The playoff races are definitely at DEFCON 1 in MLS right now and there were some sizable crowds befitting such a tight competition. Before we get to attendance, one business note. Television ratings for NBC’s coverage of the NHL on NBSCN are off to a fantastic start this year. It will be interesting of those numbers (and the promotion during the games), lift numbers of MLS viewers. One key factor is that NBC is using the opportunity to push its EPL coverage, whereas last year, MLS was its primary soccer property. The weekend started with a Friday night game from RFK. In a game with enormous playoff implications for the Fire, Chicago handled United before an announced crowd of just over 13k. Also on Friday night, Houston got a key 3 pointer over Montreal before almost 20k at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The solid numbers continued on Friday, with a sellout at Red Bull Arena for an Eastern Conference clash between the Red Bulls and Revolution. That same night, Philly continued its strong attendance numbers with almost 19k at PPL Park. Big numbers since the ownership change in Columbus continued, with more than 19k at Crew Stadium on Saturday evening. Attendance has really been flying in Ohio since the All-Star Game.
Big crowds continued in Salt Lake City with more than 20k at Rio Tinto on Saturday night. Fresh off a big crowd for the team’s US Open Cup loss, fans in SLC turned out for the second time in a week. In another nationally televised match, there were more than 18k at DSG for a shocking 5-1 victory over the Sounders. The Sunday Derby at the Stub Hub brought more than 20k through the gates in Los Angeles.
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