SBD/September 28, 2012/Franchises

MLS DC United On Pace For Lowest Season Attendance Ever Despite On-Field Success

DC United "continues to struggle at the box office," even as the club is "closing in on its first MLS playoff berth in five years," according to Steven Goff of the WASHINGTON POST. Barring an "enormous turnout for the regular season home finale Oct. 20, the club will post its lowest average attendance at RFK Stadium since MLS launched" in '96. At 13,483, DC United is "17th out of 19 teams in a league on pace (18,531) to record the highest attendance number in its history." The club is down 11.1% since last season and a "staggering" 32% since '08 when it averaged 19,835. There is "no single explanation" for DC United's "dreary numbers." Rather, "several factors have contributed to the four-year fall." Some of those include no playoff appearances since '07, no int'l superstars and an "old stadium with no amenities." RFK is also "too large to create ticket-buying urgency" and the season-ticket base "has eroded" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/26).
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