Well it is time for me to talk about attendance again for the 2014 MLS Playoffs. As I am sure you have all noticed I have not been happy with the attendance so far this postseason. The last time I left you the attendance was catching up to the attendance from the 2013 MLS Playoffs but was still behind.
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As a reminder here are the numbers from the last two years:
2013 first ten playoff matches: 224,988/10=22,499 average
2014 first ten playoff matches: 195,999/10=19,600 average
This year’s first leg in the Eastern Conference final took place at Red Bull Arena as the New York Red Bulls welcomed the New England Revolution. In what could possibly be the last game that Thierry Henry plays for the Red Bulls, the fans did not disappoint at all. 25,000 came out to watch their team play. The Revolution fans came as well. The number has been anywhere between 1,200 to 1,500 that made the trip to New Jersey.
Now compared this to last year’s first leg of the Eastern Conference finals, it is a better number. The first leg was held in Houston with an announced crowd of 22,107. Yes, I know that BBVA Compass Stadium is not as big as Red Bull Arena but I am using the numbers for the bigger overall picture.
Over in the Western Conference the Los Angeles Galaxy hosted the Seattle Sounders in the first leg. I bet you can’t guess what the announced attendance was for this game. I’ll wait. Have you given up yet? To the surprise to nobody, the attendance was 27,000. Surprise, surprise.
The first leg was held at Rio Tinto Stadium last year and the announce attendance was 17,333. Once again I know that Rio Tinto is a much smaller stadium and we have to look at the bigger numbers.
So after eleven matches in the 2014 MLS Playoffs and the 2013 MLS Playoffs, the numbers are in (please keep in mind that if there were decimal points I rounded up):
2013 first eleven playoff matches: 247,095/11=22,463
2014 first eleven playoff matches: 222,999/11=20,273
The gap is closing considerably but it’s not quite there yet. I know after the Sounders host their leg on Sunday night, the number should be right about at last year’s numbers or even over. Also depending on what team hosts MLS Cup final, the overall numbers for 2014 should be higher than 2013.
Stay tuned for another update next week.