Monday, March 23, 2009

Lies. Damn Lies. And Statistics.
A review of the weekend past

Mike Woitalla of Soccer America seemed to be typing through rose colored glasses today when he wrote about MLS opening weekend attendance figures: "The average attendance of Week 1 games (17,095) was nearly 2,000 higher than last year's first week average."

Going on raw data he is certainly correct. But if you simply take Seattle's first-ever game (32k+) out of the formula, you only get an average of 14,524. Which is about 500 LOWER than last year's first week average. And that's tougher to swallow.

So to find out what went wrong, I think you need to look at each individual game, and two really stand out.

The most obvious drop off is in LA who drew just 18k+, after selling out virtually every home game over the past season and a half with David Beckham at 28k. That number was staggeringly poor. But what do you expect when you promise your fans the world yet don't make the playoffs 2 years in a row. If LA had hit their sellout number then the average would have been 16,189, and a good total for Week 1.

The other culprit is Houston. I expected them to break 20,000. Not so good at just over 16,000.

The flip-side is the relatively good news that two of the home teams (KC & San Jose) have capacity at under 11,000 and were sold out, and Chivas had a higher than normal home crowd for them at 16.5k.

Here are those Week 1 attendance numbers:
-Seattle - Qwest Field - 32,523 v New York
-Kansas City - Community America Ballpark - 10,385 v Toronto
-Chivas USA - Home Depot Center - 16,453 v Colorado
-Houston - Robertson Stadium - 16,053 v Columbus
-Los Angeles - Home Depot Center - 18,013 v DC
-San Jose - Buck Shaw Stadium - 10,335 v New England
-Dallas - Pizza Hut Park - 15,905 v Chicago

Salt Lake did not play due to the imbalanced number of teams in the league this season.

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Another cool number from the weekend was that 5 players scored a pair of goals!!!

Davy Arnaud - Kansas City
Landon Donovan - Los Angeles
Amado Guevara - Toronto
Freddy Monterlo - Seattle
Paolo Nagamura - Chivas

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Finally, the word is out that Vancouver has already taken orders for 5000 (updated) season tickets! Fantastic. Can't wait to see how it goes in Portland too.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

16.5 k at chivas? the truth is the number would be even LOWER if chivas gave their true attendance. the upper portion of the stadium was closed and no one was sitting on the other side of the camera angle. 8k min and 10k on a generous end... 16.5k...pffff...haha... someone's gotta tell the goat FO to lay off the kool aid

8:17 PM  

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