It was a big weekend at the MLS box office as the nine league matches averaged 21,003, raising the season figure to 17,553. The all-time record for a full campaign is 17,406 in the 1996 inaugural season. Last year, MLS attracted an average of 16,675. Weekend totals:
Real Salt Lake: 19,888*
Los Angeles: 22,959
*At or near capacity
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The overall mark will dip Wednesday with three matches — mid-week games typically don’t draw as well as weekend affairs. D.C. United welcomes Chivas USA, the New York Red Bulls host Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers entertain the San Jose Earthquakes. The Portland game will sell, DCU and NYRB not so much.
Interestingly on Saturday, the Sounders match against United was played at almost the same time as the Mariners-Rangers game next door at Safeco Field. Baseball drew 22,159. Of course, the Mariners are awful and baseball teams play 81 home games, but in Seattle, the popularity of the teams/leagues with concurrent seasons — and vast differences in tradition and media coverage — is notable. The Sounders are averaging 36,932, the Mariners 23,596. Others of interest:
Toronto FC 20,187/Blue Jays 22,803
Los Angeles Galaxy 22,846/Dodgers 36,316
D.C. United 15,024/Nationals 24,533
Sporting Kansas City 17,589/Royals 21,123
Houston Dynamo 16,882/Astros 25,804
(Baseball dominates in Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, New York and the S.F. Bay Area)
Not reaching any conclusions, just sharing numbers and observations.....