Friday, July 20, 2012

Seattle Sounders draw world-class crowds

Mike Woitalla of Soccer America writes of how the Seattle Sounders, who lead MLS in attendance for the fourth straight year, has seen it's attendance grow to the point that it now competes among the best clubs and leagues in the world.

The Sounders have led the MLS in attendnace for the past four years, dating back to their inaugural 2009 season, and now average nearly 40,000 fans. To see how Seattle's attendance compares to some major European leagues and for MLS team attendance rankings ...

* After 10 games, the Seattle Sounders are averaging 39,537 fans.

Here's how Seattle's current attendance average would rank in some major European leagues if compared to 2011-12 figures:

3rd in 18-team Dutch Eredivisie (League-wide: 19,516; No. 1, Ajax Amsterdam 50,044; No. 20, Excelsior 3,091).

3rd in 20-team French Ligue 1 (League-wide: 18,665; No. 1, Paris SG 41,921; No. 20, AC Ajaccio 6,918).

4th in 20-team Italian Serie A (League-wide: 23,459; No. 1, AC Milan 51,442; No. 20, Cagliari 9,692).

6th in 20-team Spain La Liga (League-wide: 30,272; No. 1, Barcelona 84,119; No. 20, Getafe 10,736)

8th in 20-team English Premier League (League-wide: 34,601; No. 1, Manchester United 75,387; No. 20, QPR 17,295).

13th in 18-team German Bundesliga (League-wide: 44,294; No. 1, Borussia Dortmund 80,521; No. 18, Freiburg 22,676).

* MLS league-wide attendance this season after 181 games is 18,736. MLS's highest season attendance averages were 17,872 in 2011 and 17,406 in its inaugural season of 1996.

* Seattle has set the all-time MLS attendance record in each of its first three MLS seasons: 2011 -- 38,496; 2010 -- 36,173; 2009 -- 30,897.

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