Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 5

Posted on by Peter C

The Week 5 numbers look like this…

  5 year comparison
  Week 5 37 GP YTD
  Avg +/- GP Avg +/- Avg +/- GP
 2006   13,351     6   16,522     17,354     28 
 2007   11,206   -16.07%   6   14,897   -9.84%   15,036   -13.36%   32 
 2008   17,544   56.56%   7   15,596   4.70%   17,138   13.98%   35 
 2009   12,082   -31.13%   7   14,827   -4.93%   14,686   -14.31%   36 
 2010   12,592   4.22%   8   17,092   15.28%   17,092   16.38%   37 
YTD – 37 Games
  Average Median %<10K %>20k
 2006    16,522     16,280    16.67%   25.00% 
 2007    14,897     14,087    13.51%   18.92% 
 2008    15,596     15,271    16.22%   29.73% 
 2009    14,827     12,827    18.92%   16.22% 
 2010    17,092     14,843    13.51%   27.03% 

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2009:

MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games
  2009 2010  
  Att Cap % Att Att +/- GP Cap % Cap
 Seattle  29,939   92.40%   36,077   20.50%   3   101.63%   35,500 
 Philadelphia NA NA  34,870  NA  1   91.76%   18,500 
 LA Galaxy  19,346   71.65%   20,508   6.01%   3   75.96%   27,000 
 Toronto  20,465   93.12%   20,186   -1.36%   2   91.85%   21,978 
 Real Salt Lake  11,806   36.33%   19,970   69.15%   1   103.26%   19,340 
 D.C. United  14,245   63.31%   19,536   37.14%   2   86.82%   22,500 
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls  10,424   41.38%   17,953   72.22%   3   71.27%   25,189 
 Houston  16,085   71.49%   16,500   2.58%   3   73.33%   22,500 
 Chicago  11,208   56.04%   15,794   40.92%   2   78.97%   20,000 
 ChivasUSA  14,914   55.24%   15,213   2.00%   3   56.34%   27,000 
 Columbus Crew  11,076   55.38%   13,929   25.76%   2   69.65%   20,000 
 Colorado Rapids  12,033   66.53%   10,785   -10.37%   2   59.63%   18,086 
 NE Revolution  10,213   45.39%   10,470   2.52%   2   46.53%   22,500 
 KC Wizards  9,231   88.88%   10,219   10.71%   3   98.40%   10,385 
 San Jose  9,756   20.58%   9,836   0.81%   2   95.49%   10,300 
 FC Dallas  9,747   45.99%   9,028   -7.38%   3   42.60%   21,193 

My disclaimer about the capacity calculations

For my calculations, I’ve taken the 3 teams playing in Amercan football stadiums, DCU in RFK, Houston in Robertson and New England in Foxboro and assigned maximum capacities at 22,500. I took the 22,500 number from an approximate average of the soccer specific stadiums in use.

  • Philly’s first two home games will be at Lincoln Financial Field. The announced capacity for the Union was published as 38,000 and will be calculated as such.


    The week began on Thursday in Dallas. Another attendance disaster for the charter member of the league. Saturday began with the first game in what promises to be an excellent rivalry with Philadelphia visiting the Red Bulls. Unfortunately, after a great start at their new Arena, fans failed to come out in numbers for the 2nd match in a row. The announced crowd was just over 15,600, but I think most folks were thinking that RBNY would draw 18,000+, especially with good weather. Columbus pulled in a pretty typical 14,300+ on a rainy night, so not too bad. New England managed to draw less than Dallas, which has been the butt of ridicule since Thursday. Will we hear the same about the Revs this week? Chicago had just over 11,300 for the Dynamo visit. KC nearly filled its house. ChivasUSA had just under 14,400 at the HDC. Well it finally happened. It took rain and a bit of a chill(really? surely not in Toronto) and a closed major access road for TFC to not fill the house as over 18,300 saw their team beat Seattle.

    I wonder how many people were surprised to learn that, barring injury, Jeff Cunningham will most likely become MLS’ all time leading scorer.

