Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Seattle breaks MLS attendance record for fifth year in a row
by Paul Kennedy, October 29th, 2013 5:15AM
Subscribe to Soccer Business Insider

TAGS:  mls, seattle sounders, soccer business


By Paul Kennedy

The Seattle Sounders set an MLS attendance record for the fifth year in a row as they averaged 44,038 fans a game at CenturyLink Field. That's higher than any MLB team averaged in 2013 except the Los Angeles Dodgers, who averaged 46,216, and more than double the Seattle Mariners averaged.

The Sounders' average was also more than double any other MLS team. Four other teams averaged 20,000 or more.

MLS averaged 18,594 fans a game in 2013, down 1.1 percent from its record average of 18,807 in 2012, though for the second year in a row total attendance topped 6 million.

The Sounders were one of 11 teams that enjoyed an increase in average attendance. The Columbus Crew, which was sold in mid-season, had the highest percentage increase (12 percent). Other notable increases were enjoyed by FC Dallas (8 percent), New York (6 percent) and New England (6 percent). FC Dallas has increased average attendance by 56 percent over the last four seasons.

On the other hand, attendance at troubled Chivas USA plummeted 36 percent to 8,366 fans a game, the lowest season average in MLS in a decade. Montreal was the only other team to experience a double-digit drop in average attendance (10 percent). The Impact played five games at Olympic Stadium in its inaugural season while Stade de Saputo was being finished. It only played two games at Olympic Stadium in 2013.

Other teams to suffer drops in average attendance included Chicago (7 percent), who averaged the fewest fans of any team playing in its own soccer-specific stadium, and Los Angeles (6 percent), which was playing its first season since 2006 without David Beckham.

2013 MLS Attendance:
AVG. TEAM (+/-)
44,038 Seattle (+2%)
21,770 LA Galaxy (-6%)
20,674 Portland (+1%)
20,603 Montreal (-10%)
20,097 Vancouver (+3%)
19,923 Houston (-5%)
19,709 Sporting KC (+2%)
19,461 New York (+6%)
19,218 Real Salt Lake (+1%)
18,131 Toronto FC (+.08%)
17,867 Philadelphia (-4%)
16,080 Columbus (+12%)
15,499 Colorado (+2%)
15,373 FC Dallas (+8%)
15,228 Chicago (-7%)
14,844 New England (+6%)
13,646 D.C. United (-1%)
12,765 San Jose (-4%)
8,366 Chivas USA (-36%)
18,594 LEAGUE (-1.1%)

Highest MLS Attendance:
AVG. TEAM (+/-)
44,038 Seattle (2013)
43,144 Seattle (2012)
38,496 Seattle (2011)
36,173 Seattle (2010)
30,897 Seattle (2009)
28,916 Los Angeles (1996)
26,009 Los Angeles (2008)
24,252 Los Angeles (2007)
24,204 Los Angeles (2005)
23,898 MetroStars (1996)

Lowest MLS Attendance:
AVG. TEAM (+/-)
7,460 Miami (2000)
7,906 Dallas (2003)
8,072 Kansas City (1998)
8,183 Kansas City (1999)
8,336 Chivas USA (2013)
8,689 Miami (1999)
9,058 Kansas City (1997)
9,088 Dallas (2004)
9,112 Kansas City (2000)
9,635 San Jose (2010)

MLS Attendance
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
2013 - 18,594
Soccer America on Twitter:
Follow Soccer America | Paul Kennedy | Ridge Mahoney | Mike Woitalla
Google+: Soccer America
Facebook: Soccer America
Soccer Business Insider RSS feed

  1. Ian Plenderleith
    commented on: October 29, 2013 at 10:27 a.m.
    Is it meaningful to compare MLS crowds with baseball's when MLB teams play four to five times more home games in a season? The other problem I have with these stats is the announced crowds versus the actual number attending. There is no way that 13,000+ people have been going to watch the miserable DC United in recent months - it looks more like 7-9,000 at best. It would surely benefit MLS and their marketing planners to know how many people are actually attending their games, rather than having teams sugar-coat their figures by adding on tickets sold or given away, but not used. Every ticket is barcode-scanned upon entry, so the teams must know these figures - they should publish both the number of tickets issued/sold and the actual crowd in the stadium.
  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: October 30, 2013 at 11:42 a.m.
    I see your point, Ian, but most leagues, not just MLS and soccer announce the number of tickets sold, not the actual attendance. No shows are counted; just the way it's done. If you think DC United had a lot of no shows, check out the Jaguars for a truly pathetic turnout.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer Business Insider
Donovan case study: turning a negative into a positive    
So what's happens to a star from a marketing perspective when things go wrong? How do ...
Top 10 soccer television stories of the year    
It is almost impossible to go a day without finding live soccer somewhere on television. Most ...
U.S. Soccer renews Nike deal through 2022    
Nike, a U.S. Soccer partner since 1995, will be providing men's and women's national team uniforms ...
Mizuno cleats hit U.S. market     
Mizuno, the century-old Japanese company that entered the U.S. market in 1961 and has specialized in ...
Signs of progress on D.C. stadium plans    
The proposal for the D.C. United stadium to be built in Washington's Buzzard Point neighborhood could ...
Miami 'giddy' about soccer, New York? Not so much    
Miami-Dade County commissioners have demonstrated their support for soccer. Just what that gets David Beckham and ...
NYCFC eyes Bronx stadium site; Miami Beckham United gets on agenda    
It will take an Edwin Moses-type to cleanly clear all the hurdles that lie ahead for ...
MLS Cup viewers on UniMas surpass those on ESPN    
Saturday's MLS Cup drew the fewest English-language viewers on record, so few in fact that the ...
Team Beckham eyes Miami stadium site by the bay    
You can't say David Beckham doesn't think big.
FIFA-adidas partnership extended through 2030    
The World Cup and adidas are synonymous, their relationship going back to the 1970 World Cup ...
>> Soccer Business Insider Archives