Tuesday, November 4, 2008

MLS Dying Before Our Eyes

Of course the solution then is to gouge out our own eyes, no?

So it's a bit of a massive hyperbole—I mean the league has seven quality bids on the table for its next round of expansion—but MLS attendance numbers are in, and they are down from last year.

It's okay, the sky is still up there. The drop was a modest 1.8% to an average of 16,459 a game. The league essentially tried to pin it on Kansas City playing in a 10,000 seat stadium—eating your own, bad strategy—but the Sports Business Journal article claims that even factoring out Kansas City for the past two years shows a drop in 2008.

The Galaxy led the league (duh) by averaging 26,000, which was up 7.2% from last year. Additionally they also drew well away from home as they broke their own road attendance record from last season. Basically, even though the team sucks, people still turn up to see David Beckham. Soccer in America, folks.

The biggest drag was FC Dallas. They had a drop of over 14.00%. Citing the article: "A spokesperson for FC Dallas said the team reduced the number of complimentary tickets offered this season and televised all home games for the first time, which affected attendance." Also, while Pizza Hut Park is a nice facility, it is at least a 30 minute haul (and a few bucks in tolls) from downtown Dallas. When gas is $4 a gallon, that shit matters.

Then there's this fun fact: The season ender between the Dynamo and Chivas USA, on Fox Soccer Channel, it got a Blutarsky. "The last game of the season on [FSC] between the Dynamo and Chivas USA delivered a 0.0 cable rating and 24,000 viewers." Awesome.

We're not bashing MLS. It might look like it, but we're not. Look here's a qualifier: That Dynamo v. Chivas game, it was totally meaningless in terms of regular season standings and playoffs, so of course it's not going to draw a big number. Both the Dynamo and Chivas USA saw their season attendance numbers go up about 6.5% and 5.5% respectively (particularly amazing for the Dynamo because Robertson Stadium is a bit of a dump). So yippee!

We actually want MLS to succeed. And why not? The better the league is, the more goal keepers we can continue to send to the EPL (suck it, Barlcays). It's just that, well, MLS attendance numbers are hardly the most reliable things to begin with. The San Diego Union Tribune covered this well a couple of years ago (see here and here). And when figures are possibly padded to begin with, what's a 1.8% drop really mean?


ü75 said...

Whoa, whoa, whoooooooaaaaaa. Tolls? In Texas? I thought that was an above-DC-only thing.

Precious Roy said...

Used to be. Now they've got em in Houston, Dallas, and the People's Republic of Austin.

The ones in Austin fucking piss me off. Pretty much my entire life they had been working on the Ben White - I 35 interchange. But the second they decided to put a toll extension on MoPac it took them about 6 months to get that sucker up. Totally ghey.

The Fan's Attic said...

IF nobody's watching, then is it really dying before our eyes?

Daniel said...

Roy you from the ATX? I am too! though I sadly moved away two years ago....I'm moving back ASAP!!

you're totally right about the 290/Ben White construction btw