Another full weekend in MLS brought the start of FSC’s Friday night matches, the absence of a league game on ESPN and competition from the USMNT. As we do every Monday, here are some business stories from late last week and the weekend that we haven’t yet hit. We will finish up with a rough summary of MLS attendance.
Probably the biggest business story of the weekend didn’t involve MLS, but rather the enormous crowd in East Rutherford that saw the USA and Argentina play to a 1-1 tie. Almost 79k filled the stadium and were treated to a fantastic matchup. The game also brought the return of Ian Darke to USMNT broadcasts and the British announcer was his usual immaculately prepared self. Darke did a great job in the booth and effectively noted the relationships between players on the field and MLS sides, and matter of grat importance to MLS teams trying to reach American soccer fans who don’t follow the league. One surprising business note was the presence of a large in-stadium ad for WPS franchise Sky Blue.
Week two of MatchDay Live was not without some hiccups, as the RSL/Galaxy game froze-up for the first 20 minutes. Nevertheless, the MDL service is great for the league and great for fans.
Attendance around MLS got off to a great start with more than 36k in Seattle for the Sounders’ Friday night matchup. 20k were at BMO Field for Toronto’s home opener win, while just over 10k were in Columbus and almost 13k in Foxboro for the Revs. In Philly, 18,500 saw the Union win while 12,100 were in Chicago for the Fire home opener. RSL set a stadium record with more than 20k with and sold the match out well in advance of the kickoff. Only 11k made it out to Pizza Hut Park and more than 13k saw Chivas USA at the Home Depot.
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