Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Midweek kickaround

Some random thoughts and links to fill the morning/afternoon:

- I didn't actually get to write about the attendance figures for my PE column. In case you hadn't noticed, attendance figures around the league are sagging. MLS Daily does an excellent breakdown of this so you can click on this link to check out the figures.

Now, it's a little early in the season to say that the sky is falling or anything but there have been some wretched attendance figures around the league thus far.

* Real Salt Lake drew 11,806 to their season opener against Columbus. Yes, it was on a Thursday night but the game kicked off their home schedule. And it was against the defending champions. They actually drew 13 less fans to a Saturday match against DC United about 10 days later.

* FC Dallas drew 6,524 fans to a Sunday afternoon match against Chivas USA.

* The Galaxy drew 23,317 fans Saturday against Chivas USA. Now, it wasn't the most poorly-attended Clasico they hosted - only 18,260 showed up in June 2006 to watch Chivas-Galaxy, but it was just the second time the Galaxy did not sell out a Clasico.

* The Galaxy also drew just 18,013 to their home opener. It was the first time since the Galaxy moved to Home Depot Center that they have drawn fewer than 20,000 to their home opener.

* Kansas City, Columbus and San Jose (twice) have played home games with fewer than 10,000 in the seats.

Anyway, I'm not going to make any sort of final judgments on this - it's still too early to do so - but this certainly bears watching.

ADD: Thanks to Michoacano, I remembered to add the second part of this attendance thoughts. Not all attendance figures have been negative. Seattle has made a splash in their games, averaging just under 30,000 in three home dates. Chivas USA also has enjoyed a bit of a rise in attendance, which is encouraging.

So while the overall figures look bleak there are some stats to be encouraged by.

- Fredy Montero won't face any sort of criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. That's good. MLS has nowhere near the media exposure of the major American sports leagues, but it also doesn't have many of the off-the-field problems those leagues deal with either. Last thing we needed was for one of the brighter young imports acting badly. Well now, not sure if he did or didn't act badly but at least there was nothing criminal about his behavior.

- President Obama threw his support behind a US World Cup bid. Here's what he had to say about the matter, according to a US Soccer press release:

Hosting another successful World Cup is important for the continued growth of the sport in the United States. And it is important to me personally. As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighborhood together. As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago. Soccer is truly the world’s sport, and the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition across the globe. That is why this bid is about much more than a game. It is about the United States of America inviting the world to gather all across our great country in celebration of our common hopes and dreams.

- San Diego might be one of the venues for some possible World Cup games. Or it might not. The Union-Tribune's Mark Zeigler looks at "America's Finest City" and their prospects of potentially hosting World Cup matches.

- In case you aren't aware, Chivas and America will play on Sunday in the best football rivalry north of Boca-River on this side of the world. I'd put them in the same category and I'm not about to say one is better than the other. Of course, I follow the Mexican superclasico more but that's natural. My family's from Mexico.

Anyway, Chivas didn't look very good against Lanus on Tuesday in Copa Libertadores although they could have won the game had they not had a late goal disallowed.

And for overall coverage of the game and the Mexican league, stop by I'm treating it as a national team game and will have a lot of coverage before the game and on matchday.


man-from-michigan said...

Chivas has an increase in attendance? The world is going to end soon!


Anonymous said...

keep chivas usa, seattle, and toronto where they are... BUT rebrand, relocate everyone else in mls...

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and MLS is far better than FMF.

Nathan said...

Attendance #'s. Backing out Seattle if I did my math right, the avg attendance of MLS games is 13,303.52. Now I haven't done a deeper dive into the numbers but there are a few things one has to consider when comparing the numbers.

1) The season started earlier this year and I believe it was week 2, had some atrocious weather that kept a number of fans away.

2) KC and San Jose both have small venues with restricted attendance, so if they didn't play the same number of games at home through week 3 as they had last year you're comparing apples and oranges.

Even taking into account the above two points the numbers are a bit disturbing. Especially in Salt Lake where they have the new stadium and put up terrible numbers and in Colorado, which just continues to have trouble drawing. I'm giving chicago a pass, because I saw how terrible their weather was for their home opener. We'll see how the next few weeks play out then should be able to make a better comparison on a year over year basis as you compare simillar weekends.

TJ said...

Thanks for the linkage LB!

RSL has been hit was some pretty crappy weather for their first two home games. The crowd for the season opener was indeed smaller than I had hoped for, but you have to remember that a big snowstorm hit the area 36 hours before kickoff and the forecast for that night was for cold rain/t-storms. Not exactly ideal weather to watch a match in. Their last home game was also played in the rain, which really killed the walk-up crowd for the match. Things will get better in Sandy.

Same goes for Colorado, a blizzard moved through town a day before the game. I'm less confident that the Rapids will have sparkling attendance this year. Their squad is made up of mostly no-name players, and I'm not trying to put them down, I'm just saying the right DP would create some good buzz around DSG. Kroenke obviously has the money...

I'm not saying weather is the only reason that many markets are seeing smaller crowds, but it really has put a dent in the #'s up to this point, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Luis, Chivas USA needs their own stadium. Maybe 18,000?
I am sure Chivas USA can also host other events as well.