Before we get to our weekly summary of MLS attendance figures, there are a couple of business stories from the weekend worth noting. First, despite some stumbles in the off season, WPS has kicked off year number three. Although the league has lost teams and struggled in other ways over the last few months, there is some reason for optimism in 2011 A new team is taking the field in Buffalo and the Atlanta franchise is starting its second season in its soccer specific stadium. Losing the defending champion in consecutive years is obviously a sign of a struggling league, and we have previously written about the business significance of this season. Nevertheless, all things are possible on opening day.
One other business note from the weekend. Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Colorado Rapids, is reportedly seeking a full stake in English club Arsenal. Kroenke already owns a portion of the team.
In Major League Soccer, the weekend got started in Dallas, where just over 12k were in attendance for the Friday night rematch of last year’s MLS Cup (a Wed. night matchup in Vancouver drew over 19k). Qwest Field saw its usual 36k plus for the Sounders’s Saturday game against Chicago, while PPL Park saw a solid 19k plus for the Union/Red Bulls match on Saturday night. DC saw a big crowd at RFK for the Galaxy’s sole visit to the nation’s capitol in 2011, with more than 26k in attendance. The Revs saw a slight increase over last week, but still failed to crack 8k in hosting RSL. San Jose saw just under 9k for their Saturday night match, while Chivas USA played to a 0-0 draw before just over 13k. The weekend concluded with just over 12k in Houston.