By KEVIN KOCZWARA
The attendance numbers are in and the Seattle Sounders once again reign supreme.
The Sounders set the Major League Soccer attendance record for a fifth consecutive year while the league average suffered a slight dip in 2013. The Sounders averaged 44,038 fans a game at CenturyLink Field this year, more than double any other MLS team, and more than double what MLB’s Seattle Mariners averaged this season.
Teams across MLS averaged 18,594 fans per game in 2013, down 1.1 percent from 2012’s record attendance. But four teams besides Seattle enjoyed 20,000 or more fans a game this year: the Portland Timbers, LA Galaxy, Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact.
The Sounders and 10 other teams saw an overall increase in average attendance. The Crew’s numbers jumped the highest, rising 12 percent this year.
On the other end of the spectrum, Chivas USA’s well-documented attendance numbers dropped by 36 percent to 8,366 fans a game. Chivas USA’s attendance is a major reason for the league’s overall average drop.
Montreal’s attendance, despite being at more than 20,000 fans on average, also dropped because the team played just two of its home games at Olympic Stadium. In 2012, the Impact played in the large stadium five times while soccer-specific Stade Saputo was being constructed.
What do you think of these attendance numbers? Think the Sounders can have even better support in 2014? Shaking your head at Chivas USA’s figures?
Share your thoughts below.