Before we get to the week in review, we thought it worth noting a Sports Business Journal article from last week about the MLS website. Per SBJ, the website is averaging 2.5 million unique visitors per month, more than 500,000 above last year. Video views have doubled over last year and page views are up 150 percent. The article also notes that the league has significantly increased the staff devoted to maintaining the site. After all of the problems, it is refreshing to see the site take hold as a destination for American soccer fans. For our interview with site editor Greg Lalas, click here.
It was an exciting weekend of playoff games in MLS. On fairly short notice, Dallas and Colorado did a respectable job selling tickets, with 11k in Dallas on Saturday afternoon and approximately 12k on a Thursday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Seattle is obviously responsible for carrying the attendance load in week one, but with ticket sales near 40k at Qwest, MLS generates a solid first weekend average. By way of comparison, the Revs drew just around 6k for their Sunday afternoon playoff home game last season.
It is fantastic that MLS has reached the stage where all playoff games are broadcast nationally. Although this is not the first year of that arrangement, it is a sign of maturity for the league that fans can count on national access to all playoff matches. All three games were exciting and provided nice advertisements for the league. All networks did a good job in their broadcasts and effectively promoted the other playoff telecasts.