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Attendance of MLS Opening Weekend sees Decline

An average of 25,156 people attended MLS opening weekend across North America, a decline of four percent from 2016.

MLS: Montreal Impact at San Jose Earthquakes Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 MLS season is officially underway, and while fans were anxious to dust off their kits and supporter scarves, a few decided to participate in the weekend’s festivities from their couches.

An average of 25,156 fans attended the weekend’s collection of games, a slight decrease from the 26,152 average from 2016’s opening weekend. The likely factor? Last year, the Seattle Sounders opened their campaign on home field, this year, they were on the road.

Here’s how Week 1 played out in terms of attendance.

Atlanta United FC made their MLS debut in front of a capacity crowd at Bobby Dodd Stadium — 55,000 were in attendance to watch the expansion team play their first MLS contest. The Vancouver Whitecaps opened their season in front of an unusually small crowd, which could likely be attributed to their kickoff taking place Sunday evening.

Regardless, this year’s attendance figures should be some of the highest we’ve ever seen, should the current trend continue — Atlanta and Minnesota both expanded into MLS this year, and bring above-average capacity facilities with them to the league. Atlanta’s season ticket sales, which have been announced at 30,000, already exceeds last season’s final average attendance figure.

After expanding last season, Orlando City FC have moved to their permanent home, the 25,000-seat Orlando City Stadium. Last year, they played in a 30,000-seat venue.

Week 1 Attendance Totals

  • Atlanta, 55,000
  • Colorado, 16,126
  • Columbus, 15,023
  • DC United, 18,268
  • Houston, 20,758
  • Los Angeles, 23,554
  • Orlando, 25,527
  • Portland, 21,114
  • Salt Lake, 19,519
  • San Jose, 18,000
  • Vancouver, 19,083