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MLS attendance second best in history
October 30th, 2007 6:48AM

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The MLS 2007 regular-season attendance average of 16,770 is the highest since the inaugural season of 1996, when attendance averaged 17,406. The 2007 season also marked the first time attendance average broke the 16,000-mark since the inaugural season. And for the first time in MLS history, three teams averaged more than 20,000: Los Angeles (24,252) D.C. United (20,967) and Toronto FC (20,130). Total attendance for the season's 195 games was 3,270,210.

Thirteen teams competed in MLS this season; the league comprised of 10 clubs in 1996.

The 9 percent increase in attendance over last season is partly credited to the arrival of David Beckham.

The New York Red Bulls averaged less than 11,500 spectators during the first half of the season but drew 66,237 when Beckham and the Galaxy came to Giants Stadium. 

Although the injury-plagued midfielder played in only five of the Galaxy's games, pre-sales based on the expectation that he would appear provided a bump in sales.

Kansas City, which averaged a league low 11,586, drew 32,867 fans for a game against the Galaxy, which Beckham missed because of injury.

The Galaxy's home attendance rose 16.5 percent from 2006.

Thanks to Cuauhtemoc Blanco's midseason arrival to Chicago, its attendance increased from 14,550 through mid-July to 16,490 by season's end. Six of the Fire's final seven home games were sellouts once Blanco joined the team, reports Street and Smiths Sports Business Journal.

New England Revolution increased its attendance 42 percent to an average of 16,742. But as Chivas USA dropped 28 percent to 14,305.

MLS REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCE AVERAGE
1996: 17,406
1997: 14,619
1998: 14,312
1999: 14,282
2000: 13,756
2001: 14,961
2002: 15,822
2003: 14,898
2004: 15,559
2005: 15,108
2006: 15,504
2007: 16,770

MLS 2007 ATTENDANCE AVERAGE
Los Angeles 24,252
D.C. United 20,967
Toronto FC 20,130
New England 16,787
New York 16,530
Chicago 16,490
Real Salt Lake15,960
Houston 15,883
Columbus 15,230
FC Dallas 15,145
Colorado 14,749
Chivas USA 14,305
Kansas City 11,586

MLS Totals: 195 games; 3,270,210 for a 16,770 average

 



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