Excitement over the World Cup as well as returns from the United States Men’s National Team players to their respective clubs and Fourth of July festivities led to strong attendance numbers through Major League Soccer in Week 17.
In fact attendance was up so high during the Fourth of July weekend that seven out of nine clubs that hosted home matches saw attendances of 20,000 or more at their stadiums. Colorado and Chivas having the only sub-20,000 attendances with the Rapids having just over 18,000 in attendance for their match against the Columbus Crew and the struggling Chivas franchise continuing to have problems bringing in a gate with just 4201 people coming to watch their win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday night at the StubHub Center.
MLS Attendance Week 17 LA 27000 TFC 22591 VAN 22500 HOU 22312 DAL 21182 SKC 20858 RSL 20513 COL 18432 CHV 4201
— Kasey Shadow (@KCJonze) July 7, 2014
Los Angeles were the highest American club in the Week 17 attendance figures, bringing out an impressive 27,000 to watch their match against the Portland Timbers on Independence Day. Toronto FC welcomed back USMNT midfielder Michael Bradley with the second highest attendance figure, just edging out their fellow Canadian club in the Whitecaps who enjoyed a strong attendance at BC Place on Saturday to watch a Cascadia Cup win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
As you can see from the attendance numbers the projected increase in fans coming to MLS matches after the excitement following the USMNT’s run through the Group of Death and their knockout stage loss in extra time to Belgium is becoming a reality as along with Independence Day festivities MLS clubs cashed in on the opportunity to bring in extra supporters to the stadiums across the league over the weekend. Hopefully these attendance numbers can be sustained throughout the season to some extent, particularly during the summer with the comfortably warm weather providing a good atmosphere to catch a MLS match.
Looking to gauge the popularity of MLS action following the World Cup, attendance numbers will be analyzed by critics as well as the league itself, making the Fourth of July /World Cup spike in fans at the matches a step in the right direction for the league’s growth following Brazil 2014.