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Volume 25 No. 107
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Fire Experiencing Big Attendance Drop Amid Poor Season On Pitch

The drop has come after the Fire's best season ever at the gate and second best season in their history
Photo: ORLANDO CITY

A number of the MLS "legacy teams," like the Fire, are "struggling at the gate" this season, according to Paul Kennedy of SOCCER AMERICA. The Fire's 4-0 win over Orlando City yesterday at Toyota Park "shined a spotlight" on the team's situation. The Fire are next to last in the Eastern Conference standings and have the second "largest MLS attendance drops" by percentage, behind only the Crew, down 18% from last season. FS1's John Strong and Stuart Holden addressed some of the "issues facing the Fire -- including an on-going dispute" between the team's front office and its supporters group. Strong said of the atmosphere at Toyota Park yesterday, "This amount of palpable silence, in a league in which atmospheres are one of the calling cards for MLS is ... tough." Holden said, "Being brutally honest, it sounds like a reserve game." Kennedy noted the "scary part" is that yesterday's attendance of 16,297 was the "third largest of the season at Toyota Park for a Fire game and larger than three of the other 10 MLS games over the weekend." What makes the situation "startling" is that the Fire are coming off their "best season ever at the gate" and second best season in the club's 21-year history (SOCCERAMERICA.com, 9/17).