Soccer Business Bits: The Morning After

mlsIn a week without an ESPN game, MLS was busy with 14 teams in action in six cities.  On the attendance front, the League seemed to have a pretty good week with the notable exception of 8,200 in Dallas.  Most interesting was the virtual attendance tie between Chivas and the Galaxy in dueling games at the Home Depot Center.  On Saturday night, Chivas got more than 16k in hosting DC United in a 2-2 tie.  The Galaxy got virtually the same number for a Sunday afternoon tilt with Columbus.  Chivas has continued its strong attendance start, with each game seemingly building on the success of the week before. The Galaxy are way down, but the return of Becks is just weeks away.

Elsewhere, NY showed a comparatively big number by bringing about 14,500 to Giants Stadium. For a team that has struggled to top 10k on some nights, 14,500 is a good showing.  As we have discussed before, Red Bull Arena is opening up next year and there is a sense that the team is holding its advertising dollars for next season.  That is not the case in Utah, where RSL brought more than 19k to Rio Tinto.  We have highlighted RSL advertising efforts in the past, and those efforts appear to be paying dividends.

Switching focus to WPS, the Womens’ League was in action in three cities this weekend.  FSC broadcast the Sunday night game from Boston and the other two matches were available on local television.  Just over 6k attended the Sol’s Friday night game at the Home Depot Center as part of its three games in three nights this weekend.  In Boston, 4200 watched the Breakers on Sunday and just under 5k were in Chicago on Saturday.  WPS continues to hit its attendance targets, settling nicely into the 4-6 range.  As the year progresses, it will be interesting to see if the WPS pulls ticket sales from MLS.  The Revs are struggling around 10-13k while the Breakers are pulling 5k on the same weekend.  Would some of those fans be at Gillette if the Breakers weren’t in Boston?

Finally, the 2009 SuperLiga has been announced with play starting in June.  We will discuss the SuperLiga in detail as it comes closer.  This event wobbled a bit last year, after a successful first campaign. This year, some of the big Mexican teams like Chivas and America are not participating.  That should have a dramatic impact on attendance at TV ratings. Nevertheless, the soccer has been pretty good during the tournament and the atmospheres have been pretty lively.  For now, take a look at our write-up on last year’s SuperLiga.