SBD/October 30, 2012/Research and Ratings

MLS Sees Best Attendance Since League's Inception; Dynamo Up Big At New Venue

MLS teams averaged 18,807 fans per game during the '12 regular season, marking the league's best figure in its 17-year history. This season's average is also up 5% from last year, which previously held the best attendance mark. Attendance this season was boosted by a host of factors, including the Sounders continuing to post record-setting numbers in Seattle, the addition of the Impact in Montreal and the Dynamo's move to soccer-specific BBVA Compass Stadium. The Sounders set an MLS attendance record for the fourth straight season, with the club's average up 12.1% from '11. The Dynamo's venue change led to a league-best 18.8% jump at the gate. During its inaugural season, the Impact ranked third in attendance, despite some noted ticket-pricing issues. Following several years of solid attendance after the club's founding, Toronto FC saw a 10.4% drop at the gate, fueled in large part by poor on-field performance. Chivas USA suffered a double whammy at the gate this season -- lowest average attendance in MLS and sharpest percentage drop among all clubs. Listed below is an average attendance trend for MLS dating back to the league's first year, as well as team-by-team figures for the '12 season (THE DAILY).

MLS REGULAR SEASON ATTENDANCE TREND
SEASON
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
'12
323
6,074,729
18,807
'11
306
5,468,849
17,872
'10
240
4,002,053
16,675
'09
225
3,609,048
16,040
'08
210
3,456,641
16,460
'07
195
3,270,210
16,770
'06
192
2,976,787
15,504
'05
192
2,900,716
15,108
'04
150
2,333,797
15,559
'03
150
2,234,747
14,898
'02
140
2,214,978
15,821
'01
158
2,363,889
14,961
'00
192
2,641,086
13,756
'99
192
2,742,102
14,282
'98
192
2,747,897
14,312
'97
160
2,336,529
14,603
'96
160
2,785,001
17,406
       
'12 MLS REGULAR SEASON ATTENDANCE
TEAM
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
% CAP.
PREV.
% +/-
GMS ('11)
Sounders FC
17
733,441
43,144
137.7%
38,496
12.1%
17
Galaxy
17
393,319
23,136
91.0%
23,335
-0.9%
17
Impact*
17
387,124
22,772
75.4%
n/a
n/a
n/a
Dynamo**
17
357,251
21,015
101.3%
17,694
18.8%
17
Timbers
17
347,446
20,438
106.3%
18,827
8.6%
17
Whitecaps
17
331,081
19,475
98.5%
20,406
-4.6%
17
Sporting KC
17
329,874
19,404
111.6%
17,810
8.9%
17
Real Salt Lake
17
324,482
19,087
100.5%
17,591
8.5%
17
Red Bulls
17
310,782
18,281
77.7%
19,749
-7.4%
17
Toronto FC
17
308,630
18,155
88.9%
20,267
-10.4%
17
Union
17
306,904
18,053
103.7%
18,259
-1.1%
17
Fire
17
278,947
16,409
82.0%
14,273
15.0%
17
Rapids
17
257,972
15,175
83.9%
14,838
2.3%
17
Crew
17
244,752
14,397
71.5%
12,185
18.2%
17
FC Dallas
17
241,390
14,199
73.6%
12,861
10.4%
17
Revolution
17
238,025
14,001
74.4%
13,222
5.9%
17
DC United
17
235,382
13,846
74.9%
15,196
-8.9%
17
Earthquakes***
17
225,977
13,293
103.3%
11,858
12.1%
17
Chivas USA
17
221,950
13,056
69.4%
14,830
-12.0%
17
TOTALS
323
6,074,729
18,807
91.4%
17,872
5.2%
306
               

NOTES: * = The Impact played its first five home games at Olympic Stadium before moving to a renovated Saputo Stadium. ** = The Dynamo moved to new BBVA Compass Stadium this season. *** = The Earthquakes played a home game at AT&T Park in March and a game at Stanford Stadium in June.

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