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MLS attendance: LA Galaxy solid to date, second in league

LA Galaxy attendance has held steady despite the absence of David Beckham. The same cannot be said of the other California MLS franchises.


Despite the departure of David Beckham, thus far this year Galaxy attendance has held steady. Averaging 21,764 fans per game through ten home fixtures (link:figures through July 8th), the Galaxy are only 4.2% off from where they were last season. It's second to only Seattle amongst MLS teams, with Portland and Montreal the only other MLS teams averaging better than 20,000 per match.

In fact the league as a whole has held steady, at only about a 3.6% attendance drop from last year. Considering this season Montreal didn't play any games at Olympic Stadium, and that there weren't any new stadiums opened, the drop-off isn't too bad.

LA accounts for a little better than 6% of the league's total attendance. Any team with better than 5.2% of MLS' total attendance is pulling more than their share of the weight. That the Earthquakes are significantly down year to year having already held their annual match at Stanford Stadium is a concern, though they should enjoy a new stadium bump next year.

It has to be said that Chivas USA is not holding up their share of the pie at all. Barely better than two percent of the total league attendance, down at least 30% in attendance year to year; the league is dragging Chivas along. Without a local TV contract and having to pay rent at the StubHub Center (deal goes through 2014 and it's hard to see how it's renewed), it's hard to understand why MLS hasn't intervened.

MLS worked to limit the number of weeknight matches in the second half of the season. For LA, that means several double fixture weeks with the CONCACAF Champions League. It also means that LA will likely continue to be the best attended MLS club playing in a soccer specific stadium under club ownership. That might sound like a ton of caveats, however having solid attendance in a stadium under team control is a big milestone in the evolution of MLS.