    Attendance Notes

    Of the 20 lowest attended matches in MLS regular season history, Colorado and Kansas City have 8 each, Tampa Bay 2, and one each for Dallas and Los Angeles. I only have the weather for 6 of the 20 matches, one had rain, but 61 degrees was the lowest temperature of the 6. None of the KC lows have occurred in Community America Ballpark..

    Think David Beckham hasn’t made a difference? Think again. How’s this for impact? Total home games in parentheses.

    • 2 of Columbus’ 13 all time high attendances(216)
    • 2 of Dallas’ 9 all time high attendances(217)
    • 2 of DCU’s 5 all time high attendances(215)
    • 3 of Houston’s 4 all time high attendances(64)
    • 2 of KC’s 5 all time high attendances(217)
    • 2 of New England’s 8 all time high attendances(216)
    • 2 of New York’s 7 all time high attendances(217)
    • 2 of RSL’s 5 all time high attendances(78)
    • 2 of San Jose’s 10 all time high attendances(includes SJ aka Houston)(186)

    Week 5 Games
    FC Dallas 2 3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
    Seattle 2 Seattle Times
    RBNY 2 Red Bulls Reader
    Philadelphia 1 Philadelphia Union Soccer
    Columbus 1 Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
    Real Salt Lake 0 RSL – Behind the Shield
    New England 1 Revolution Soccer
    Colorado 2 Undercurrent
    Chicago 2 Chicago Fire Confidential
    Houston 0 Soccer y Fútbol – Jose de Jesus Ortiz
    Kansas City 0 Kansas City – Hillcrest Road
    Los Angeles 0 LA – Official Blog
    Chivas USA 3 Chicago Fire Confidential
    San Jose 2 San Jose Center Line Soccer
    Toronto 2 TFC Connected
    Seattle 0 Seattle Times


    • FC Dallas have not lost at home in its last 11(7 wins).
    • Colorado has not lost at home in 7 straight.
    • TFC has not lost at home in 8 straight.
    • TFC has lost 11 straight road games.
    • RSL are unbeaten in their last 11 regular season home games.

    MLS Throw Ins

    • There have been 21 clean sheets in the first 37 matches
    • Through 37 games: goal scoring is exactly even with 2009.
    • RSL has lost only twice in its last 31 home matches. They lost only once in ’08 and ’09, a feat matched by Houston.

    Lamar Hunt US Open Cup

    The MLS play-in matches for the Open have begun for the teams that did not finish in the top 6 in 2009. The next match will be played on April 27. All times are ET. Seattle are the defending cup holders, and as such will compete in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League.

    • Colorado Rapids defeated the Kansas City Wizards 2-1.
    • Real Salt Lake beat the San Jose Earthquakes on PK’s 5-3 after playing to a 3-3 score.
    • Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls, Tuesday, April 27, 8 p.m. at Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.)
    • FC Dallas at DC United, Wednesday, April 28, 7:30 p.m. at RFK Stadium (Washington D.C.)
    • New England Revolution at Philadelphia or New York on Wednesday, May 12

      This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS, MLS Attendance, MLS Talk, US Open Cup and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • 29 Responses to Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 5

    1. nelsonc says:

      You forgot about the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship / Voyageurs Cup. Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact are playing on 28 of April.


      • Lars Lowther says:

        This will likely garner 90%+ attendance. Typically these games don’t sell out (but come awfully close) for TFC as some of the casual fans don’t get it. However, Wednesday is the Toronto-Montreal game, and should be sold out.

      • Peter C says:


        not forgotten, but like last season, I didn’t start reporting the Nutralite until it got closer to the end with the CONCACAF CL berth at stake.

    2. CTBlues says:

      Why isn’t the RedBulls vs Union US Open Cup match not being televised by anybody? MSG is showing crap, ESPN2 is showing World Series of Poker, ESPN Classic is showing Kicking it, and FSC is showing the reair of Bayern Munich vs Lyon. Is the game on Direct Kick or MLSnet?

