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Big turnout for openers
by Mike Woitalla, March 20th, 2011 11:46PM
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[MLS ATTENDANCE] Week 1 attendance averaged 21,046 per game, an increase of more than 3,000 from last season's opening week average of 17,921. Who drew the biggest crowd had been predictable, but there was a pleasant surprise.

* Seattle, which led the league in attendance the last two seasons, drew
36,433 for the league's Tuesday night opener against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

* The expansion Vancouver Whitecaps played before a sellout crowd of 22,592 in their first game in their temporary home at Empire Field.

* FC Dallas drew
20,145 for its home opener, a 1-1 tie with Chicago. Last year, Dallas started its run to a runner-up finish in front of 8,016 in its home opener.

* The nine returning teams averaged 20,905 this week. Last year the same teams averaged 18,881 for their opening games -- an increase of nearly 11 percent.

* The smallest announced attendance of the week was 10,525 in San Jose, whose Buck Shaw Stadium capacity is under 11,000.

MLS ATTENDANCE:

Club (2011 Rank)

Week 1
Home Games

2011 Home
Average

2010 Home
Average (Final)

Chicago (-)
-- --
15,814
Chivas USA (8)
18,122 18,122 14,576
Colorado (9)
17,139 17,139 13,329
Columbus (-)
 -- --
14,642
D.C. United (7)
18,132 18,132 14,532
FC Dallas (5)
20,145 20,145 10,815
Houston (6)
19,385 19,385 17,310
Kansas City (-)
 -- --
10,287
Los Angeles (2)
 27,000 27,000 21,437
New England (-)
 -- --
12,987
New York (4)
 20,982 20,982 18,441
Philadelphia (-)
 --
--
19,254
Portland (-)
 --
--
 --
Real Salt Lake (-)
 -- --
17,095
San Jose (10)
 10,525 10,525 9,659
Seattle (1)
 36,433 36,433 36,173
Toronto FC (-)
 -- --
20,453
Vancouver (3)
 22,592 22,592 --
Leaguewide
 21,046 21,046 16,037
35,953
20,672
18,379


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