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MLS Attendance has a Hidden Secret

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It isn't that the little soccer league is up 11% while baseball is down 2%. Although that makes me smile and cry at the same time, for many reasons.

But something that I noted here ages ago is even more true again.

The top 3 teams in attendance are not part of the MLS Originals. It is the expansion sides that care. The common rebuttal amongst long time league supporters is that it will fade away. Even the early rounds of Garber led expansion do much better than the teams that were founded in the Logan era.

Five of the top eight teams in attendance this year are from Garber's expansion/relocation efforts. His worse team is Chivas USA which is bettering six teams.

What is it about those first three seasons of the league that hurt the love of the game in those cities? They had good numbers then. The LEAGUE had good numbers then.

Here's the data. I did a small amount of rounding, but it is based off of the MLSDaily numbers

 

Team Home Games Avg Att Total Team Home Games Avg Att Total
Seattle 5 36,144 180,720 LA 5 19,397 96,985
Philadelphia 2 29,954 59,908 NY 4 17,939 71,756
Toronto 3 20,144 60,432 DC 5 14,953 74,765
Houston 5 15,754 78,770 Chicago 3 14,937 44,811
Salt Lake 4 14,949 59,796 Columbus 4 13,270 53,080
Chivas 4 14,554 58,216 Colorado 3 10,483 31,449
23 497,842 New England 5 10,119 50,595
Kansas City 4 9,703 38,812
San Jose 4 9,514 38,056
Garber 21,645 Dallas 4 9,351 37,404
Logan 13,115 41 537,713