Amanda Duffy Focused On Growing Orlando Pride Attendance
Outgoing NWSL CEO Amanda Duffy will join the Orlando Pride in February, and the "greatest challenge" she will face will be in an "area where she is greatly experienced -- growing attendance," according to Julia Poe of PRO SOCCER USA. The Pride have seen attendance steadily "dwindling in the stands since the team's first season" in '16. During their first year, the Pride "set NWSL records when a crowd of 23,403 turned out for the team's home opener." But in '18, attendance "tumbled to a low" of 3,104 for one midweek contest as the club "averaged a crowd of 4,837 fans per game" for the season. In '19, the Pride "bounced back along with the rest of the league, seeing a spike in attendance with an average crowd of 5,565, a 15% increase." That number "still lagged behind" the rest of the league, however, which saw an "overall boost of almost 22%." Part of that lagging attendance "could be attributed to poor results on the pitch," as the Pride went 12-26-10 over the past two seasons. But as the "league and the sport both continue to grow, the club is focused on not falling behind its competitors." Duffy said that the "key to returning high attendance numbers to Exploria Stadium for the Pride will come from immersing the team into the local culture," adding that she "isn't concerned about the team's connection with its fans" (PROSOCCERUSA.com, 1/23).