Immediate 2013 NASL Attendance Statistics and Reactions

The fall season ended this past weekend so we can finally look at the numbers for all of the 2013 NASL season.

Just so y’all know, these figures are based on the attendances that the home team announces for each game. These numbers may bear little resemblance to actual turnout or any eyeball estimations you might have.

I’m going to post some lists in descending order and then explain the data a bit underneath each.

Full season team averages:
San Antonio Scorpions:    6951.3
New York Cosmos:           6858.7
Carolina RailHawks:          4707.6
Atlanta Silverbacks:           4702.6
Minnesota United FC:        4508.7
Fort Lauderdale Strikers:   4268.9
Tampa Bay Rowdies:        4043.9
FC Edmonton:                  2409.7

This is the list most of you came here for. You might be surprised to find that the New York Cosmos finished beneath San Antonio in terms of attendance.

Spring season team averages:
San Antonio Scorpions:     7139.7
Minnesota United FC:        5338
Carolina RailHawks:          4708.1
Atlanta Silverbacks:           4363.6
Fort Lauderdale Strikers:   4313.7
Tampa Bay Rowdies:        4036.7
FC Edmonton:                  2059.3

Fall season team averages:
New York Cosmos:           6858.7
San Antonio Scorpions:    6762.9
Atlanta Silverbacks:           5041.7
Carolina RailHawks:          4707
Fort Lauderdale Strikers:   4224.1
Tampa Bay Rowdies:        4051.1
Minnesota United FC:        3679.4
FC Edmonton:                   2760.1

New York Cosmos started with a blistering 11,929 on opening night at Hofstra Stadium, but finished the fall season with an average attendance less than a hundred better than second-year club San Antonio. In fact, the Cosmos drew 1,222 less on their opening night than the Scorpions did in April of last year (13,151). In 2012, San Antonio averaged an announced attendance of 9,176 and drew 10,000 or more on five occasions, which the Cosmos failed to replicate after the raucous home opener.

But the Cosmos may have made another contribution to the total NASL attendance, as the visiting team.Here is the announced attendance of New York’s visit to the other teams in the league as a percentage of that team’s average attendance.

Hosting the Cosmos as % of average attendance:
Fort Lauderdale Strikers:   181%
Tampa Bay Rowdies:        174%
Atlanta Silverbacks:           115%
FC Edmonton:                   115%
San Antonio Scorpions:     114%
Minnesota United FC:         99%
Carolina RailHawks:           87%

The Strikers and the Rowdies clearly got a boost because the New York Cosmos came to town, as you would expect for clubs with roots to the original NASL. The other 3 clubs with draws higher than average for the game against the Cosmos can be explained as either within the ebb and tide of game-to-game fluctuation or as increased turnout for the season finale. What do you think, did the Cosmos have a positive affect on attendances when they came to town?

Changes from 2012 averages to 2013:
Minnesota United FC:        +87.1%
FC Edmonton:                   +61.5%
Tampa Bay Rowdies:        +29.8%
Carolina RailHawks:          +21.2%
Fort Lauderdale Strikers:   +18.3%
Atlanta Silverbacks:           +4.4%
San Antonio Scorpions:     -24.2%

Every team that returned to the league from 2012 saw their average attendance increase except for San Antonio. If I was a Crocketeer or another fan of the Scorpions, I wouldn’t worry too much though; San Antonio still led the league in attendance. Minnesota has benefited, at least off the field, from its offseason rebranding as attendance soared compared to last season and the club’s social media outreach has been spot-on.

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Any of the numbers stand out to you?

Surprised by some of the rankings?

What’s your take on the return of the Cosmos?

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