Crowd Count: MLS chases 2015 attendance record

At the All-Star break, MLS clubs are averaging 21,429 fans a game, almost unchanged (down 0.6 percent) from last year's record average attendance of 21,574.

The league has a shot at breaking the 2015 record. Many teams have traditionally drawn their best crowds in the fall. In addition, Seattle, the league leader with an average of 40,738 fans a game, has four full-capacity games to play at CenturyLink Field, and Toronto FC, which is averaging a club record of 27,793, has nine home games remaining, the most in the league.

MLS's three Canadian teams lead the league with increases of 21 percent (Montreal), 19 percent (Toronto FC) and 8 percent (Vancouver). The surprise is that the Supporters' Shield leader FC Dallas has had the biggest drop, down 15 percent from its final 2015 average.

Montreal has picked up where it left off when it sold out six of its final seven games at Stade Saputo after signing Didier Drogba. It has sold out six of its eight games at Stade Saputo. The Impact also played two MLS games at Olympic Stadium, as opposed to one in 2015.

FC Dallas has covered 4,000 bleacher seats in the south stands with blue tarps because of work on the new U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame, but it is not selling out Toyota Stadium. It has dropped to last in MLS with an average of 13,933 fans a game.

The Sounders, who have led MLS in attendance in every season they have been in the league, are down 8 percent as compared it their final 2015 average of 44,247 -- an MLS record, second in the Americas and 28th in the world -- but up 1 percent year-over-year after 10 games even though they are only 6-12-2. That includes one full-capacity match at CenturyLink Field in 2016 vs. none after 10 games in 2015.

The Sounders still have four of their five full-capacity matches at CenturyLink Field on their schedule, beginning with Sunday's game against the LA Galaxy. The remaining games also include two Cascadia Cup games.

Four teams have increases of 5 percent or more as opposed to their 2015 final average; six teams have decreases of 5 percent or more.

2016 MLS Attendance:
TEAM AVG. (+/-)
1. Seattle 40,738 (-8%)
2. Orlando City 33,892 (+3%)
3. Toronto FC  27,793 (+19%)
4. New York City 26,978 (-7%)
5. LA Galaxy 24,564 (+5%)
6. Vancouver 22,049 (+8%)
7. Montreal 21,472 (+21%)
8. San Jose 21,282 (+1%)
9. Portland 21,144 (+0%)
10. Houston 19,716 (-5%)
11. NY Red Bulls 19,683 (+.1%)
12. Real Salt Lake 19,609 (-3%)
13. Sporting KC 19,560 (-.6%)
14. New England 18,423 (-6%)
15. Philadelphia 17,140 (-2%)
16. Columbus 16,742 (-1%)
17. Colorado 15,929 (+2%)
18. D.C. United 15,692 (-3%)
19. Chicago 14,503 (-9%)
20. FC Dallas 13,933 (-15%)
1 comment about "Crowd Count: MLS chases 2015 attendance record".
  1. :: SilverRey ::, July 26, 2016 at 1:08 p.m.

    New stadiums really need to start pushing for the 25k mark. Philly's at 18k and they are already starting to bust at the seams.

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