Welcome to the 5th year of ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’, posts predominantly about weekly MLS attendance. This series was begun when MLS 2.0 was just gaining momentum. David Beckham’s influence was rippling throughout the league, in global exposure of MLS, merchandise sales and gate attendance wherever he played. It’s now fair to say that the league is well established, having survived the financial turmoil of its early years and now in the top ten worldwide in average attendance. With gate numbers pretty solid for 75% of the teams, attendance is less an issue when it comes to projecting the future success of MLS.
As I wrote several times when I was posting for Major League Soccer Talk, TV Fees – The Key to MLS’ Future, MLS FutureWatch – Salaries, The CBA and TV, for example, television rights fees are the next major hurdle. MLS rights fees are a pittance compared to other ‘big’ soccer leagues and compared to the traditional ‘big 4′ sports in the USA. While many teams have local broadcasting deals, the big bucks are in national network contracts. Only when these fees increase will the league be able to compete for the likes of Van Persie, Hulk, Neymar and others while they are in their prime. We are years away from that time, but I believe MLS will eventually be on equal footing to attract major talent.
With that said, I haven’t decided if ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ will continue to appear weekly. I will still be collecting the data, but the relevance seems less consequential to me. I can see quarterly posts as a possibility, but I’d like to hear from you, my readers. Should ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ continue to appear weekly and if so, why? Please leave your comments.
Thanks very much for visiting OLR and be assured that the attendance and other data will continue to be updated and available via the menus at the top of the page.
Note: Player data for 2013 will be uploaded when a fair sampling of players have reached the 700 minute benchmark I’ve arbitrarily set.
And now on to the stuff you came here for…
The Week 1 numbers look like this…
|5 year comparison|
|Week 1||9 GP||YTD|
|2009 225 Game Season – 2010 240 Game Season
2011 306 Game Season – 2012-13 323 Game Season
|YTD – 9 Games|
Here are the attendance comparisons to 2012:
|MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games|
|Att||Cap||Att||Att +/-||GP||% of Cap||Cap|
My disclaimer about the capacity calculations
For my 2012 calculations, I took the 2 teams playing in football stadiums, DCU in RFK and New England in Foxboro and assigned maximum capacities as follows, DCU-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.
Additional note: Over the years, several stadiums’ capacities have been reported with different numbers. For example, I used 20,455 for Columbus in 2012. If any of you have the accurate soccer capacity for stadiums that differ from mine, please let me know. Also, capacity at CenturyLink in Seattle is a moving target.
Philadelphia had a good opener, over 18,100. Vancouver continued its sellout string. Houston had a good, but not great opener with 20,000+. Dallas had over 18,000. Seattle had is usual terrifice crowd, 38,800+. Chivas USA had an embarrassing 7,121, the smallest crowd in its history. The LA turnout, like Houston, was OK, not great. Portland and San Jose sold out.
- If you didn’t see Portland’s Diego Valeri’s goal, have a look. It was a beauty.
- Chivas USA drew it’s worst crowd ever. Will this finally be the last year before the team is rebranded/moved/sold?
- The San Jose/Real Salt Lake match was missing many key players; Wingert, Morales, Borchers, Lenhart, Chavez, Gordon.
Newcomer Goal Scoring Watch: Claudio Bieler opened his MLS account for Sporting KC. Diego Valeri scored a super goal for Portland. Feel free to add your newcomer observations in the comment section.
The Competition on the Field
- This week’s matches, home team listed first with all time home record(W-D-L) v opponent(including this week’s games)
- Conference Standings
|Week 1 Games|
|Philadelphia||1||Brotherly Game – Scott Kessler||18,160||1-2-1|
|Sporting KC||3||Daily Wiz|
|Toronto||0||Waking the Red|
|For my money, Houston retains the franchise history from its time in San Jose.|
|DC United||X||Black and Red United|
|FC Dallas||1||3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick||18,075||20-4-6|
|Chivas USA||0||Chivas USA||7,121||5-1-2|
|Seattle||0||Sounder at Heart||38,998||0-0-1|
|Montréal||1||Mount Royal Soccer|
|Los Angeles||4||LA Official Website||20,124||10-3-6|
|Chicago||0||Hot Time in Old Town|
|RBNY||3||Red Bulls Reader|
|San Jose||0||San Jose Center Line Soccer||10,525||3-0-4|
|Real Salt Lake||2||RSL Soapbox|
|NY Red Bull||1||0||1||0||3||3||3.00||3.00||1.00||1||0|
|Real Salt Lake||1||1||0||0||2||0||2.00||0.00||3.00||3||2|
Top 5 conference finishers qualify for MLS Cup Playoffs.
Tiebreakers: 1-Wins, 2-Goals Scored(Full Season), 3-Goal Differential(Full Season)
4-Fair Play, 5-Road Goals(Full Season), 6-Road Goal Differential(Full Season), 7-Home Goals(Full Season)
8-Home Goal Differential(Full Season), 9-Coin Toss (2 teams) or Drawing of Lots (3 or more)
- Chivas USA are winless in 15 matches(8 road, 7 home).
- Columbus are undefeated in 9 home matches.
- DC United are undefeated in 16 home matches.
- Houston is undefeated in 26 home matches, dating back to last season.
- Houston are winless in 5 road matches.
- Portland is undefeated in 7 home matches.
- Sporting KC is undefeated in 13 matches.
- Toronto are winless in 15 matches.
- Vancouver are winless in 10 road matches.
MLS Throw Ins
- There has been 1 draw thru 9 matches.
- There have been 7 clean sheets thru 9 matches, counting scoreless draws as 2.
- Through 9 games: goal scoring is up 20.0% from 2012, 2.67 vs 2.22.
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