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MLS boasts big crowd increase
by Mike Woitalla, October 30th, 2012 12:47AM
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[MLS ATTENDANCE] MLS hit the 6 million mark for the first time in its 17-year history and set a regular-season attendance average record of 18,807. Seattle led the league for the fourth straight season and 11 teams saw an increase over last season. For 2012 attendance rankings and MLS attendance history ...

* MLS reported that 6,074,729 fans acquired tickets to the 2012 regular season's 323 games, marking the first time in league history that it exceeded 6 million. Total reported attendance in 2011 was 5,468,030.

* The league-wide average was 18,807, a 5 percent increase over the previous high of 17,872 in 2011. The third highest leaguewide attendance was 17,406 in MLS's inaugural season of 1996.

* The league-wide attendance average has increased three straight seasons.

* Eleven teams announced a higher attendance average in 2012 than in 2011: Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, New England, Portland, Real Salt Lake, San Jose and Seattle. ... Expansion club Montreal averaged 22,772 fans per game.

* Seattle has set a club attendance record in each of its four years in the league: 2012 -- 43,144; 2011 -- 38,496; 2010 -- 36,173; 2009 -- 30,897.

* Chivas USA was last in attendance.

MLS ATTENDANCE*

Club (2012 Rank)
Week 33
Home Games
2012 Home
Average
2011 Home
Average (Final)
Chicago (12) 20,017 16,409 14,273
Chivas USA (19) -- 13,056 14,830
Colorado (13) 15,453 15,175 14,838
Columbus (14)

 15,627

 14,397 12,185
Dallas (15)

 15,805

 14,199 12,861
D.C. United (17) -- 13,846 15,196
Houston (4) -- 21,015 17,694
Kansas City (7) 19,428 19,404 17,810
Los Angeles (2) 27,000 23,136 23,335
Montreal (3) 19,998 22,772 --
New England (16) -- 14,001 13,222
New York (9) -- 18,281 19,749
Philadelphia (11) 18,533 18,053 18,259
Portland (5) 20,438 20,438 18,827
Real Salt Lake (8) 20,507 19,087 17,591
San Jose (18) -- 13,293 11,858
Seattle (1) -- 43,144 38,496
Toronto FC (10) -- 18,155 20,267
Vancouver (6) -- 19,475 20,406
Leaguewide 19,285 18,807 17,872

* Attendance figures, provided by MLS, reflect tickets sold and distributed.

MLS YEAR-BY-YEAR ATTENDANCE AVERAGE
1996 - 17,406
1997 - 14,603
1998 - 14,312
1999 - 14,282
2000 - 13,756
2001 - 14,961
2002 - 15,821
2003 - 14,898
2004 - 15,559
2005 - 15,108
2006 - 15,504
2007 - 16,770
2008 - 16,460
2009 - 16,037
2010 - 16,675
2011 - 17,872
2012 - 18,807

TOP MLS TEAM ATTENDANCE AVERAGES
2011 Seattle: 43,144
2011 Seattle: 38,496
2010 Seattle: 36,173
2009 Seattle: 30,897
1996 Los Angeles: 28,916
2008 Los Angeles: 26,009
2007 Los Angeles: 24,252
2005 Los Angeles: 24,204
1996 MetroStars: 23,898
2004 Los Angeles: 23,809
2003: Los Angeles: 21,983
1998 Los Angeles: 21,784
2001: D.C. United 21,518
1997 New England: 21,423
2006 Los Angeles: 20,814
2002: Colorado: 20,687
2000 Los Angeles: 20,400
1999 Columbus: 17,696



4 comments
  1. Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    commented on: October 30, 2012 at 10:06 a.m.
    WELL DONE to the MLS for Marketing their Football by publishing the fact their SPECTATOR ATTENDANCES are climbing! FIFA won't but Television MUST start publishing this information because it is DIRECTLY RELATED to Television Audience Size. The Advertisers, Sponsors, abused 'partners' and Suppliers still involved in 'leagues' generating increasing numbers of EMPTY SEATS are BLOODY FOOLS!
  1. Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    commented on: October 30, 2012 at 10:12 a.m.
    All 210 FIFA-affiliated Leagues should publish their SPECTATOR ATTENDANCE STATISTICS. SuperSport Television - Africa's ONLY Continental-wide Television Service Provider - should STOP televising 'football' played in EMPTY STADIUMS! Publish the figures and win or WITHDRAW 'the service'. Football is NEVER PLAYED IN EMPTY STADIUMS!
  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: October 30, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
    The empty seats that keep showing up on TV are for Sponsers who never show up for the games. MLS can do something about it to make the TV pictures consistant with the reported attendance numbers. Sponsers show make an effort to donate those empty seats' tickets to high school soccer programs or other youth soccer organizations who can't afford the tickets' prices and can help fill those empty seats.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: October 31, 2012 at 10:32 a.m.
    Obviously, it is better to attend the game live where the view is constant and uninterrupted either by the winded commentary or camera cameos. TV coverage can be a lot better if people in the decision-making platform use common sense; so far they haven't addressed it.

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