Major League Soccer returned with a vengeance this weekend with a series of meaningful games, big crowds and exciting soccer. Before we get to the attendance numbers, the big business story from the weekend was the revelation that the Hunt family is looking to sell the Crew to a local ownership group. The Hunts are owners of both the Crew and FC Dallas, both original franchises in MLS. Interestingly, the linked article from the Columbus Dispatch suggests that the Hunt family’s motivation to sell may not mirror that of the league, which is focused on limiting investors to one franchise.
On to attendance, where the week started on Wednesday with a strong 38k crowd in Seattle for a scoreless draw between the Sounders and RSL. On Saturday, BMO Field in Toronto played host to the Montreal/TFC match before a disappointing crowd of just over 16k despite the Canadian rivalry.
The Revs managed their best crowd of the season with just over 25k at Gillette Stadium for the Revs final home game. Whatever the reason (cynics would say flex packages, school nights, etc….), the number is a good finish for the beleaguered franchise. With beautiful weather on the East Coast, the big numbers continued with more than 25k at Red Bull Arena as New York qualified for the playoffs with a 0-0 draw. DC managed its reduced capacity sellout with just under 20k at RFK in Washington as United crept into the playoffs.
The big numbers continued in Houston with more than 22k at BBVA Compass for the Dynamo’s clinching match. A disappointing season on and off the field in Los Angeles was exemplified by the sub-11,500 crowd at the Home Depot Center for Chivas USA.
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