Attendance figures for Major League Soccer in the United States and Canada
Major League Soccer is the premier professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Competition began in 1996, the 2016 season saw an average 21,692 spectators between the 20 teams, the highest average attendance in league history. MLS has the third-highest average attendance among all professional sports leagues with teams in the United States, ranking behind the National Football League and Major League Baseball but ahead of the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League. Among all North American professional sports leagues, MLS ranks fifth in average attendance per game behind the NFL and MLB as well as Liga MX and the Canadian Football League.
MLS attendance has grown since the early 2000s and is among the fastest-growing in the world. The average attendance of 21,692 in 2016 was a 57% increase over the 13,756 average in 2000. The total attendance of 7,375,144 in 2016 is more than triple the 2,215,019 total of 2002. Similar to Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, attendance is based on the number of tickets distributed.
The Seattle Sounders’ average attendance consistently exceeds 40,000 fans.
1 2019 season
2 Season averages
3 MLS attendance vs. other North American leagues
4 MLS attendance vs. other soccer leagues worldwide
5 Historic average attendances
5.1 Current active teams
5.2 Defunct teams
6 Individual game highest attendance
6.1 Regular season
6.2 MLS Cup Playoffs
7 Doubleheader games highest attendance
8 MLS attendance rank by metro area
9 See also
The following is a list of the average attendance during the 2019 regular season for each of the 24 MLS teams that were active in that season. It includes the team, the average attendance during the 2019 regular season, the average attendance during the 2018 regular season, the percentage change in attendance from season-to-season, the home venue, the home venue’s capacity, and the percent of the home venue’s capacity filled by the 2019 season’s average attendance. Percentages are adjusted to reflect any home games that were held at venues other than the team’s usual stadium.
Some clubs have attendances over 100% capacity due to limited stadium capacity that is lifted during certain matches, when additional sections are opened. Other clubs use larger venues for certain matches that attract large attendances.
^ The Timbers’ attendance increase stems from the expansion of Providence Park from 21,144 to 25,218. The Timbers played their first 12 league games of the 2019 season on the road in order to accommodate the construction schedule.
^ Renamed from Orlando City Stadium during the 2019 season.
^ Minnesota United’s attendance decline was largely due to the team moving from TCF Bank Stadium, with a soccer capacity of 21,895 and full capacity of 50,805, to the smaller Allianz Field.
^ The Earthquakes played one 2019 home game at Stanford Stadium (capacity 50,424).
^ Renamed from BBVA Compass Stadium during the 2019 season.
See also: Expansion of Major League Soccer
Green shading indicates record highs; red shading indicates record lows.
The drop in number of games and total attendance from 2000 to 2002, and the corresponding increase in average attendance, is attributable to league contraction, when MLS folded the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny.
Several seasons saw increases in total attendance, despite drops in average attendance. One such case was due to expansion of the regular-season schedule; all others were due to league expansion.
MLS attendance vs. other North American leagues
The following table compares the Major League Soccer regular-season average attendance against the regular-season average attendance for the other professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada that have average attendances of at least 10,000 spectators per game.
^ According to the NBA’s official release of its 2018–19 season attendance figures, attendance was essentially unchanged between 2017–18 and 2018–19, taking into account arena capacity reductions that resulted in over 141,000 fewer seats being available in 2018–19 than in the previous season.
MLS attendance vs. other soccer leagues worldwide
^ Initially, 552 matches were scheduled. However, Bolton Wanderers’ home match against Brentford was initially postponed after Bolton players went on strike over unpaid wages. The fixture was rescheduled, but was ultimately canceled and forfeited to Brentford after local authorities were unable to guarantee that adequate safety personnel would be available.
Historic average attendances
Current active teams
Bold indicates franchise record high for season average attendance.
Individual game highest attendance
See also: Record attendances in United States club soccer
MLS Cup Playoffs
Doubleheader games highest attendance
MLS attendance rank by metro area
The table is sorted by MLS attendance rank, and then by MLS attendance.
Only attendances in MLS and the traditional major professional sports leagues of the U.S. and Canada are listed here. Many college football teams in MLS markets routinely outdraw MLS teams and even some or all other major professional teams.
MLS, NFL, CFL, and MLB attendances are for their 2019 seasons. NBA and NHL attendances are for their 2018–19 seasons.
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