Building off a record breaking 2015 season that saw an average attendance of 21,558, the 2016 MLS season managed to set another landmark by edging that total with an average attendance of 21,692 fans per game.
The growth of MLS is exemplified by this being the third consecutive season that the record has been broken. Leading the way for MLS is the Seattle Sounders (42,636 fans per game), Orlando City (31,324) and New York City FC (27,196).
MLS trails only the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga, Mexico’s Liga MX and the Chinese Super League in average attendance. Toronto FC, LA Galaxy, Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact and D.C. United each saw more than five percent growth in their attendance numbers, an extremely encouraging sign for MLS.
Not a bad global position for MLS attendance, which has increased nearly 40% in the last 10 years. pic.twitter.com/ND3MR0iIV5— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) October 23, 2016
The teams at the bottom of the attendance numbers are also somewhat troubling, but each club is an example of why MLS commissioner Don Garber is adamant that any new soccer-specific stadiums in the country be built as near to their city’s downtown as possible.
FC Dallas, winners of both the 2016 Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup, have the lowest attendance at 14,094 and have a stadium located outside of Dallas in Frisco.
The Chicago Fire are second lowest on the list at 15,602 and play their matches outside of Chicago in Bridgeview. The same can be said of the Colorado Rapids, third lowest on the list at 16,278, who play their matches outside of Denver in Commerce City.
Having learned these invaluable lessons and with the scheduled openings of new stadiums in Atlanta, Orlando, Minnesota, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., MLS will almost certainly continue to shatter their attendance record for years to come.
(H/T: ESPN FC)
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