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MLS Attendance: Week 9 Recap

MLS Attendance Week 9

Photo Courtesy of Vancouver Whitecaps Official Facebook Page

Week 9 saw the largest MLS attendance of the 2014 season since opening weekend with an average attendance of 19,513; exceeding last season’s average, the current 2014 average and featuring five sellouts, the most this season.

The Cascadia region once again reminded us that they have the best supporters in all of MLS. All three teams; the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps had sellouts in week 9. All three have sold out every game they’ve hosted in 2014, which we have come to expect from Portland and Seattle. But after missing the playoffs last season by only three points and clearly in the Western Conference race this season, Vancouver has joined them.

Sporting KC is proving that Cascadia and the North West region aren’t the only place where passionate supporters reside. Sporting KC has turned a mid-west city into a soccer hotbed. KC had their fifth consecutive sellout of the MLS season this week. They also started 2014 with a CONCACAF Champions League sellout against Cruz Azul which is almost unheard of in North America, outside of San Jose’s compact Buck Shaw Stadium.

In only their third home game of the season, Toronto FC once again sold out BMO Field. In the off season Tim Leiweke and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment brought in a number of high profile players; Jermain Defoe, Michael Bradley, and Julio Cesar. Rejuvenating a dormant franchise that had failed to make the playoffs in its first seven seasons and just like Kansas City, proving a fledgeling fan base can be reinvigorated.

Chivas USA was once again the leagues low point with a mere 6,082 supporters; surpassing their previous low of 6,684 in week 2. The league made the correct decision in the off season, removing embattled owner Jorge Vergara and purchasing the team. However the announcement of new ownership and the rebrand as a whole cannot come fast enough.

Week 10 will feature three midweek games, with the only bright spot being Seattle hosting one of the three. Other bright spots include home games in Montreal and Portland. However the San Jose Earthquakes will host two home games this week which will bring the league average back down. Looking over the schedule, along with the start of the US Open Cup and continuation of the Canadian Championship, It’s hard to envision a scenario where attendance doesn’t take a decent dip in week 10.

Remember, attendance is the foundation of professional soccer in North America at all levels. Support your local club and check back each week for our MLS attendance recap of the previous week.

MLS Attendance Week 9 Chart

Stephen Kirkpatrick is a writer for StoppageTimeSoccer.net Follow him on Twitter @sgkirkpatrick

 

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