Here I will compile a few averages and other fun statistics about USL-Pro and NASL based on official announced attendance figures throughout the 2012 regular season.
As of Monday, September 24 here are the ranking of teams in the two professional leagues under MLS in terms of attendance:
- San Antonio Scorpions: 93176 [NASL]
- Orlando City: 6606 [USL-Pro]
- Rochester Rhinos: 6265 [USL-Pro]
- Atlanta Silverbacks: 4505 [NASL]
- Wilmington Hammerheads: 4265 [USL-Pro]
- Charleston Battery: 3947 [USL-Pro]
- Carolina Railhawks: 3883 [NASL]
- Fort Lauderdale Strikers: 3609 [NASL]
- Tampa Bay Rowdies: 3116 [NASL]
- Minnesota Stars: 2796 [NASL]
- Richmond Kickers: 2379 [USL-Pro]
- Puerto Rico Islanders: 1864 [NASL]
- FC Edmonton: 1492 [NASL]
- Harrisburg City Islanders: 1411 [USL-Pro]*
- Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 984 [USL-Pro]
- Antigua Barracuda FC: 818 [USL-Pro]*
- Charlotte Eagles: 806 [USL-Pro]*
- Dayton Dutch Lions: 722 [USL-Pro]*
- Los Angeles Blues: 666 [USL-Pro]
*Missing games from each team
As of Monday, September 24 here are the averages for each of the two leagues:
- USL-Pro: 338,144 total over 121 games (missing eleven) makes an average of 2,794.6 per game across the league.
- USL-Pro team median is 1,428; but that’s problematic because I’m still missing numbers from Harrisburg City Islanders.
- The average of the top half (teams above the median) in the USL-Pro is 4,692.4.
- NASL: 426,202 total over 112 games makes an average of 3,805.4 per game across the league.
- NASL team median is 3,362.5.
- The average of the top half (teams above the median) in the NASL is 5,293.3.
These compiled data point to the fact that while the NASL has a higher average attendance, several USL-Pro clubs can hold their own and impress in a national comparison.
Though I am a fervent supporter of a USL-Pro club, I am not one for the bickering between leagues. I find it very good news that one half of the top eight teams in terms of attendance are from each league. However, it troubles me that all of the six lowest teams are USL-Pro franchises. Dayton Dutch Lions, L.A. Blues, and Charlotte Eagles have each played matches at multiple sites, while Pittsburgh Riverhounds does not have its own specific facility until next season.
The week that the Puerto Rico Islanders reopened Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, 7192 fans showed up, which was equal to 57% of the team’s total attendance for the previous 10 home games of the season at nearby Bayamon Complex.
This was the final week of the USL-Pro regular season and every team saw an increase in attendance for their season finale except Antigua Barracuda FC and Los Angeles Blues. It should not come as a surprise that the top six attended teams qualified for the USL-Pro playoffs but it’d be hard to determine which initially caused the other.