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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MLS Attendance Statistics 2012 Week 5

Week 5 has seen further normalization of the attendance figures for most teams. Thanks to the opening at Montreal, however, the average attendance in 2012 is higher than 2011's by close to 2000. The Red Bulls have slipped further in attendance figures and are now at -2411 relative to 2011 due to smaller number of fans in the last two games. This despite the resurgent Henry and his partner Kenny Cooper, who are obliterating opposition left and right after the team started the season at 0-2.

There is a lot about the MLS statistics on this page that deals with "relative" attendance. That is, the total number divided by the stadium capacity. I always find it more instructive by looking at the whole picture. Century Link Field typically holds twice the available seats at Colorado's Dick's Sporting Goods Park. This doesn't, however, mean that the Rapids' stadium isn't full at 18,000. 

To better illustrate the concept of relative attendance for new visitors to the website, I would like to show the average attendance vs relative for the Western Conference. Notice that both Seattle and Portland sell out their games and are therefore at 100%, but their average attendance differs by about 18,000 seats. A team like Chivas plays at the Home Depot Center with a capacity of 27,000. Their low attendance numbers, coupled with low relative attendance relegates the squad to the lower left quadrant of the plot. However, this relative figure may need to be revised since it looks like the Goats have lowered their expected attendance figures, as can be seen by the large plastic Chivas mats covering seats on the end stands.

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