With the 2013 MLS season just around the corner, here’s a look back at recent MLS attendance and a few other things. I’ll have my annual crystal ball post online later this week.
|5 year comparison|
|2008 210 Game Season – 2009 225 Game Season
2010 240 Game Season – 2011 306 Game Season
2012 323 Game Season
|5 year comparison|
|MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games|
|Att||Cap||Att||Att +/-||GP||% of Cap||Cap|
My disclaimer about the capacity calculations
For my 2011 calculations, I took 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. For 2012, Chivas USA has reconfigured the Home Depot Center for its home games such that the capacity is now 18,800. Also in 2012, Houston moved into its new home, BBVA Compass Stadium, with a soccer capacity of 22,000. And the new 2 year lease agreement between DC and DC United calls for a reconfiguration to 19,647 seats for MLS games at RFK Stadium. Portland seems to have increased it’s capacity to 20,438. Montréal played its first five home games at Olympic Stadium, with a capacity of 60,000. I’ve added 2,200 seats to the Sounders’ capacity as they’ve opened up the Hawk’s nest(thank you Charles) in Seattle.
Additional note: Over the years, several stadiums’ capacities have been reported with different numbers. For example, I used 20,455 for Columbus in 2011. If any of you have the accurate soccer capacity for stadiums that differ from mine, please let me know. Seattle has been opening the upper deck for some matches, so it’s difficult to give accurate capacities for their season.
So How Did They Finish?
Top 5 conference finishers qualify for MLS Cup Playoffs.
x=Supporters’ Shield Champion
y=clinched playoff position
Tiebreakers: 1-Goals Scored(Full Season), 2-Goal Differential(Full Season),3- Fewest Disciplinary Pts
4-Road Goals(Full Season), 5-Road Goal Differential, 6-Home Goals(Full Season), 7-Road Goal Differential
Montréal gave a boost to the league’s average attendance with over 22,000. Seattle’s capacity continues to be a moving target.
MLS has now weathered the poor economy fairly well. Average attendance was up 5.2% compared to 2011. Below is a table comparing the average attendance figures of MLS to the ‘Big Four’.
- Chivas USA are winless in 14 matches(8 road, 6 home).
- Columbus are undefeated in 9 home matches.
- DC United are undefeated in 16 home matches.
- Houston is undefeated in 24 home matches, dating back to 2011.
- Houston are winless in 5 road matches.
- San Jose is undefeated in 15 home matches.
- San Jose is undefeated in 9 matches.
- Sporting KC is undefeated in 12 matches.
- Toronto are winless in 14 matches.
- Vancouver are winless in 10 road matches.
MLS Throw Ins
Moving forward, this season will again see an unbalanced scheduled, There will be 323 matches this season.
MLS In CONCACAF Champions League
Three MLS teams have made it to the final 8 in the 2012-13 CCL, Seattle, Houston and Los Angeles.
Houston hosts Santos Laguna, UANL hosts Seattle and Herediano hosts Los Angeles in the first legs of the quarterfinals midweek after MLS opening weekend. The 2nd legs will be played one week later.
MLS clubs Los Angeles(MLS Cup winner), Houston(MLS Cup finalist), Sporting KC(Lamar Hunt US Open Cup winner) and the San Jose(Supporters’ Shield winner), along with one of the Canadien teams(winner of the Canadien Cup) will participate in the 2013-14 tourney
Any MLS players that make it onto Gold Cup teams will be away from their teams in July through at least the end of the group stage. The finals are on July 28.
As usual, MLS will not break during the Gold Cup. I suspect many Gold Cup match days will also have MLS games, including 1 on Gold Cup final day. More on fixture conflict and missing players as the Gold Cup gets closer
While there are no game day conflicts with CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers, MLS regular season matches bracket many of the Hex’s match days. Combined with the aforementioned Gold Cup, it makes for a busy schedule for players on national teams. Many rosters will be severely tested this season, so depth will be a key to success.
Busy Time for Top Players on Top Teams
As unlikely as it might be, a player that plays on a team in the Gold Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, US Open Cup and CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying could play as many as 25 games in addition to their MLS regular season club duties.