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Major League Soccer sets attendance record in 2012; Galaxy slips

October 30, 2012|By Kevin Baxter
  • The Seattle Sounders drew a Major League Soccer-record of 43,144 fans per game to Century Link Field this season.
The Seattle Sounders drew a Major League Soccer-record of 43,144 fans per… (Kevin Casey / Getty Images )

More than 6 million fans attended regular-season Major League Soccer games this season, a record for the 17-year-old league. The 19 teams drew an average crowd of 18,807 for each match, a 5% increase over last season, according to figures released by the league.

That also marked the third consecutive season in which average attendance rose in MLS, which outdrew the NBA and NHL for a second straight year, per game.

The rising tide did not lift all boats, however. The defending league-champion Galaxy, which played to six sellouts at the 27,000-seat Home Depot Center, was one of eight teams to see its average attendance fall, dropping 199 fans a game to 23,136 for 17 dates.

Chivas USA, which also plays at the Home Depot Center, drew a league-worst 13,056, the lowest figure in its eight-year history. The Seattle Sounders, meanwhile, drew a league-record average of 43,144 fans to its games at Century Link Field.

Scoring was also up in the regular season, which concluded Sunday, averaging 2.64 goals a game. That’s slightly higher than the 2011 figure of 2.58 as well as the highest mark since 2008. But it’s also the sixth-lowest in MLS history.

The San Jose Earthquakes, who finished with the league’s best record, also led the league in scoring with 72 goals, 13 more than the second-place Galaxy.

The MLS’ scoring average lags behind that of five other international leagues -- the Dutch Eredivisie (3.26), the German Bundlesliga (2.86), the English Premier League (2.80), Spain’s La Liga (2.76) and Brazil’s Serie A (2.68).

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