Note: Check out the comments for a humbling but very informative reply from the title character of kenn.com. I’d apologize for my hurried piece (yep, I rushed this one big time) if it hadn’t spurned such a great response.
From my CSNNE.com piece today:
The return of Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle to MLS action on Sunday also marked the LA Galaxy’s first match since before the World Cup. Twenty-seven thousand flocked to the stadium to welcome the duo home from South Africa, a mind-boggling 37.5 percent increase over the Galaxy’s 2010 average attendance coming into the match. On the field, the twice-teammates showed their camaraderie when Donovan assisted on a Buddle goal early in the 19th minute as the Galaxy improved to 11-1-3 on the season with a 3-1 win over Seattle Sounders FC. The hookup furthered Buddle’s and Donovan’s respective MLS leads in goals and assists, as each has now compiled 10 in his given category.
MLS attendance at large is up nearly 10 percent in 2010 from 2009, averaging over 16,442 fans a game. In fact, nine out of 12 teams to have hosted a match since the World Cup started saw attendance go up from its last pre-tournament figure. The Revolution, unfortunately, have seen a 19.9% drop in attendance from 2009 and draw just over 10.5 thousand to Gillette Stadium. At 3-9-2, the Revs currently look set to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2002, so that likely has something to do with the disappointing (and concerning) figure.
So what do we think? In 1998 and 2002, MLS attendance did not increase from pre-Cup to post-Cup, and in 2006 the improvement was minimal. But so far, 9 of 12 clubs have reported increases over their last match before the Cup and 8 of the 12 have reported increases over their 2010 average fan figure. And two of those sides still reported above average attendance compared to the rest of the league.
It’s too early to tell if this year’s World Cup has had an impact on MLS attendance figures, but the early signs are pretty positive.