. Ten of 2009’s fifteen teams had average attendance increases. FC Dallas’ miserable 2009 was worse in 2010 without the aid of a big gate game at the Cotton Bowl. There is, however, a big PR push in Dallas given the team’s performance last year. This will be the year to see if there should be real consideration of relocating this franchise if they don’t improve dramatically at the gate. Colorado had the 3rd highest increase, albeit from a rather crummy starting point. DC United’s abominable 2010 team was reflected at the door, and with no signs of movement by the DC government, it seems only a matter of time before the rumored move to Baltimore might become a reality.


    If the rules haven’t changed, expansion clubs get extra allocation money to use by May 15.


    Speaking of rules, here are the new roster rules for 2011.


    Rumors are that there will be not be a 2011 version of the North American SuperLiga. It’s a nice little money grab by Soccer United Marketing(SUM) and the FMF. And you know what, that’s fine with me. Any international exposure MLS clubs get is important, even if it’s Mexican ‘B’ teams in preseason.





    MLS In CONCACAF Champions League


    The jury is still out on MLS in the CCL. The Galaxy were the biggest disappointment, failing to make the group stage and getting embarrassed by Puerto Rico at the Home Depot Center. On the plus side, Toronto and Seattle won their preliminaries to make it to the final 16, although neither made it to the knockout phase. Also on the plus side, RSL and Columbus advanced and were drawn against each other, guaranteeing a MLS team in the semifinals.


    Howard Hamilton of the HexagonalBlog has calculated CONCACAF coefficients which reflect Mexican club dominance in the region.


    The Columbus/RSL quarterfinal home and home matches were played on February 22 and March 1, 2011. RSL emerged successfully and will face Costa Rican powerhouse Saprissa, three time CONCACAF Champions Cup winner and 2008 CCL runnerup, in one of the semifinals on March 15(home) and April 5. Mexican clubs Monterrey and Cruz Azul will face off in the other semifinal.


    MLS clubs Colorado(MLS Cup winner), FC Dallas(MLS Cup finalist), Seattle Sounders(Lamar Hunt US Open Cup winner) and the Los Angeles Galaxy(Supporters’ Shield winner) will participate in the 2011-12 tourney


    Gold Cup Notes


    Any MLS players that make it onto Gold Cup teams will be away from their teams in June through at least the 14th(end of group stage). The finals are on June 25 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA(tourney begins June 5).


    Unlike last year’s World Cup, MLS will not break during the Gold Cup. Nine of the thirteen Gold Cup match days also have MLS games, including 6 on Gold Cup final day. More on fixture conflict and missing players as the Gold Cup gets closer.


  • News and Views from Fri Aug 6

    MLS

    US Pyramid

    Club Tournaments

    Interesting Reads


    News and Views from Jul 26-27

    MLS

    Around the World and other Stuff

    Club Tourneys

    Player Moves

    The Business of Soccer


    News and Views Jul 22-25

    News and Views from Wed Jul 21

    MLS

    Club Tourneys

    N.A. SuperLiga
    Group A
    W D L Pts GD
     Houston  2   1   0   7   2 
     Puebla  2   0   1   6   2 
     Chivas USA  1   1   1   4   0 
     Pachuca  0   0   3   0   -5 
    Group B
    W D L Pts GD
     New England  3   0   0   9   3 
     Monarchas Morelia  1   1   1   4   3 
     Chicago  1   0   2   3   -4 
     UNAM Pumas  0   1   2   1   -2 
    • L.H. US Open Cup: DC United 2, Harrisburg 0.
    • L.H. US Open Cup SemiFinals: Seattle v ChivasUSA Sep 1, DC United v Columbus Sep 1

    Around the World and other Stuff

    Player Moves

    My Two Cents


    News and Views from Tue Jul 20

    MLS

    Club Tourneys

     Around the World and other Stuff

    Player Moves


    After the Weekend Jul 17-18

    MLS

      Club Tourneys

      N.A. SuperLiga
      Group A
      W D L Pts GD
       New England  2   0   0   6   2 
       Monarchas Morelia  1   1   0   4   4 
       UNAM Pumas  0   1   1   1   -1 
       Chicago  0   0   2   0   -5 
      Group B
      W D L Pts GD
       Puebla  2   0   0   6   3 
       Houston  1   1   0   4   1 
       Chivas USA  0   1   1   1   -1 
       Pachuca  0   0   2   0   -4 

      Around the World and other Stuff

      Player Moves

      The Business of Soccer


      News and Views from Thu Jul 15

      MLS

      Club Tourneys

      Continental Championships.

      N.A. SuperLiga
      Group A
      W D L Pts GD
       Monarchas Morelia  1   0   0   3   4 
       New England  1   0   0   3   1 
       UNAM Pumas  0   0   1   0   -1 
       Chicago  0   0   1   0   -4 
      Group B
      W D L Pts GD
       Houston  1   0   0   3   1 
       Puebla  1   0   0   3   1 
       Chivas USA  0   0   1   0   -1 
       Pachuca  0   0   1   0   -1 

      Around the World and other Stuff

      The Business of Soccer


      News and Views from Wed Jul 14

      Starters

      The number of morons denigrating MLS’ signing of Thierry Henry is astounding. Then again, that’s what I get for assigning a higher level of awareness to soccer fans than they deserve.
      Hope you all had a good Bastille Day.

      MLS

      The Last World Cup Articles

      Club Tourneys

      N.A. SuperLiga
      Group A
      W D L Pts GD
       Monarchas Morelia  1   0   0   3   4 
       New England  1   0   0   3   1 
       UNAM Pumas  0   0   1   0   -1 
       Chicago  0   0   1   0   -4 
      Group B
      W D L Pts GD
       Chivas USA  0   0   0   0   0 
       Pachuca  0   0   0   0   0 
       Puebla  0   0   0   0   0 
       Houston  0   0   0   0   0 

      Around the World and other Stuff


      News and Views from Thurs May 27

      MLS

      Interesting Reads

      World Cup

      Around the World

      The Business of Soccer

      Silly Season