SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

MLS KICKS OFF SECOND SEASON TO SMALLER CROWDS THAN LAST YEAR

          MLS opened its second season with lower attendance and
     goal scoring, but also with "higher-quality play," according
     to Jere Longman of the N.Y. TIMES.  Longman notes that this
     year, MLS "will have to survive on the caliber of its play,
     not the novelty of its existence" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/1). 
     Attendance for six matches this season has averaged 21,272,
     "considerably behind" the 33,598 for a similar period last
     year, but ahead of MLS Commissioner Doug Logan's 20,000
     projection for the season.  Logan called Kansas City "a
     little soft," noting the Wizards' opening game attendance of
     10,196 (Jerry Langdon, USA TODAY, 3/31).  In Boston, the
     GLOBE's Frank Dell'Apa: "Major League Soccer's novelty
     effect appears to have subsided judging by attendance, which
     was mostly unimpressive during the first week of the season.
     ... Now, substance is becoming the criteria to attract fans
     and maintain credibility" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/1).  But the
     GLOBE's Will McDonough, on an expected crowd of 54,000 for a
     World Cup qualifier/MLS doubleheader on April 20 at Foxboro:
     "It's hard to believe how soccer interest has developed here
     in such a short time" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/29).  In L.A., the
     Galaxy-United game drew 53,147 (L.A. TIMES, 3/30).


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