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Added November 2nd, 2015 by Ian

Major League Soccer sets attendance records

North America’s Major League Soccer (MLS) set several new league and individual club attendance records for the just-completed 2015 regular season. The league kicked off back in 1996 with 10 teams and it has since doubled in size to 20, with 17 of the clubs being located in the U.S. and the other three in Canada. Each of the teams plays a 34-game schedule with 17 contests at home and another 17 on the road.

The total attendance for MLs this season was an impressive 7,335,053 which averages out to 21,574 supporters for each match. This was quite a decent jump in numbers considering the average crowd last year was 19,147 per game for a total increase of 12.7 per cent. The average fans per game more or less places the league above the NBA and NHL, but that’s because MLS stadiums can hold larger crowds due to their size.

Still, a league-record 10 clubs were able to attract more than 20,000 spectators per game. The Seattle Sounders had the biggest crowds on average by far with 44,247 per outing for their home games. Their previous record was set in 2013 when they managed to pull in 44,038 for each contest. If you want to compare the Sounders attendance, the club ranks just above English Premier League club Liverpool for fans per fixture.

MLS saw 161 of its games sell out this year to set a new league record. The old mark was set last year when 133 games were packed to the rafters. After the Sounders, Orlando City ranked second in average home attendance with 32,847 fans per game. The expansion New York City FC, which played its home games at the famous Yankee Stadium baseball ground came in third at 29,016. Toronto FC was fourth with 23,451 tickets sold per encounter and the Los Angeles Galaxy rounded out the top five at 23,392.

The rest of the clubs and their average attendance are as follows: 6-Portland Timbers (21,142), 7-San Jose Earthquakes (20,979), 8-Houston Dynamo (20,658), 9-Vancouver Whitecaps FC (20,507), 10-Real Salt Lake (20,160), 11-Sporting Kansas City (19,687), 12-New York Red Bulls (19,657), 13-New England Revolution (19,627), 14-Montreal Impact (17,750), 15-Philadelphia Union (17,451), 16. Columbus Crew (16,985), 17-D.C. United (16,244), 18-FC Dallas (16,013) 19-Chicago Fire (16,003) and 20-the Colorado Rapids (15,657).

As well as setting new league records, MLS also fared quite well when compared to the rest of the world’s top soccer leagues. According to figures, MLS ranks seventh across the globe in attendance and attracts more fans than top divisions in Brazil, Argentina, Holland and France. The German Bundesliga leads the pack with 43,177 fans per game followed by the English Premier League at 36,487 and the Spanish la Liga with 28,773. The Mexican Liga MX Apertura is fourth with 24,625 while the Italian Serie A is next at 23,893. The Chinese Super League sits at 22,580 per match and MLS is behind them at 21,574.

In comparison, the Argentine Primera A Division averaged 21,374 fans this year followed by France’s Ligue 1 at 20,904, the German Bundesliga Second Division with 19,147, the Dutch Eredivisie had 18,398, Brazil’s Serie A pulled in 17,300 per game the English Championship League had 17,118, Japan’s J-League averaged 16,891, the Australian A-League sat at 12,513 while the Russian Premier Liga had 12,459 per game and Portugal’s Primeira Liga attracted 12,005 fans. The Swedish Allsvenskan averaged 9,845 with the Scottish Premier League at 9,904 and Turkey’s Super Lig had 9,206.

 
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