MLS remains on pace to smash attendance record

After almost two-thirds of the 2015 season, Major League Soccer is averaging 21,142 fans a game, up 10.4 percent over last season's record average of 19,149.

The increase is largely attributable to the arrival of expansion teams Orlando City and New York City FC, which are averaging 33,960 and 28,785, respectively, to rank second and third in MLS behind the Seattle Sounders, who have led the league in attendance in each of their seven seasons. Chivas USA which averaged only 7,063 fans a game in 2014, folded.

The 18 returning teams are up 4 percent year-to-year after the same number of games. The San Jose Earthquakes, who moved into new Avaya Stadium and also played games at Levi's Stadium and Stanford Stadium, are up 59 percent. The New England Revolution is up 14 percent.

The only teams with double-digit declines are the Montreal Impact (down 20 percent) and D.C United (down 13 percent). If you throw out D.C. United's 2014 match at FedEx Field that was played as part of a doubleheader with Spain-El Salvador and drew 53,267 fans, its average attendance is up 12 percent. Montreal opened this season with one, not two MLS games, at Olympic Stadium.

Ten teams are averaging more than 20,000 fans a game. Never before has more than eight teams reached that mark.

Success on the field does not necessarily translate to success at the gate. FC Dallas and D.C. United, which share the overall league lead, rank 19th and 20th in average attendance.

2015 MLS Attendance Leaders:
(RANK) TEAM AVG. (+/-)
(1) Seattle 40,251 (-7%)
(2) Orlando City 33,960
(3) New York City 28,785
(4) San Jose 24,331 (+59%)
(5) Toronto FC 23,978 (+6%)
(6) LA Galaxy 21,889 (+8%)
(7) Portland   21,141 (+2%)
(8) Vancouver  20,752 (-1%)
(9) Houston 20,618 (+4%)
(10) Real Salt Lake  20,059 (-1%)
(11) Sporting KC 19,929 (-1%)
(12) NY Red Bulls 18,888 (+3%)
(13) Philadelphia 17,608 (-2%)
(14) New England 17,444 (+14%)
(15) Chicago 15,734 (+2%)
(16) Montreal 15,589 (-20%)
(17) Colorado 15,458 (+6%)
(18) Crew SC 15,439 (-2%)
(19) FC Dallas 15,368 (-9%)
(20) D.C. United  14,458 (-13%)
AVERAGE: 21,141
Note: Increase or decrease is in comparison to 2014 after the same number of games.

4 comments about "MLS remains on pace to smash attendance record".
  1. don Lamb, July 21, 2015 at 11:23 a.m.

    Hate to say it, but rather than cities like Sacramento, San Antonio, etc. hoping for an expansion franchise, they might want to start thinking about getting into the league through relocation. Columbus... Dallas... Maybe a couple others should be on watch.

  2. Mike Jacome, July 21, 2015 at 1:04 p.m.

    This is great! And Seattle hasn't even played a single one of their four scheduled Full-Stadium-Capacity games.

  3. Walter Crawford, July 21, 2015 at 4:38 p.m.

    I would like to see Dallas have a darby with Ft. Worth. Dallas and Ft. Worth already have a rivalry built in and to compete in a sport where fans could go en mass to the games would fill the stands. Houston is too far and should have a darby with San Antonio. Anybody have thoughts?

  4. Santiago 1314, July 21, 2015 at 10:41 p.m.

    Dallas SUX.!!! Eat Shitake Mushrooms and Die.!!! How's that for Houston-Dallas Rivalry... It's Never too far to go and Beat Dallas, AT Anything... Vamos Dynamo.!!!

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