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Uptick in MLS attendance
by Paul Kennedy, April 16th, 2013 1:54AM

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TAGS:  mls, online, soccer business, television

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By Paul Kennedy

Support for the Seattle Sounders remains strong despite their 0-3-2 start. They drew a crowd of 38,323 for their 0-0 tie with New England on Saturday night.

Better than average crowds for FC Dallas-Los Angeles (20,465) and D.C. United-New York (18,091) helped boost the weekly average to 19,677, the second highest weekly average of the season after Rivalry Week's average of 23,140.

MLS Attendance, Week 7
ATT. GAME
38,323 Seattle-New England
20,674
Portland-San Jose
20,465 FC Dallas-LA Galaxy
18,942 Houston-Chicago
18,612 Vancouver-Real Salt Lake
18,091 D.C. United-New York
17,182 Philadelphia-Toronto FC
16,584 Montreal-Columbus
8,219 Chivas USA-Colorado
19,677 AVERAGE
17,744 SEASON AVERAGE

CORRECTION. Yesterday's Soccer Business Insider misidentified  the destination of the Washington Spirit's bus trip. It was to face the Boston Breakers, not Chicago Red Stars, in their NWSL opener.

According to Spirit GM Chris Hummer, Abbott Trailways, the club's regular bus company with a fleet of custom team sleeper buses providing Wifi, big screen TV, sofas, sleeper bunks and AC power, was overbooked for the weekend and had made that aware to the club when their contract was signed. The Spirit thoroughly researched its replacement charter company for the Boston trip, US Coachways, and was assured it was up to its standards.

"Then they sent this outsourced bus to pick us up only 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure," said Hummer, "and gave us the run-around the entire weekend pretending to be trying to replace the bus. We eventually found one for them and they refused to pay for it or to refund our charter fee so we could pay for it."

WORTH THE READ. The four NWSL opening matches were all streamed to fans, but many found the quality of the webcasts poor and often experienced technical difficulties. As someone trying to watch the Canadian players in action on Week 1, The 11's Steven Sandor examines what went went wrong and how it impacts the league.

'THE ULTRAS' ON HBO. Bryant Gumbel, host of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, traveled to Cairo for a look at the Ultras, Al Ahly fans who have been a major force during the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and have sought to  bring down the current government led by the Muslim Brotherhood. "The Ultras" segment debuts on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
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