Busy weekend in Major League Soccer, but before we jump to attendance, here are a couple of quick business items from the weekend. First, kudos to MLS for introducing its “Stream of the Week” presented by el Jimador. the Stream of the Week allows all fans with an MLSsoccer.com account to access (for free) the MLS Live stream for a designated game without purchasing the full subscription. This is a great fan outreach device while also a great promotion for MLS Live. This seems like a good business move from the league and landing a presenting sponsor is also a positive development.
One final business issue before looking at attendance, We haven’t addressed the Robbie Rogers story on this site because it hasn’t really seemed like much of a business issue. However, with the Robbie Rogers feature in the New York Times on Friday, some business implications are now clear. First, under the theory that any publicity is good publicity, the feature certainly generated some press on a prominent publication. Two other items of note. First, it was interesting to read comments debating about whether soccer is a major professional sport and second it will be interesting to see how this news plays with national soccer stereotypes. Given, that MLS is targeting customers who are already soccer, fans, this issue probably won’t impact the league’s effort to grow its audience.
On to attendance, where the Galaxy/TFC match started the weekend with just over 18k at BMO Field. Later that afternoon, just over 15,500k visited Red Bull Arena to see Theirry Henry lead New York to victory over Philly. The Revs put just over 10k in the seats in Gillette for their second home match of the year, while Colorado continued the run of disappointing numbers with less than 12k at DSG.
The numbers picked up in the evening with more than 20k selling out Rio Tinto where RSL held off slow starting Seattle (will Sounders’ numbers suffer?). More than 18,600 held down the forth in KC for a Sporting victory over Montreal, while Houston kept its home unbeaten streak alive before less than 17,500 fans at BSV Compass. Finally, Chivas USA finished the busy Saturday with a crowd below 9k.
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