      • Charles says:

        Sorry man just not enough fans. See Saturdays game ( announced at 15k, with 5k disguised as empy seats )

        Don’t the Red Bulls or Union put it online for you at least ?

    3. Charles says:

      Was shocked to see Toronto NOT sold out. I don’t get why teams will cut the season tickets off lower than the capacity and then not sell out. So 17,000 people would have bought tickets to that game as part of their season package, but since it was pouring rain didn’t walk up to get tickets leaving the stadium empty.

      Makes about as much sense as building a stadium to seat 18k, when you know 18k doesn’t get you close to where you want to be.

      ps. Toronto fans, that would never happen in Seattle. WE HAVE BETTER FANS !
      Where is SSReporter ? 😉

      • Lars Lowther says:

        Yes, Seattle certainly has better fans…how many losing seasons has Seattle survived with full season ticket sales the next year?

        Let’s see, major rainfall, two major access roads closed…not just one as the article states and of course, disillusionment over the problems which are going on in the Front Office. We can take losing, but we can’t take shoddy management. Actually read up on the problems that MLSE is having internally and you can understand why some people didn’t want to show up to what was supposed to be a good Seattle team thumping Toronto.

        Of course, things didn’t turn out that way.

      • Lars Lowther says:

        And before you point out that people from Seattle show up in rainfall…don’t make me laugh. You guys have significant portions of your seats covered by roofs.

        • Charles says:

          WIKI didn’t list any problems but said that MLSE is worth $1.75 billion dollars in 2008. Wow.
          You are obviously not a share holder, they have to be jazzed !

          Are you upset because they haven’t built a bigger stadium yet ?
          I don’t get that at all, what are they waiting for ? You would think they could get cash for 15k extra seats.

          Sorry you are disgruntled…..cover your stadium, fix your roads, and get your people to the game !

          • Lars Lowther says:

            Interesting to note.

            The Toronto-Seattle game garnered significantly higher ratings than the average MLS game did last year in Canada. 188,000 viewers…going head to head with NHL hockey in playoffs, and a Blue Jays – Tampa game. While the TFC game finished third in those three, it is still interesting to note that ratings were up from last year.

            Part of me attributes this to the fact that Vancouver is joining MLS next year and there’s more national interest in the league.

    4. Bob Bradley's Sweat Pants says:

      WOW BIG SHOCKER! it only took one game for the attendance to drop at RBArena! one more reason that SSS don’t do anything for attendance.

      • Charles says:

        NYRB attendance is actually way up over the first three games versus last year.
        Now they are winning too, so that does play a factor.

        I do think that SSS help attendance, but not that much, and hurt when they are placed in the burbs. But there is no questioning the amount of revenue to the team is better.

    5. eplnfl says:

      Actually Fire attendance from the second game last year was slightly up. Given everything that was going on in Chicago sports wise Saturday and the poor weather, it was a decent house. The Party deck and boxes seemed filled for each game. The walk up crowd was most hurt for the Houston game.

    6. River Side Soccer Club says:

      Is the transit system from new york to harrison Nj working or do new yorkers just dont want to see a game because i thought that beauty of a stadium would be an excuse to fill up both tiers. id amit its a good size number of crowd compared to years of crap at Giants stadium. but ud expect more from red bulls. the only television channel showing it was telefutura (which although i understand spanish, people who dont would be put off and confused about what the heck they’re saying). but i think it depends on how you look at it. a new jersey success, yes. a new yorker success, not so much. how can the worlds largest city be 20 miles away and only cough up 15k.

    7. River Side Soccer Club says:

      next time a club wants to build a stadium they should really consider the location. it may cost more to develop land near city center but i think the ease of access and proximity to city center will attract an attendance that would repay the $ spent on the stadium. it does hurt a team to play in the suburbs, NJ Red Bulls have been finding that out the hard way for years. i dont think the PATH tranisit system is enough to get new yorkers off their butt and travel to NJ. also the fact red bulls market mostly to NJ and not to NYC it hurts the fact that they are not known in new york city even though everyone is crazy for the energy drink, associating a energy drink with a soccer club isnt a bright idea. people always ask me why i love red bull so much if they never see me drink it and i have to explain that its a soccer team. then they ask why do they name it red bull? i lived in Queens and trust me its a pain just to get from queens to manhattan, imagine going from queens to harrison NJ?

