Monday, April 09, 2007

Attendance numbers for opening 2007

Last year I posted about the great success of the MLS's 2006 opening weekend. I talked about how great the numbers were but warned that one game does not make a season. Sure enough, the season long average per game ended up being just a click better then those of 2005 (15,504 to 15,108).

This year, the league is bound to be thinking the same thing, but for other reasons. Total attendance was down almost 28% compared to last year's opening weekend. Some of this has to do with the very cold weather that was just about everywhere and some of it has to do with it being Easter weekend, but the numbers are still a bit of a sour note. One other line of excuse is the lack of home opening matches by DC or LA.

The 2007 opening weekend will go down as the eighth best (or fourth worst) attendance average for the league. Sadly, it will also go down as the absolute worst goal per game opening weekend in MLS history. In total, just 10 goals were scored for an average of 1.6 per game. This beats the previous record of 2.2 per game set in 1997.

A rough start, but it is a long season ahead.

Here are the attendance and goal numbers from MLS history (average per game numbers are in parenthesizes). By the way, I did not include shootout goals in the totals.

2007***96,654 (16,109)10 (1.6)
2006133,749 (22,292)24 (4)
200578,226 (13,038)17 (2.8)
200497,699 (19,540)14 (2.8)
2003*83,246 (16,649)13 (2.6)
200279,296 (15,854)13 (2.6)
2001113,837 (18,973)24 (4)
2000**58,283 (14,570)17 (4.25)
199980,213 (16,043)21 (3.5)
1998*96,267 (19,253)18 (3.6)
1997104,132 (20,826)11 (2.2)
1996*169,914 (33,983)15 (3)

* Season started with only one game on opening weekend. The next weekend, all (or most) teams played including those who played in the opening match. I have used the attendance numbers for the first full weekend of play.

** Only 8 of the 10 teams played on opening weekend

*** Due to odd number of teams, only 12 of 13 played opening weekend.

Number of games played on opening weekend
6 - 2007, 2006,2005, 2001
5 - 2004, 2003, 2002, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996
4 - 2000

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