With MLS regular season play wrapping up over the weekend, final attendance numbers are in for the season and they continue to be impressive.
During the course of the 2016 season, more than 7 million fans were in attendance for the 330 matches, with a league-wide average attendance of 21,692. This places the league sixth in the world in average attendance, ahead of Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1. Ten teams averaged more than 20,000 fans per game and clubs recorded 162 sellouts.
While FC Dallas have done the double by winning the U.S. Open Cup and Supporter’s Shield, they had the lowest average attendance in the league due reduced stadium capacity for renovations as part of the National Soccer Hall of Fame Museum addition to Toyota Stadium. Toronto FC saw the second-largest boost following multiple stadium renovations including a second-tier on their East Stand.
With Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC both entering the league next year playing, average attendance should increase for a fourth straight season. They’ll both open the 2017 season in temporary homes in college football stadiums. Atlanta United FC will move into the multi-purpose $1.4 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which they’ll share with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, later in the season and they’re expecting big numbers at the gate, having already sold 22,000 season tickets for their inaugural season.
Header image courtesy of Seattle Sounders FC