      • Charles says:

        Yeah, it is not a cooincidence that the team drawing the most fans is the team with the best soccer stadium in the world situated right where the football and next door to where the baseball team plays.

        Hopefully, this bodes well for Portland and Vancouver, who will be doing similar. Portland drawing 13-15k for minor league soccer tells me it probably will.

      • CTBlues says:

        Imagine trying to get to Harrison from CT man let alone NYC. Metro North runs trains to Yankees Stadium and the New Meadowlands but not Newark and getting through the Bronx and over the GW is hell.

      • Peter C says:

        I’ve said this before… RBNY is NOT a New York team.

        • CTBlues says:

          I have to agree with you. It is a New Jersey team just like the Devils and Nets, but until they put a team in the City or in Southern CT (Stamford/New Haven) I will have to be a Redbulls fan because I refuse to root for any team that is owned by the Kraft’s.

        • River Side Soccer Club says:

          I know man i know. thats why im calling them NJRB. Red Balls New Jersey is not a new york team and no matter theyr stupid marketing campaign they NEVER WILL BE. grow up new jersey we’re gonna get a team and show you how its done in the big apple

      • Eamon says:

        I live in Queens too, and it was surprisingly easy for my wife and I to get the RBA last night for the US Open Cup match. Door to door, on public transit, less than an hour. Not sure who you’re hanging out with, but most New Yorkers are aware of the fact that we have a soccer team that has a new stadium in Jersey, and that Red Bull owns the team. Just sayin…..

        The fact that the stadium opened before Harrison did anything to develop the area sucks. It looks like a Scooby Doo ghost town. Once they build that area of shops and restaurants next to the stadium, it’ll be a much better situation.

    8. Charles says:

      Pretty cool stats about Beckham, but what are we talking here.
      Columbus’ 13th highest attendance is what ? 20k ? When the league is averaging 17k and Columbus probably wasn’t that far behind that ?

      If so, do you pay someone $6 million ( or whatever they are paying him ) for that? The Don seems to think it worked, so maybe the whole package, jerseys, extra TV, attendance etc all worked out.

      • Peter C says:

        07 without LA game, 14,582 – LA game 24,300
        08 without LA game, 14,045 – LA game 22,685
        09 without LA game, 13,981 – LA game 20,966

        extra butts in seats: 25,343
        conservative per cap spending of $18 (tix,food,mdse)
        extra revenue: $456,000+

        I’m one that believes the Beckham move was great for the league. The global exposure alone cannot be calculated. For LA, the Herbalife shirt deal paid for much of AEG’s salary expense. Add in the other sponsors that came on board because of Becks, and the 6.5M is covered.

        Just curious which insurance policy covers the ’10 salary, LA’s or AC Milan’s.

        • Eamon says:

          Probably AC Milan’s. When Onyewu got hurt on national team duty, AC Milan asked US Soccer for $5 million to cover Gooch’s salary.

    9. I’m very surprised that Dallas has averaged 9k. I wonder if this is due to people who have purchased season tickets, but who can’t be bothered to go all the way to Frisco on a Thursday. There appeared to be 5k at absolute maximum in attendance against Seattle.

      • Lars Lowther says:

        My understanding is that there’s a Dallas NBA team in playoffs…I don’t follow the NBA but that would hurt the attendance.

    10. free bet says:

      Stats look better obviously, we just need more import talent

    11. LI Matt says:

      To everyone whining/laughing (as applicable) about New York’s attendance, I have one question:

      Did you really expect to see a 150% increase overnight?

      Look at the charts again. New York has the largest number in the “Att +/-” column, year-over-year. And your response to that is “why isn’t it higher?”

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