Great weekend for soccer in the United States. Before we get to a our weekly wrap of MLS attendance, here are a couple of other business stories from the past couple of days. First, ESPN couldn’t have asked for a better match-up than Brazil/USA in the WWC quarterfinal. Despite the 11:30 start time on the East Coast, the lenghty match started to bleed into better ratings windows in the later stages. This was not the type of game that lost viewers as game moved on, and social media (especially Twitter) served to push additional viewers to the game as the drama unfolded. Kudos for Ian Darke for another outstanding job in the booth. The broadcast was especially notable for an exchange between Foudy and Darke when Foudy jested that Darke shouldn’t be “so neutral.” He calmly explained that he gets paid to be neutral. Regular readers of this site know how strongly I feel that broadcasters (whether national or local) should come across as impartial; Darke certainly “gets it.”.
Speaking of great broadcasts, ESPN deserves a pat on the back for its Sunday telecast of the Portland/Seattle game on the primary network. The network offered some great shots of the supporters groups preparaing for the match and the sound of the stadium really carried onto the broadcast. On the business side, it is interesting to see Choice Hotels so prominently featured as an advertiser. Four Points recently signed on as the league-wide hotel sponsor, yet the Sheraton affiliate has not been an obvious presence.
At risk of continuing to salute ESPN. The network should be applauded for quickly turning around a replay of the US/Brazil game.
Finally, it was a busy week for the league and another solid attendance week. Things got started with a slate of mid-week games in KC, NY, Vancouver and Los Angeles. Just over 15k came to Red Bull Arena for their Wednesday night matchup, while a similar number visited LiveStrong Park. Chivas USA came up just shy of 10k, while Vancouver inched over 19k.
On the weekend, Red Bull Arena had more than 22k for its home match against DC. More than 19k were in Houston for a Dynamo win and a Saturday night in KC saw more than 18,400 in attendance. 17,700 fans in Sandy saw an RSL win. Just under 10k in San Jose on the heels of their 40k plus and DSG Park hosted more than 13k on Saturday night. Almost 22k were at the HDC on Saturday night and the Sunday game in Portland brought more than 18k to Jeld Wen.