According to a report from sportsbusinessdaily.com, attendance numbers are looking pretty good for MLS, with a year over year 6% boost heading into the World Cup break. The numbers are good for the Vancouver Whitecaps as well, who saw average capacity reach 21,000 people at BC Place, up 7.9% from this same time last year, which was 19,466. Basically, the Whitecaps are selling out every match, which puts them third on the list of best attended teams.
Interestingly enough, the Sounders top the charts in people coming through the gate with an average of 40,091 per match, but that's actually down 3.4% from last season, when they were averaging 41,502. TFC ranks second, averaging 22,591 people per game, up an impressive 18.1% - not surprising given the high profile moves the club made in the off-season bringing in players like Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley.
The Timbers are a hair behind the 'Caps in fourth, averaging 20,814 per match, up 0.7%, and rounding out the top 5 is the LA Galaxy, who saw 20,372 people per match. Unfortunately, that's actually a 5.9% drop for them from last year.
Who ranks at the bottom? Not surprisingly, Chivas USA is posting embarrassingly low numbers this year, averaging 7,504 people per match, or, 27.8% capacity. Yikes. It's a drop of 8.5% from last season.
So, what's accounting for the 'Caps jump in attendance this year? The fact they're winning, or at least getting points on a consistent basis has to help, as does the young, exciting roster they've been fielding. True, the 'Caps have tended to start well and finish poorly in recent years, but perhaps fan sentiment is that this truly is a different squad with Carl Robinson on board, and plenty of new faces on the pitch. Pedro Morales has been fun to watch, Erik Hurtado has emerged as a god damn goal machine, and we still have names like Manneh and Mattocks on the roster as well.
I guess, in short, it's a good time to be a 'Caps fan.