Five million in total attendance! Major League Soccer surpassed this mark on Wednesday night for just the second time in its 17-year history. Sitting just slightly less than 7,000 fans shy of the mark, the crowd at the New York Red Bulls vs. Sporting Kansas City match on Wednesday night pushed it past the threshold.
Now I see the argument already. “But there are more games played each season.” True! Which is why average attendance should also be taken into consideration. Average attendance has steadily risen each season beginning in 2009 and, currently sitting at 18,526, is 3.68 percent higher than the figure of 17,869 from 2011.
The playoff battles are heating up around the country and fans of the league are taking notice. Five of the 13 matches of Week 29 were sold out, bringing the season total to 87.
Montreal, New England, Real Salt Lake, Seattle and Los Angeles all filled their stadiums during the week, helping to generate an impressive average of 19,155 per match. This average ranks 11th when compared to the other 28 weeks of the 2012 season.
All sellouts are impressive, but New England’s is particularly so. Saturday’s packed house at Gillette Stadium (Revs’ official MLS capacity is 20,000) marks the first New England sellout since Week 29 of last season. Really nice to see a big crowd in New England against a regional rival. No doubt that a good core of RBNY road support was there as well.
The 30th week of the 2012 season will kick off on Friday, September 28 when Sporting Kansas City hosts the Chicago Fire in a match which will carry a lot of weight in the Eastern Conference and Supporters Shield races. The match will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network at 8:30 EST.