Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 238
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

MLS Scores Fourth Straight Attendance Record In '17, Fueled By New Top Draw Atlanta United

For the fourth consecutive season, MLS set new league attendance records, drawing more than 8.2 million total fans for an average of 22,106 per game, up 1.9% over last season and topping the 22,000 mark for the first time ever. The Sounders, who have led the league in attendance for the past eight seasons, were surpassed by expansion franchise Atlanta United FC this season. Atlanta United set both the North American single-game attendance record (71,824) and the single-season attendance average (48,200) while playing its first nine games at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium before moving into the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their final eight contests. The Sounders averaged 43,666 fans, the club’s fourth-highest figure ever, for a 2.4% gain over last year. The league's other expansion club, Minnesota United FC, averaged 20,538 fans at the Univ. of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium. The Fire's increase of 11.4% at the gate led the league. The Earthquakes were relatively flat this season, but last month for a game against the Fire failed to sell out all 18,000 seats at Avaya Stadium for the first time since the San Jose venue opened three years ago. FC Dallas saw the lowest attendance at 15,122 across the league, but were up 7.4% in year-to-year comparisons. Orlando City SC saw the league's sharpest drop, but the club moved from the Camping World Stadium to the new Orlando City Stadium for this season. NYCFC also was down 19% at Yankee Stadium. That decline comes as the club is proposing a soccer-specific venue that would be built on the current site of Belmont Park.

'17 MLS REGULAR SEASON ATTENDANCE
TEAM
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
% CAP.
PREV.
% +/-
GMS ('16)
Atlanta United*
17
819,404
48,200
99.9%
n/a
n/a
n/a
Sounders
17
742,314
43,666
110.8%
42,636
2.4%
17
Toronto FC
17
470,005
27,647
91.5%
26,583
4.0%
17
Orlando City**
17
425,477
25,028
98.0%
31,324
-20.1%
17
Galaxy
17
378,182
22,246
86.7%
25,147
-11.5%
17
NYCFC***
17
377,016
22,177
81.7%
27,196
-18.5%
17
Whitecaps
17
364,073
21,416
95.4%
22,330
-4.1%
17
Red Bulls
17
359,977
21,175
84.0%
20,620
2.7%
17
Timbers
17
359,448
21,144
100.0%
21,144
0.0%
17
Minnesota United
17
349,138
20,538
93.8%
n/a
n/a
n/a
Impact^
17
340,783
20,046
92.8%
20,669
-3.0%
17
Earthquakes^^
17
337,873
19,875
99.8%
19,930
-0.3%
17
Sporting KC
17
332,121
19,537
105.8%
19,597
-0.3%
17
Revolution
17
329,233
19,367
96.8%
20,185
-4.1%
17
Real Salt Lake
17
319,284
18,781
92.9%
19,759
-4.9%
17
DC United
17
304,369
17,904
91.1%
17,081
4.8%
17
Dynamo
17
297,507
17,500
79.4%
19,021
-8.0%
17
Fire
17
295,511
17,383
94.0%
15,602
11.4%
17
Union
17
285,797
16,812
90.9%
17,519
-4.0%
17
Crew
17
262,469
15,439
77.3%
17,125
-9.8%
17
Rapids
17
260,476
15,322
87.9%
16,278
-5.9%
17
FC Dallas
17
257,077
15,122
94.5%
14,094
7.3%
17
MLS TOTALS
374
8,267,534
22,106
93.7%
21,692
1.9%
340
NOTES: * = Played home games at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium before moving to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. ** = Orlando City is playing its first season at Orlando City Stadium (capacity: 25,527), having moved from Camping World Stadium (23,726) following the '16 season. However, Orlando City's opener in '16 drew over 60,000 fans. *** = Includes designated NYCFC home games played at UConn's Pratt & Whitney Stadium and at Citi Field. ^ = Includes a designated Impact home game played at Olympic Stadium in '17 and two games during the '16 season. ^^ = Includes a designated Earthquakes home game played at Stanford Stadium during both seasons.